Asana vs Smartsheet: The Best Project Management Tool for You

Choose between Asana and Smartsheet for managing projects by comparing their features, ease of use, and pricing models in our detailed review

In the bustling world of project management tools, where features and functionalities collide like stars in the galaxy, two names often emerge in the spotlight: Asana and Smartsheet. Each offers a unique blend of capabilities designed to streamline workflows, enhance team collaboration, and drive project success. But which one is the right fit for your team’s orbit? Whether you’re a startup navigating the early stages of growth or a seasoned enterprise steering through complex projects, choosing the right tool can significantly impact your journey. Let’s dive into the cosmos of Asana and Smartsheet, uncovering the nuances that could guide you to your ideal project management companion.

Asana
Asana
Smartsheet
Smartsheet
G2 Score – 4.3 out of 5 starsG2 Score – 4.4 out of 5 stars
TrustRadius Score – 8.4/10TrustRadius Score – 8/10

User Interface and Experience

One of the first aspects you’ll encounter when adopting a new project management tool is its user interface (UI) and the overall user experience (UX) it provides. How a platform presents information and allows you to interact with it can dramatically affect not only your productivity but also your team’s willingness to embrace the tool. Let’s compare how Asana and Smartsheet stack up in this crucial area.

Asana: Streamlined and Intuitive

Asana is celebrated for its clean, intuitive interface that emphasizes simplicity and ease of use without compromising on depth and functionality. The platform’s design is aesthetically pleasing, employing a color scheme and layout that reduce visual clutter, making navigation straightforward for users of all levels of tech savviness. This user-friendly approach extends to Asana’s versatile task views, including lists, boards, and calendars, which support various project management styles and preferences seamlessly. Users can easily toggle between these views, choosing the one that best fits the task at hand, whether it’s tracking deadlines on a calendar or visualizing project progress on a board.

Customization is a cornerstone of Asana’s user experience, allowing teams to tailor their workspaces with custom fields, tags, and even color coding to match their workflow requirements. This flexibility ensures that, regardless of the project’s complexity or the industry’s specific demands, Asana can adapt to fit. Moreover, Asana’s commitment to a streamlined user experience is further demonstrated in its thoughtful incorporation of features such as task dependencies and project templates, which not only aid in project planning but also in execution, ensuring teams stay aligned and efficient.

Smartsheet: Powerful and Spreadsheet-Inspired

Smartsheet takes a different approach, combining the familiarity of a spreadsheet interface with the robustness of a project management tool. This unique blend appeals to users who are accustomed to traditional spreadsheet software but are seeking more advanced project tracking and collaboration features.

Smartsheet’s strength in customization and detailed data analysis is evident in its offering of diverse views, including Gantt charts, card views, and traditional grid views, enabling teams to manage and visualize their projects in multiple ways. The platform excels in providing users with tools for in-depth reporting and resource management, features that are especially beneficial for teams dealing with large-scale projects requiring meticulous planning and tracking. Smartsheet’s capability to function both as a project management tool and a powerful data analysis tool sets it apart, offering a level of granularity and control that data-driven teams may find invaluable.

The contrast in UI and UX between Asana and Smartsheet underscores the importance of aligning your tool choice with your team’s workflow preferences and project management style. If your team values an interface that combines simplicity with powerful features, and seeks a tool that encourages quick adoption and fosters collaboration, Asana’s user-friendly design might be more appealing. Conversely, if your projects demand detailed data management and you prefer a tool that offers deep customization and robust reporting capabilities, Smartsheet’s spreadsheet-inspired interface and advanced features could better suit your needs.

Task Management and Workflow Customization

The core functionality of any project management tool lies in how it allows teams to manage tasks and customize workflows. Both Asana and Smartsheet offer robust features in this regard, but they do so in ways that reflect their unique philosophies and design principles.

Asana: Flexible and Collaborative Task Management

Asana focuses on flexibility and user-friendliness in its task management. Tasks in Asana can be richly detailed with descriptions, attachments, due dates, and custom fields, allowing teams to capture all necessary information in one place. The ability to create subtasks further enhances this detail, enabling a breakdown of larger tasks into more manageable components.

One of Asana’s standout features is its variety of task views, including list, board, calendar, and timeline views, which cater to different project management styles and preferences. This flexibility ensures that teams can manage their projects in the way that suits them best.

Asana also excels in workflow customization through its use of project templates, custom rules, and automation. These features allow teams to streamline repetitive processes and tailor Asana to fit their specific workflow needs, reducing manual effort and increasing efficiency.

Smartsheet: Detailed and Data-Driven Task Management

Smartsheet takes a more structured approach to task management, with its spreadsheet-inspired interface offering a familiar environment for those accustomed to Excel. This structure lends itself well to managing complex projects that require detailed data analysis and reporting.

Tasks in Smartsheet can include a wide range of information, and the platform’s strength lies in its powerful conditional formatting and data manipulation capabilities. This allows teams to not only manage tasks but also to analyze project data directly within the platform.

Smartsheet’s workflow customization is evident in its automated actions, alerts, and notifications, which can be configured to match specific project triggers. Additionally, the platform offers extensive options for Gantt chart customization, resource management, and reporting, making it a strong candidate for projects that require detailed planning and tracking.

Integration Capabilities: Asana vs. Smartsheet

In today’s digital workspace, a project management tool’s value is significantly enhanced by its ability to integrate seamlessly with other applications. Whether it’s communication platforms, cloud storage services, or productivity apps, integration capabilities can streamline workflows and boost efficiency by keeping all your tools connected. Here’s how Asana and Smartsheet fare in this crucial area.

Asana: A Hub of Integrations

Asana prides itself on being a central hub for work management, and this is reflected in its wide array of integration options. With hundreds of integrations available, Asana connects to many of the tools teams use daily, including but not limited to Slack for communication, Google Drive and Dropbox for file storage, and GitHub for development tracking. This extensive integration ecosystem ensures that Asana can fit into virtually any workflow, enhancing productivity by connecting disparate tools.

Moreover, Asana’s integrations often allow for deep functionality. For example, its Slack integration enables users to create tasks directly from Slack messages, ensuring that action items are captured and tracked without leaving the conversation. The platform also supports Zapier, providing access to thousands of additional apps for even more extensive connectivity.

Smartsheet: Powerful Integrations for Streamlined Workflows

Smartsheet matches the need for connectivity with a strong suite of integrations designed to streamline project management workflows. Similar to Asana, Smartsheet offers integrations with a wide range of tools, including Microsoft and Google ecosystems, Slack, and various development tools, ensuring that teams can maintain their preferred workflows while leveraging Smartsheet’s powerful features.

One of the unique aspects of Smartsheet’s integrations is the emphasis on automation and data synchronization. For instance, its integration with Microsoft Teams not only allows for notifications and updates to be sent to Teams channels but also enables users to collaborate on Smartsheet items directly within Teams, fostering real-time collaboration.

Additionally, Smartsheet’s Data Shuttle feature allows for the automated import and export of data between Smartsheet and other tools, such as ERP and CRM systems, making it an excellent option for organizations that rely heavily on data-driven decision-making.

Customer Support and Learning Resources: Asana vs. Smartsheet

Both Asana and Smartsheet understand the importance of supporting their users not just through robust software features but also through accessible customer support and comprehensive learning materials. Let’s compare what each platform offers.

Asana’s Support and Resources:

Asana offers email support to all its users, with priority support available for Premium, Business, and Enterprise customers. Although Asana does not provide phone support, its extensive online help resources and active community forum often fill this gap, providing answers and solutions to common (and uncommon) issues.

Asana shines in its provision of educational content. The Asana Guide is an extensive repository of articles and tutorials covering everything from getting started to mastering advanced features. Asana Academy offers free online courses tailored to various roles and use cases, helping users maximize their use of the platform. Additionally, Asana regularly hosts webinars and maintains a vibrant community forum where users can exchange tips and best practices.

Smartsheet’s Support and Resources:

Smartsheet provides email support for all users, with phone support available to Business and Enterprise plan subscribers. Smartsheet is known for its responsive support team and also offers a “Smartsheet University” with paid training courses for those looking to deepen their Smartsheet knowledge.

Smartsheet’s Help and Learning Center offers a wide range of articles, videos, and learning paths designed to help users at every level get the most out of Smartsheet. For those seeking more structured learning, Smartsheet University provides in-depth, instructor-led training sessions (for an additional fee), covering basic to advanced functionalities. The platform also hosts webinars and maintains a community forum for user discussions.

Pricing

AsanaPersonal Plan: At $0, free, for individuals and small teams looking to manage their tasks.

Starter Plan: Starting at $10.99 per month per user(billed annually), for growing teams that need to track their projects’ progress and hit deadlines.

Advanced Plan: At $24.99 per month (billed annually), per user, for companies that need to manage a portfolio of work and goals across departments.
SmartsheetFree Plan: At $0 per user/month. No cost, 1 user up to 2 editors. Includes 2 sheets, Gantt, grid, calendar view.

Pro Plan: At $7 per user/month (Billed yearly) Max 10 users, unlimited viewers. Includes free plus up to 10 paid editors, unlimited sheets, forms and reports, 20GB attachment storage.

Business Plan: At $25 per user/month. (Billed yearly) Min 1 user, unlimited editors. Includes Pro plus Admin Capabilities, baselines, Unlimited automations, 1TB storage.

Conclusion

Choosing between Asana and Smartsheet involves considering various factors, including user interface, task management capabilities, integration options, pricing, and the level of customer support and learning resources. Both platforms offer strong functionalities tailored to different needs: Asana excels in user-friendliness and flexible task management, while Smartsheet offers depth in customization and advanced data analysis features.

Your decision should align with your team’s specific requirements, preferences for workflow management, and the value you place on support and educational content. Regardless of your choice, both Asana and Smartsheet are powerful tools that can significantly enhance your project management processes and team collaboration.

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author avatar
Abir Das
Abir Das is a seasoned writer with a Bachelor's in Technology, specializing in insightful reviews and comparisons of business software. His expertise lies in dissecting complex software tools, helping readers navigate the evolving landscape of business technologies.
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