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Microsoft Planner and Asana serve as two of the best project management tools available on the market right now. Despite this, they both have vastly different features on offer, with many differences that can be overwhelming for some users to wrap their heads around. Thus, we’ve decided to break down the Microsoft Planner VS Asana comparison. By the end, we hope to give you a better idea of which tool will work better for your organization.
Whether you’re a big organization or a small team, streamlining your work process is key to team efficiency. Being able to effectively communicate with every section of your team is essential. Working in these situations is, after, all, a huge collaborative effort. If every gear isn’t working in tandem, it can seriously harm everyone’s productivity.
That’s where project management platforms like Microsoft Planner and Asana come in. Providing organizations with the tools to stay up to date with each other’s work allows everyone to streamline their tasks and work smoothly. Nowadays, especially with the advent of the ‘Work From Home’ culture, they have become integral parts of most users’ workflow.
Microsoft Planner and Asana are the two most popular and commonly used project management tools. Both allow teams to have a clear understanding of the company’s mission, objectives, projects and strategic initiatives required to reach those objectives, as well as have accountable members for particular tasks.
Despite this, the two still differ heavily from each other, with many different key features and functions. Understanding which one will benefit your organization the most will allow your teams to make quicker work of the tasks ahead. So, without further ado, let’s get deeper into the comparison that is Microsoft Planner vs Asana.
Microsoft Planner (also known as Tasks) is Microsoft’s very own software solution for project and task management. It’s designed around being lightweight, and available on both mobile and desktops through the use of its web application. By virtue of being a Microsoft product, it’s picked up a fair amount of popularity. It’s also just a solid task manager on top of that, which helps it out.
As a Microsoft tool, Microsoft Planner comes bundled as part of any Office 365 subscription. In terms of functionality, Planner is simple to use and lightweight. Planner allows you and your team to make plans, assign tasks, discuss assignments, and view progress charts. Thanks to its lightweight nature and mobile applications, all updates and changes can be made straight from your smartphone.
On top of all this, Planner integrates itself with Microsoft’s other tools. This means it’s an excellent choice for organizations that are already deeply integrated within the Microsoft ecosystem. On the other hand, if you make heavy use of third-party applications for work, then Planner isn’t going to be too friendly towards your workflow.
1. Simple Kanban Boards
The Kanban boards by Microsoft Planner are simple and easy to use. They allow users to drag and drop task boards around, making assigning roles and tasks quite simple. It also allows for simpler transferring of files, and you can even assign more than one person to a task from here.
2. Remote Management
Microsoft provides iOS and Android applications for Planner, allowing users to adjust things from anywhere with ease. For leaders, it makes you capable of managing tasks at any time from anywhere. For workers, it means you can stay up to date on changes and tasks effortlessly.
3. Microsoft Integration
Microsoft Integration is a key selling point of Planner. If you or your team actively use Office 365, then Planner works seamlessly with all of Microsoft’s tools and makes your workflow immensely smooth. It’s an indelible aspect of Planner for many of its users.
4. Work Time Tracking
Microsoft Planner’s Hub view allows teams to keep track of how many tasks they’ve been allocated and how far they’ve progressed. It works great to track time for employees billed by work hours.
5. Microsoft Planner Hub
The Planner Hub is a simple use of boards to represent your teams’ projects. They’re incredibly easy to use, reflecting the workflow and assignments of every team and user. On top of this, clients can also be linked to specific boards, which allows for easier categorization of work.
Asana is a popular project management solution among many different businesses and organizations. With a vast array of functions, over 100 integrations with third-party applications, and dozens of tools to help visualize progress, it’s no surprise that it’s become as prevalent as it is. Thus, Asana is the defacto choice of many companies, both big and small.
Because of how many features it has, it’s slowly grown into a very multi-capable piece of software. It’s designed for task and project management, but also does extremely well as a collaboration manager, a document manager, a workflow tool, a project portfolio manager, and even as a general communication tool.
Tools like Lists, Calendars, Kanban Boards, and Gantt Charts make visualizing progress painless and quick. Being able to put every task into visuals makes it easy to break down what else needs to be done, and when. Asana even allows you and your team members to attach files, offer comments, and compliment other teams’ work, which is nice.
1. Asana Timeline
Asana Timeline is one of the service’s most beloved features. It allows leaders to set stages for your project and check the status of various tasks as things get done. It makes following every team’s progress extremely simple and quick.
Asana allows you to build separate Portfolios and see an overview of each team’s performance. The Workload tab lets you see how work has been assigned. Having access to this information lets users distribute work as appropriate, without any one team being overburdened.
3. Calendar View
Listing tasks in Asana Calendar View allows for greater collaboration on any task. By having a task on the Calendar View, users can leave comments, share files and even compliment another team’s work. It allows for effective, fast, and efficient communication.
4. Subtask creation
Finding that one of your teams is struggling to deal with a task that’s a bit too much for them? Asana allows you to break down this large task into smaller, more manageable steps. As these steps are completed, you can then recombine them back into their original milestones.
5. Software Integration
Asana allows you to integrate other popular pieces of software into your workflow effortlessly. Some examples of this include Google Drive, Slack, Dropbox, Power BL, and Salesforce, all tools which are often used in company workflow.
The biggest thing to understand is that Microsoft Planner is a task management tool meant to work with the rest of Office 365 for maximum efficiency. Asana on the other hand is an all-in-one project management solution that replaces a lot of services with its own features and integrates with many popular pieces of software for better workflow.
Another difference between Asana and Planner is the ecosystem that they are a part of. Microsoft Planner is designed from the get-go as a part of a package deal. You need to work within Office 365 to extrapolate the maximum amount of value from Planner. This isn’t hard considering how prevalent Office is, but it doesn’t really integrate at all with services outside of Microsoft.
Asana on the other hand does as much as it can by itself. This allows it to do a lot more on its own, giving it more function outside of just task management. On top of that, for the things that it can’t really do too well, it features a ton of third-party software integration to compensate.
Pricing is another aspect where these two services differ from each other. Asana has a free basic plan, a Premium plan at $10.99, and a Business plan at $24.99. Most employees will only need the basic plan, though project and team leaders will want to invest in the higher tiers. Only the higher tiers give you access to tools like Milestones, Admin consoles, and Portfolios.
Microsoft Planner on the other hand is part of Office 365, which has various subscription plans. The cheapest Office 365 plan that includes Microsoft Planner is $5 per user per month. Subsequent tiers don’t really change things for Planner, but more Microsoft tools make Planner more useful by default.
Generally, Asana is more affordable for smaller users and teams, with less cost investment. For companies already invested in the Microsoft ecosystem though, the cost doesn’t really matter much.
When it comes to platforms supported, both services match blows pretty well. Both allow you to access their main service through simple web apps. As long as you have internet access, you’ll be able to use both planners just fine. Both also feature Android and iOS apps for mobile, allowing users to always stay up to date with tasks and project updates.
To put it simply, both of these tools may be made for the same purpose, but they’re made for different people. Most of this article should have given you a good idea of which fits best for you in Microsoft Planner vs Asana, though we’ll be breaking things down a bit more here to make things simpler.
If you and your team are already used to the workflow of using Microsoft services, then Microsoft Planner will work well for you. The cost differences won’t really matter, and the integration between other Microsoft tools makes for a smooth experience.
Otherwise, however, we feel Asana is the clear winner. It requires less cost investment, does a lot more than Microsoft Planner does, has an active and friendly community, and integrates with a lot more pieces of software. You can tailor your own workflow as a user, and micromanage everything with ease as a project leader.