If you're looking for a versatile work management platform for your team, chances are you've come across many options. As different businesses have varying needs, there are many highly-rated solutions that dominate this space.
When it comes to modern project management tools with valuable features and essential functionalities at reasonable pricing, you'll notice Wrike or Asana on the shortlist. At first glance, many features may look similar between these two systems. But after some inspection, you’ll find some significant differentiators that make each platform unique.
Let’s compare Asana to Wrike as well as to other common Asana competitors, Trello and Monday.com — so you can understand why Wrike is the best Asana alternative. Or start a free two-week trial of Wrike to jump straight in and see for yourself!
What is Asana?
Asana is a collaborative project management software. It provides essential features focused on streamlining organization-wide collaboration and managing team workloads. Asana helps track project progress and provides visibility into ongoing projects. The tool is useful for organizations in the process of streamlining project execution and encouraging better team collaboration. It does this well but doesn't provide a wide range of functionalities beyond simple project management and alignment.
Asana allows teams to manage all their work and projects in one place from an approachable and simplified interface. Asana offers some pros including:
- User-friendly, intuitive interface
- Multiple views for the same work
- Decent user reviews and ratings
- Free-forever option, or payment plans starting at $11/month per user
- Ability to assign tasks with due dates and timelines
- Some automated workflows, reporting, and integrations
Though Asana is a decent work management platform liked by its users, a few key areas could be improved. The biggest Asana cons are:
- Too simplistic to scale. Most agree that Asana is best suited for basic task management as opposed to enterprise project management. In Asana, work is confined to only four levels of hierarchy: portfolio, project, task, and subtask. With no folder options, users are forced to diminish complex projects into only these levels.
- Pricing is expensive. Asana’s most basic plan costs $11/month per user, making it one of the more expensive work management tools on the market.
- Limited reporting and visibility. Asana offers very limited reporting and analytics views. While the graphs in Asana are very colorful and easy to build, they are not very detailed or insightful. Plus Asana does not offer shared saved reports, so each individual user must rebuild or duplicate a report in order to save them. The calendar view does not display subtasks. And setting up dependencies is manual and difficult, making the Gantt chart challenging to use.
- Only allows for one assignee. Asana does not allow users to assign more than one individual to a task or approval, which makes collaboration difficult, creates confusion around accountability, and results in multiple tasks to capture duplicate work.
- No account-wide standardization. Many Asana features are tied to the specific project they live in, making scalability and standardization across the account difficult and completely manual. If your team wants to continue to use the same request form, workflow, or automations from project to project, you’ll have to duplicate that project, form, workflow, and automation every time you want to create a new project that follows the same process. Plus, Asana only allows statuses at the project level, and they are not customizable. This makes it difficult for teams whose workflows follow a different or more complex sequence.
Why should you use Asana alternatives?
Asana may have a colorful design, but it also has some significant limitations in its project management capabilities. The tool sells itself as a cross-functional platform capable of managing complex work easily, but its lack of features leaves busy teams that handle large-scale projects wanting something more. So if you’re looking for project management software that’s a better fit for your team than Asana, you can learn more about the top Asana alternatives below.
Top Asana alternatives
Now that you understand the pros and cons of Asana, let’s compare the tool to its competition. In our opinion, the best Asana alternative is Wrike. But let’s dive into the details to compare the features and capabilities of the top three alternatives to Asana: Wrike, Trello, and Monday.com.
Asana vs. Wrike
In our opinion, Wrike is the best alternative to Asana. And with its recent Wrike Lightspeed updates, Wrike decidedly beats Asana with:
- Cheaper pricing
- Ease of use and scalability
- Better reporting and visibility
- Multiple assignees
- Enhanced collaboration
Asana does offer a free-forever option, but its limited functionality isn’t worth it. Wrike offers plans starting at $9.80/month per user. Even to match just some of the functionality in Wrike’s Team plan, Asana’s Basic plan won’t cut it. You’ll have to at least upgrade to Asana’s Premium plan and pay $11/month per user — making Wrike the cheaper, more valuable option.
Easier to use and scale
Until recently, many users considered Asana’s modern user interface to be more intuitive than Wrike’s. But with Wrike’s recent UI overhaul as part of Wrike Lightspeed, users can now leverage the robust capabilities of Wrike in a more simplistic design.
Plus, Wrike allows more intuitive and infinite nesting for item types, while Asana only offers four levels of hierarchy. Asana is quite limited here, resulting in entire subprojects being dwindled to a single task or dumping all tasks from every subproject into the same location, creating chaos and clutter. Unlike in Asana, Wrike users can use folders to house multiple projects or tasks — making it easier to stay organized and build a scalable work environment.
Better reporting and visibility
Asana’s design may be simple, but so are the tool’s reporting capabilities. Wrike provides in-depth automated reporting, which significantly reduces the time teams spend generating and distributing reports. Wrike lets you create shareable reports on projects, tasks, and subtasks, so you can get a complete 360-degree view of your team’s productivity and efficiency.
Plus, Wrike lets you customize how each user views reports or dashboards. For example, if you created a dashboard for “Assigned to Current User,” then any and every user who clicks into that report will see items assigned to them. In Asana, you’d have to build a dashboard for each individual user to capture that information.
Wrike allows multiple users to be assigned the same task, approval, or project. This reduces siloes and brings multiple stakeholders into the same work item to discuss, review, or approve items. It’s especially great for teams who collaborate cross-functionally and for facilitating a discussion between creators or reviewers.
In Asana, you can only assign one person to each work item — which restricts visibility and collaboration. To work around this issue, Asana users end up duplicating tasks to capture the work for each assignee or stakeholder. If four people need to review an asset, then you’ll need four separate approval tasks in Asana. This can create very cluttered projects with a long list of tasks as well as multiple siloed areas that complicate communication.
Asana can’t match Wrike’s cross-tagging functionality. Wrike allows users to add items to multiple projects or folders, which means the same task can live in multiple places so users don’t have to navigate to different places for an update. Asana does offer a “multi-homing” feature that allows users to link the same task to multiple projects, but it’s limited to just tasks and subtasks and can’t cross over into other portfolios — creating silos and preventing cross-functional collaboration. Wrike empowers users with all the context they need in as many locations as they need it.
Collaborating with reviewers via approvals is also easier in Wrike than in Asana. With Wrike, users can automatically hand off work to multiple team members with a simple status update on a single task or project, eliminating bottlenecks throughout review and approval processes. In Asana, features like automated approvals can’t be standardized across an account, forcing users to duplicate set-up and maintenance of each project to create any type of approval standardization across the account. Plus, Asana users are limited to one approver per task — creating multiple, duplicate, siloed approvals.
start a free two-week trial of Wrike to discover why Wrike is the top alternative to Asana and experience the difference yourself!
Asana vs. Trello
In second place, Trello is a decent alternative to Asana. But Trello has its own limitations, so let’s compare the two. Primarily a Kanban-style project management tool, Trello beats Asana with:
- Better Kanban board view. Both Asana and Trello offer board views, but Trello is specifically designed as a Kanban tool and offers more customization there. So if you prefer to work in a board view, Trello might be a better fit for you and your team.
- Cheaper pricing. Trello and Asana both offer free-forever options, but they’re very limited in their functionality. To upgrade and get similar capabilities and views, you’d need to pay $11/month per user for Asana’s Premium plan compared to the slightly less expensive $10/month per user for Trello’s Premium plan.
- Free automations. Trello’s free plan is more designed for complex, repeatable processes than Asana. On Trello’s free plan, users can automate actions like various steps in their workflows. If you want to match that functionality in Asana, you’ll have to upgrade to one of its paid plans.
But Asana offers a wider variety of views and better time tracking than Trello. On Asana’s free plan, users can leverage list, board, and calendar views — with more detailed views like timeline and workload available on other paid plans. Additionally, Trello doesn’t offer native time tracking like Asana does on its Business plan.
Asana vs. Monday.com
In third place, Monday.com is another alternative to Asana. Monday.com is a cloud-based software that allows teams to create custom workflows to plan, run, and track processes, projects, and everyday work. Here are some key ways that Monday.com beats Asana:
- Cheaper pricing. While both tools offer a free-forever option, you’ll likely need to upgrade to access key functionality within each tool. On the first available plan, Monday.com is the more cost-effective option at $8/month per user compared to Asana’s $11/month per user.
- Better spreadsheet view. Monday.com is mostly a spreadsheet-like tool, while Asana provides a very limited spreadsheet view and focuses more on improving its other work views. If you prefer to work in columns and rows, Asana may not be the right choice since you can only sort by one column at a time and their filtering capabilities need some improvement.
- Easier time tracking. Monday.com offers great features and reporting for tracking time on the Pro plan for $16/month per user. To match that functionality in Asana, you’d either have to spend time building a third-party integration or upgrade to the Business plan for $25/month per user.
On the other hand, Asana offers better approvals and integrations than Monday.com. Asana offers easy-to-use task approval features, which Monday.com does not. These approvals are critical in helping users receive or provide feedback quickly. Additionally, Monday.com only offers 50 integrations, while Asana offers 200. A lack of integrations can result in more manual work for your teams or admins. More integrations means more automation capabilities as well as more time saved on manual builds.
Learn why people choose Wrike over Asana today
Overall, Wrike is the best alternative to Asana. While Asana is a good option for teams who need to manage a small amount of work, it's hard to stay organized or scale. If you want to streamline team management and have all of your team's workflows and processes standardized in one place while enhancing collaboration, then Wrike is the ideal tool for you at only $9.80/month per user.
Asana’s plans are limited and rely on workarounds or integrations to make up for the lack of key features, like multiple assignees, robust reporting, task-level statuses, and more. If you need a platform that has all the automation and work management features you need in an easy-to-use, customizable interface, Wrike is the best option out of all the Asana competitors or other apps like Asana.
Start a free trial to see how Wrike enables 360-degree project visibility, powers smart automation, and transforms strategy into results.