Asana and Trello 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.
Track your workload in Trello by organizing it into:
Workspaces > Boards > Lists > Cards
- Workspaces: A container for all the Boards in your team. You can create multiple Workspaces to classify your work further.
- Boards: A simple Kanban board interface to view task progress within a Workplace.
- List: A series of tasks (Cards) at the same progress stage. For example, To-do List, Doing list, Done List, etc.
- Cards: The smallest component of the board with all the actionable aspects of the project.
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.
Trello provides seven project views, namely:
- Boards: View your tasks on a Kanban board. It’s the simplest way to go from idea to action, plan projects, and track tasks.
- Timeline: Stay on top of project timelines, sprints, and goals. It’s great for adjusting dates on the fly and spotting potential gaps.
- Calendar: Perfect for managing schedules or to-dos; plus, you can sync it with third-party calendars.
- Dashboard: Offers a bird’s-eye view of projects and processes, helping you manage workloads and spot bottlenecks before they start.
- Map: Ideal for location-based data. Great for tracking properties, planning events, or organizing fieldwork.
- Workspace: Manage work across multiple Boards. Create custom overviews for detailed tracking of both minor tasks and large projects.
- Table: See your work like a spreadsheet. Sort and filter to focus on what matters.
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.
Manage tasks, goals, or anything that needs to get done via cards on Board.
Your cards can hold a variety of useful information, like:
- Members who are responsible for the task
- Due dates
- Custom Fields
You can also track and monitor task progress via a Checklist of smaller to-dos within the task.
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.
Move cards to specific lists that indicate the workflow stage they’re in. Customize these lists to suit your workflow.
Asana doesn’t offer the functionality to add checklists to your tasks.
Add multiple checklists to a single card. @mention team members in checklist items to notify them.
You can also track checklist completion with the help of a progress bar at the top that shows the completion percentage.
Finally, turn checklist items into cards to move them to the main board.
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.
Trello allows you to create a default Card Template. You can do this from a blank or new card, where you can:
- Format the description
- Add custom fields
- Copy over checklists, and more.
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.
Assign a Card by going to the Members icon and selecting a member or multiple people from the dropdown.
Add a custom field for priority levels on your project. Set low, medium, and high priority levels for each task.
Use the custom fields functionality to add a Priority field to each Card.
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.
Trello’s automation features include:
- Card and board buttons: Adds buttons to automate the next step in a workflow
- Rules: Set triggers to automate actions
- Scheduled automations: Set up recurring actions
- Due date automations: Trigger actions when a task reaches its due date
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.
Trello lets you add and edit start dates, due dates, and due date reminders in a card.
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.
Trello doesn’t have a dedicated time estimates feature. However, you can create a custom field to note a time estimate for working on a card.
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.
Trello doesn’t offer any native time-tracking features.
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
Browse the Trello template library for templates to help you set and track goals. For example, you can clearly define project goals and track milestones with the OKR (objectives and key results) template.
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
Trello keeps it simple and user-friendly, so its reporting mainly consists of the Dashboard View — a bird’s-eye perspective on your projects and how much work needs to be done.
You can add bar or pie charts in tiles that tabulate the number of cards (tasks) per list, due date, member, and label.
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.
Trello doesn’t have any native Gantt chart capabilities. However, it does offer a timeline view that provides a visual representation of project interconnections and deadlines.
It allows you to:
- Adjust start and end dates for issues
- View by day, week, month, or quarter
- Group by member, list, and label
- View unscheduled cards
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.
Trello doesn’t let you create custom user groups with different permission levels.
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.
Set different permission levels for all team members. Choose who can comment, react, invite, or remove members on your Trello boards.
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.
Invite guest users to one or multiple Boards to view and edit Cards.
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.
Click any card to open the comments section and leave a comment. Add attachments in them and @mention team members to collaborate on tasks.
Edit your comments to keep them up to date with the latest information. Or delete them to avoid miscommunication.
Right-click the timestamp to get a share link. Share these comments with others to invite more people to view and comment on the cards.
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 to cards to offer more insight into the task.
Trello automatically makes it the Card cover if it’s an image file.
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.
Send and receive notifications for various actions such as adding cards, being mentioned on them, changing due dates, moving cards, and more.
Change how and when you receive these notifications.
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
- Atlassian University: Product training and certification for Jira, Confluence, Trello, and more
- Atlassian Playbook: Free workshop resources to address common team challenges
- Atlassian Documentation: Help to administer Atlassian products
- Developer Resources: Build, deploy, and manage your apps while Atlassian takes care of security, computing, and storage
- Atlassian Community: Ask questions to product experts
- Atlassian Support: Resources for users and administrators
- Migration Program: Cloud migration support for all teams
- Enterprise Services: Support for enterprise teams
- Support: Email/Help Desk, Chat, 24/7 Live rep, 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, Safari, Firefox, 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
Trello’s four pricing plans are as follows:
- Free: Up to 10 boards, 250 workspace commands a month
- Standard ($6/user/month): Everything in Free plus unlimited board, 1,000 Workspace commands a month
- Premium ($12.50/user/month): Everything in Standard plus extra views, Unlimited Workspace command
- Enterprise ($17.50/user/month): Everything in Premium plus unlimited workspaces, public board management, SSO and user provisioning
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.
Trello is an exceptionally user-friendly and intuitive PM tool. It focuses heavily on visualizing work, especially on Kanban boards (though other views are available in higher-paid tiers). And its customization features make your workspaces visually engaging to make work more fun.
These factors make Trello perfectly suited to PM beginners, startups, and SMEs with relatively simple processes and small teams.
It’s also great for personal productivity and project management — E.g., if you’re a freelancer or you’re planning a big party.
The tradeoff for simplicity is, of course, limited complexity. Trello isn’t the best choice if you want to manage big projects with lots of simultaneous tasks, team members, and moving parts.
For example, Trello’s commenting functionalities are quite linear and not well-suited to multiple conversation threads at once.
There are extensive options to expand the app’s functionality with account upgrades, integrations, and power-ups. However, these will also cost extra money and time.