Jira vs Paymo: 2024 Comparison

Jira 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. Jira

Based on your needs, you could choose between two of Jira’s primary project management offerings:

  • Jira Work Management for more broad-scale project management 
  • Jira Software for software development teams to manage issues
For Jira Work Management

Choose between:

  • Company-managed projects: Set up and controlled entirely by the Jira admin in your team. This utilizes a similar configuration across all projects. 
  • Team-managed projects: Set up and controlled entirely by a designated project admin. This setup is independent of other projects.

Projects > Boards > Issue Cards

  • Projects: A shared space to document, organize, and track your work.
  • Board: A Kanban-style board to visualize all issues in a customizable workflow. 
  • Issue Cards: Summary of individual issues you’re working on.

For Jira Software

Jira Software’s default hierarchy contains:

Epics > Stories/Tasks > Sub-tasks

  • Epics: High-level objects/priorities the team is working towards — comprising multiple Stories and Tasks. 
  • Stories/Tasks: Functional requirements that the team is developing. 
  • Sub-task: Actionable items that make up Stories. 

You can customize this hierarchy with marketplace apps and add Initiatives containing multiple Epics.

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. Jira

Jira Software

Jira Software comes with the following preconfigured views:

  • Basic: A table format that shows issue details such as start and due dates, status, the hierarchy of issues, and timeframes. 
  • Sprint capacity management: A table format that zooms in on capacity across issues to help you optimize sprints and iterations. 
  • Top-level planning: A table format to give you a high-level overview of all issues and their relationship with each other. 
  • Dependency management: A table format to showcase only issues that have dependencies in the plan to spot which ones are blocking progress.

Jira Work Management

Jira Work Management offers the following views:

  • Board: A Kanban-style board to get a progress snapshot of work yet to be started, in progress, and completed. 
  • List: A single list to view all issues in the project for a quick scan. Get a quick glimpse of the issue type, summary, status, assignee, etc.  
  • Timeline: A Gantt chart view to visualize the timing and sequence of individual issues. 
  • Calendar: All project issues organized by start and due dates on a calendar format. 

Besides this, you can access Overviews that offer a high-level, aggregated view of work across multiple projects.

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. Jira

For Jira Work Management

Track tasks of a larger workflow as issues in Jira Work Management. 

An issue can have:

  • Subtasks to split an issue into smaller to-dos
  • Assignees to complete the work
  • Reporters to monitor the work
  • Descriptions
  • Labels
  • Time tracking
  • Status
  • Attachments

Note: Subtasks can be assigned to the person assigned the parent issue or to other people involved in the project.

For Jira Software

Break work into smaller chunks or tasks with issues.

An issue allows you to add other relevant information, such as:

  • Assignees who’ll work on the task
  • Reporter whom the assignee must report to
  • Child issues or subtasks to complete within the issue
  • Priority
  • Start date and end date
  • Labels
  • Status
  • Attachment

Subtasks can be linked to issues to create a task dependency.

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. Jira

In both Jira Software and Jira Work Management, use the default ‘To do,’ ‘In progress,’ and ‘Done’ statuses to indicate progress. Each status has a dedicated column on the Board. You can customize the statuses to suit your workflow.

 

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. Jira

Jira doesn’t offer native 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. Jira

Jira doesn’t have a native capability of creating issue templates. However, it does allow you to auto-populate an issue’s fields based on pre-set values in team-managed projects.

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. Jira

To assign an issue to a team in Jira Software, go to the Fields menu and add the Team column to your Board. This will let you assign any issue to a whole team.

b. Paymo

Add assignees to projects, task lists, and tasks.

8. Priorities

a. Jira

Jira Software

Suppose you’re using Jira Software’s Agile project management features and have enabled ranking in the project’s settings. You can rank an issue by dragging and dropping it to the relevant position in the Scrum or Kanban backlog. 

You can also set priorities using custom fields in the issue’s settings. This now lets you add custom priority levels to each issue. 

Jira Work Management

Create a new field with various priority levels and save it to add custom priority levels to each issue. 

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. Jira

Both Jira Software and Jira Work Management offer an extensive library of automations. Create automation rules by setting triggers, conditions (refining criteria), and actions.

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. Jira

Jira Software

You can schedule a deadline by adding a due date while creating or editing an issue. However, you need Schedule Issues permission from an administrator. 

Jira Work Management

You can add due dates for issues in Jira Work Management by adding a Custom Field.

Alternatively, you can schedule due dates for items in your business projects by dragging them to the specific date on your calendar.

b. Paymo

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

2. Time Estimates

a. Jira

You can add time estimates to the time tracking feature to show assignees how much time they have left to complete an issue. The timer counts down based on how much time they track while working on the issue.

It works for both Jira Work Management and Jira Software. 

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. Jira

The native time tracking feature in Jira Work Management and Jira Software enables users to record the time they spend working on issues. 

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. Jira

Jira Software lets you combine issues from boards, projects, and filters to map your goals with Jira plans. Other capabilities include:

  • Establish and view dependencies that can affect your plan.
  • Experiment with plans without impacting issues.
  • Set due dates, sprint dates, release dates, etc.

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. Jira

Jira Software and Jira Work Management dashboards both offer an initial view upon login to create multiple personalized displays for diverse project overviews.

You can customize the dashboard with gadgets that summarize issue data. Available gadgets include:

  • Charts
  • Labels
  • Issue calendar
  • Assigned to me
  • Quick links
  • Roadmaps

Select a layout preference for your dashboards, star favorites, and share dashboards with others. You can also find shared dashboards by filtering per owner, group, or project.

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. Jira

Jira Software

Jira Software allows you to create Gantt charts in two ways — Roadmaps (timeline view) and advanced roadmaps.

Basic roadmaps are great for planning dates, dependencies, and deliverables for a single team and project.

Meanwhile, advanced roadmaps offer the following additional features:

  • Plan and track work across teams, visualize data, and plan for future progress or obstacles.
  • Select issue sources from boards, projects, or filters to gather data for plan creation.
  • Expand issue hierarchies above the epic level to track larger goals.
  • Allocate work, manage team capacity, and evaluate risks.
  • Explore alternative paths through scenarios and plan for different outcomes.
  • Define milestones, manage shippable chunks of work, and align dates across multiple projects with single-project or cross-project releases.
Jira Work Management

Jira Work Management doesn’t offer roadmaps, but the Timeline view can function as a Gantt chart.

It allows you to adjust start and due dates, and reorder, link, and filter issues.

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. Jira

Create groups of people who share similar responsibilities and require similar access to issues. Grant each group a different permission level on each project. 

b. Paymo

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

2. Permission Levels

a. Jira

Jira Software

Jira Software lets you choose between whether people are Administrators, Members, or Viewers on a team-managed project. Create more custom roles for each project to share the most relevant projects, tasks, and conversations with each team member. 

Jira Work Management

Add or remove people to projects based on your requirements. You can also assign them one or multiple roles on the project. 

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. Jira

Jira Software and Jira Work Management don’t have guest users. But you can allow anonymous users to view, search, and create issues without logging in. 

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. Jira

Add comments, code snippets, images, tables, and more on issues for better communication. 

Mention teammates in the comments and react to comments with emojis.

Copy the link to each comment to share externally.

Vote on issues to indicate their importance to team members. 

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. Jira

Both Jira Software and Jira Work Management offer you the option to attach files to each issue to describe them better. You can also attach these files in comments or long text fields.

Just copy-paste the link to attach files from external services like Dropbox or Google Drive.

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. Jira

Both Jira Software and Jira Work Management let you choose which team members are notified about issue-related changes. 

Watchers, assignees, users, reporters, or project leads can get notified of changes such as:

  • Comments
  • New issue logged
  • Issues deleted, etc. 

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

Jira

  • Atlassian University: Product training and certifications for Jira, Confluence, Trello, and more
  • Atlassian Playbook: Free workshop resources to address common team challenges 
  • Atlassian Documentation: Help to administer Atlassian products
  • Atlassian Community: Ask questions to product experts and fellow users
  • Atlassian Support: Resources for users and administrators
  • Migration Program: Cloud migration support for all teams
  • Enterprise Services: Support for enterprise teams
  • Customer Support: Email/Help Desk, Chat, 24/7 Live rep, Phone

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

Jira

  • Browser: Microsoft Edge, Mozilla Firefox, Google Chrome, Safari for desktops, Safari and Chrome for mobile devices
  • On-Premise: Windows, Linux
  • Desktop: Windows, Linux
  • 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. 

Jira Pricing

Jira Software has the following pricing options:

  • Free: Up to 10 users, 2GB storage
  • Standard ($8.15/user/month): Everything from Free plus up to 35,000 seats, user roles and permissions, 250GB of storage
  • Premium ($16/user/month): Everything from Standard plus AI features, Advanced roadmaps, and premium support
  • Enterprise (Contact sales for pricing): Everything from Premium plus multiples site, enterprise support, and centralized security controls

Jira Work Management has these plans:

  • Free: Up to 10 users, 2GB storage
  • Standard ($5/user/month): Everything from Free plus up to 35,000 seats, project roles, 250GB or storage
  • Premium ($10/user/month): Everything in Standard plus Atlassian Intelligence, premium support, and unlimited support

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.

Jira Verdict

In particular, Jira is expertly designed for:

  • Software development teams
  • DevOps teams
  • Product management teams
  • Agile teams

It’s perfect for managing complex projects with many moving parts, granular tasks, and dependencies. Additionally, it’s well set up to handle work requests for things like bug fixing or IT support tickets.

Jira takes visualizing work to a whole new level so that you can spot all the intricacies and interconnectedness of your issues and projects.

However, all this functionality means it’s far too complicated for most standard project management teams. 

Jira can be a game changer for technical teams that use its agile and issue management features.  

However, teams with simpler needs may find that Jira has a lot of features that just won’t be useful for their work.

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.