Asana vs Paymo: 2024 Comparison

Asana and Paymo 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

a. Asana

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.

b. Paymo

Keep your work organized with Paymo’s hierarchy:

Client > Project > Task list > Task > Subtask

  • Client: All the work for each client is grouped together
  • Project: All projects belonging to one client
  • Task list: A collection of tasks that need to be done to complete a project
  • Task: Individual work items within the task list
  • Subtask: Tasks broken down into smaller steps

2. Views

a. Asana

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.

b. Paymo

Paymo enables you to visualize your projects in five different ways:

  • List: For each project, you see a list of tasks with a brief overview of their details (E.g., due date, assignees, etc.)
  • Table: A more detailed view of tasks with information fields in columns
  • Board: A Kanban board view of tasks grouped by status
  • Calendar: Displays tasks on a calendar, showing their start and due dates
  • Gantt: A timeline of tasks depicting start and due dates, dependencies, and milestones

3. Tasks & Subtasks

a. Asana

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
  • Attachments
  • Task Dependencies
  • Custom Fields for Labels

Break tasks up into smaller subtasks to divide the work among a team.

b. Paymo

Break tasks into granular subtasks to indicate the steps needed to complete a task.

Fill out the details on tasks to provide assignees with all the information they’ll require, such as:

  • Task name and description
  • List of subtasks
  • Link to the project and task list
  • Start and due dates
  • Assignees
  • Billing type
  • Time estimate
  • Billing estimate
  • Invoice status
  • Time budget alerts
  • Priority
  • Status

4. Statuses

a. Asana

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.

b. Paymo

Paymo includes the following default task statuses:

  • Active
  • Proposal
  • On-hold
  • Canceled
  • Completed
  • Archived

You can create custom statuses in the company settings menu, which apply globally.

Additionally, Paymo allows you to set up workflows for specific projects. The default workflow contains To Do, In Progress, and Complete. From the company settings, you can establish new workflows with custom statuses.

5. Checklists

a. Asana

Asana doesn’t offer the functionality to add checklists to your tasks. 

b. Paymo

Paymo doesn’t include a native feature for adding checklists to tasks and subtasks.

6. Task Templates

a. Asana

Create repeatable workflows via task templates that let you automatically set details like:

  • Task type
  • Task title
  • Assignee
  • Project
  • Due date
  • Dependencies
  • Tags
  • Attachments

You can create a task template by converting an existing task into a template. 

Note: This closes the current task.

b. Paymo

Paymo offers project templates, which are useful when multiple projects share the same task lists and structure.

However, you can’t templatize individual tasks on Paymo.

7. Assignees

a. Asana

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.

b. Paymo

Add assignees to projects, task lists, and tasks.

8. Priorities

a. Asana

Asana

Add a custom field for priority levels on your project. Set low, medium, and high priority levels for each task.

b. Paymo

Indicate the urgency of a task by setting the priority to one of the default statuses — low, normal, high, or critical. Paymo doesn’t offer custom priority statuses.

9. Automations

a. Asana

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.

b. Paymo

Paymo doesn’t include a native feature for setting up automation rules.

However, it does have some time-saving automation features, including:

  • Automatic recurring tasks
  • Automatic time tracking
  • Auto-scheduling (to adjust dependent tasks when dates change)

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

a. Asana

You can set custom due dates as a feature in project templates in Asana. 

b. Paymo

Set task due dates and time budgets and set up alerts for when you’re approaching deadlines.

2. Time Estimates

a. Asana

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.

b. Paymo

Set time estimates for tasks. Additionally, if the billing type is time-based, you can set a billable rate and calculate the estimated billable amount.

3. Time Tracking

a. Asana

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.

b. Paymo

Paymo offers six different avenues for tracking time:

  • Web timer: Select the project and task you’re working on and use a timer to track time in the web app.
  • Manual: Add time directly to tasks by inputting a duration or time interval of work. 
  • Bulk function: Input time entries for an entire week on a timesheet.
  • Desktop Widget: Track time or manually add time from the Paymo tracking widget for desktop.
  • PaymoPlus: Receive an automatic record of your activities for the day, and map them onto time entries at the end of the day to sync them with Paymo.
  • Mobile app: Track time or add it manually via the Paymo mobile app.

C. Reporting

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

a. Asana

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

b. Paymo

On Paymo, you can set milestones that are dates by which you want the associated tasklist to be resolved. You can also set reminders for upcoming milestones.

2. Dashboards

a. Asana

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:

  • Column
  • Donut
  • Assignee
  • Burn, and 
  • Line charts

b. Paymo

The Paymo dashboard displays real-time graphs and information from across clients, projects, and tasks.

You can customize the dashboard by activating, deactivating, and reordering various plugins, which include:

  • Finance plugin: A graph of sent vs paid invoices for a period
  • Time plugin: Displays time tracked by you, the whole company, or team members you manage, depending on your company role
  • Billable vs non-billable plugin: Shows a pie chart of billable vs non-billable hours tracked
  • Milestones plugin: Displays upcoming and overdue project milestones
  • Active timers plugin: Shows which team members are working and what they’re working on in real time

3. Gantt Charts

a. Asana

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.

b. Paymo

Paymo automatically displays all tasks that have a start and end date in the Gantt chart view, where you can:

  • Drag to adjust dates and duration
  • Change the view to show days, weeks, months, or years
  • Create dependencies between tasks
  • Click on tasks to see an overview of details

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

a. Asana

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.

b. Paymo

Paymo doesn’t offer any native features for creating user groups or teams.

2. Permission Levels

a. Asana

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.

b. Paymo

Paymo offers the following user privilege levels:

  • Admin: Has access to financial information, client data, company settings, company-wide time data, team scheduling, and PTO 
  • Project manager: Can add, manage, and view time entries, time reports, and schedules for the projects they’re assigned to
  • Regular user: Can add tasks for themselves, view task details, and discuss tasks they are assigned to

3. Guest Users

a. Asana

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.

b. Paymo

You can invite external people to view a project on Paymo as a guest user.

They will be able to:

  • View projects, tasks, time reports, invoices, and estimates you share with them
  • See upcoming milestones
  • Contribute to discussions on shared tasks
  • Add tasks (If granted the user privilege by an admin)

E. Collaboration

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

a. Asana

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.

b. Paymo

Comment on tasks and assign comments to notify specific users on Paymo. 

Alternatively, you can comment at the project level by adding a discussion in the Discussion tab.

2. File Management

a. Asana

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.

b. Paymo

You can upload files to tasks from your device or Google Drive. You can also add files in comments on tasks.

All files for a project will be available in the Files tab.

The maximum file size is 2GB, and the following file formats are allowed:

  • .doc
  • PDF
  • .csv
  • .xml
  • .png
  • .jpg
  • .psd
  • .cad
  • .zip
  • afd.esign
  • .afpub
  • .afphoto
  • .dwg
  • .cdr
  • .rvt
  • .rfa
  • .blend
  • .fbx

3. Notifications

a. Asana

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.

b. Paymo

Paymo can send in-app and email notifications to assignees for activities on their projects and tasks.

Each user can change their email notification settings to select which activities they want to be notified about.

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

  • 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

Paymo

  • Help Center: A collection of written tutorials about how to use Paymo
  • Customer Support: Fill in a support request form to get help via 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

Asana

  • Browser: Chrome, Firefox, Safari
  • Desktop: Mac, Windows (64-bit), Windows (32-bit)
  • Mobile: iOS, Android

Paymo

  • Browser: Firefox, Chrome (Desktop and Android), Safari
  • Desktop: Mac, Windows, Linux
  • Mobile: iOS, Android

H. Pricing

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 Pricing

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

Paymo Pricing

Paymo’s pricing plans are structured as follows:

  • Free: Unlimited users, five clients, 10 projects, and 1GB storage.
  • Starter ($9.90/user/month): Everything in Free, plus unlimited clients and projects, calendar and Kanban views, and 5GB storage.
  • Small Office ($15.90/user/month): Everything in Starter, plus recurring tasks, project templates, and 50GB storage.
  • Business ($23.90/user/month): Everything in Small Office, plus Gantt chart view, employee scheduling, priority support, and 500GB storage.

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 Verdict

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
  • Sprints
  • 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.

Paymo Verdict

Paymo presents a modern and user-friendly interface with a solid set of project management features, offering a comprehensive solution for users.

However, it’s missing some features that are industry staples, like automation rules, task checklists, user groups, and task templates.

Also, some important views and tools are only available in the higher-priced plans. For example, the Gantt view is only in the Business plan, and project templates are not available in the free and starter plans.

In the end, Paymo could do with some advanced and unique features that would make it stand out from the big names in the project management space. However, it covers the essentials for effective project management and provides a free plan, making it worth a try.