Airtable and Asana are two of the best project management software solutions on the market. Both of these tools can help your teams keep track of deliverables while offering several other useful features for managing projects and their subtasks.
SEE: Hiring kit: Project manager (TechRepublic Premium)
However, Airtable and Asana each offer very different strengths that will appeal to different user bases. When you need to make a decision about which tool to add to your tech stack, this guide is here with a comparison of Airtable versus Asana across key features, costs and capabilities.
- What is Airtable?
- What is Asana?
- Airtable vs. Asana: Comparison table
- Airtable and Asana pricing
- Standout features: Airtable
- Standout features: Asana
- Airtable pros and cons
- Asana pros and cons
- Do Asana and Airtable work together?
- What are the main differences between Airtable and Asana?
What is Airtable?
Airtable is a cloud collaboration and document collaboration project management solution. It’s a spreadsheet-database hybrid, though it offers far more functionality than your average spreadsheet. The fields (Figure A) in Airtable can be changed to different format types, such as checkboxes, phone numbers and dropdown lists. Fields can also reference file attachments such as images.
Read our in-depth Airtable review.
What is Asana?
Asana is a web and mobile 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’s a particularly helpful platform for cross-functional teams, especially with its wide variety of collaboration tools and project view options (Figure B).
Read our in-depth Asana review.
Airtable vs. Asana: Comparison table
Airtable and Asana pricing
Airtable has four main pricing packages: Free, Plus, Pro and Enterprise. All paid plans are billed annually. Asana has four main pricing packages: Basic, Premium, Business and Enterprise. Customers have the option to pay annually or monthly.
What is the cost of Airtable?
- Free: 5 editors and unlimited bases.
- Plus: $20 per user/month, billed annually or $24 per user/month, billed monthly.
- Pro: $45 per user/month, billed annually or $54 per user/month, billed monthly.
- Enterprise: Custom pricing.
What is the cost of Asana?
- Basic: Allows 15 users, unlimited projects and tasks.
- Premium: $10.99 per user/month, billed annually or $13.49 per user/month, billed monthly.
- Business: $24.99 per user/month, billed annually or $30.49 per user/month, billed monthly.
- Enterprise: Custom pricing.
Standout features: Airtable
Airtable offers a wide variety of templates for nearly any kind of business or personal project. Templates range from facilities management and marketing promotion plans for complex business projects to a grocery list and a camping trip for personal planning. The variety of Airtable templates show new users the flexibility of the platform, while also making 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, human resources specialists and administrative employees can all work across departments without a mess of email threads.
Interface Designer is a beta tool that lets teams build no-code apps directly from their Airtable data. Interface Designer tools help teams create and share workflows, reports, visualizations and custom tools designed for individual teams.
Within Airtable, the apps, developer tools and interactive interfaces all work together to create dynamic reports with charts, graphs and metrics. Users can choose from premade visualizations that draw data from the projects within Airtable or build custom reporting tools with the Airtable application programming interface and software development kit. Each of the reporting dashboards is interactive, giving users the ability to drill down or combine information.
Standout features: Asana
Views and reporting
Asana is built to organize processes around work using workflows, approvals and task organizers that help teams quickly and easily know where project work stands and what’s getting done across their entire business. 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 such as Microsoft Power BI and Tableau, so teams can export their project data for reporting.
Within Asana, there are granular administrative controls that help teams create and manage settings to be sure everyone has access to the right information without any unnecessary administrative permissions. Asana administrators can create teams based on departments, job functions, projects or other operational and team designations.
Communication and collaboration
Because Asana’s tools are built primarily for task and project management, its collaboration tools are extensive. Users can communicate clearly with teams, staff or stakeholders through a shared calendar and messaging tools. They can also comment directly on a task, get alerts, send messages and discuss projects with everyone on the team. Approvals and automatic workflows keep tasks running between stakeholders without extra emails.
Success and support
Support for Asana customers is extensive and multilevel, tailored to the level of support your team needs. Asana support is offered at three different levels:
- Help: Includes articles you can read to find your own solutions to common problems.
- Premium: Gives you access to educational resources such as webinars, recorded training and a customer forum from the company’s customer success team.
- Enterprise: Gives you a dedicated customer success manager to help you transition into Asana and custom training.
Airtable pros and cons
Pros of Aitable
- Unlimited bases in all plans.
- Multiple work views available in all plans.
- In-product support for all plans.
- Can run API calls in all plans.
Cons of Airtable
- Can be costly for small teams.
- Admin controls mainly in Business and Enterprise plans.
- Only Business plan and up has single sign-on service.
- Email support reserved for Business and up.
Asana pros and cons
Pros of Asana
- Unlimited projects, messaging and storage (1,000MB file limit).
- Unlimited free guests in paid plans.
- Most reporting features in paid plans.
- Access to admin console in paid plans.
- Multifactor authentication for all plans.
Cons of Asana
- Can get pricey the more members you add.
- Time tracking only in the Business plan while other plans need to use integrations.
- Support reserved for Business plan.
The comparison in this article aims to show which product will be the best in different circumstances. Neither product is better overall, and this breakdown aims to help buyers consider which features and functionality mean the most to their team.
Do Asana and Airtable work together?
Asana and Airtable are most often used independently of each other, as many of their project management features overlap. However, it’s possible and sometimes beneficial to use Asana and Airtable together.
Interested users can integrate Airtable and Asana through integration-platform-as-a-service solutions such as Zapier, though there are no native integration options available. Through this integration, users can add Asana tasks to Airtable, automate processes and workflows and optimize document sharing and file management among project team members.
What are the main differences between Airtable and Asana?
While both Airtable and Asana offer robust functionality for project management, Asana tends to have broader applications throughout an enterprise because it focuses more on core tasks 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 dedicated business intelligence, customer relationship management 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-to-midsize businesses and individuals, especially those who are hoping to build apps, dashboards and business tools off of the basic spreadsheet-style functionality.
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 Airtable versus Asana is what really sets them apart. When making a decision between Airtable and Asana, you’ll want to choose the project management option that best fits your team’s work styles, your current tech stack and any compliance and security requirements you need to follow.
Read next: The 10 best project management software and tools (TechRepublic)
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