In these trying times of rapid change, one thing remains certain: people love project management software, and they cling adamantly to their program of choice. But instead of driving more division in a world already so at-odds with itself, I urge you to lay down your pitchfork or burning torch for a moment. It’s time to come together for an objective, dispassionate discussion about two of the biggest project management solutions on the market: Asana vs. Monday.
You may have already narrowed your decision down between these behemoths, but if you’re still browsing, we can save you a lot of time. Use our Product Selection Tool and we’ll send you a free shortlist of project management software recommendations. Click the banner below to get started.
Table of contents
- What is Asana?
- What is Monday?
- Core features
- Integrations, pricing, and security
- Table comparison
- Software recommendations from TechnologyAdvice
What is Asana?
Asana is a project management software system for small and medium sized businesses. As one of the first completely cloud-based PM programs, Asana is a highly popular choice. The system offers features for task management, collaboration, document management, workflow management, project portfolio management, and more.
Asana lets you visualize task progress in multiple views including lists, calendars, Kanban boards, and Gantt charts. It offers over 100 integrations to keep you from spending so much time switching back and forth between all the different software you use, and pricing plans come in four different tiers. Overall, Asana is a powerful project management tool, and many teams see increased productivity once they start using it.
What is Monday?
But Asana is far from the only project management solution out there. Project management is becoming a mature market, but Monday.com is gaining market share fast. Like Asana, Monday tracks tasks, visualizes progress, eases collaboration, increases visibility, stores documents, and everything else you’d expect from a PM program.
Monday visualizes task progress in one interface, so you don’t have to switch back and forth between big-picture versus granular views of project statuses. Navigating within this interface, you can view projects as Gantt charts, Kanban boards, timelines, and more. Like Asana, Monday.com comes in four different tiers, and you can start with a free trial to get a feel for it.
Asana vs. Monday: Core features
Asana and Monday.com both offer the same core features, but they present them in slightly different ways. Let’s take a look at how these systems stack up on three main features: task management, workflow management, and progress visualization.
Using Asana, you can create tasks and assign them to team members, set deadlines, and make them dependent on other tasks. Clicking on a task expands it to show more detail, where you can comment using @ mentions and attach documents for collaboration. After logging in, Asana displays tasks that are due soon in the Home section, and you can see a complete list of all tasks assigned to you by navigating to My Tasks.
Monday.com works much the same way, except Monday calls tasks “Pulses.” Pulses are unique from tasks in Asana because they aren’t necessarily represented by cards, though you can view them that way. You can give every Pulse a name, assign it to a team member, set its status, make it dependent on other Pulses, see a quick overview of time to completion with a progress bar, and more.
Workflows in Asana are categorized by “views.” These are different ways of visualizing progress on your projects, and you can see them as lists, Kanban boards, Gantt charts, and calendars. Task dependencies make sure you don’t get ahead of yourself when working on bigger projects, and drag-and-drop functionality makes it easy to move tasks along.
Monday.com works much the same way, but it lets you see different visualizations for Pulses without having to switch between pages or browser tabs frequently. Monday’s user interface (UI) always shows a list view of your Pulses with a mini progress bar for each one, but it also shows the visualization of your choice in the section above the fold. This lets you see everything in one place, which is nice for project managers with a lot on their plates.
You can change Pulse statuses in Monday.com using a drop-down menu in the list section, but you can also stretch and shrink Pulses in the timeline view (Gantt chart) or drag-and-drop cards in the boards view (Kanban board). Monday also lets you visualize projects as maps and pie charts.
A lot of PM systems for SMBs don’t include project portfolio management features, so it’s impressive that Asana and Monday.com do. Asana offers a portfolio feature that essentially works like the regular project management tool but for projects instead of individual tasks. This feature lets you zoom out from your day-to-day workspace to see the bigger picture and to make sure that you don’t drop any of the projects you’re juggling.
Monday.com offers a comparable feature called Groups. Whenever you create a new Pulse in Monday, you can choose which Group you want to add it to. Groups are not necessarily tasks, nor are they projects. Instead, the open-ended framing of Pulses frees you up to make them whatever you want.
If you want to manage your project portfolio, create a Group where every Pulse represents a project. Managing your portfolio this way doesn’t offer as much detail or insight as the portfolio feature in Asana, but it is helpful for lowering the risk of tunnel vision.
Asana vs. Monday: Integrations, pricing, and security
Some of the other considerations you’ll want to make when comparing Asana vs. Monday have nothing to do with features. You want a PM system that’s friendly to your existing tech stack, within budget, and secure.
Compared to most other project management systems, Asana takes the cake in terms of the number of integrations it offers. In fact, Asana offers over 100 integrations, running the gamut from Dropbox to Slack to GitHub to Mailchimp. Asana also integrates with Zapier in addition to offering its own API.
Also read: How to Use an API: Just the Basics
At time of publication, Monday.com offers a little over 20 integrations as well as its own API. The integrations Monday offers are definitely useful, as they include Slack, Jira, Google Drive, Shopify, and Mailchimp. These may be all you need if you’re a smaller organization, but for medium to large organizations, you may need to set up a data share over the API.
Asana and Monday.com offer different pricing tiers that operate on a sliding scale, depending on the number of user licenses you need. Asana is a bit pricier than Monday, but it does offer a free plan. You can still do a free trial for 14 days on Monday.com, but after that you’ll have to upgrade to a paid account.
The free version of Asana lets you collaborate with up to 15 other people, and you can still track tasks and view them as a list or in a Kanban board. There are some features you may miss, such as advanced security features and access to priority support. But for small teams, freelancers, and solopreneurs, Asana’s free tier offers all the basics you need to manage simple projects.
More and more companies are taking digital security seriously, so it’s important to take a look at how these PM systems protect you and your customers’ data. Both systems hit the high points such as GDPR, EU-US Privacy Shield, and SOC 1 and 2 compliance, but if you work in a highly-regulated field like healthcare or finance, you may need additional security features like SOC 3 and HIPAA.
In this category, Monday.com has a slight edge. While Asana does offer Google SSO for Premium plans and up, Monday.com offers two-factor authentication (2FA) for all plans. Asana doesn’t currently offer 2FA for any plans, which can pose security risks, especially if your Google account isn’t properly secured. For an extra layer of security, Monday.com also offers SSO with popular apps like Okta and One login. Coupled with 2FA, this ensures maximum security for your account.
Table comparison of key differences
|Works best for||Small Business, Medium Sized Business||Medium Sized Business|
|Project Management Features|
|EU-US Privacy Shield||Yes||Yes|
Choosing the right project management software for your organization
Now that we’ve explored the biggest differences and similarities of Asana vs. Monday, feel free to pick up your pitchfork and torch again. Or, if you’re ready to leave them behind forever, use our Product Selection Tool to request a list of free, personalized recommendations for your project management search. Getting started is easy and takes less than five minutes.