Trello vs. Asana: Which Project Management Software is Better?

Trello vs. Asana: Which Project Management Software is Better?

Author Swathi Bhat
Author Swathi Bhat

Swathi B.

February 15, 2024


Feb 15, 2024


14 min read

Trello vs. Asana
Trello vs. Asana
Trello vs. Asana
Trello vs. Asana

"You know what would make this project move faster? More emails and more meetings."

Those are words that no project manager or business owner has ever spoken.

Project management tools like Trello and Asana promise to solve this issue by centralizing project tasks, information, and communication.

But how successful are they really? In this in-depth comparison, we break down Trello vs. Asana, looking at features, ease of use, onboarding, pricing, security, and support.

Trello vs. Asana in a nutshell

After diving into both tools (using our experience as productivity software developers), these are our main thoughts:

  • Trello is simpler and more one-dimensional (still heavily Kanban-focused). That makes it better suited to individuals and small teams.

  • Trello’s free plan has no user limit, although it does limit features and views.

  • Asana offers a more complete platform with better workflow management tools — although it’s not perfect.

  • Asana offers more versatility, but at a price — Asana’s paid plans are significantly more expensive than Trello’s.

Trello vs. Asana: Which has the best features for different project management use cases?

Project management (or PM) writers often treat project management as a single, cohesive discipline. However, the ideal techniques and tools vary widely based on each project and team.

What works for complex projects in a large enterprise won’t suit a six-person team in a bootstrapped startup. The documentation and compliance needs are completely different. (Simply put, there are too many hoops to jump through for a small team that wants to move fast.)

So, to make a more useful comparison of Trello and Asana, we’ve broken down key sections like features, software adoption, and security by use case.

Small project team in a startup or SMB

Both Trello and Asana have all the basic project management features you need.

Both platforms offer:

  • Different project views like Kanban boards, tables, calendars, and timeline views

  • Task management tools like assignments, comments, mentions, notifications, and more

  • Expanded task cards with drop-down lists and assignable sub-tasks

  • Unlimited storage, unlimited projects, and unlimited cards

The main difference is how the platforms limit their free plans. Trello drastically limits features but not users. You can only use Kanban boards, but you can have unlimited users. The free Asana plan offers list (table), board, and calendar views for up to 10 users.

This is a different story with Lark. Lark’s free plan includes all project views, including Gantt charts.

Feature comparison table for Trello, Asana, and Lark

Plus, Lark’s platform has built-in video conferencing and collaborative chatting tools built in — even in the free plan. With all project communication in one place, it’s a lot easier to collaborate smoothly and avoid issues like duplicate tasks.

Read our comparison of Lark vs. Trello to see just how much more extensive our free and pro plans are.

Larger project teams working on long-term projects

Of course, both platforms have features in their paid plans that are suitable for larger project teams.

Trello offers advanced features like project dashboards, multi-board guests, advanced user permission controls, and SSO. But these are only included in its enterprise plan.

Asana offers comparable features in its similarly-priced advanced plan. (Except the admin console only includes permission controls in the Enterprise+ plan.)

You also want to continually update your project documentation for larger project teams. You don’t want outdated project charters, goals, and roadmaps.

Here, Trello’s focus on Kanban boards means you have to create workarounds or reference documents in third-party tools. Its most popular PM template relies on other platforms like Confluence for this. It does feature a cute, sleepy cat — but it’s not exactly a suitable home for enterprise PM.

Trello project management template

Asana offers individual templates suitable for different stages of project planning and implementation and portfolio views.

While Asana comes closer, it’s not suitable as a catch-all platform for an enterprise's project management needs. It lacks, for example, a built-in documentation collaboration platform that makes project planning easy — like Lark’s Docs.

You also need to do workarounds to include outside data sources in Asana’s reports.

Trello vs. Asana: Ease of use and software adoption by use case

Again, there’s a clear difference between the platforms in terms of ease of use and adoption based on different use cases.

Basic projects and ongoing processes

Trello is very easy to start with for basic projects and business processes. Just find a suitable public template and adjust it to your needs with a few simple changes.

The limited features also make it easy to onboard new users, too. It’s straightforward to learn, so healthy adoption rates are easier to maintain. (The last thing you want is for some team members to still use an old-school approach like email and Excel.)

But not being able to assign sub-tasks in a card on a free plan is a minus.

Sub-tasks in a Trello task card

On the other hand, Asana offers more features but can be harder to master for inexperienced teams. In a small team where team members lack solid PM software experience, Trello may be the better choice.

Managing larger projects or portfolios of projects

Asana offers built-in portfolio management tools that make it easy to keep track of multiple projects. With an advanced plan, you can create up to 20 project portfolios to structure your planning. If you do quarterly or yearly planning in a project management office (PMO), this level of overview is very helpful.

You can even visually track your company’s objectives using the goals feature (included in the advanced plan).

Strategic goals in Asana

Lark’s built-in OKR software allows you to track objectives by assignees in even more detail than Asana. You can set goal weights and easily collaborate to build the goal out in more detail — right from within Lark Docs.

OKRs in Lark Docs

Plus, our robust data import tools make it easy to import previous project data from other platforms or an Excel file.

Trello vs. Asana: Which has the best integrations?

In 2024, there’s a good chance your team uses a long list of other productivity tools already. Managers usually call this their “tech stack.” Let’s find out if Asana or Trello is more likely to seamlessly integrate with yours.

Trello’s integrations

Trello offers “Power-Ups” — add-ons that extend the functionality of your boards. One handy add-on is the Google Drive Power-Up. It lets you attach files from G Drive to your boards or individual cards.

Google Drive Power-Up in a Trello task card

Trello offers over 20 native Power-Ups with popular applications like Notion, Evernote, and Slack. The Power-Up directory also has over 200 add-ons from third-party developers.

You can use some Power-Ups, like Slack, with a free plan. But others require a subscription to use.

Asana’s integrations

Asana offers over 30 native app integrations with platforms like Microsoft Teams, Google Drive, GitHub, and Zoom. Together, these let you create a more holistic digital workspace. For example, you can get notifications in a Slack channel when a new card reaches a certain stage.

The integrations in Asana are free, but you need an account to access the third-party platforms. If you don’t have a Slack account, you’ll need to create one. And if the third-party software is paid, the integration will also cost money, indirectly.

Which platform has the best integrations?

In terms of integrations, Trello has a slight edge. 100s of Power-Ups give new functionality to boards and task cards. The downside is that you need to use third-party tools for basic collaboration, like video conferencing and chat. You may even need to pay for them.

But if your team needs to use eight tools just to work together on a simple project, you risk inducing SaaS fatigue. Nobody wants to learn multiple new software platforms just to complete basic project tasks. By splitting the project data up between platforms, you also risk creating silos between different teams.

Lark solves this issue by offering a true one-stop solution for projects, collaboration, and productivity. You can collaborate on project documents and roadmaps, chat, video call, and manage the day-to-day tasks all within the same platform.

In the Lark App Directory, you can extend the functionality further with apps like OKR tracking, forms, and approval workflows.

Lark App Directory homepage

Lark doesn’t just offer more robust project management features than Asana and Trello. Lark also has the functionality of platforms like Slack, Zoom, and Google Docs built in.

Trello vs. Asana: Which has the best pricing?

Trello offers a free plan, two affordable premium plans, and a surprisingly cheap enterprise plan.

Screenshot of the Trello pricing table

  • Free: Comes with unlimited users, cards, up to 10 boards per workspace, and basic task management in a Kanban board.

  • Standard ($5/user): Includes unlimited boards, advanced checklists, custom fields, guests, and up to 1,000 Workspace automations per month

  • Premium ($10/user): Includes extra project views like calendar, timeline, table, dashboard, and map. Also includes admin and security features, collections, observers, and workspace-level templates.

  • Enterprise ($17.50/user): Includes single sign-on, additional user access controls, multi-board guests, attachment permission controls, and more.

Trello offers the cheapest plan by far at $5/user per month. But its severely limited features mean it’s only a valid choice for smaller teams.

Asana offers a free plan, two fixed-price premium plans, and two different enterprise plans with custom pricing.

Screenshot of Asana's pricing page

  • Personal (free): Valid for up to 10 users. Includes unlimited tasks, cards, projects, messages, and basic task management in board, list, and calendar views.

  • Starter ($10.99/user): It features Gantt and timeline views, generative AI tools, an advanced workflow builder, global custom fields, and up to 250 monthly automations.

  • Advanced ($24.99/user): This plan features workload balancing tools, forms and data collection, approval workflows, proofing, and advanced reporting.

  • Asana’s Enterprise or Enterprise+ plan: These plans include resource management, guest invite controls, audit log APIs, and integration support for security information and event management (SIEM). No standard pricing is available publicly.

Best plan for SMBs and startups

The best plan for SMBs and startups depends on the size of your team and whether you tackle complex projects.

Trello’s free or Standard plan is more than enough for simple projects and business processes. The Asana Starter plan offers better value than Trello Premium if you're a startup running multiple projects.

Best plan for larger teams and enterprises

Even though Trello does offer an enterprise plan, it’s hard to imagine many large project teams using it as their main solution. For the price, it offers good features for managing certain aspects — like collaborative high-level planning and project implementation.

However, without portfolio management tools, even Asana’s Advanced plan is more suitable for project management. Asana’s enterprise-specific plans also offer built-in resource management.

If you want advanced security features, including audit log APIs, advanced user access controls, and SIEM, you’ll need to opt for Asana’s Enterprise+ plan.

While even the advanced plan is more expensive than Trello’s Enterprise plan, Asana is still likely a better choice here. In a large-scale project, delays or miscommunications are much more expensive than a difference of 10–20 extra dollars per user.

If you’re looking for an option that is both suitable for complex projects and affordable, Lark is a better choice. Lark offers a wider range of features at a significantly lower cost. We offer PM features comparable to Asana's, but that’s only the beginning. What makes Lark different is our suite of collaboration and communication tools.

Lark features the power of platforms like Slack, Zoom, and Google Docs in a single package. So not only do you save on the individual tool, but you also eliminate the need to use paid plans on other platforms.

Lark cost saving calculator

Check out our cost-savings calculator to see how much your company could save with Lark annually.

Trello vs. Asana: Which has the best customer support?

Trello offers email support during regular business hours, Monday to Friday, from 9 AM to 5 PM EST. Trello doesn’t offer phone support.

Trello also offers self-help resources like a wiki and developer documentation for minor issues. For other issues, you can try the community forum.

Screen shot of the Trello support page

Image Source

While Asana does offer 24x7 support, that’s limited to its enterprise plans alone. At other levels, you will need to rely on community support through tickets or the support forum.

Screenshot of the Asana support forum

Enterprise users can get assistance with urgent issues through 24x7 chat support. Asana doesn’t offer phone support.

Since Trello offers active support to non-enterprise members, it edges this category. Asana’s favoritism isn’t a good way to serve its smaller clients’ needs.

At Lark, we don’t think excellent customer support should only be reserved for enterprise clients. That’s why we offer 7x24 global support, even for free accounts. So, with a free plan, you can still get chat support at 3 AM on a Sunday, as long as it’s not a public US holiday.

Trello vs. Asana: Which is the most secure and compliant?

While security and compliance features matter for all companies, they are a higher priority for enterprises. Regulatory bodies aren’t exactly targeting mom-and-pop shops first, after all.

Because of that, we’ll mostly highlight features relevant to larger companies but also general data security measures that can help SMBs. Both Trello and Asana offer essential security features like:

  • Two-factor authentication (2FA): Adds another layer of verification to the login process.

  • Single Sign-On Security Assertion Markup Language (SSO SAML): Authenticates users and helps your employees access multiple applications through an identity provider.

  • Centralized admin controls: Lets you control the access level of individual users. (Only included in their enterprise plans.)

Both Asana and Trello have proof of their data security protocols. Both are SOC2 Type 2 and ISO/IEC 27001 certified. Asana has a number of other certifications as well, including ISO 27001, ISO 27017, ISO 27018, and ISO 27701.

In addition, Asana also offers advanced access control and auditing tools in its Enterprise+ plan:

  • Audit log API and SIEM integration: Lets you use a SIEM tool to aggregate and monitor log data from the application.

With Lark, from day one, we created our platform focusing on data security, privacy, and compliance. Since we launched in 2019, in the wake of the CCPA and GDPR, we have carefully developed privacy-first software and practices.

Our data-handling protocols mean you comply with most major privacy regulations by default. Lark complies with the following data compliance standards:

  • General Data Protection Regulation (EU)

  • California Consumer Privacy Act and California Privacy Rights Act (US)

  • Act on the Protection of Personal Information (Japan)

  • Personal Data Protection Commission (Singapore)

We also have all the data security certifications that matter to enterprise execs:

Lark's data security and privacy certifications

They include:

  • SOC 2 (Type II) and SOC 3

  • ISO 27001

  • ISO 27701

  • ISO 27018

  • ISO 27017

  • APEC Cross-Border Privacy Rules (CBPR)

  • APEC Privacy Recognition for Processors (PRP)

  • Data Protection Trustmark (DPTM)

With Lark, you don’t have to worry about data security or privacy concerns.

Trello vs. Asana: What are other users saying?

Trello has a solid 4.4 out of 5 stars rating on G2, with most positive reviews highlighting its ease of use.

But many Trello’s small business users report recurring issues like:

  • Significant limitations on the free plan’s features

  • Lacking features even in paid plans

While multiple employees in larger companies highlight other issues like:

  • An inability to handle projects on a higher level — like portfolio management

  • A lack of advanced customization options

Asana also has a good customer reputation, with 4.3 out of 5 stars on G2. Many positive reviews mention its more complete task management and collaboration features.

But many of Asana’s SMB users complain about issues like:

  • A steep initial learning curve

  • A lack of team collaboration features in the free plan

Among Asana users from larger companies — mid-market to enterprise, complaints included:

  • A lack of follow-up from the support team

  • Slow and clunky mobile apps

All in all, Trello’s reputation is better among smaller businesses. Asana’s is better among mid-market companies and enterprises.

Comparatively, Lark also has a strong customer reputation with a 4.6 rating in G2. But what stands out is how satisfied our customers are with our mobile apps. (Our iPhone app has an average rating of 4.9/5 stars in the Apple store.)

Trello vs. Asana: Which is right for you?

Your project management needs will decide whether Trello or Asana is the right fit.

Are you a startup, small business, creative professional, or solopreneur? Do you mostly work on a few projects at a time, with limited complexity and overlap? Then Trello brings all the features you need to the table — maybe even in the free plan.

But if you work for a larger organization that needs more high-level visibility — through better reporting and planning tools, Asana will be a better fit. Advanced project management features like resource management will make a difference here — although it will cost you more.

But the thing is, neither Trello nor Asana are suitable to be your one-stop-shop PM platform.

You may already have a software stack for collaboration — chat, video calls, and more. If it integrates with Asana or Trello, you may happily pay the extra monthly fees to avoid the switching costs of moving to a new platform.

But if you’d rather have every single byte of project-related data in a single unified platform — and reduce costs at the same time — you might want to look at a third option.

Get robust collaboration and project management features in a single platform with Lark

While both Trello and Asana can be good options for project management in a larger SaaS stack, Lark Base does it all.

Lark Base goes far beyond just project views and task management with:

  • Integrated communication: With Asana or Trello, collaborative chat and video calls are only available through integrations. Lark comes with an intuitive chatting platform and video conferencing built-in. Our digital whiteboard feature makes online meetings a lot more engaging.

  • Document collaboration: With Lark Docs, you can create, edit, and share documents from one place. This eliminates the need to rely on external document management tools or file-sharing services.

  • Knowledge management: Lark offers a robust knowledge management solution to capture, store, and organize knowledge into an internal wiki that users can access from any device.

Simply put, Lark Base offers more than you can get with Trello or Asana. A single cohesive workspace for your project teams will streamline communication and collaboration. To experience this difference first-hand, register for a free plan today.

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