This is a tool that democratizes the project life cycle through features that encourage transparency, communication, and teamwork between team members and managers alike when executing the tasks assigned to a project.
However, like every platform, Asana has its strengths and weaknesses.
Although it excels as a masterful collaboration tool, it comes up short when it comes to reporting, budgeting, and invoicing. This tool works so long as you either don’t require these features or have other solutions available to address these gaps.
If neither of these situations applies to you, then Asana won’t be a good fit for your team. That’s why I’ve listed eight Asana alternatives you ought to consider in your search for a new project management tool.
Here are the 8 best Asana alternatives to use for project management
- Best for free software: Freedcamp
- Best for easy onboarding: Jira
- Best for critical path methodology: TeamGantt
- Best for general project management on a budget: ActiveCollab
- Best for creative projects: Airtable
- Best for enterprise: Scoro
- Best for kanban style management: Trello
- Best for all-around functionality: Monday.com
What to look for in an Asana alternative
When searching for an Asana alternative, you need to find a competitor that offers preferable quality or qualities.
These alternatives don’t have to exceed Asana in every category, just in the ones that matter the most to your business, projects, and teams.
I’ve narrowed down three key areas that your Asana competitor needs to either meet or exceed Asana’s abilities in order to be considered a viable alternative.
1. Easier to use
Asana is an extremely user-friendly software that puts the needs of the team at the same level of importance as those of the project manager. All of the alternatives I’ve selected for this list either meet or exceed Asana’s level of simplicity.
2. Offers additional functionality
Asana can do quite a lot for your organization, but it doesn’t cover every base.
Asana is geared more toward the collaboration aspect of project management, but doesn’t offer any financial management or reporting features. Viable alternatives will fill in these gaps in order to offer a more balanced and rounded out experience throughout the project management process.
3. Offers competitive pricing
When it comes to project management, sometimes the almighty dollar is the final deciding factor when choosing a new software option.
Asana’s pricing is a little steep, however, if you can find a product that can match or beat their pricing with the same or more features, then it is obviously a viable alternative. If an alternative’s pricing exceeds Asana’s, it should offer a significant increase in the functionality that your organization is looking for.
The best Asana alternatives for project management
These are the top eight Asana alternatives that I found. Each one addresses one or more of the gaps in Asana’s features, simplicity, or pricing, and each one is the best in its own category. Here’s to finding your replacement.
1. Best for free software: Freedcamp
Freedcamp covers all of the project management basics in a straightforward package, for little to no cost. That “no cost” is exactly why I included it on this list, because Freedcamp has one of the best free options of any project management software options I’ve used thus far.
The free tier for this platform offers all of the core functions as well as unlimited projects, storage, and users. Most project management software options offer a free option for only five to ten users on average, with a one to two project limit.
That alone makes Freedcamp an extremely viable alternative to Asana, but it doesn’t stop there.
Even once you move into paid options, the pricing also beats out Asana with the most expensive tier topping out at $16.99/user/month, compared to Asana’s $19.99/user/month.
Freedcamp isn’t as elegant as Asana, but when it comes to features, pricing, and ease of use, it can go toe-to-toe and even beat out its competition in some cases.
2. Best for easy onboarding: Jira
I was recently reminded just how much I loved the onboarding process with Jira while reviewing another product.
While the competitor did nothing to tailor the experience to the user’s work, Jira goes above and beyond to fit their software to their users.
As soon as you sign up for this software, Jira walks you through a step-by-step setup process that’ll help you choose the correct management style for your project as well as instruct you on how to use that setup.
This onboarding process is combined with an exceptional selection of support content, from user guides to an extensive knowledge base.
Like Asana, Jira is more of a collaboration tool. It focuses on streamlining your project execution experience, and because of that, Jira offers lots of different task planning and management styles.
These styles include kanban boards, critical path methodology, Scrum methodology, content management templates, and many more.
Jira even beats out Asana’s paid options with two tiers:
- Standard: $10/month flat for up to 10 users
- Premium: $14/month/user
Finally, while both Jira and Asana are lacking in financial management capabilities, the former has the upper hand in reporting.
Asana doesn’t have any solid reporting capabilities, while Jira has one of the simplest and most user-friendly reporting functions I’ve ever seen.
3. Best for critical path methodology: TeamGantt
This might be a strange accolade to give an Asana alternative, but when it comes to creating Gantt charts, tracking task dependencies, and all-around task management, TeamGantt is a fantastic option.
They even made it into my recent piece as one of the top project management software options for using critical path methodology, one of the most crucial project management techniques.
What I love best about TeamGantt is the simplicity of planning out the project management steps and the scheduling of your project.
Their Gantt charts and shared team calendars are clear, concise, and don’t require tons of technical knowledge to master.
TeamGantt even offers a simple to use workload management feature, and although it isn’t as visually appealing as Asana’s, it’s extremely helpful for averting team burnout.
However, all of this simplicity comes at a price that is hard to justify unless TeamGantt is exactly what you’re looking for. They do offer a free version of their software, but it only allows up to three users.
Luckily that free option comes with all of the features listed above as well as phone support for the first thirty days. After that, the pricing starts at $49.75/month for five users with an increase of nearly $10 for each additional user.
4. Best for general project management on a budget: ActiveCollab
If you thought Asana couldn’t boil down their formula any more, ActiveCollab will surely change your mind.
They offer a similar user experience as Asana, including team workload management, the ability to add tasks at any point of a kanban flow, and generally simple ease of use.
However, while it seems that ActiveCollab might’ve borrowed a little from Asana’s playbook, they couldn’t match their visual flair.
ActiveCollab is not a particularly attractive project management tool, but what it lacks in looks, it makes up for in ease of use and a hefty features list at an affordable price.
In fact, ActiveCollab fills in some of Asana’s gaps like invoicing and budget management features. While the budget reports aren’t particularly visually compelling, their sheer existence makes ActiveCollab a great alternative to Asana.
In fact, the lack of an appealing user interface is definitely made up for in the pricing department. ActiveCollab only offers one main pricing tier of $7/user/month which includes unlimited projects, tasks, and time records, as well as task dependencies, which are great for critical path methodology.
It also offers recurring tasks and a mobile app. Additionally, if you’re looking for more functionality such as workload management, time estimates, and invoicing, it’s only four more dollars per user, per month. Not a bad rate considering the long list of features.
5. Best for creative projects: Airtable
Airtable is easily the most visually appealing project management software I’ve ever used and the most fun I’ve ever had while reviewing for The Blueprint.
Airtable puts a huge emphasis on a visually pleasing user interface that prioritizes the use of images for the purposes of categorizing and contextualizing your project tasks.
Airtable gives you several management options to choose from, including their signature gallery view, kanban boards, standard task lists, and team calendars, making it quite similar to Asana in task management functionality.
However, one major benefit that Airtable offers its users over Asana is the availability of budget templates. As mentioned before, Asana is lacking in the budgeting and reporting area.
Airtable even offers competitive pricing when compared to Asana, with a free option with no user limit. You’ll pay $20/user/month for their paid options version. All of this wrapped together makes Airtable a worthy alternative to Asana as a task management and team collaboration software option.
6. Best for enterprise: Scoro
This was before I had the chance to get my hands on Scoro, which did everything that Mavenlink could do and more, albeit at a slightly higher price at first glance, but Mavenlink doesn’t openly disclose the pricing on its top two tiers.
Scoro earned its place on this list by being a user-friendly corporate workhorse that can handle nearly any project you throw at it.
You can create and manage tasks, view those tasks in a shared calendar, create project quotes, send invoices, view team workloads, manage your budgets, create detailed budget reports, and much more.
It covers every single core base of project management, and for that, it earned itself a nine out of ten in my features score category. What stopped it from earning a perfect ten was the lack of anything particularly unique or new.
Obviously, Scoro is not a direct market competitor to Asana, since this tool is more tailored to the corporate world, whereas Asana is geared more towards smaller internal project teams.
Scoro can’t hope to compete with Asana on price because Scoro’s lowest tier starts at $26/user/month, but then Asana isn’t capable of the complex projects some enterprise users would throw at it, so it is a tradeoff.
7. Best for kanban style management: Trello
Trello has the easiest user experience and the best kanban project management software I’ve ever used. It is the only software I’ve rated as a perfect ten on my ease-of-use scale and also sets the bar that I use to judge every other kanban-based project tool on the market.
In fact, when I reviewed Jira a few years after I used the software, I remarked at the improvements Atlassian made to the platform, especially the kanban boards, only to find out that Atlassian had acquired Trello in that time.
I like to think that Trello is responsible for some of those improvements to Jira.
That being said, Trello is remarkably different from Asana, especially when it comes to task tracking. Asana gives you the option of creating and monitoring tasks using either task lists, Gantt timeline charts, or kanban boards.
On the other hand, Trello exclusively limits its task management to the kanban system.
However, Trello does surpass Asana when it comes to the free version of their software. While both tools offer a free option, Trello offers unlimited users, boards, cards, and lists, whereas Asana limits you to 15 users.
When it comes to their paid options, their pricing models are nearly identical. Trello’s two paid options sit at $9.99/user/month for Business Class and $20.83/user/month for Enterprise, while Asana’s Premium package is $9.99/user/month and Business tier costs $19.99/user/month.
8. Best for all-around functionality: Monday.com
Asana is very user-friendly software, but when it comes to all-around functionality, simplicity, and intuitiveness, very few beat out Monday.com. I saved the best for last because I’ve yet to find a project management tool that either meets or exceeds my expectations in all categories quite like this platform, and that is no exaggeration.
Where other project management platforms try to outdo each other using the same functions and features, Monday.com breaks the mold by creating a unique and simplified method for creating, tracking, and executing a project.
They’ve created their own board system that is easy to use and navigate to track tasks, workloads, and budgets, all complete with visual aids to help contextualize your project’s progress.
The only place Asana clearly wins over Monday.com is with the availability of a free version of their software. However, once you move into the paid options, Monday.com is cheaper than Asana with a continuously decreasing per user rate the more people you add to the platform.
Even the starting rates are cheaper with Asana’s bottom price sitting at $9.99/user/month against Monday.com’s $8.50/user/month.
Perhaps Asana is the right choice for you
It’s incredibly difficult to find the perfect project management software to fit all of your needs. Most of the time you’re gaining new benefits while leaving others behind when you make the switch, whether its pricing, features, or user experience.
Asana is a quality project management tool and if you’re already happy with your purchase, then sometimes it’s best not to make the perfect the enemy of the good.
Teresa Kersten, an employee of LinkedIn, a Microsoft subsidiary, is a member of The Motley Fool’s board of directors. The Motley Fool owns shares of and recommends Atlassian, Microsoft, and Smartsheet and recommends the following options: long January 2021 $85 calls on Microsoft and short January 2021 $115 calls on Microsoft. The Motley Fool has a disclosure policy.