Airtable and Asana are two competing project management tools, each of which focuses on helping team collaboration. The following report provides an objective comparison between them to present an unbiased view of their similarities and differences, as well as strengths and weaknesses.
Main Differences Between Airtable and Asana
Airtable has a customizable database/spreadsheet format that lets users work from a looser template that can suit many purposes, where Asana’s format is specific to work productivity and project management.
The cost of Airtable’s versatility is a steeper learning curve–simple to learn, harder to master–where the trade-off with Asana is that you have a more focused approach to productivity with less room for creativity.
Asana has over 200 applications with which it integrates–covering most of what is used by everyone for work to increase productivity; Airtable uses 3rd-party connectors to facilitate compatibility.
Airtable is a spreadsheet with the features of a database, which facilitates cloud collaboration–hence the name “air” (the cloud) and “table”(spreadsheets).
It is considered hybrid software, taking the ingenuity and visual interface of a database and combining it with the familiarity and ease-of-use from spreadsheets.
What is Asana?
Asana is work management software that is delivered via SaaS.
Like Airtable, the platform facilitates collaboration using the cloud, albeit in a different way. Asana includes all of what you’d expect from a productivity suite–deadlines, assignments, workloads, and ways to communicate them–except with more polish and compatibility than most other software of its kind.
Who is Airtable Built For?
Airtable presents itself as a versatile system that can work in any team-based environment.
They carefully avoid pigeonholing themselves into one specific area, presenting ‘templates’ that are geared toward different purposes. Its client base ranges from individuals to small teams who need a bit of organization for ideas to enormous enterprises like Netflix, so this lack of categorization under any specific industry is more true than not.
Asana appears to be aimed at agile software development teams, both large and small.
While there are different forms of project management that may apply, the most popular meaning–management of application development projects–is the most prevalent theme in literature associated with the platform.
Spreadsheet-based Data Management – Their main selling point, which makes the platform simpler for companies that aren’t as tech-savvy as others, though it’s still feature rich enough to appeal to developers and the like.
Modular workflows – Project workflows can be customized in a matter of minutes by moving blocks around in Airtable’s UI. The resulting adjustments to data happen in real-time so the most tedious aspects of project management only take a few clicks.
Team Solutions – These are templates that can be used by any department within a company. Marketing, Products, HR, and Operations, Sales, and Finance are all covered on their website, and these are just the most popular examples.
Enterprise Ready – Airtable scales with enormous workloads (250k+ records), and has proven itself capable of handling such workloads with its client base.
One Source of Truth – The oft-repeated phrase captures the centralization aspect of Airtable, a feature that is present throughout its design rather than a single part that provides this service.
What Features Does Asana Offer?
Workflow Builder – Asana’s automation calling card. This feature includes most of its time-saving mechanisms and organizational upkeep focused on ‘driving business outcomes’.
Views and UI – Asana’s UI logically sorts workloads into views that are easy to manage, and easy to follow. It also provides dashboards, views, and built-in sorting mechanisms
Integration capability – The platform is second to none in the project management industry in terms of working with other applications. Their claim of over 200 compatible apps is proven, and this number alone puts them at the forefront of the market.
Agile Focused – Asana is very in sync with the needs of agile development, including built-in collaborative tools like Kanban and a robust communication package for continuous improvement/continuous development (CI/CD).
Real-time Reporting – The platform provides an exceptional reporting mechanism that allows for anytime reports, so project managers can see exactly which part of the project is performing up to specifications.
Deep management – Asana packs a comprehensive amount of in their administrative suite, covering everything from assignment accountability to data security, with the key ideas of accessibility and collaboration at the forefront.
Familiar spreadsheet database management with the features of a relational database, with the ability to create applications that simplify views even more.
Highly customizable fields, views, and tables fit into a user-friendly, practical UI that is both modern and familiar.
Facilitates collaboration in each module, supporting communication and information sharing throughout organizations.
Less built-in integration than some competing platforms; third-party connectors are often required.
Lack of specific industry focus might not fit the need of a company looking for the ideal fit.
Access permissions become difficult to manage once you get to a certain level.
Works very well with third-parties; integration is clearly a priority, as the list of compatible applications is as.
Extensive project management and administrative features that cover every aspect of development.
Asana’s focus on collaboration makes it an ideal platform for CI/CD.
Agile development focus means there are better options for other industries, such as hospitality or shipping.
Asana is purely web-based, meaning they do not offer an on-premises solution.
Asana doesn’t have built-in time tracking for team members, which seems a big oversight in productivity software.
Asana is a great tool, but we think Airtable is better. You have more flexibility with dashboards, automations, and integrations, and that’s why millions of customers are already getting value from their software.