Armed with an obsessive love of color-coding and all things related to organization, I’m on a mission to help you maximize efficiency in your business and life so you can spend time on what matters most to you.
Equally right and left-brained, I’m that unique business owner who can think like a creative, but act like an administrator. This blog is where you’ll see me bring that dual-brained magic to life, taking the left-brain side of life and breaking it down for your right-brained self.
When it comes to running a business, choosing the right tools and apps can feel like a make or break situation. From handling clients to emails to tasks and projects, it can all feel a little overwhelming.
I know business owners who use and love both and, due to my own preferences and those of some of my clients, I have experience using both.
The question is how do you figure out which one is the best for you in you business?
Well, I’m here to help. It’s time to let the battle of the project management apps begin.
When it comes to choosing the systems, tools, and apps to use in your business, I get it. It can feel pretty dang overwhelming, especially with so many options out there and everyone having their own preferences and opinions.
They’re similar in a lot of ways and different in a lot of ways and, for many, it’s those similarities and differences that cause people to choose one over the other and often move from one to the other!
But I get it… you don’t want to have to go through all that work of getting one set up only to figure out that the other is a better option. So, let’s break it down, shall we?
Side note: If y’all have been around here for any amount of time, you obviously know that I am a Trello girl through and through. I’m launching a course on it, and have written numerous posts on how I use it and why I love it, but I’ve done my best to keep this post as unbiased as possible…even though I clearly have a preference.
In their own words, Trello is an “easy, free, flexible, and visual way to manage your projects and organize anything.”
It’s built on a super simple framework of boards, lists, and cards.
Boards are the broadest category of information and it breaks down from there — lists go on boards, cards go on lists, and information of all kinds (including checklists, due dates, labels, descriptions, and more) go on cards.
It works with a simple drag-and-drop framework that can be used to organize basically anything in your business, from your projects and tasks to your content and clients.
Every Trello account — free or paid — allows you to create as many boards, lists, and cards as you want.
You’re able to assign tasks by adding team members, label different cards, and add checklists, due dates, descriptions, and attachments. You can also tag team members or other Trello users (like clients) in comments, allowing you to provide feedback on a task or project and converse back and forth without cluttering up your inbox.
You can customize your board backgrounds using solid colors or a wide array of free stock photos from Unsplash ( with even more custom branding available with the paid plans!), add colored labels or custom graphic labels to your cards, or even use emojis if that’s more your style!
Beyond its native functionalities, Trello also has Power-Ups available that add different functionalities to your boards.
There are tons of Power-Ups, allowing you to add calendars and custom fields, repeat cards, automate tasks, and more. My personal favorites are the Calendar, Custom Fields, and Card Repeater Power-Ups.
Beyond the additional functionalities, there are Power-Ups that provide integrations for tons of other apps you already use in your business — like Google Drive, Slack, Zapier, and even Asana! — to make coordinating your work across platforms even easier!
Power-Ups are available on all Trello plans, but you’re limited to one per board on a free plan.
Depending on your preference, Trello is available on your web browser, a desktop app, and a mobile app — for both PC and Mac products — so you can access it whenever you need, wherever you are — and if you’re the kind who gets blog post ideas at the most random times like me… that is a super helpful thing!
One of the great things about Trello is its free account is super robust. It gives you unlimited boards, lists, cards, members, checklists, and attachments (of up to 10MB from your computer), plus one Power-Up per board.
Trello Gold ($5/month, paid annually) allows you to customize your board backgrounds by uploading branded photos and use up to three Power-Ups per board. And you can get Trello Gold for free by sharing it with everyone you know!
Trello Business Class ($9.99/month, paid annually) gives you everything you love about the Trello free plan, plus unlimited Power-Ups, attachments of up to 250MB, and more.
Asana is a project and task management tool that “helps you coordinate all the work your team does together. So everyone knows what needs to get done, who’s responsible for doing it, and when it’s due.”
You can set up your projects using lists, boards, and calendars, adding tasks every step of the way.
Similar to Trello, Asana also works on a general framework that involves boards and lists. Unlike Trello, where the basic structure of each board is the same, Asana has additional built-in sections for each board, including calendars, projects, conversations, and file aggregation.
Projects allow you to organize all your tasks related to a specific initiative, goal, or big idea of work into lists or boards.
You can set each project up as a list or a board, and from there, you are able to add tasks and subtasks, assign them to team members, give them due dates, and add descriptions and attachments.
Whether you choose a board or a task list is a bit of personal preference, and depends a bit on the type of project you’re working on. For things that you might want to put into different category buckets (like steps in a process or different categories in your company guidelines), then a board works better.
However, if you’re just tracking a certain kind of task that needs to get done (like blog posts or newsletters for your editorial calendar), then a list of tasks can work as well.
Because no tool is an all-in-one solution for every area of your business, Asana provides over 100 integrations allowing you to bring emails, files, tickets, and more into one place, making tracking your projects, tasks, and associated information nice and simple.
Like Trello, Asana is available wherever and whenever you need it. You can access it on your desktop via a web browser, and on your tablet or phone using the mobile app, for both Mac and PC. A native desktop, however, is not available.
Also like Trello, Asana has both free and paid plans available. With the free plan you get unlimited tasks, projects, and conversations, up to 15 team members, basic dashboards, and basic search.
The Premium plan ($9.99/member/month) gives you everything from the free plan, plus the new Timeline feature, unlimited dashboards, custom fields, task dependencies, comment-only projects, private teams and projects, start date, and admin controls.
When comparing Asana and Trello directly, there are some features they have in common that even the playing the field, so to speak.
They both have free plans available, so you can start using them right away, without a credit card. They also both have mobile accessibility, keyboard shortcuts, tons of integrations, and allow you to do things like assign tasks, add due dates, and color code.
But despite their similarities, there are some pretty distinct differences. And no matter how much you love a particular program, it’s never going to be perfect. There are pros and cons to everything, even systems and tools you love as much as I love Trello.
So what are they?
Because everything is built on the simple framework of boards, lists, and cards, it makes it easy for you to customize and track or organize almost anything in your life or business.
Let’s be honest, even though you know it can be important to invest money in a really great tool or app, it’s also super fantastic when a really incredible is really incredible and free.
Thanks to its native features like adding or tagging members makes it super easy to work with a team! You can create actual teams in your Trello account to organize and manage boards, and Trello’s simple framework makes it easy for you to customize things to best fit your needs and those of your team!
Because Trello was built on the Kanban system, it’s intentionally designed to help you set up your workflows and move your tasks along as they progress through the workflow.
A fantastic pro of that Kanban system and Trello by extension? It makes visually managing your tasks and projects so simple! Whenever you hop into a board with a workflow setup, you can quickly and easily see exactly where everything is and, therefore, what needs to be done
If you’re working on a project with multiple people assigned to a task, Trello makes it easy for you to add two or more members, so everyone can track their to dos and make progress together.
If you’ve ever used Google Docs, you know that one of the best things about it is the ability to collaborate in real-time. Well, guess what? Trello allows you to do the exact same thing! You can see when another person is typing on a board and as soon as they save what they’ve been typing — whether it’s a new list, card, or a description or comment — your board will automatically update!
One of the best things about Trello is how simple its framework is… but sometimes simple is scary. Because of the fact that Trello’s framework allows you to organize just about anything in your life or business, if you aren’t sure how you want to approach it, getting started with it can, admittedly be overwhelming.
While you can assign multiple members to a task via a card, if you have subtasks that you’ve created using the checklists feature, you can’t specifically assign those to an individual or give them due dates that are separate from the due date of the overall card. You can get around the assignments per member by making individual checklists for each team member’s tasks, but there’s no fix for the subtask due dates, unfortunately.
I’ll be honest, this is a totally nit-picky thing, but one thing that does bug me about Trello’s colored labels is they aren’t customizable. There are 10 of them, so you’ve got a fair number of options, but there’s no way to set specific HEX codes and customize them to your brand colors.
While Trello has recently introduced a new “home” feature that allows you to see upcoming tasks and highlights across boards, that’s the closest you get to a native dashboard feature that aggregates all of your tasks together, no matter where it is on your account.
Built in to every Asana project are management features like the native calendar view, an aggregation point for all conversations about a project, or all files associated with it. You can also view tasks as part of a timeline on their paid plans.
For every Asana team you’re a part of, you have a “My Tasks” section, which gathers all your tasks from across the various projects and gathers them together into one location, making it easy to see what’s still on your plate.
In addition to the colors you can designate for each project, you can label your individual tasks with different priorities, allowing you to prioritize not just by due date by but importance.
Asana’s dashboard allows you to get a high-level view of the progress and status of projects and tasks you and your team are working on.
Thanks to comments and conversations, on both individual tasks, projects, and across your account, Asana virtually eliminates the need for emailing back and forth about a particular task and project.
You can assign tasks and subtasks within Asana, which is great… but you can only assign them to one person. This is fine for subtasks, but if you’ve got a task that multiple people need to touch, you can only “pass it along,” rather than having it assigned.
Asana does give you a tasks section for each team you’re on, allowing you to view all your tasks in one spot, but there isn’t a way to aggregate them across teams.
Because of all the features and functionalities, Asana can often take a fair amount of time to load, which can slow down work.
Asana does have some pretty cool features, but the number of them can make things a little overwhelming.
At the end of the day, whether you’re an Asana person or a Trello person, a lot of it comes down to personal preference.
Trello is a more visual system, while Asana is text-based. Trello’s free forever plan gives you access to virtually everything Trello has to offer (except custom board backgrounds), while several of Asana’s features are reserved for paid plans. Trello sticks with a simple system for all its boards, while Asana provides additional functionalities for planning out your projects and managing your team.
Some have said that if you like post-it notes, go with Trello, and if you like lists, go with Asana. I’m personally a fan of both, and clearly have a deep love of Trello.
There are a lot of reasons that went into me deciding to use Trello as my task and project management system, but in the end, a lot of it came down to simplicity.
I don’t like things to be complicated — in life or in business. While its simplicity was a bit intimidating at first (I used it for nothing but content management for the first couple of years), I’ve ultimately come to love how simple Trello is to start using, keep using, and customize to fit my life and my business as they both grow and evolve.
I’m also a visual learner and processor by nature, so Trello’s simple, but visually based system of boards, lists, and cards was the perfect fit for how I absorb, process, and organize information.
As a business owner and a multi-passionate person, there are always going to be a lot of moving pieces in my life. I love that Trello allows me to track all of those things — from my content, projects, and clients to my reading, travel, and goals — in the same location. Instead of 50 apps and tools, I now have one. I’d be totally screwed if Trello ever went down… but that’s a risk I’m willing to take. 😉
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