Asana and Accelo are two of the most popular project management tools available today.
But how do they stack up against each other?
Which one manages tasks better?
Which one helps you allocate resources more effectively?
Which one is more affordable?
Discover all the answers in our detailed comparison guide.
A. Project and Task Management
Get. Things. Done.
You and every project manager likely live by those words.
It’s also the heart and soul of any project management software.
This is why, before anything else, you must evaluate a tool’s ability to help you manage your tasks and projects.
Features to look out for:
- Project structure: A simple, intuitive way to organize work and toggle through multiple projects, tasks, boards, etc.
- Views: Board, list, timeline, Gantt, and other types of views that let you visualize various types of information within each project.
- Tasks & subtasks: Dedicated spaces offering the ability to drill down to the smallest level of actionable detail about each project item.
- Statuses: Effortless ways to communicate the exact progress of each task, board, project, etc.
- Checklists: Quick to-do lists for each task so things don’t fall through the cracks
- Task templates: Easy-to-copy templates to create identical tasks at scale across multiple projects.
- Assignees: The ability to assign tasks, boards, or projects to individual team members, groups, or even teams.
- Priorities: A way to communicate the urgency level of each task, subtask, or project.
- Automations: Trigger-based (if X happens then do Y); ways to automate repetitive actions such as notifications, comments, status updates, etc.
1. Project Structure / Hierarchy
Split your Asana workspace into individual Tasks, Projects, and Portfolios leading up to high-level Goals.
Goals > Portfolios > Projects > Tasks > Subtasks
- Goals: High-level targets for the team to work towards.
- Portfolios: Containers for similar-themed Tasks and Projects.
- Projects: Divide your work into specific projects to indicate specific initiatives and objectives.
- Tasks: Individual actionable items within projects with due dates that can be assigned to specific team members.
- Subtasks: Smaller actions within individual tasks.
Accelo helps you organize your projects with a straightforward structure:
Company > Project > Milestone > Task > Checklists
- Company: A company or client page set up on your Accelo account.
- Projects: Long-term work that needs to be completed by or for a Company.
- Milestones: Different stages or phases of a Project, which can have separate budgets.
- Tasks: Actionable work items required to achieve Milestones.
- Checklists: Granular action items required to complete a Task.
Asana offers six handy ways to visualize your projects and tasks:
- Kanban board: Organize your work like sticky notes on a board. You can track progress through different stages with this view.
- List: Presents your work as a to-do list, capturing every task in a project or process in one place.
- Timeline: Maps out project plans on a timeline to show the relationship between tasks and keep work on track.
- Calendar: Provides a calendar view of work to spot scheduling conflicts and overlaps.
- Gantt chart: Offers a bird’s-eye view of projects, schedules, and dependencies.
- Files: Shows you all the images, documents, and files attached to tasks in a project.
Accelo allows you to see your Tasks with these views:
- Project View: This screen displays all Milestones and Tasks within a Project with details of Assignees, Planned Due, Status, etc.
- Milestone View: Displays an overview of all Tasks within a Milestone. The Tasks can be arranged based on Status, Earned Value, Budget, or Start and Due Dates. You can also shift Tasks within your workflow by dragging and dropping them on a Kanban-style board.
- Project Schedule: Access a Gantt-style overview of your Projects’ Milestones and Tasks for Project planning.
- My Schedule: See all your assigned Tasks based on a calendar view.
- Deadlines Task Board: Displays the Tasks you need to do based on deadlines. You can drag and drop Tasks to change deadlines.
- Status Task Board: Allows a user to see all Tasks they have created or that have been assigned to them. It lets you drag and drop Tasks to change their Status.
- Assignment Task Board: Shows a manager all the Tasks they have created or are managing. It simplifies the process of assigning Tasks.
3. Tasks & Subtasks
Set up tasks with clear ownership of different to-do’s and actionable steps in a project.
Tasks can provide information on:
- Assignees and collaborators
- Task Description for details or instructions
- Start and Due Dates
- Task Dependencies
- Custom Fields for Labels
Break tasks up into smaller subtasks to divide the work among a team.
Accelo lets you create Tasks under Milestones or Projects to keep track of important actionable items.
Although you cannot add any subtasks, you can add these details to provide context to your Tasks:
- Task Title
- Task Status
- Task Description
Use the Overview tab in the project to get a complete picture of the project’s current status: On Track, At Risk, Off Track, or Complete.
At the Project or Portfolio level, use the Custom Fields options to set various progress stages or any other field you need to communicate about. Then, you can select the relevant option to update a Task’s status.
Accelo lets you assign and change your Task Status to indicate its progress in your workflow. The default Statuses include Unassigned, Pending, Accepted, Started, and Completed.
You can also create new or custom Statuses.
Asana doesn’t offer the functionality to add checklists to your tasks.
Accelo lets you add Checklists for to-do items within a Task. Assignees can tick Checklist items to indicate their completion.
6. Task Templates
Create repeatable workflows via task templates that let you automatically set details like:
- Task type
- Task title
- Due date
You can create a task template by converting an existing task into a template.
Note: This closes the current task.
Accelo’s standard Task Template helps you assign work and provide context to aid your Project workflow.
This template can be configured to include additional details. However, by default, it contains:
- Task Title
- Task Description
- Task Status
- Task Time
- Task Rate
- Start and Due Dates
You can assign tasks only to one person at a time. However, you can add multiple collaborators who can view and edit the task alongside the assignee.
Accelo lets you assign Projects, Milestones, and Tasks to people on your team. Projects and Milestones can be assigned to managers, while Tasks can be assigned to both managers and team members.
Add a custom field for priority levels on your project. Set low, medium, and high priority levels for each task.
You can set Task Priorities to Critical, High, Normal, Low, or None on Accelo. Each level has a corresponding icon based on its urgency.
You can edit the Priority names but can’t create custom ones or modify the icons.
Streamline your project workflows with Asana’s rules and other automations.
- Rules: Set up automation rules to perform an action based on a trigger — E.g., When you create a task within a certain project, automatically assign it to the project’s manager.
- Bundles: Create Bundles of fields, sections, rules, and task templates and apply them to multiple projects at once.
- Form automations: Create forms and automate actions based on form responses.
Accelo allows you to automate certain business and Project processes to save time for more important work. You can set up automations based on Triggers, Rules, and Actions.
B. Time Management
Time is money for a reason.
The right software can be the difference between pinching pennies and raking in the big bucks.
Effective project management software offers effortless time management features to help you befriend the clock.
With the right one, expect to keep all your tasks running as scheduled and meet your deadlines with ease.
Features to look out for include:
- Due dates: Communicate expected delivery dates.
- Time estimates: Make capacity decisions based on how much time each task or project is expected to take.
- Time tracking: Measure productivity with accurate time consumption data for each team member.
1. Due Dates
You can set custom due dates as a feature in project templates in Asana.
Maintain deadlines for Project deliverables by adding Start and Due Dates on Accelo.
You can add or modify these dates while creating or editing Tasks. They can also be modified from your Project Schedule.
2. Time Estimates
Use time estimates to set a projected time and compare it with the actual time spent on a task. The field is only available after enabling the native time-tracking feature.
Accelo lets you add a Time Budget to Tasks. Once an Assignee has finished a Task, you can compare the estimated time vs the actual time taken.
3. Time Tracking
Asana’s embedded time tracker allows you to measure exactly how long work takes by monitoring screen activity.
Using the embedded time tracker, you can also:
- Manually track the time spent on tasks.
- Stop the timer and come back to the task later.
- Open a detailed log to see who tracked time for a task and when.
You can use Accelo’s in-built Timer to track how long you work on a Task. The timer starts automatically by default when you start an Activity. However, you can pause, resume, and stop the Timer at any time or manually log time using the Time Log button.
And if you’re working on different Tasks, the app will automatically start tracking time for both and switch between Timers as you move between Tasks.
What you can’t measure, you can’t improve.
Reporting and analytics features can help you track real-time progress, monitor key metrics, and sniff out bottlenecks like a detective.
Armed with these insights, your team can stay ahead of the curve no matter the situation.
Expect better resource management, superior deadline compliance, and a more focused and decisive team.
Features to look out for include:
- Goals and milestones: Record targets for the whole team to see and work towards.
- Dashboards: Visualize data from all corners of the team into a user-friendly, interactive interface.
- Gantt charts: Keep your plans flexible with Gantt charts that allow you to adjust timelines based on changing resource availability and task completion ratio.
1. Goals & Milestones
In terms of goal-setting, Asana enables you to:
- Create company-wide and team-specific Goals
- Set milestones for tasks.
- Access activity history of goal interactions
- Filter to see Open, Closed, or All goals
- Categorize goals as objectives, key results, or individual goals
Accelo’s Milestones are overarching agendas within a Project. For example, a testing stage for a product release. The stage can be classified as a Milestone and has several Tasks under it that need to be completed.
However, the tool doesn’t have a distinct feature for setting goals.
Asana Dashboards provide quick access to crucial project progress and task completion data.
Share them with your team members and customize these Dashboards with the following types of charts:
- Burn, and
- Line charts
Here’s a list of some of the many Dashboards that Accelo offers:
- Schedule Dashboard
- Utilization Dashboard
- Profitability Dashboard
- User Dashboard
- Manager Dashboard
- Company Dashboard
- Sale Dashboard
- Project Dashboard
- Ticket Dashboard
These Dashboards provide you with a quick, accurate overview of different aspects around Project and Task management. It lets you oversee progress, planning, and profitability.
3. Gantt Charts
Asana’s Gantt view allows you to:
- Filter by task status (All, Complete, Incomplete)
- Sort by period (Day, week, month, quarter, half-year, year)
- Select multiple tasks and set dependencies.
- Map chart colors to custom fields (E.g., teams or task statuses)
- Mark a moment in your project progress as a baseline to compare against future progress.
Accelo’s Gantt charts allow you to:
- View Milestones and Tasks based on their durations and dependencies.
- Click and drag to link Milestones or Tasks and create dependencies.
- Collapse or expand Milestones to hide/view Tasks.
- Drag Milestone bars to extend or reduce durations for project planning.
D. User Management
Software, features, and other tech things aside, the real heroes of any project are your team members. So make sure to pick the kind of project management software that puts them front and center!
How do you do this?
Look for software that knows what different team members need and helps you deliver the right experience.
Features to look out for include:
- User groups: Create internal teams representing various departments, functions, or projects.
- Permission levels: Grant different access levels depending on the users’ information requirements and the company’s security concerns.
- Guest users: Invite team members from other companies/teams to collaborate with your team without compromising on confidential data.
1. User Groups
Add a group of users to a team that can collaborate on specific tasks and projects.
Teams can be public (anyone in the organization can join), private (by invite only), or membership by request (team members can request to join).
Adjust the privacy settings for each team and change access levels for individual members within it.
A team can have shared access to all projects, permission settings, invitations, messages, calendars, and more.
You can create custom User Groups in Accelo with specific permission levels for the whole group.
This lets you categorize your team and bulk assign access levels, helping you to easily sort users and control their access to different Accelo modules.
2. Permission Levels
Make projects or tasks private by restricting commenting and editing access. This way, you can secure your conversations.
You can also hide projects or tasks so only people added to or mentioned in them can comment or edit.
Accelo offers comprehensive permission levels, including view, edit, assign, delete, plan, admin, and more, across three different access levels for users:
- Administrators have full access
- Professionals are standard users who can log time and manage work
- Contractors are limited roles that can only log time
You can also choose to give members access based on their roles within specific teams on Accelo (for example, Company, Sale, Projects, etc.).
3. Guest Users
Collaborate with external users (such as clients and vendors) by creating a guest profile. Share limited access to projects and tasks with them for transparency without letting them in on internal communications.
Accelo doesn’t have a distinct feature to add guest users. However, you can add users with temporary access by assigning Contractor roles.
You can also add client users via the Client Portal.
In project management, collaboration and communication are like a ballroom dance — if everyone isn’t in sync, you’re just stepping on each other’s toes!
A project manager should encourage their team to be on the same page regarding everything happening on the project. This could involve regular meetings, periodic status updates, shared checklists, etc.
But things can get tricky when you add different team structures (remote, hybrid, distributed, etc.).
The trick is to balance ‘informing everyone’ with ‘over-communicating.’
The solution is to forge a shared space where the whole team can contribute without hampering individual productivity. Picking a suitable project management software is the first step toward achieving this goal.
Features to look for include:
- Comments: Simple ways to send feedback or discuss a task or project.
- Threads: Keep all relevant comments in a single thread.
- Tagging/@mention: Mention a team member on a task, in comments, or in any shared space to notify them.
- Sharing tasks: Share tasks with relevant team members for efficient collaboration.
- File management: Attach and store files, create and annotate documents, etc., for ready access to project documentation.
- Notifications: Customize how team members receive notifications.
1. Comments, Threads, & Tagging
Add a comment to any task to mention team members or share thoughts, questions, and feedback. Make your comments informative with the help of emojis, links, and rich text formatting.
Accelo doesn’t let you comment directly on Tasks. However, you can add replies to Activities in Message Streams.
An Activity is any work correspondence done for a Task, like sending an email, scheduling a meeting, or creating an Internal Note for your team. These Activities are logged in a Message Stream within a Project or Milestone.
Team members and clients can add in-line replies or comments in response to an Activity in the Message Stream.
2. File Management
Attach files to tasks or comments to provide more information to collaborators.
Get a quick glimpse of all files attached to various tasks with the File view.
Comment on images, PDFs, GIFs, and BMP files.
Attach files like PDFs and images to Tasks or email exchanges with your team or clients.
You can also search for attachments or files from your Accelo Dashboard and upload files from integrated services like Dropbox or Google Drive.
Choose which project members get notified when you add tasks, publish status updates, or send messages to avoid cluttering everyone’s inboxes. Schedule notifications to send due date reminders to keep things on track.
Adjust your settings to change what notifications you receive on email, browser, or on the platform.
Stay on track with Task updates with email notifications for Task or Activity creation, Status updates, Expense submission, etc.
You’ll only receive email notifications based on your preconfigured settings.
F. Customer Support
Individual users in smaller teams often face a steep learning curve with most project management software.
In their case, having access to responsive support executives and a wealth of helpful resources can make a significant difference, turning a frustrating experience into a positive one.
However, customer support is just as crucial for larger teams.
Even if these teams initially received thorough onboarding and training, their needs and use cases tend to evolve over time. Continuous and adaptable customer support becomes essential to address these changing needs effectively.
With adequate customer support, you can:
- Derive maximum value from the app with the help of professional guidance whenever required
- Ensure your team is making full use of all the features you’re paying for
- Learn from case studies of other teams using the same software
- Expand your use cases with time
- Learn about the features your team uses the most and avoid spending on those you don’t need
- Solve minor issues on your end by going through help resources
- Get hands-on support when you get stuck
- Keep a record of all your complaints and feedback for the platform to aid future buying decisions
- Send feedback to the app’s developers so they can design the features you most desire
Features to look for include:
- Detailed knowledge bases and documentation to aid DIY solutions to common issues
- Case studies, templates, guides, and other resources
- Easy access to resources for all types of users — free or paid
- Async support executives to cover for the time difference
- Live agents who can respond via chat or phone
- Screenshots and recordings to display how the tool works
- Translations to resources in other languages, if needed
- Asana Help: Step-by-step guides on specific features
- Asana Forum: Insights from a community of Asana users and experts
- Asana Developer’s Guide: Guide to how you can customize your Asana experience with the help of their API
- Asana Guide: Tips, tricks, and advice to get the most from Asana
- Asana Academy: Interactive courses and webinars to learn Asana
- Customer support: Email, Help Desk, Chat
- Webinars: Recordings of training sessions and interviews around using Accelo
- Video tutorials: Brief video walkthroughs on navigating Accelo products
- Help Guides and FAQs: Guides and answers on everything you need to know about using the tool
- Community: A space to share ideas, learn, and ask questions to other Accelo users
- Professional service: Consultative services for building workflows, configuring platforms, train your team to use Accelo
- Customer support: Email, Phone
G. Platforms Supported
Distributed and field teams might not always be armed with laptops or computers.
But that doesn’t mean productivity has to stop.
With a mobile-friendly project management tool, the workflow keeps humming along, turning those smartphones into mighty workflow tools.
More reason to look into this?
If your company follows a Bring Your Own Device (BYOD) approach, your team members need the freedom to switch between various devices.
With support for all types of apps, you can:
- Ensure uniform access irrespective of device type
- Save on the cost of buying the same types of devices for the whole team
- Give all team members a chance to log work from anywhere, anytime
Features to look for include:
- App support for the latest Mac, Windows, iOS, and Android versions.
- Maximum coverage for all key features across devices
- Browser: Chrome, Firefox, Safari
- Desktop: Mac, Windows (64-bit), Windows (32-bit)
- Mobile: iOS, Android
- Browser: Chrome, Firefox, Microsoft Edge, Safari
- Desktop: Mac, Windows, Linux
- Mobile: iOS, Android
Whether you have deep pockets or shoestring budgets, there’s project management software out there for every kind of organization.
But the confusing combination of features and numbers on pricing pages can make it difficult to choose.
Here are some easy tips for starters.
If you plan on buying the software subscription for just yourself or a small team that’s not likely to grow rapidly anytime soon — stick to the free plan as long as possible. Or pick the cheapest monthly subscription possible. These should cover most of your feature requirements comfortably in most cases.
However, if you expect to hire rapidly and grow to a sizable number, go for a plan that grows with you — ideally with a per-user rate that doesn’t add up exponentially.
Finally, most software offers flexible enterprise plans that let you cherry-pick your favorite features into a custom package. If you’re part of such a team, it’s best to contact the sales team and get the best deal possible.
Asana’s pricing structure is as follows:
- Personal (Free): Up to 10 users, three views
- Starter ($13.49/user/month): Everything in free plus up to 500 users, all views, 250 automations a month
- Advanced ($30.49/user/month): Everything in Starter plus 25,000 automations, goals, approvals, native time tracking
- Enterprise (Contact sales for pricing): Everything in Advanced plus unlimited users, Asana Intelligence, Unlimited views, service accounts
- Enterprise+ (Contact sales for pricing): Everything in Enterprise plus audit logs, and data loss prevention, eDiscovery, and archiving integrations
Accelo has the following pricing plans:
- Free Trial: Try Accelo with full access for 7 days. No credit card required.
- Professional ($50/user/month): Client Project Management, Sales Management, Quote Management, Time Logs, Timers, Timesheets, Invoices, Payments, Financial Insight Dashboards
- Business ($70/user/month): Everything in Professional plus Client Retainer Management, Ticket Management, Shared Request Inbox, Expenses & Materials, Time Approvals for Billing, Unlimited Client Portal Users.
- Advanced ($90/user/month): Everything in Business plus Advanced Custom Workflows, Advanced Triggers & Automation, Smart Scheduling & Utilization, Adaptive Project Scheduling, Client Asset Management, and 3 Advanced Reporting Users.
- Elite (Contact for pricing): Everything In Advanced plus Role-Based Users from $39/month, Divisions Module, Unlimited Collaborator Users, SAML / Enterprise SSO, Premium Support with SLAs, Dedicated Account Manager.
I. Best Suited To
Picking the right project management tool is like finding the perfect pair of shoes. They must be a snug fit but also leave you some wiggle room to get comfortable!
In other words, the tool you pick must fit all your current needs and grow alongside your future requirements, too.
So make sure you’ve covered all bases in your research when picking project management software for your team.
One way to do this is to check what types of teams your choice serves best.
For instance, what works for a small software development team might not suit a large marketing agency.
When hunting for a PM solution, it’s vital to match the tool’s features and use cases with your team’s workflow. Tailor your search to find a tool with all the necessary features to manage your tasks and boost productivity.
Asana is an excellent all-rounder project management tool tailored to diverse team sizes and project needs.
It has an extensive free plan for teams of up to 10 people, with unlimited projects, messages, file storage, and more. This could make it a safe choice for small teams looking to try before they buy.
For more complex projects, Asana is also well-equipped for:
- Agile projects
- Product management
- Managing content marketing
- Tracking work requests
- Creating dashboards and custom reports (including expense, milestone, goals, and workload reports)
- Protecting your data through privacy and security compliance
One of Asana’s limitations is that you can only assign a task to one person at a time. This is intended to make roles as clear as possible. However, adding collaborators to oversee projects involves extra steps.
While Asana might be the perfect tool for smaller project management teams looking for an all-in-one solution, as your team expands, you might be better off looking at tools better equipped for dealing with larger workforces.
Packed with various features for project management, client management, sales, and more, Accelo is well-suited for large-scale businesses and enterprises. It helps manage the diverse aspects of running a business without needing multiple tools.
But is it the best choice for you?
Accelo’s extensive feature set is easy to understand and use. The segregation of Projects by Company and the distribution of Tasks within Milestones lets you create a clean breakdown of your work.
Its Project Schedule view provides an excellent overview of Task dependencies. Project managers can even add separate time and monetary budgets to each Milestone to ensure overall profitability. But the tool isn’t perfect.
Accelo’s broad offerings come at the cost of basic project management features. For example, you can’t break down Tasks into Subtasks. This can lead to your team losing focus on the subcomponents of a Task.
Moreover, it isn’t easy to communicate about Tasks on Accelo. Users need to send emails or add Internal Notes since they can’t add comments to Tasks. You also can’t customize Priority labels or set goals.
Another prominent issue is its lack of a free plan. The pricing (starting at $50/user) is also much higher than other tools in this niche. This makes it less suitable for solopreneurs, small businesses, and startups.
Still, Accelo can be a viable choice if you require a broad solution with excellent customer service to manage diverse needs.