Looking for the optimal project management tool for your team?
I’m sure you already know that there are a ton of options out there. I’ve decided to deep-dive into three of the most popular ones.
After I researched this article, my biggest takeaway was that no one tool is necessarily better than the rest. But each project management tool does cater to very different businesses. This article will help you determine which tool is right for the needs of your team.
It’s a Sumo Showdown: Asana vs Trello vs Plutio — a match for the (office) ages.
battle comparison begin!
Team Productivity Tools Comparison: Trello vs Asana vs Plutio
This article is organized to first provide individual breakdowns of each tool, followed by a quick overview of the type of user I think each tool is best for.
If you’re looking for a project management or team productivity tool, this article considers some of the top tools available in 2021.
What is Asana?
Asana is a project management system for businesses. It provides a comprehensive tool suite for organizing and tracking team-wide progress across multiple tasks.
Asana is a bigger tool with broader functionality than Trello. Where Trello emphasizes simplicity, Asana offers complexity for teams that need a variety of project management views, tools, and functions in one place.
Asana, for example, has kanban boards. But you can also view your projects via a calendar, list, timeline, checklists, and more. Like Trello, you can assign tasks to different team members and use various automations to make sure people get notifications when it’s their turn to contribute.
Asana also has internal data collection forms. When you need information from a colleague, you can request it within the app in a structured form with dropdown boxes and type spaces.
- Comprehensive tool suite: If your team needs a project management tool with all the added bells and whistles, Asana satisfies.
- Templates: Asana offers many templates for getting started. But it also makes it easy to create your own templates around recurring projects and tasks
- Portfolios: The Portfolios window in Asana gives users a birds-eye view of all the projects going on at once. If you’re tired of diving deep into the individual nuances of a single project, you can go to Portfolios to understand the overall progress your team has made across the organization.
- Multiple views: A big part of project management is knowing how all the pieces fall into place. Asana provides several viewing options to make sure you understand how your team is progressing across its various projects. From kanban to timelines and checklists to calendars, Asana gives you the whole picture.
- Distracting interface: Asana can be confusing for new users. Asana’s internal messaging is on point, but with so much optionality going on at once, it’s easy to get lost in the weeds. Plus, Asana has the highest learning curve on this list.
Pricing: Asana works on a freemium model. Its premium services are available starting at $10.99 per month per user, billed annually.
What is Trello?
Trello is a kanban project management tool. It helps your team stay ahead of tasks and deadlines through automations, drag-and-drop progress tracking, and notification tools.
At its core, Trello is a simple kanban board that keeps your business organized, without tossing in distracting bells and whistles. You can create different task or project categories and then slide those projects from column to column as you make progress.
Within each Trello task, you’ll be able to sort projects by various factors. For example, you can put a deadline on different tasks. As they approach their deadline, the block changes color to emphasize each task’s priority.
Beneath each Trello Board, any team member can add attachments, comments, or links. You can even tag or assign colleagues to specific tasks.
Trello also offers a robust archive of templates. If you’re looking for creative ways to manage your time, business, or side project, just browse these templates to save yourself the unnecessary work.
- Simple to use: Trello has an accessible UX. It’s easy to get started organizing tasks and projects. Templates make getting started even easier: first-time users can learn the power of Trello by clicking through a variety of templates.
- Freemium: For small teams and freelancers, Trello offers its core tools for free. Even if you’re happy to pay for a more comprehensive tool suite, the freemium version gives you a risk-free way to test if the platform matches your goals.
- Automations and integrations: Trello integrates with popular tools like Slack, Google Drive, and Dropbox for streamlined collaboration. It also offers automations that instantly take care of data entry and basic administrative tasks (like pinging colleagues about tasks).
- Kanban: Trello uses a straightforward kanban organization design, making it easy to visualize team-wide progress on tasks. Calendar view is also available if you’d like to visualize upcoming deadlines.
- Not ideal for large projects: Trello excels for small teams working on small(ish) projects. As soon as those projects start getting more complicated, the simple style and interface starts to become a disadvantage.
Pricing: Trello works on a freemium model. The paid version begins at $9.99 per user per month, billed annually.
What is Plutio?
Plutio is a project management tool suite designed for freelancers and agencies. It provides a suite of business tools intended to help you work better and faster with your team and clients.
In some ways, Plutio lands in the middle ground between Trello and Asana. It offers a more comprehensive tool suite than Trello, without getting quite to the complexity of Asana.
But Plutio also extends beyond simple project management. It adds tools for invoicing, time tracking, and customer management. Instead of solely working in the app with your team, you can use Plutio to collaborate with clients — right within the tool.
Plutio also lets you assign different levels of permissions to make sure the right team members (or clients) can only access what they’re supposed to.
- Multiple tools, one app: Project management is more than what fits on a kanban. There’s hourly tracking, interactions with clients, invoicing, and much more. Plutio pulls these features into one place. You can invite clients to collaborate in the client portal, have people sign documents within the app, and track team-wide progress and hours.
- Whitelabel: Impress clients by customizing Plutio with your own branding, including colors, outbound emails, and your logo.
- Multiple views: Like Asana, Plutio offers users multiple options for viewing tasks and projects. You can organize by list view, card view, and timeline. There’s a native calendar, but if you prefer, you can integrate with Google Calendar to see project deadlines where you already schedule your life.
- Client engagement: Plutio provides contracts, proposals, a client portal, and a CRM for simple in-tool client communication. Get signatures and collaborate efficiently by engaging with clients right in your project management tool.
- No freemium: It’s hard to knock a tool for their pricing decision. But in the fairness of comparison, both Asana and Trello offer a free version of their tools.
Pricing: Plutio usually starts at $15 per month for soloists. However, you can get a whole year for 30 team mates on AppSumo for $199. By the way, that price will be locked for every year you use the service.
What’s best for you? Asana vs Trello vs Plutio
Each of these three tools is unique when it comes to the scope of their use cases. Here’s who I think will get the most out of each tool:
Trello: Freelancers and small teams
Trello’s lean project management system makes it easy to learn and use. For small businesses that need to track progress, remember deadlines, and stay organized, Trello knocks it out of the park without overcomplicating their platform.
Asana: Detail-oriented businesses
Some projects require a lot more functionality than Trello offers. Asana is a powerful task management that moves as quickly as your most complex project. It’s purposefully robust, with a slight learning curve that ambitious project managers will be happy to overcome.
Plutio: Freelancers and Agencies
As a project and client management tool, Plutio is ideal for service-based businesses. It allows you to do some of your most common business administrative tasks in a single app. Plus, the client portal and white-label features make you look like a stand-out pro.
If you liked this article, you may also enjoy some of our other tool comparisons:
As always, happy choosing!