Trello vs Asana vs Monday vs ClickUp: The Ultimate Guide

Screenshot of a project management software interface showing tasks and their statuses, start and due dates, assignees, and priorities, used for comparison in the context of Trello vs Asana vs Monday vs ClickUp.

Welcome to the ultimate project management tool showdown.

Finding a suitable tool for your business is important to ensure that you’ll be able to get the most out of a solution. If you implement software that is too inflexible or simply lacks the features you need, you’ll be back to square one.

While finding lists of features is easy enough, figuring out what these capabilities actually mean (and how they square up to alternatives) can be tough. This is why we’ll be pitting four popular options for efficient project management against each other: Trello vs Asana vs Monday vs ClickUp.

We’ve done the research and gathered user reviews to help you make the right decision.

We’ll also introduce a fourth alternative — Productive, an agency management tool. It’s an interesting option because it offers all of the features of common project management tools with added capabilities for comprehensive operations management.

We’ll start with a summary, then provide an overview of each tool, and finish with a comparison of key considerations: features, usability, integrations, and pricing.

Trello vs Asana vs Monday vs ClickUp: Key Takeaways

  • Trello is a streamlined task management solution for smaller teams with simple projects. It can be the perfect project management tool for organizing workflows for visual thinkers, such as marketing teams or designers.
  • Asana is another straightforward project management tool, but it offers some extra features in comparison to Trello. This includes integrated time tracking and essential project resource planning, though the financial management features are lacking.
  • Monday is a work management software solution suitable for businesses in diverse industries, including retail and manufacturing. It’s a customizable option with automations and more than 10 project views, but some users find it takes a while to configure.
  • ClickUp is another project management software solution for the entire team. It has some additional functionalities for agile workflows and web development management, such as sprint management and a GitHub integration. However, the platform can be slow and buggy.
  • All-in-one agency tools, like Productive, can also be a great pick. Productive’s core features include project management, budgeting, and resource planning, all integrated into a single platform.

Growing Businesses Choose Productive

An all-in-one tool can help you consolidate data, streamline workflows, and manage all daily operations from a single platform.

Book a demo

Trello – A Visually Appealing Task Management Software Solution

Trello is a tool known for its Kanban and card-based system for task management.

Key features include:

  • A user-friendly interface with customizable task cards for team collaboration
  • Additional project views, such as the Timeline, Calendar, and Table view
  • Ability to customize and save your workspace, make it private, or share across team members
  • Project-specific data visualizations, including charts that depict cards per person, due date, and other labels
  • Official and community-made templates for a variety of workstreams, for example, a marketing content calendar, game design template, and more
  • Third-party integrations and powerups made by Trello that add more functionalities to the platform
Screenshot of a project management software calendar view displaying tasks assigned on specific dates, used for comparison in the context of Trello vs Asana vs Monday vs ClickUp.


Pros & Cons Overview

Trello is by far best known for its simplistic and user-friendly approach to project management. It can be a great starter tool for smaller agencies, and it has a pretty inclusive free option (offers up to 10 boards and unlimited cards for unlimited users).

It’s also often used for personal needs, as the platform is designed to be a more generic work management solution.

There’s a lot to love about Trello, but it’s not the best fit for specific or complex workflows. It doesn’t offer many of the features you’ll need to improve operational efficiency, manage financials, and get the insights you need for informed decision-making.

I find Trello useful for having a way to view the big picture across projects, tasks, etc that I am working on. I think the strength of Trello is that it is very simple (boards, lists, cards) and easy to use so it can be applied to just about anything where you need to organize information. It isn’t a perfect 100% fit but it is often “good enough” and much less complex and expensive than tools focused on more narrow solution areas.

Source: Reddit

How It Compares vs Alternatives

When examined against the options in this list, Trello is by far the most stripped-down option. It can be an ideal tool for a business that’s just starting out and needs task management and basic oversight of its entire project, but that’s about it.

Most agencies will need to switch to a more robust Trello alternative like Productive once they start to grow and their needs get more complex:

When we started out, we decided to go with Trello, and it was a solid tool. Back then it didn’t have many advanced features, but it worked for us for a while. Once we got things rolling at the company, we realized that not having the ability to track time or build budgets was an issue for us.

Alex Streltsov
General Manager at Prolex Media

Read why Prolex Media, a video production agency, switched from Trello to Productive to manage business operations.

Asana – A Tool With a Range of Features for Project Management

Asana is a project and resource management tool for streamlining routine tasks.

Key features include:

  • 5 project workspaces: boards, list, calendar, timeline, and Gantt view
  • Integrated time tracking, with an embedded timer or manual tracking
  • A personal inbox for notifications and a dashboard for individual tasks
  • Task fields, automations, and templates library for customization options
  • A workload chart for assigning resources within a timeline view
Screenshot of a project management software showing columns for New Requests and In Progress tasks, with various priorities and statuses, used for comparison in the context of Trello vs Asana vs Monday vs ClickUp.


Pros & Cons Overview

Asana is a bit of a neither-here-nor-there option. On one hand, it’s not the best fit for complete beginners to project management since it’s not as simple as Trello. On the other hand, it’s also not the most powerful solution out there, so it will disappoint users who want to sink their teeth into advanced software features.

It also doesn’t cater to any specific niche:

Asana is fine, but I dislike it. Slow, though faster than it was, and just a little underfeatured. For less technical teams, great, but for software dev we switched to Jira.

Source: Reddit

Basically, it’s a perfectly fine solution for project management, but users that are looking for something specific might want to consider other Asana alternatives.

How It Compares vs Alternatives

Among the software solutions in this list, Asana would probably be considered the second most straightforward option. Trello wins in that category, and and ClickUp are usually seen as more feature-rich and customizable when it comes to their project management features.

An alternative option like Productive is by far the most robust pick for budgeting, time tracking, effective financial management, and everything in between. 

Get full control over your scheduling with Productive’s Resource Planning

Monday – A Flexible Option With Advanced Customization

Monday, also known as or Monday work OS, is a workload management software solution that caters to industries outside professional services, such as construction and retail.

Key features include:

  • More than 10 potential workspaces for visualizing tasks and projects, including Kanban and Gantt
  • The ability to create no-code workflow automations and customize dashboards with widgets
  • Essential time tracking across boards and time estimates
  • Task dependencies, to-dos, and milestones for handling workflows
  • Workload view for scheduling and planning resources and their hours
Screenshot of a project management software showing tasks for the month with their owners and current statuses, used for comparison in the context of Trello vs Asana vs Monday vs ClickUp.


Pros & Cons Overview

Monday reviews are often mixed. Some users find it a pretty powerful and highly flexible solution that helps them integrate their workflows and make them more efficient. Others find that the automations can be time-intensive to set up, and at times don’t work as intended (or at all).

Monday is built on its automations. Some are incredibly simple (eg: When task A is complete, notify the owner of task B). This automation would only sometimes work and as such, work got missed.

Source: Paraphrased from Reddit

Additionally, reviews state that Monday might seem simple at first, but requires some getting used to in order to get the most out of the software.
The main conclusion to draw is that can be a great option for teams that are ready to invest some time into learning what it can do and customizing it for their needs.

The tool still requires a lot of settings and, above all, maintenance. Otherwise, it becomes just another to-do list… but more colorful.

Source: Capterra

How It Compares vs Alternatives

Monday is usually considered a step above Asana when it comes to its flexibility and complexity. Depending on what you’re looking for, this can be both a good and bad thing:

We wanted something more plug-and-play, but really, Monday is more or less a blank slate. You have to build out the whole thing out yourself, which is massively time consuming.

Source: Paraphrased from Reddit

Again, Monday has the same issue Asana has, in that it doesn’t provide financial management features or accounting for projects. Resource scheduling, while available, is also more comprehensive in comparable options such as Productive:

Scheduling was a real pain with Monday and Productive made things so much easier, especially since Gantt charts were released. Being able to allocate time per task was a big deal for me since I could finally see how much time each person is spending on a project and how much capacity we have.

Alex Streltsov,
General Manager at Prolex Media

ClickUp – Another Good Pick for Customizing Workflows

ClickUp is a project management software solution with custom dashboard views and digital whiteboards for collaboration.

Key features include:

  • Features views for project management, including timeline, Gantt, calendar, board, and more
  • Time management and workflow automations with triggers and conditions
  • Integrated documentation and whiteboards for collaborating
  • Templates for documentation, one-time and recurring tasks, and more
  • Workload view for visualizing team capacity and managing resources


Pros & Cons Overview

When users praise ClickUp, they usually do so for its amount of customization and flexibility in organizing an online workspace.

ClickUp has an incredible amount of customization options, both in their layouts and in automation. Their formatting allows you to build out a totally organized and customized platform for your specific workplace and field of work

Source: G2

There are also some specific features for web management, such as automating sprints, burndown and velocity charts, and such — it can be a good specialized pick for tech-savy teams, though Jira still takes the cake as the tool for engineers.

However, ClickUp’s downsides can be frustrating. Multiple users mention frequent issues with platform performance, such as slow loading times, and various bugs. Though a new version of ClickUp — ClickUp 3.0 — is being rolled out, the jury’s still out on whether it’s a substantial enough improvement:

ClickUp has prioritized the release of new features and UI/UX (ClickUp) 3.0 over stability and load speeds. Although they have touted a completely new technology overhaul for 2024, there are times where the load times are awful and even requires a page refresh at times.

Source: G2

How It Compares vs Alternatives

ClickUp is the most similar to Monday in this list. There are some differences — for example, ClickUp offers integrated documentation management and creation, as well as some additional features for engineering teams. But users usually prefer the way Monday organizes and presents their data:

Monday’s interface is more sleek and visually appealing to use. It also allows for more customised board layouts.

Source: Reddit

Again, like these other tools, ClickUp doesn’t fully address business financials. If you want to check your profitability and revenue across multiple projects or predict your future performance, a solution like Productive is better than ClickUp.

Productive provides Forecasting features for real-time business insights

Key Considerations & Features Summarized

  • Industry-specific needs: Trello can be used for personal scheduling, and Asana vs ClickUp vs Monday are all considered generalized work management platforms. Productive is the only agency-focused tool on this list.
  • Project management & collaboration: All of these solutions offer fair project management and collaboration features. To summarize, we’d recommend Asana vs Trello for simplicity, ClickUp vs Monday for advanced customization, and Productive if you want to link your project management to time tracking and business financials.
  • Overall features: Trello, Asana, Monday, and ClickUp all lack financial management and forecasting features. This also means that the reporting is not as robust as it could be, as it can’t make use of all of your crucial data. Productive is by far the most complete solution in that regard.
  • UI and learning curve: Trello has by far the simplest user interface and the easiest learning curve, followed by Asana. Monday and ClickUp are both pretty customizable, so it can take time to learn to use these solutions (ClickUp bugs and performance issues are also reported fairly frequently). Productive is the most comprehensive software solution, but Productive’s customer service and support are highly praised for facilitating the onboarding process and later use.
  • Integrations: If we’re looking at the number of third-party integrations on offer, Productive has the fewest, though there are still some quality options available (check more on Integrations). Trello, Asana, Monday, and ClickUp all offer numerous integrations, though only Monday provides accounting ones such as QuickBooks.
  • Pricing: Trello, Asana, Monday, and ClickUp all offer free versions. ClickUp and Trello are possibly the best picks if that’s what you’re primarily interested in, since they don’t cap the plan per user (although the features are limited). Productive doesn’t have a free version, but there’s a 14-day free trial to test the tool out (find out more about Pricing).

Growing Businesses Choose Productive

An all-in-one tool can help you consolidate data, streamline workflows, and manage all daily operations from a single platform.

Book a demo

Why You Should Consider an Agency Management Option

A comprehensive software solution can have various benefits — but don’t take it from us:

We used to have a project management tool, a time tracking tool, a support tool, a way we handled opportunities and sales-driven processes. Those were all separate tools that we had, and it wasn’t good. It also meant that all that data was being lost every time we switched between tools, or we had to find a way to normalize the data between them. And now, the fact that it’s all in one, it’s really a game changer.

Bryan Casler,
Vice President of Digital Strategy at 4Site Interactive Studios

If you’re interested in an all-in-one solution for operations management, your best bet is Productive. It offers:

  • Robust time tracking options, with automatic syncing to your resource scheduling
  • A special resourcing view that takes into account employee details (like working hours and holidays) and provides staff utilization insights
  • Financial forecasting and visualizations of revenue, profit, and budget burn
  • Integrated project budgeting and invoicing
  • Various features that make your day-to-day tasks easier, like automations, custom permissions, docs with AI, and more

Book a demo with Productive to start planning your agency’s future today.

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Lucija Bakić

Content Specialist

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