Monday vs Asana vs Trello vs Productive: Which Tool Is Best?

A screenshot of a project management software interface showing various tasks under the "Marketing and website" category with columns for title, status, start date, due date, assignee, and priority, similar to functionalities seen in Monday, Asana, and Trello.

Looking for the best project management software?

Monday vs Asana vs Trello can all be a great choice. These three tools offer essential project management solutions and collaboration features for businesses of all shapes and sizes. You might also consider a fourth alternative: Productive, the all-in-one agency management software.

This article will go in-depth into key features, benefits, and downsides of these popular project management tools, with an individual overview and cross-tool comparisons.

Monday vs Asana vs Trello vs Productive: Key Takeaways

  • Monday.com is a team collaboration and project management tool. However, its built-in features for financial tracking, budgeting, and invoicing are limited compared to solutions such as Productive.
  • Asana is a project management tool with additional features for basic time management and analytics, though the financial features are similarly limited.
  • Trello is another user-friendly solution for task management. Compared to the other tools, it’s the most scaled-down tool that can be a great choice for smaller teams with less complex projects.
  • Productive is the most comprehensive solution on this list. It offers a variety of financial, resource, and project management features. This is combined with excellent customer service and a polished user interface. Be sure to check out the comparison between Productive and Asana vs ClickUp vs Monday for even more options.

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Monday Overview

Monday.com is a work management solution suitable for a variety of industries, including construction, retail, and professional services, for small to large teams.

A screenshot of a project management software showing a task list for "This month" with items like "Finalize kickoff materials," "Refine objectives," "Resources," and "Test plan," alongside owner avatars and status indicators in colors green, orange, and red. Similar interface features are found in tools like Monday, Asana, and Trello.


MANAGE WORKLOADS ACROSS THE ENTIRE TEAM

Key Features

  • Monday.com’s solutions for project management include over 10 customizable views for visualizing tasks and project progress. This includes Gantt and Kanban. You can also use the app to set up dashboards with widgets or automate workflows without coding knowledge.
  • Task management features include hierarchies with task dependencies, to-dos, and milestones. Project managers and employees can also track time across boards with an integrated timer or by integrating the platform with specialized billable hours tracker apps.
  • Monday.com also offers proprietary platforms for sales CRM and development and product teams (learn more: CRM meaning). These are separate solutions that can be integrated with the work management platform. It also offers a variety of integrations with third-party apps, such as financial apps, time tracking tools, invoicing software, and more.

Pros

Monday.com is known for its collaboration, project management, and automation features. Users usually like the fact that the tool is simple and has an appealing visual design while still offering some more advanced features. Monday has:

Excellent collaboration and easy-to-manage various projects and employee activities. It’s also easy to handle project tasks and scheduling.

Source: Paraphrased from Capterra

Cons

A G2 user states:

Monday.com is excellent for project management and organization but lacks in several ways.

Some specific capabilities that are lacking and are frequently mentioned in reviews include robust financial management and accounting features. Though there are project budgeting workarounds (such as using a spreadsheet template to enter costs), this is a less-than-ideal solution for complex projects and large businesses (learn more about the importance of budgeting in project management).

The tool also lacks a way to link time tracking to specific clients or customers and offers invoicing only through third-party integrations.

Asana Overview

Asana is a project management tool that helps teams of all sizes organize their work, from day-to-day tasks to advanced project tracking. Additional features include simplified reporting and resource management.

A screenshot of a project management software interface displaying task categories "New Requests" and "In Progress" with tasks like "Infographic for ebook," "Blog post announcing new funding," and "End of Q3 metrics summary." Each task has a status, priority level, and assigned dates, reflecting features typical in Monday, Asana, and Trello.


ASANA OFFERS CORE FEATURES FOR COLLABORATION

Key Features

  • Asana’s project management features include 5 project views, which include Gantt and board view. Asana also includes time tracking, project and task templates, and a personalized user dashboard for task management. It also offers automation features.
  • Asana also offers essential reporting features. You can set up your reporting dashboards and browse from a library of templates to create your own reports. Asana also offers various data visualization, filtering, and sharing options.
  • You can also benefit from resource management features, such as a real-time chart for visualizing workloads and basic capacity modeling. You can filter your resourcing by person and simplify rescheduling by dragging and dropping to adjust owners or due dates.

Pros

Similarly to Monday.com, Asana is often praised for its simplicity and clean user interface. A user on Capterra states that:

It’s a great stepping stone for those just entering the realm of project management.

Users underline that they enjoy Asana for working with their teammates, handling their individual tasks, and standardizing processes and workflows.

You can also check out our Wrike vs Asana comparison if you want to learn more.
 

Cons

Again, the downsides of Asana are similar to those found on Monday.com. While Asana does offer a slightly expanded feature set, with resourcing and some business analytics options, these features are still limited compared to more robust agency management tools. You’ll also miss out on additional features, such as integrated docs or CRM.

Overall, Asana is best used in businesses with a smaller team size and streamlined needs. Asana competitors provide alternatives that may better suit certain business requirements.

When I was working alone I was using Asana and it worked pretty well for a while, until the work picked up, as well as the number of employees. We found it really problematic when it came to keeping track of things and having everything in one spot for a client. As we grew, we wanted a solution that would scale better, so we decided to make the move to Productive almost three years ago—and everyone loved it.

Katya Vakulenko
Founder and CEO at SOUP

Trello overview

Trello is a user-friendly tool for team collaboration and project tracking. Thanks to its visual interface, it can be a good choice for creative teams or smaller businesses with limited PM experience.

A screenshot of a project management software calendar view for early March, showing tasks and events across dates like March 1st and 2nd, including progress bars and avatars of team members assigned to specific tasks. This interface is common in platforms like Monday, Asana, and Trello.


STREAMLINE REPETITIVE TASKS WITH TRELLO

See more: Top Trello Competitors

Key Features

  • Trello offers a simple workspace with customizability options and different views. Your preferred view can be private or public across teammates. One of Trello’s special features is its community templates, which support workstream management for all types of projects. For example, you can find a design project template, a system checklist, or an HR onboarding template.
  • Trello’s reporting provides project-specific data. This includes analytics on due dates, individual cards (such as the number of tasks per employee), or project progress charts.
  • Additional features include task automations, as well as a variety of third-party integrations and Trello plugins. These include HR, analytics, project management tools, and more.

Pros

Compared to Asana and Monday.com, Trello is the simplest and most streamlined tool. Users note that it’s great for small to medium-sized teams and projects. It’s also reported to provide a simple onboarding experience, so it can be a good pick among creative workflow tools.

According to a Capterra user:

I enjoy the card based system Trello makes use of. The WYSWYG [what you see is what you get] design function is beneficial to even novice users – you can move things how you see fit without major processes involved.

Cons

Trello is the most streamlined of all of the tools on this list. Some notable features that are missing include time tracking, native support for task dependencies, comprehensive access control, or built-in business intelligence and forecasting. Many of these can be solved with integrations, but this can bloat your tech stack and have a negative effect on team efficiency.

For an even more in-depth comparison, you can read our review of how Productive stacks up against Trello vs Monday.

While Trello’s ease of use is one of its main advantages, it might not have all the complex project management capabilities of more all-inclusive applications. Teams working on more complicated and large-scale projects might need extra features that Trello doesn’t offer by default, which would mean using third-party applications or finding other solutions.

Source: G2

Productive Overview

Productive is an all-in-one agency management software with a wide range of project, financial, and resource management features. It’s tailored to support agency businesses of all shapes and sizes.

A screenshot of a project management software displaying a "Social Media Posts" dashboard segmented into "Not Started" and "Done" categories, showcasing tasks like "Resource Planning: Prepare For Success" and "Digital Agency Profitability - article." This interface offers multiple viewing options like List, Board, Calendar, and Table views, similar to those found in Monday, Asana, and Trello.


MANAGE COMPLEX TASKS WITH CUSTOMIZABLE PROJECT VIEWS

Key Features

  • Productive’s project management features include various project views (including Gantt and Kanban), task management with dependencies, and integrated time tracking. Productive also includes collaborative documentation (now with Productive AI) and no-code workflow automations.
  • Resource planning includes a responsive resourcing plan that supports balanced scheduling. Thanks to integrated time off management, you can check availability and handle utilization metrics for in-depth employee insights.
  • You can also benefit from robust project budgeting and financial management. You can track your budgets, cost rates, and billable hours and handle invoicing within the platform. You can also visualize and forecast profitability and revenue for individual client projects and make informed decisions for company success.
  • Additional features include a lightweight CRM for sales performance and quote management, a customizable permissions system to control your data, and robust real-time reporting with agency templates and custom fields.

Pros

The biggest benefit of Productive is its comprehensiveness. In comparison to all the other solutions on the list, it’s the only tool that aims to cover all business operations in one platform. The pros of this approach are numerous: you can standardize data across projects, reduce costs for technology, and make daily processes more efficient.

That was probably the single biggest thing—reducing the amount of tools, platforms, and systems, and using just one. Having a platform that considers everybody’s salaries, the operating expenses of the whole business, and feeding that into project budgets and looking at the internal time vs. client time gives us a much more real-time and accurate view of the profitability of actual, specific projects.”

Brendon Nicholas,
Co-founder and Technical Director AT DotDev

Another selling point is the financial management and forecasting capabilities. Productive’s advanced reporting features pull from various data sources to help you get a full picture of your business.

Cons

Compared to more straightforward and limited solutions, the learning curve for Productive can be more steep. However, if you’re willing to invest your time and resources, you’ll get more bang for your buck. Productive is also a more scalable solution, meaning you won’t have to switch to other software once your business needs grow.

Choose Productive for Advanced Agency Management

Switch from multiple tools and spreadsheets to an all-in-one solution that supports daily business operations.

Book a demo

To learn more, check our detailed review of Productive vs top Productive.io alternatives.

Differences Between Monday, Asana, Trello and Productive

Here’s a brief overview of the main differences and similarities of these tools:

Industry-Specific Needs

Trello vs Asana vs Monday can all be used across various industries. This includes product-based services such as construction and manufacturing, as well as professional services agencies. In comparison, Productive is an agency-focused management solution. It’s designed to support the workflows of design, marketing, software development, and creative agencies.

Project Management

All of these tools offer customizable project views, though Trello is most known for its card-based Kanban board workflow. The biggest difference is in the supporting features, such as time tracking: for example, Trello doesn’t offer time tracking, Asana or Monday offer a limited use case (with no invoicing), and Productive has the most robust native tracking with billable and non-billable hours recognition.

Learn more about the billable hours meaning and importance for agency profitability.

Reporting & Analytics

Trello, Monday.com, Asana, and Productive each offer different approaches to reporting and analytics. Trello provides basic project-specific visualizations and relies on third-party integrations for advanced insights. Monday.com allows for customizable dashboards and widgets to monitor various project metrics. Asana’s reporting features include several dashboard templates and data visualization tools, catering well to standard project tracking needs.

Productive stands out with its advanced reporting capabilities, offering in-depth financial analytics and real-time profitability forecasts, making it the most robust option for agencies needing detailed business insights.

A screenshot of a project management software displaying the "Rebranding Campaign" dashboard with bar graphs showing weekly progress across weeks 23 to 27 in terms of time and budget. The graph includes a purple line depicting the budget plan versus actual spending in green bars. Below the graph, detailed metrics on time spent, budget status, and invoicing amounts are provided, illustrating features similar to those in Monday, Asana, and Trello.


VISUALIZE AND FORECAST KEY PLANNING METRICS WITH PRODUCTIVE

Overall Features

In terms of comprehensiveness, Trello is the simplest tool, and it focuses mainly on visual task management. Monday.com’s and Asana’s scope is broader, as these tools offer more customizable options for project views and essential task tracking. Productive is by far the most comprehensive solution and the only one on this list with integrated budgeting tools and invoicing support.

Usability and Learning Curve

While Trello, Monday.com, and Asana are all more straightforward solutions due to having project-based capabilities (with Trello usually underlined as the most user-friendly for beginners), Productive is not too far behind. Despite being more complex to use to its full potential, users state that the onboarding and implementation processes are easy by Productive’s responsive customer service:

Initially, as with everything else, you need to spend some time getting the hang of how things work, but we got great support from the team on making sure that we got onboarded the right way. There were a lot of times where the Productive team also just reached out to us to see if we needed anything. It makes you want to use the tool more, once you have the basics in place. I think we got a good introduction to that, so adoption wasn’t a problem at all for us internally.

Jens Lystlund Madsen,
Managing Partner at Refyne

Customer Service and Support

Productive is known for its excellent customer support. Multiple reviews on G2 state that Productive’s team makes sure to fully understand queries, explain concepts, and respond quickly. Another great factor is that the team reaches out to proactively prevent issues and improve usage:

The best thing about Productive is the customer support. This is the first time I have used a SaaS product where it was this easy and helpful to contact the support team and get the help you need. They are also fantastic about implementing user feedback into the product.

Trello, Monday.com, and Asana all have overall positive reviews for their customer support teams, though it’s not as emphasized as in Productive’s case.

Integrations

  • Monday.com has a variety of integrations, including collaboration, team management, and accounting third-party tools. The most notable ones include QuickBooks for finances and Miro for collaboration.
  • Asana’s most notable integrations include Google Drive and Google Calendar, Slack, HubSpot, and other industry-specific tools such as Figma or GitHub. However, it doesn’t offer integrations with popular accounting tools
  • Trello has over 200 integrations, which makes it the most comprehensive option on this list. However, many of these are collaboration or project management-focused, meaning that, again, the financial aspect is limited.
  • Productive offers the least amount of integrations. However, there are some valuable ones on this list, including Google Calendar for time tracking, Slack for tasks and reporting, Xero and QuickBooks for accounting, and BambooHR and Breathe for HR.

Pricing

  • Monday.com offers a free plan for up to two seats and limited boards. It also offers three paid plans with unlimited boards and a customizable enterprise plan for larger teams.
  • Asana offers a free plan for collaboration with up to ten team members, with unlimited boards for projects and unlimited tasks. It also has two fixed pricing plans (starter and advanced) and two customizable enterprise plans.
  • Trello offers a free plan with unlimited cards and up to ten boards. There’s a standard and premium paid plan and an enterprise plan.
  • Productive doesn’t offer a free plan, but it does have a 14-day free trial, which you can check out before subscribing. It has two fixed subscription plans and two customizable plans for larger businesses (learn more about Pricing).

Asana vs Monday vs Trello vs Productive: Your Best Management Platform

To summarize, each tool has its own unique strengths and benefits. Asana, Trello, and Monday are all good picks for essential project management and communication features. Each has some slight differences — for example, you might pick Trello for simple projects, Monday.com for additional customization, or Asana if you’re looking for essential resource management features.

On the other hand, Productive is the best pick if you’re interested in supporting your entire agency operations. This includes everything from planning and managing projects to supporting financials and streamlining administrative tasks such as collating reports and invoicing.

Book a demo to find out what an all-in-one project management tool can do for your agency.

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Lucija Bakić

Content Specialist

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