Airtable and Asana are two of the best project management software solutions on the market. Both of these project management tools can help your teams keep track of deliverables, but when you need to make a decision, you need a breakdown of both of the features, cost and abilities.
What is Airtable?
Airtable is a cloud collaboration and document collaboration project management software service. It’s a spreadsheet-database hybrid, or basically a spreadsheet that’s way more than a spreadsheet. The fields in Airtable have types such as checkbox, phone number and drop-down list, and can reference file attachments such as images.
What is Asana?
Asana is a web and mobile work and project management platform designed to help teams organize, track and manage their work. Asana can manage projects, campaigns, creative work, requests, productivity, Agile projects and more. It was founded in 2008 by Dustin Moskovitz and Justin Rosenstein, who met while working at Facebook.
Both of these tools provide task management features through a variety of visualization types, integrations with major business work apps, and a mobile app for work management on the go. How work gets done in the major parts of the tool is what sets them apart. You’ll want to choose the option that fits with your team’s work styles.
SEE: 5 kanban boards to help you better manage big projects (TechRepublic)
Feature comparison: Airtable vs. Asana
Standout features of Airtable
Airtable has a wide range of templates for nearly any kind of project throughout your business and for personal use. There are facilities management templates and marketing promotion plans for complex business projects, and a grocery list template or the camping trip planning template for home-life projects. The variety of templates shows those new to Airtable the flexibility of the platform, but it also makes it easy for users to do all of their project planning in a single place.
Apps and integrations
Because of the flexibility of Airtable’s tools, it’s designed to be used by every department at the company. You can add functionality from several apps including Google Hangouts, Slack, JSON Editor, Shoptable, Jira Cloud, HootSuite and GitHub. The wide variety of integrations means that developers, marketers, HR and admin can all work cross-departmentally, without the mess of email threads.
The Interface Designer is a beta tool that lets teams build no-code apps directly from all of their Airtable data. These tools help teams create and share workflows, reports, visualizations and custom tools designed for individual teams and the ways they work.
Within Airtable, the apps, developer tools and interactive interfaces all work together to create dynamic reports with charts, graphs and metrics. Choose from premade visualizations that draw data from the projects within Airtable, or build custom reporting tools with the Airtable API and SDK. Each of the reporting dashboards are interactive, giving users the ability to drill down or combine information.
Standout features of Asana
Views and reporting
Asana is built to organize the processes around work, using workflows, approvals and task organizers that help teams quickly and easily know where project work stands and see what’s getting done across their entire business. with reporting capabilities. Because Asana’s focus is on organizing work and not reporting, the reporting tools are much more limited than you’ll find in Airtable. However, Asana does provide integrations with powerful visualization tools and business intelligence programs like Microsoft Power BI and Tableau, so teams can export their project data for reporting.
SEE: Power BI vs. Tableau: Business intelligence tools comparison (TechRepublic)
Views and reporting
Within Asana, there are granular administrative controls that help teams create and manage settings to be sure that everyone has access to the right information, but none of the information that they don’t need. Create teams based on departments, job functions, projects or any other way your team operates.
Communication and collaboration
Because Asana’s tools are built primarily for task and project management, the collaboration tools are extensive. Communicate clearly with teams, staff or stakeholders with a shared calendar and messaging tools, or comment directly on a task, get alerts, send messages and discuss projects with everyone on the team. The addition of approvals and automatic workflows keeps tasks running between stakeholders without extra emails.
Success and support
Support comes in three levels:
- Help, which includes articles you can read through to find your own solutions to common problems.
- Premium support, gives you access to educational resources like webinars, recorded trainings and a customer forum from the company’s Customer Success team
- Enterprise support, which gives you a dedicated Customer Success Manager to help you transition into Asana, and can also provide custom training.
What is the cost of Airtable?
Airtable has four main price points: Free, Plus, Pro and Enterprise. All paid plans are billed annually.
- Free is for individuals and very small teams just getting started.
- Plus is For teams looking to create a single source of truth to manage their workflows and processes. It costs $10 per user per month.
- Pro is for teams and companies who need to create workflows and apps to run their most important processes across their organizations. It costs $20 per user per month.
- Enterprise is for departments and organizations who have advanced customization, scale, security, control and support needs. Contact Airtable for Enterprise pricing.
What is the cost of Asana?
Asana has four main price points: Basic, Premium, Business and Enterprise.
- Basic is free and features a surprising amount of features for a free offering.
- Premium is $10.99 per user per month, billed annually.
- Business is $24.99 per user per month, billed annually.
- Contact Asana for Enterprise pricing.
Airtable vs. Asana: Which is best for your business?
While both Airtable and Asana offer robust functionality for project management, Asana appears to have broader applications throughout the enterprise because it focuses more closely on the core task and project management functionalities. Asana outsources many of the more difficult reporting, dashboarding, visualization, and app-building features to integrated apps. For companies that already have a dedicated BI, CRM and development tools, Asana is a good choice to exclusively manage and organize projects.
Airtable is slightly less expensive than Asana, and may be better for small- and medium-sized businesses and individuals, especially those who are hoping to build apps, dashboards and business tools off of the basic spreadsheet-style functionality. While Airtable has a wide range of uses, you’ll have to decide which features you really need for your type and size of organization, as well as budget.
See our list of top project management software options for more options and reviews.