There are many project management tools, but Asana and Trello have a range of functions that support teamwork well. Apps with task planners and to-do lists are now a dime a dozen. In many cases, these small auxiliary programs’ often quite simple functions are not sufficient for larger projects that have to be divided into several sub-projects, for example.
At the upper end of the spectrum are comprehensive and, therefore, quite expensive solutions. However, they allow the use of the three leading project management methods PMI (Project Management Institute), or PRINCE2 (Projects in Controlled Environments).
Web Apps For Team-Based Project Management
But in many cases, such tools are the famous cannon shot at a sparrow. There is still an intermediate level of project management: the two web apps Asana and other Trello Offer convenient project management with functions that are easy to use and not overly complex. They only partially correspond to a certified project management requirement but are completely sufficient for many teams in companies.
In both apps, the focus is on the tasks to be done. They are organized in lists and can contain comments, files, and other “subtasks.” In addition, both solutions work in a team. The individual tasks are assigned to specific people based on their email addresses.
Above these task lists, which are called “Project” and Trello “Board” in Asana, there is an additional organizational tool: “Workspaces” in Asana and “Teams” in Trello. They help, for example, to separate the tasks for different workgroups, organizations, or companies.
Another thing they have in common is their extensive support for mobile apps. Both solutions have their apps on iOS and Android, and Trello even offers desktop apps for Macintosh and Windows.
The options for integration with other apps are also quite extensive for both apps. These include, for example, Confluence, Evernote, Google Calendar, Slack, Zapier, and many others. Both apps also offer a link to the free automation service IFTTT.
An important point for both apps: The free basic versions are somewhat limited in functionality and are not suitable for very intensive use. The business version of Trello costs $ 12.50 per team member and requires that all members use this version. Asana Premium costs 9.25 euros per team member and offers some useful expansions for teams, such as timelines and milestones. The special business version, which also includes project portfolios, costs 18.75 euros per user.
This Is How The Two Apps Are Operated
The operating concepts of the two apps are very similar, with Trello having fewer functions than Asana.
Trello is essentially a team-based Kanban app. However, there is no compulsion to only implement the classic Kanban with the boards “Todo,” “Doing,” and “Done.” The boards can be given any name and accordingly have all kinds of tasks (“cards”) as their content. The individual cards are pushed back and forth between the boards with the mouse.
The order of the cards within a board can also be determined with the mouse. In addition, a new card can be added to each board at any time. These cards are the real center of work on projects.
With colored labels, a card is assigned to other organizational structures, such as job categories, work areas, or priorities. People can be added with email addresses to assign them to this task. There is a comment function and attaching web links and documents from the hard drive or the cloud.
Checklists are a practical option.
Each card can have several, so sub-tasks, process steps, test procedures, and the like can also be mapped within Trello. In addition, each card has a due date if required.
Numerous expanded options bring add-ons, which are called PowerUps, when they are separated. For example, with Slack conversations, GitHub requests or Salesforce leads can be attached to a card. In addition, assignments to other web apps are possible, such as an appointment in Google Calendar or a ticket in Zendesk. Some integrations, such as with Evernote, work both ways: notes become attachments, and cards become notes.
In contrast to Trello, Asana has two different types of projects: lists and boards (Kanban). Unfortunately, the project types cannot be converted from one another. But it is possible to take on a task in several projects. The presentation differs, but the individual task cards have the same functions. In addition to tasks, you can also insert milestones and section headings in lists. All entries can be moved with the mouse. This also applies to boards: columns and rows can take any position.
The possibility of arranging the tasks within a schedule is practical for somewhat more complex projects. Astana offers start and end dates for tasks. In addition, each task can also contain subtasks. The functions are the same here; a date range is also possible for them.
Attachments from the local computer and the cloud can be added to each task. They also appear in the “Files” view. All tasks can be commented on. In addition, discussions on any topic within the project can be started in the “Conversations” view.
Numerous advanced functions such as filtered views or forms for collecting data help you work on large projects. There are also integrations for various calendars, Outlook emails, Microsoft Teams, and Slack.
The latter is very extensive and allows you to create and edit tasks within Select and define Slack messages as tasks or discussion threads in Asana. The integration of Instagantt is particularly interesting for more complex projects, which enables a comprehensive project plan display – more than the integrated timeline offers.
Which App For Which Area Of Application?
In their basic functions, both apps offer everything you need to manage projects and tasks. In principle, individuals can also use the apps, but then many of the functions are idle. Both apps are therefore suitable for teams of different sizes.
Trello offers a somewhat more limited range of functions than its competitor, making it easier to access the user interface and features. Beginners should get along after a short training period and master the basic functions. Tools such as Harvest (time recording) and Butler (automation) provide additional benefits; however, chargeable. The restriction to Kanban boards allows intuitive use of the app.
The classic model does not necessarily have to be implemented – Kanban lists can be interpreted in any way. However, this reallocation of the workflow concept has its limits. If you have a large number of lists and tasks, you can quickly lose track of things. At some point, the frequent vertical and horizontal scrolling makes the operation quite complicated. For this reason, Trello is more suitable for small to medium-sized projects where the individual tasks are completed quickly.
Asana has a slightly steeper learning curve than Trello because the user interface is more complex and the functionality is larger. Although the first tasks are set up relatively quickly, the organization of the individual projects requires a little more effort. The “Board” project view makes it easier to work with projects that focus on a workflow. However, similar to Trello, it has limits and leads to confusing screens in projects with many tasks.
The flexible listview with subheadings and sub tasks and timelines, forms, and conversation allows complex tasks.
Since a task can appear in multiple Asana projects, different views of individual work projects are possible. Above all, thanks to the numerous additional functions, integrations, and templates, Asana is very suitable for extensive projects that can no longer be managed with simple task lists.