6 Best Asana Alternatives in 2023: Leantime, ClickUp, Jira & More

Estimated reading time: 13 minutes

Are you looking for the best Asana alternatives with low learning curves, affordable pricing, intuitive interfaces, and even more customizations? This comparison guide will help you discover a worth-the-peek competitor in 2023 featuring Leantime, Jira, Airtable, monday.com, ClickUp, and Notion.

Keep reading the guide to find a detailed comparison matrix and head-to-head benchmarks by the following criteria:

  • Ease of use
  • Pricing 
  • Functionalities
  • Customizations
  • Strengths and weaknesses
  • Customer reviews.

Alternatives to Asana: Comparison Matrix

Before jumping to a head-to-head comparison with pros and cons, features, and pricing, take a quick look at how each platform performs by the essential criteria:

Asana vs Leantime vs Jira vs Airtable vs Monday vs ClickUp vs Notion
Easy for non-project-managers
Project-based pricing
Secure on-premise install
Goal management
Highly customizable
White Labeling
Built-in retrospectives
High security & privacy
Data ownership
Multiple Project Views
Native Time Tracking
Idea Management

Top 6 Asana Alternatives: Open-Source, Self-Hosted, Intuitive, Affordable, Industry-Agnostic

Leantime.io: Best for Getting Things Done. Intuitively.

Pricing: Self-Hosted (Free) / Per Project ($14.99/mo) / Per User ($7/user/mo) / Enterprise (custom quote)

G2 Rating: 4.5

Released: 2019

Founded by ex-Google project managers with decades of experience under the hood, Leantime.io is an Asana open-source alternative and project management system trusted by TechStars, StartupWeekend, Netzwerk, and Equiptal.

The open source system’s goal is to make the benefits of project management accessible and make it intuitive and easy to master for non-project managers. It’s empathetic to traditional management flaws bringing straightforward and feature-rich experiences for digital consultancies, cross-functional and product teams, SMB owners, and other entrepreneurial-minded execs.

Facing the same roadblocks with managing projects that you do, we’ve incorporated our knowledge to make it as easy as ever to now set it up and running without steep learning curves, overwhelming functionalities, or tons of hours required to master the basics. For instance, Leantime’s got you covered as a self-hosted Asana alternative with less-than-an-hour on-prem installation that requires little to zero tech background to get the ball rolling. 

Delivering a more capable project management tool than Trello and not an as overwhelming system as Jira, the project management software provides the best time saving features:

The Project Blueprint: No More Chaotic Distraction

Feeling confused by switching platforms and keeping track of all the locations your project strategy is when kept away from your project execution? We’ve gone through the same struggles at Leantime and that’s why we’ve implemented the Project Blueprint – an all-in-one dashboard with empathy boards, SWOT analysis, and goal management to set the course of your projects in a centralized way.

Map out the value of your projects, analyze your strong and weak points, assess risks, deliver empathy to your customers, and make it easy for stakeholders and teams by bringing the project’s “why” to the table.

Milestones and Gantt Charts: Be On Track With Your Project’s Roadmap

Struggling with no interoperability to track the roadmap and align tasks with milestones in one place? No more. Leantime provides an intuitive milestone management feature that allows for visualizing goals with Gantt charts in an easy-to-grasp fashion.

Idea Management: Track Your Blue-Skies Thinking

Dreaming of a built-in hub to pinpoint your light-bulb moments immediately once they come to mind? As ADHD-impacted doers ourselves, we know how crucial it’s to take down your thoughts and ideas for efficient prioritization, planning, and execution. Leantime’s Idea Boards will help you stick to your business and project-related thoughts and plans without distraction for further tracking and management. 

Want to start researching your pinpointed ideas? Just navigate to the “Make” section and leave to-dos, wikis, and everything you need within a Kanban view.

Built-In Retrospectives: Analyze, Modify, Succeed

Continuous improvement is what makes projects successful even after failures and shutdowns. At Leantime, we’ve developed built-in retrospectives using a Kanban overview to help you analyze, track, and attach milestones to enhance communication, planning, and delivery after retrospectives.

In total, the core features of Leantime open source project management software include:

  • Multiple Task Views
  • Time Tracking
  • Project Dashboard
  • Built-in Retrospectives
  • Role Management
  • White Labeling
  • Status Updates and Discussions
  • Calendar Integration
  • Branded Subdomain
  • Idea Management
  • Reports with Export & Print
  • Goal Management
  • SWOT, Empathy map, Lean Canvas+
  • Gantt Charts & Milestones
  • Many others.

Here’s what non-project-managers experienced using Leantime.io:

“Leantime covers all the bases for project management. It has all the features required to cover your bases. The timesheet function is not common among other project management platforms. Leantime does a good job integrating reporting and metrics that lead to valuable insights.”

  • Capterra review

Jira Software: Best Alternative to Asana for Tech-Savvy Doers

Pricing: Free (up to 10 users/mo) / Standard ($7.75/user/mo) / Premium ($15.25/member/mo) / Enterprise (custom quote billed annually)

G2 Rating: 4.2

Released: 2002

Originally founded as a proprietary issue tracking system back in 2002, Jira Software has become a full-featured project management tool with 65,000 companies and >240,000 monthly active users by date. The platform is based on 4 standards: issue, project, board, and workflow, which build up the core product’s philosophy and functionality.

Mainly built for development-faced teams, Jira now provides multiple solutions for IT service (Jira Service Management), business (Jira Work Management), and portfolio management (Jira Align) and fuels them with a bulk of 3rd-party integrations and pre-built apps.

With multiple buyer personas in mind, the system now offers 3 packages: Jira Core (for non-technical teams), Jira Software (for tech-savvy doers), and Jira Service Desk (for help desk teams).

The core strengths of Jira are connectivity, communication, and project-independent configuration. Connectivity is about multiple integrations with most tools you may need to work with. They include design apps like AdobeXD, and Figma, IT tools like Jenkins and GitHub, business solutions like Trello and Slack, and software engineering hubs like Bitbucket Cloud, CircleCI, and LaunchDarkly.

On the communication front, Jira allows for setting up dedicated channels for specific instances and ongoing projects to make conversations specific and to the point. Also, multiple 3rd-party integrations with communication apps like Slack and Microsoft Teams help users stay synced in an omnichannel way.

Project-independent configuration is another power of Jira project management software for users who are in need of similar style configurations throughout the projects. With a drilled-down hierarchy, users just copy the customized scheme of the source project and rename it for the target projects to have a one-and-only configuration in a project-independent way.

While Jira tends to provide unbeatable features for the project management landscape, it still has handicaps to consider. The more features are in the system, the more complexities are out there to get the ball rolling. And Jira is no exception with a high learning curve that takes some time to master the platform navigation if you have no tech background. 

What tech-savvy end-users say about Jira:

“Jira has a lot of features but learning these features takes a lot of effort and time, which for a software developer and tester is difficult to get knowldege, hence as a Jira user, we feel sorry for not using features that helps improve our day to day life.”

  • G2 review

Fueled with a bulk of built-in functionalities, Jira is globally recognized for::

  • Agile views (Scrum & Kanban)
  • Tailored workflows 
  • Roadmaps 
  • In-depth reports (user workloads, recently created issues, etc.)
  • Release Forecasting
  • Workflow Management
  • Time Tracking
  • Progress Monitoring
  • Budgeting
  • Team Scorecard
  • Bug Reporting
  • User Reports & Feedback
  • Team Reports & Comments
  • Bug Monitoring
  • Bug History.

Airtable: Best Alternative to Asana for Advanced Users

Pricing: Free (up to 5 users/mo), Plus ($10/user/mo), Pro ($20/user/mo), Enterprise (custom quote billed annually)

G2 Rating: 4.6

Released: 2012

Released in 2012 as a relational database management tool, Airtable has become a cloud-based project management system with over 300,000 companies on board and $1.4B in funding. The platform founders, Howie Liu, Andrew Ofstad, and Emmett Nicholas, saw a need for a user-friendly database management tool as Microsoft spreadsheets provided no room for customizations.

Once pitched the product idea, Ashton Kutcher reached out to Howie Liu to enter the list of investors and support Airtable down the road. All these factors helped the project management system become a unicorn and be entrusted by Medium, Autodesk, Expedia, Shopify, and Cole Haan.

Designed mainly for marketing and product operations teams, the database management system is claimed to help product, HR, sales, and finance teams orchestrate their project work through visual appeal and flexibility. The latter allows for creating custom databases from the ground up or choosing from a bulk of pre-built templates.

Next, Airtable is based on drag-and-drop experiences that facilitate creating new fields, adding data, customizing database layouts, etc. Real-time collaboration, database view sharing, and multiple integrations with Slack, Zapier, and Trello help users stay flexible within their workflows.

Airtable’s visual enables customers to be easy on the eyes and add images, videos, GIFs, and even barcodes to their databases. On the table view front, users can proceed with calendar, Kanban, and gallery views to visualize their project-related data in the way that works best for a specific project.

Among the core platform’s flaws is a high learning curve due to a database-first architecture which makes it daunting for users with no database management background. Customers experience getting-started issues going through non-intuitive interfaces and overcomplicated navigation.

Here is what Mark P., Sales Development Representative at an enterprise-level company, said about Airtable:

“I don’t know of an easy way to transport the environments you’ve built in Excel/Google Sheets over to Airtable. It may be there, but there is a steep learning curve that I haven’t conquered yet.”

To sum up, the killer features of Airtable include:

  • Creation & Assignment
  • Due Dates
  • Task Prioritization
  • To-Do Lists
  • Drag & Drop
  • Planning
  • Project Map
  • Calendar View
  • Views (Kanban, calendar, gallery)
  • Templates
  • And others.

Monday.com: Best Alternative to Asana for Visual Task Management

Pricing: Basic ($8/user/month), Standard ($10/user/month), Pro ($16/user/month), Enterprise (custom pricing)

G2 Rating: 4.6

Released: 2014

Started as an Israeli work management platform called dapulse in 2012, Monday.com has passed a thorny yet successful path securing multiple investment rounds and now having over 35,000 professional teams onboard. Founded by former Wix and Conduit Mobile execs, the platform’s initial goal was to help professionals track employees and their projects.

Trusted by Uber, Frontier, Zippo, and GenPact, Monday now provides productivity solutions to sales and customer-facing teams (Sales CRM), product and development teams (Dev), and professional leaders seeking for an intuitive project management tool (Work Management).

Claimed to be a professional operating system for work management, a cloud-based open platform’s strong points include intuitive navigation, flexibility, team collaboration, and file management opportunities. Based on G2 reviews, monday.com’s weaknesses are tough onboarding, costly training, limited pre-set board templates, and few dashboard widgets.

Here is what platform users say about monday.com:

“There is a huge learning curve with Monday.com. I’ve been using it for several years now and I still don’t know what it is fully capable of. The resource articles aren’t that helpful – you have to learn by playing around.”

With a bulk of powerful project management features under the hood, the system is mostly recognized for:

  • Embedded emails
  • Multiple board views
  • Customized automations
  • Custom views
  • Spreadsheets
  • Form views
  • Integrations.

ClickUp: Best Alternative to Asana for Integrations

Pricing: Free, Unlimited ($5/user/month), Business ($9/user/month), Enterprise (custom pricing)

G2 Rating: 4.7

Released: 2014

Originally built as an internal tool for multi-project work tracking while building a Craigslist competitor, ClickUp has become an all-in-one productivity platform designed for solving any project-related issues. Trusted by Samsung, Stanley, and IBM, the project management software now supports over 800,000 professional teams with $537.5M in funding.

Named to “replace them all”, ClickUp’s is evolving its platform mainly for engineering, product, marketing, design, HR, and operations teams. Fueled with project management, remote work automation, and a built-in CRM, the platform’s features include diverse customization opportunities to modify fields, filters, views, dashboards, and other built-in objects without limits.

The project management system facilitates high connectivity perks by offering manifold integrations with Slack, Google Drive, HubSpot, GitLab, DropBox, Google Calendar, YouTube, Zoom, etc.

Despite an overwhelming feature set, ClickUp still has some flaws like a steep learning curve even despite the well-structured tutorials and how-to guides. More than that, G2 users claim to feel glitchy with complicated pricing models along with limited customization opportunities for tailored organization preferences. Ultimately, ClickUp customers experience stability issues and say there is a room for improvement.

Here’s what G2 users say about ClickUp’s imperfections:

“Stability is still an issue with Clickup. When it works, it’s great but when things fail they do so in large ways. Additionally, there is tons of room for improvement in the user experience. It can sometimes feel clunky to use.”

Among the core features, Clickup provides the following project management functionalities:

  • Gantt Chart
  • Dashboards
  • Native Time Tracking
  • Mind Maps
  • Automations
  • Notepad
  • Integrations
  • Email
  • To-Do List
  • Kanban Board
  • Sprints
  • Many others.

Notion: Best Alternative to Asana for Templates

Pricing: Free, Unlimited ($5/user/month), Business ($9/user/month), Enterprise (custom pricing)

G2 Rating: 4.7

Released: 2014

Released in 2016 (after a failure in 2015) as a note-taking app, Notion has become an all-in-one collaborative tool designed to bring all day-to-day apps in one place. The cloud-based platform is entirely based on templates that let users design their workspaces, build and modify wikis, and smoothly jump from project management to docs in one tab.

Backed with 30M users and $343.2M funding, the unicorn offers way fewer out-of-the-box project management features compared to Leantime, Jira, ClickUp, and other alternatives. On the flipside, Notion is a DIY-driven productivity tool enabling users to set up highly-customized workspaces that meet any needs.

So, if you’re looking for built-in and intuitive time tracking, reporting, dependency visualization, and milestones features, Notion is not the right platform to kick off. However, the tool’s upper hand is about leveraging role assignment features, timelines, Gantt charts, budgeting, billing, and invoicing. Need multiple views to visualize your data? Notion’s got you covered with table, list, calendar, kanban board, gallery, and timeline options.

The all-in-one collaborative tool is a great choice for personal use and SMBs as it offers a free tier for single users. More than that, Notion facilitates a great connectivity level by providing multiple Integrations with Slack, Zoom, Jira, Asana, GitLab, GitHub, and even Figma.

The platform is packed with the following in-built features and tools:

  • Task management
  • Calendar 
  • Collaboration tools 
  • Kanban boards
  • Multiple prebuilt templates 
  • Custom databases 
  • Customizable databases
  • Integrations.

Know more Asana alternatives that are worth being featured in this list of competitors? Reach out to us with your comments and suggestions.

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Gloria Folaron is the CEO and founder of Leantime. A Nurse first, she describes herself as an original non-project manager. Being diagnosed with ADHD later in life, she has hands on experience in navigating the world of project and product management and staying organized with ADHD.

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