Asana and Nifty 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.
Find everything on Nifty by navigating this easy-to-understand hierarchy:
Workspace > Portfolios > Projects > Milestones > Tasks > Subtasks
- Workspace: A place for all your work on Nifty
- Portfolios: A collection of projects grouped by teams, departments, etc.
- Projects: Designated spaces to manage and collaborate over Milestones, Tasks, docs, etc.
- Milestones: High-level objectives in a project comprising several Tasks
- Tasks: Single to-dos that can be assigned to individuals or multiple team members
- Subtasks: A breakdown of Tasks into smaller to-dos that comprise them
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.
Work on these six views on Nifty:
Nifty allows you to see your work with these 11 views:
- List: Shows all Tasks one after the other in a simple list.
- Timeline: Track the overall progress of a Project by mapping it from Milestone to Milestone.
- Calendar: A master view showcasing all Task volumes and due dates.
- Kanban: A view to move Tasks (represented as cards) easily and facilitate an easy drag-and-drop working style.
- Swimlane: A Kanban-style display that showcases Tasks across multiple Milestones, allowing you to move them around with drag-and-drop motions.
- Custom: Apply various filters to sort Tasks and save the particular view for future reference.
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.
Tasks are the individual objectives within a project that live inside Task Lists and can be assigned to single to multiple assignees.
Completing Tasks contributes towards completing Milestones.
Edit a task with details like:
- And more
Further split a Task into Subtasks, each with its own level of detailing as a Task. Each Subtask has its own set of descriptions, comments, assignees, etc. Completing Subtasks doesn’t contribute to Milestone completion.
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.
Nifty offers four default Statuses: To Do, In Progress, Review, and Completed — displayed on all Boards. You can change the Statuses for each Task or Milestone to reflect these. Besides these, users can customize their Board and add more statuses or change their colors.
Moreover, you can use custom statuses to visualize Project-level status too.
Asana doesn’t offer the functionality to add checklists to your tasks.
Nifty lets you add multiple Checklists to each Task and Subtask. Marking items on the Checklist reflections completion percentage on a progress bar for each list.
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.
Save the layout of any Task or Milestone as a Template that you can reuse and apply to other Tasks or Milestones.
Each template contains fields for:
- Start / Due Date offsets
- Custom Fields
Once saved, you can customize it further.
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.
Nifty lets you assign Tasks, Subtasks, and Portfolios to single or multiple team members. Assigning a Task to a team member will automatically assign its Subtasks to them, too.
Add a custom field for priority levels on your project. Set low, medium, and high priority levels for each task.
Nifty offers four default Priority tags: High, Medium, Low, and Blocked. Besides these, you can create and edit any number of custom Priority tags.
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.
Nifty lets you create the following automations:
- Custom If/Then Workflow Automations
- Automated Progress Reporting with Milestones
- Automated Task Assignments based on Task Status
- Automated Task Grouping
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.
When you set due dates for your Tasks, Nifty will automatically calculate the due date for Milestone based on the duration for all Tasks that comprise it.
Moreover, Tasks Dependent on each other have cascading due dates. This means that when you change the due date for one Task, Nifty automatically changes them correspondingly for the other Dependent Tasks.
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.
Nifty allows you to add Story Points to each Task. Based on them, it automatically sets time estimates for Milestones. Typically 1 point accounts for roughly 1 day of work.
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.
Use Nifty’s native Time Tracker to track time for each individual Task. You can easily edit this tracked time information or add manual entries of the time you worked on each Task.
Users can access detailed Logs of all their recorded time on Nifty.
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
A Milestone in Nifty refers to a collection of Tasks that form a high-level objective in a Project. Which is why they’re also referred to as ‘Task Lists.’ Each Milestone is auto-updated as and when you move around the Tasks that comprise it.
You can even create Dependencies between various Milestones within a Project. This blocks the Tasks in Dependent Milestones until the preceding Milestone is achieved.
A step further than this is a Goal. A Nifty Goal lets you track progress across Projects and Portfolios. To set a Goal, you need to select:
- Progress Source: The Tasks and Lists (Milestones) that make up the Goal
- Track Metric: Whether the Goal depends on the number of Tasks completed, time tracked, Story Points, or any other Custom Field you decide
- Target: Whether the Track Metric will dynamically update itself or will need a static (predefined) target
Goals progress as the Tasks within them progress.
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
A Nifty Project Dashboard uses widgets to display the status of Roadmaps, Tasks, Discussions, Docs, and Files in a particular Project.
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.
Milestones — or a List of Tasks that form a high-level objective in Nifty — can be displayed as a Gantt chart.
This timeline-style view lets you see the selected Task’s name, due date, and assignees in the sidebar, while the main view gives you a complete overview of where the Task stands in the Milestone.
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.
Besides the four default user roles, you can create Custom Roles on Nifty and tailor every bit of access they get.
Plus, you can add Custom User Tags to a user’s profile to indicate things like their geography, work shifts, departments, etc. This will help you sort and filter users via tags.
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.
Nifty offers four default types of user roles:
- Owner: In charge of billing
- Admins: Can create Portfolios and Projects, invite other Team Members and Guests, and promote them as Admins
- Team Members: Can create Projects and invite other Team Members and Guests to Nifty
- Guests: Can join only by invite and cannot access anything not shared with them
Barring a few core functionalities, such as those related to the creation of realms and inviting/removing members, most other permissions are shared across all users on Nifty.
Team Members predominantly have edit and invite/remove access only to their Projects.
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.
Guest users on Nifty get access only to the specific Projects shared with them.
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.
Team Members can have project-specific discussions on dedicated channels for each Project in Nifty. Here, they can post a message in text, emoji, or GIFs and even react to each other’s messages.
Nifty discussion channels let you create threads and pin messages too.
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.
Nifty’s Files tool lets you upload and manage all relevant files with ease. You can even comment on them directly in Nifty to keep your feedback organized and accessible.
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.
Nifty currently offers support for browser push notifications across Chrome. Firefox, Internet Explorer 11, and Microsoft Edge.
You can change your Nifty notifications to pick and choose what you get notified for.
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
- Help Center: A single source for all tool-related questions
- Change logs: An updated list of all newly released features and updates
- Support: Live chat and email
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, Internet Explorer 11, Microsoft Edge
- Desktop: Mac, Windows
- 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
Nifty offers a 14-day free trial, without any credit card. Post this, you can choose from the following pricing plans:
- Free forever: Unlimited Members, 100 MB storage, up to 2 Projects, along with all Core features
- Starter ($49 per month): 10 Members, 100 GB storage, 40 Projects, Unlimited Guests and Clients.
- Pro ($99 per month): 20 Members, 500 GB, Unlimited Projects, Unlimited Guests and Clients.
- Business ($149 per month): 50 Members, 1 TB storage, Unlimited Projects, Unlimited Guests and Clients.
- Unlimited ($499 per month): Unlimited Members, storage, Projects, Guests, and Clients.
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.
Nifty lives up to its name in more ways than one.
It’s a fantastic project management tool with a comprehensive feature set that covers most basic to intermediate use cases. A tool for many trades, Nifty packs quite the punch — starting with its multiple views.
Besides the standard List and Calendar views, a Nifty user can view their tasks in the Swimlane view that pulls information from multiple Milestones/Lists simultaneously. This unique twist on a traditional view allows you to compare progress and multitask like never before!
And then there’s the ability to add multiple Checklists within Tasks, letting you add every intricate detail to each to-do. Finally, users can create as many custom Priority tags as they need.
A few sore points stick out, though.
For example, many users find the lack of resource allocation, cost-tracking, and visual ideation (mind mapping or whiteboards) features jarring. Moreover, its free plan — allowing just two projects — is extremely limiting to all but the smallest scale of operations.
However, despite these limitations, features like interactive Gantt charts, time estimates in Story Points, Milestones, and more endear Nifty to Scrum Masters and Agile project managers.
This is why Nifty remains a versatile project management software that offers tough competition to market leaders.