Which Project Management Software is Best?

Team collaboration can be a real challenge if you’re still using written to-do lists and communicating through email. To-do lists are easy to misplace, which can ruin your productivity for the day, either by having to rewrite them or missing crucial due dates. Not only that, but keeping up with dozens of email threads is a remarkably inefficient way to handle task management, not to mention that it’s a huge hassle.

That’s why cloud-based project management software programs have become so widespread over the past few years. They grant you the ability to communicate with and assign tasks to team members in one convenient location. You can manage your workflows visually via kanban boards, Gantt charts, calendars, and checklists. These programs integrate with popular apps and tools, such as Zapier, Salesforce, Gmail, and others.

Out of all the project management tools on the market today, Asana and ClickUp are the two currently leading the fray.

Yet, how do you know which one is right for your needs?

That’s why I’m pitting Asana vs. ClickUp in a head-to-head comparison of their primary features, learning curve, customer support, and pricing. Read on to learn more about each platform’s pros and cons so you can make the most informed decision for your business.

What is ClickUp?

ClickUp is a bit of a newcomer in the project management space, as the platform launched in 2017 (for comparison, Asana has been around since 2008).

For this reason, they’re perceived as a bit of an underdog, slowly climbing their way to the top of the project management software mountain with their excellent work ethic, support, and functionality.

The company is certainly ambitious, as its tagline is ‘one app to replace them all.’ You see, ClickUp doesn’t view itself as yet another project management tool like Asana or Trello. Instead, they’ve branded themselves as a customizable WorkOS.

What’s that?

It stands for workplace operating system, a singular location for task management, team collaboration, OKR, and time tracking. Other standout features of the program include a whiteboard, a centralized inbox, multiple dashboard views, and mind maps.

ClickUp also makes healthy use of automation, with plenty of customizable options for users. What’s even better is that many of the automated features are included in the free plan. The app boasts over 1,000 integrations with many popular tools. In fact, you can embed views from apps like Airtable and Miro and even make changes to them within ClickUp.

Despite its late start, ClickUp has been winning over the hearts and minds of users ever since its inception. Accolades include its inclusion in the Forbes Cloud 100, a Proddy award for the best project management tool, and being rated Zapier’s #1 growing app of 2020.

What is Asana?

Beginning in 2008, Asana launched commercially in 2012 as one of the first project management tools of its kind.

It’s grown to become one of the most widespread project management apps due to its intuitive layout and ease of use. For these reasons, it’s a popular choice for both small businesses and enterprise-level companies.

In fact, many mainstream companies use Asana, including:

  • Red Bull

  • Deloitte

  • Tesco

  • Roli

  • NASA

  • VoxMedia

  • TimBuk2

Asana’s simplicity and user-friendly interface are masterful. It features crystal-clear navigation, standout labels, and a contrasting color palette which makes it effortless to find your way around.

With Asana, managers can assign tasks to team members, complete with due dates, attachments, instructions, links, and more. Each team member has their own dashboard view, complete with assigned tasks and deadlines. That way, every team member will know what to focus on each day, and they’ll be able to see any approaching deadlines clearly.

Asana also has Gantt charts, calendar views, portfolios, automation dependencies, and a built-in messenger for communications.

As far as integrations go, Asana integrates with over 200 apps, including many popular tools. As such, you shouldn’t run into any integration issues, and Asana should be able to fit into your existing business workflows.

While there is a free version, many key features aren’t available until users upgrade to one of the paid plans.

ClickUp’s primary features

Now that you know a bit more about each platform, it’s time to compare Asana vs. Clickup in terms of their primary features.

Along the way, I’ll let you know if each feature is included in ClickUp or Asana’s free plan or not, as some features will be locked behind a paywall. For example, Asana only offers priority customer support for premium plan users.

Let’s start by taking an in-depth look at what ClickUp offers its users in terms of workspace management, time management, task management, team communication, automation, and reporting.

ClickUp’s project management solutions

ClickUp offers a variety of ways for users to streamline to-do lists and projects, including the following:

  • Task dependencies. ClickUp allows you to set task dependencies, which refers to when your team can’t start on one task until another subtask is completed. An example would be preventing a blog post from getting published until it’s been edited. Dependencies ensure you don’t complete tasks out of order, which can be a real lifesaver.

  • Custom project statuses. A unique feature of ClickUp is the ability to customize the status of a project. Instead of the typical ‘Ready,’ ‘In Progress,’ or ‘Complete,’ you can choose a custom status using industry-specific jargon. For instance, you could set a project’s status to ‘Needs Proofreading’ for blog articles.

  • Multiple assignees. Not every task can get completed by the efforts of one person. That’s why ClickUp allows you to assign one task to multiple assignees. That way, you’ll be able to hold everyone accountable for the completion of a task, not just one team member.

  • Checklist templates. Nobody likes having to create similar checklists from scratch every single time. That’s why ClickUp lets you save checklist templates that you can reuse as often as you want.

  • Workload charts. This tool lets you visualize the workload for each team member to ensure you aren’t overloading anyone with too much work. You can also use the tool to divvy tasks from busy employees to team members that don’t have as much going on.

  • Reminders and notifications. Instead of tying a ribbon around your finger, ClickUp features customizable reminders to remind you of urgent tasks and approaching deadlines. That will keep your team focused on the most important work for the day, which will boost your productivity.

  • Resolving comments. Nobody likes to look at a cluttered board filled with notifications and comments. That’s why ClickUp features the ability to resolve tasks and comments so you can keep your workspace nice and tidy.

  • Goals. Every project has an ultimate objective and a preferred outcome. ClickUp lets you set goals as well as a series of subtasks to reach them. Along the way, you’ll get to monitor your progress toward your goal, including if you’re straying off track.

  • Automation. ClickUp lets its users automate repetitive tasks using specific parameters. Unlike Asana, ClickUp’s automation features come with its free version.

  • Recurring tasks. Does your team deal with the same types of tasks each week or month? If so, ClickUp makes it easy to set up recurring tasks that automatically trigger according to your schedule.

As you can see, ClickUp gives users a myriad of useful tools to manage their projects.

The best part?

All the features you see above are included in the free version. ClickUp also provides unique dashboard views, including a calendar view, list view, Gantt charts, and kanban boards.

ClickUp’s unique visualization tools

ClickUp goes far beyond the standard fare when it comes to visualizing workflows. In addition to calendar and board views, ClickUp features the following:

  • Digital whiteboard. The platform takes digital team collaboration and brainstorming to the next level with its digital whiteboard. No matter where you are, you can create new project roadmaps with your team — complete with the ability to draw/doodle to convey concepts and flesh out your ideas visually.

  • Mind maps. Map out the steps of a new project with ClickUp’s mind maps, a powerful visualization tool that begins with a central image/idea and then branches out. Mind maps are great ways to highlight important facts while conveying the overall structure of a subject and its related parts.

  • Document creator. Another standout feature is ClickUp’s built-in document editor. Other platforms like Asana require you to attach or link external docs. Yet, with ClickUp, you can create documents, wikis, and more straight from its editor. You can also collaborate with your team while creating documents, so you don’t have to complete all the work yourself.

While these advanced features are undoubtedly useful, new users may find all the options a tad overwhelming. With all the complexity, some companies may desire a more traditional and simpler solution like Asana. These features are all available in the free version of ClickUp.

Task management

ClickUp makes ample use of user-friendly drag-and-drop controls for its work checklists, and they work amazingly well. With its task checklists, the project management platform makes it effortless to keep track of your projects and tasks. All you need to do is drag-and-drop tasks and subtasks into your existing projects.

You can easily rearrange tasks, add new instructions, embed documents, and extend/reassign due dates.

Its dashboard views also contribute to task management, as you can switch to the calendar view to see how well your team is doing at meeting deadlines – or you can opt for a Gantt chart view to schedule a new project.

Integrations

ClickUp has over 1,000 apps it can integrate with (including mobile apps), all at no charge. Here’s a peek at some of its integrations:

With all these connections, the chances are high that ClickUp will fit in with your existing workflows seamlessly.

Asana’s primary features

Now let’s take a look at what Asana has to offer in terms of project management solutions. While it doesn’t offer as many features as ClickUp, Asana has simplicity and user-friendliness going for it.

In spirit, Asana functions similarly to ClickUp, with users being able to visualize all their projects and tasks on virtual pinboards. There are also list views, calendar views, Gantt charts, and kanban boards, but there’s no built-in document editor. Instead, users must attach or link to external documents.

Thanks to its usability and features, Asana is an excellent choice for both small teams and enterprise-level companies.

Asana’s timeline & portfolios

The core hub for Asana is its timeline, which contains a series of tasks required to complete a project. Managers can assign tasks to team members here, complete with detailed instructions, due dates, and file attachments. Users can either create a timeline from scratch or import an existing CSV file when getting started.

Portfolios serve as Asana’s Goals feature, containing all your projects and objectives. You can also group related projects into a related portfolio, which can come in handy for projects with the same initiatives — like sales and marketing. You can view portfolios in real-time to monitor progress and share them with stakeholders and executives to keep everyone in the loop.

Workload management

Asana has essential teamwork features such as a workload monitor. Much like ClickUp’s tool, it prevents you from overloading one team member with too much work. You also get to see which days are busiest for your employees, which is very useful. For instance, you may notice that a team member has too many things to do on Wednesday, leading you to allocate some of their workloads to other team members.

Asana also has dependencies that you can set for any task, which will ensure that all work gets completed in the correct order. Each task has a built-in chat that team members can use to collaborate, complete with the ability to tag coworkers. That way, your team can ask any pressing questions they have about a task straight from the task view.

Automation

Asana allows users to automate repetitive tasks to free up their time. Users can set parameters to assign new tasks automatically, mark them as complete, and more.

The catch?

Asana’s automation features don’t unlock unless you sign up for at least the Premium plan, so there’s no automation in the free version.

Asana vs ClickUp: Pricing

Now that we’ve compared the key features of both platforms let’s compare Asana vs ClickUp in terms of their pricing plans.

ClickUp’s pricing plans

ClickUp is famous for its incredible free version, as it contains an incredible amount of features and support. Here’s a look at ClickUp’s pricing plans:

  • Free version. The free version includes a lot, such as unlimited tasks, whiteboards, collaborative docs, 24/7 support, and so much more. The only catch is that it limits users to 100MB of storage.

  • Unlimited plan. This is ideal for small teams, as it contains unlimited storage in addition to all the features from the free plan. It’s only $5 per month, which is incredibly affordable. You also gain the form view and guests with permissions.

  • Business plan. This is for mid-size teams, and it only runs $12 per month. New features here include Google SSO, unlimited teams, and custom exporting.

  • Business plus plan. ClickUp recommends this plan for multiple teams. It’s $19 per month and includes team sharing, an admin training webinar, and priority support.

  • Enterprise plan. The top-tier plan at ClickUp has no price listed, as you need to contact sales. It’s reserved for large companies and features white labeling, advanced permissions, and the Enterprise API.

As you can see, ClickUp’s free version is stellar, and its paid plans are remarkably affordable.

Asana’s pricing plans

Now let’s take a look at the pricing plans offered by Asana:

  • Basic (free version). Asana’s free version isn’t as robust as ClickUp’s, as it limits you to 15 users. Yet, it still includes three project views, basic workflows, and basic reporting.

  • Premium plan. At $10.99 per month, the Premium plan unlocks many core features, such as automation and the timeline view.

  • Business plan. Asana’s premium offering is $24.99 per month and unlocks priority support, advanced workflows, and advanced reporting.

Asana’s plans are a bit pricier than ClickUp’s, and they don’t offer as many features.

Asana vs ClickUp: Declaring a winner

It’s been an extended comparison, but someone must emerge victorious from the matchup Asana vs. ClickUp.

Winner: ClickUp

In terms of features, pricing, and support, you just can’t beat ClickUp. Not only is it cheaper than Asana (and its free version offers twice as much), but it outdoes Asana’s primary features to boot. That’s not to say that Asana isn’t a fantastic project management tool with plenty of perks. Asana may be for you if you’re after a more streamlined and simplistic tool.