Best Tools To Manage Your Projects 2020: Asana vs Trello vs Slack vs Microsoft Teams vs Basecamp vs Todoist

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Project Management
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It’s easier than ever to work from home and use software to collaborate online and keep your team focused, organized and on task.

We bring you the best online tools your team can use to communicate and collaborate efficiently on projects.

Article Overview

A virtual team – whether across the street or across the world – is a team whose members simultaneously work together to a common purpose, while physically apart. -Yael Zofi

How Many People Work Virtually?

Working from anywhere has never been easier thanks to WiFi, cloud computing, smartphones and online collaboration tools. Building relationships is also easier and faster due to social media.

Did you know that approximately 20-25% of the workforce teleworks1 at some frequency? Of course, these figures were pre-COVID-19. With a majority of people still working from home during the coronavirus crisis, online project management tools are more important than ever.

We Rock Your Web has been testing and using various tools throughout the years to keep our virtual team connected and productive from locations around the world.

Best Project Management SoftwareWhat Are The Best Online Productivity Tools?

You have tons of options for your online collaboration needs. Some have overlapping features; however, each offers a different type of service. Some specialize in task management, while others are better for instant messaging.

You may find it best to use multiple collaboration tools (like we do at We Rock Your Web). For that reason, we’ve chosen a winner for each category rather than our typical top 3 picks. Read the reviews below to see what each company specializes in and how they can help your team.

Best Productivity Tool By Category

All Tools Reviewed

Airtable | Asana | Basecamp | Google Drive | Microsoft Teams/Yammer | SharePoint | Slack | Teamwork | Todoist | Trello

Additionally, to prevent this review from becoming unwieldy, these tools are reviewed on our overflow page:

ClickUp | Glip | Jira Core | Kanban Tool | LiquidPlanner | Monday.com | ProofHub | Samepage | SococoWrike

Best For Project And Task Management

Teams of any type (virtual or not) require you to use tools to manage tasks and projects of all sizes. The challenge is getting everyone on board with the same system. You want something that’s complex enough to give you options and flexibility yet not so complicated and overwhelming that you spend more time learning the system than getting work done.

At We Rock Your Web, we’re suckers for Basecamp (and many others are too), but from the recent research we’ve done, it seems more teams are migrating toward Teamwork Projects because it has more features than Basecamp. But we also review two project management tools that are growing in popularity, Todoist and Airtable.

Teamwork Review (Winner)

Teamwork logoVisit Website

Best For: Project and task management for more experienced users
Ideal Team Size: All company sizes

Teamwork is super easy to use and intuitive. It’s similar to Basecamp except that it has a few more features, including the ability to give tasks priorities, create milestones and invoices, and track time. It also has a desktop timer you can download to your PC or Mac to track hours by project and task.

You can view what’s on your plate by checking out the calendar or see a list in an activity log format. It also shows workloads and a snapshot of tasks and milestones that are past due. You can customize Teamwork to fit your team’s specific needs.

Teamwork continually makes updates and improvements to their service. In 2018 they introduced advanced features like bulk-editing, historical information on changes for each task and the ability to exclude tags from searches. In 2019 and 2020 they added CRM, project time budgeting and other features to their growing list of capabilities.

If you like Teamwork for project management, it even has its own chat and help desk products so you can keep everything under one roof. This is an affordable option for those of you looking for a collaboration tool with basic yet functional project management.

Teamwork screenshot

Pros

Cons

  • Great customer service reviews
  • Unlimited users
  • Tons of features (time tracking, Gantt charts, subtasks, etc.)
  • Basecamp import tool in case you’re switching
  • Teamwork Desk (help desk) for added fee
  • Team Chat app (added fee)
  • Discounts for non-profits and educational institutions
  • Subscribers say it’s simple to use
  • The software is continually being updated and improved
  • Free forever option
  • Apps available on iOS, Android, Chrome, Web, Mac and Windows
  • Integrates with Microsoft 365, Dropbox, Google Drive, Quickbooks and more
  • Doesn’t work the best with Internet Explorer

Pricing

  • 30-day free trial (no credit card required)
  • Free Forever: $0/month for 100MB file space, 5 users and 2 active projects
  • Pro: $9/month per user (minimum 5 users), 100 GB space, unlimited users, 300 projects and more (save 20% if billed annually)
  • Premium: $15/month per user (minimum 5 users), 250 GB space, unlimited users, 600 projects and more (save 20% if billed annually)
  • Enterprise: Contact for pricing, 500+ GB space, unlimited users & projects and more

Coupon

Use this link to get the best deal we can offer from Teamwork.

Read Our In-Depth Teamwork Projects Review

Basecamp Review (Honorable Mention)

Basecamp logoVisit Website

Best For: Task management for everyday users
Ideal Team Size: Small to mid-sized companies

Are you looking for a basic, easy-to-use and straightforward project management tool? Look no further than Basecamp. You can track projects and tasks via to-do lists, host written discussions, embed media files (images, videos) and more. Basecamp 3 is our primary project management tool at We Rock Your Web.

What’s great about Basecamp is its simplicity. There are few distractions to take you off task. Basecamp cuts down on email when you set up your notifications so you only receive alerts or email when a specific task or discussion is relevant to you.

It also keeps you organized by stringing discussions together in one organized task. You can tag people and assign the task to whoever’s court it’s in next (or multiple people). Basecamp 3, the newest version, gives you added control over these notifications.

Our Experience

Kimberly A., We Rock Your Web, has been using Basecamp since 2013, and here is her experience with it.

I’ve used a handful of various project management tools and I must say, Basecamp is one of my favorites. I found Teamwork to be a little overwhelming and Basecamp to be more straightforward. I like that Basecamp has a simple layout with nothing flashy to overcomplicate things. Teamwork, on the other hand, has more colors and distractions for me, so I was more confused when I used it. However, I know some people may like the color coding options that Teamwork offers.

Pros

Cons

  • Access Basecamp with Mac, PC, iOS, Android and email
  • When responding to a task, you can close your browser window and it automatically saves your draft
  • Easy to learn and use
  • No annual contracts, cancel anytime
  • Unlimited users
  • Can control access for each individual (admin, team member, client, visitor)
  • Back up data to Google Drive or Dropbox
  • Great Twitter support with fast replies and email responses
  • Can integrate with more than 100 apps and add-ons
  • Data is secure via HTTPS encryption and 2-factor authentication
  • View and respond to tasks by email
  • Free accounts for teachers and students
  • 50% discount for non-profits and charities
  • No recurring tasks or to-do lists
  • No time tracking
  • No integration with Slack
  • Some features like hill charts have limited use for most

Pricing

  • 30-day free trial (no credit card required)
  • Basecamp Personal: Free for 1GB storage, 3 projects and up to 20 users
  • Basecamp Business: $99/month for 500GB storage and unlimited users and projects

Coupon

Get $50 off of Basecamp via this link!

Read Our In-Depth Basecamp Review

Todoist Review

Todoist logo

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Best For: Task management and project scheduling
Ideal Team Size: Small to mid-sized teams

Looking for an easy-to-use, reasonably priced and simple task management tool? Todoist has become a go-to tool for over 100,000 teams. It bundles project scheduling, task management and document management together in one platform.

It doesn’t have all the bells and whistles that you’ll find with advanced tools like Asana, but its simplicity could be just what you’re looking for. The potential downside? If your team requires a large number of tasks, Todoist may not be the tool for you since they have caps on the number of projects with all plans (unlike Basecamp).

Pros

Cons

  • User-friendly interface
  • Calendar sync
  • Supports recurring due dates
  • Can upload files and make comments in tasks
  • Productivity reports
  • iOS and Android apps
  • Integrates with Slack, Google Calendar, Google Drive, Dropbox and 40+ other third-party apps
  • Project limits with each plan
  • No built-in time tracking
  • Doesn’t have two-factor authentication
  • Some users complain that software updates make features glitchy (but they work them out quickly)

Pricing

Todist offers a free 30-day trial.

  • Free version, up to 80 projects, up to 5 people per project
  • Premium: $4/month or $36/year, up to 300 projects, up to 25 people per project
  • Business: $6/month/user or $60/user/year, up to 500 projects, up to 50 people per project, team and admin features

Coupon

Use this link to get the best deal we can offer from Todoist.

Airtable Review

Airtable logo

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Best For: Project management (especially for marketing, advertising, creatives)
Ideal Team Size: Small to mid-sized teams

Airtable is a visually appealing collaboration platform that combines the flexibility of a spreadsheet with rich features like Kanban card stacks, file attachments, calendars and reporting. In Airtable, you create a spreadsheet/database for each project. These “bases” have highly customizable tables and fields. It’s like Excel on steroids.

Powerful filtering, sorting and grouping features allow you to arrange and view your work projects in multiple ways. If you have the Pro or Enterprise plan, you can also add what they call blocks to your bases. Blocks are creative palettes of app-like functionality which allow you to add maps, video chat, multimedia and other content to boost your workflow.

Pros

Cons

  • Highly customizable
  • Calendar, Kanban, grid and gallery views
  • Custom time tracking
  • Can link records between tables and spreadsheets
  • Data is secure via encryption and two-factor authentication
  • iOS and Android apps
  • Integrates with Google Drive, Dropbox, Basecamp, Slack, Zapier and many other third-party apps
  • Robust API
  • Client access
  • On the pricey side
  • Learning curve to figure out how to utilize all its features
  • Limited user permissions compared to many other platforms
  • Doesn’t have instant messaging feature (but does have comments)

Pricing

You can save 17% off the following pricing if you pay annually. All plans, including the free version, include unlimited bases.

  • Free version: 1,200 records per database, 2GB attachment space per base
  • Plus: $12/user/month for 5,000 records per database, 5GB attachment space per base
  • Pro: $24/user/month for 50,000 records per database, 20GB attachment space per base, advanced calendar features, custom branded forms, user permissions
  • Enterprise: must contact for pricing, includes unlimited records per database, 1TB attachment space per base, dedicated customer service, individualized onboarding and training

Coupon

Use this link to get the best deal we can offer from AirTable.

Best For Virtual Team Communications

When you have a virtual team, good team communication is critical to collaboration, but sometimes an important text can be disruptive and scheduling a phone call can be impossible. Luckily, there are more options than ever before. Virtual team communication tools give you a dedicated platform to make up for the lack of a shared physical environment.

Slack Review (Winner)

Slack LogoVisit Website

Best For: Virtual team online chat communications
Ideal Team Size: Small to mid-sized companies

Slack is a souped-up chat platform created by one of the Flickr founders. Our team started using Slack in early 2015, and we’re big fans. Its desktop (and web-browser) app is intuitive and straightforward yet useful.

It has all the same features as other chat platforms that you know and love but creates a virtual hub to put all your communications in one place. Drag and drop a file into a chat window. Host an impromptu virtual meeting with one of its many integrations. Search conversations.

You can also search chat history and star important messages. It has a user-friendly interface, and you barely need any training to start communicating and collaborating with your team. You can @mention people (similar to Twitter) to call things to their attention in a private message or on one of the “channels.”

We use Slack for quick questions to help eliminate unnecessary emails and texts. It’s also a good tool to use to chat about non-work-related things and have some fun with your team (including custom emojis). Lastly, it has a strict privacy policy that makes us a lot more comfortable sharing sensitive information than on some competing platforms.

Our Experience

Kimberly A., We Rock Your Web, has been using Slack since 2015, and here is her experience with it.

Slack is one of my favorite tools we use on our team. It’s great for quick questions and it’s a fun place to catch up with coworkers too. I appreciate the different Channels our team has created so we are easily able to organize discussions around specific subjects like editorial changes, tech issues and more.

Slack screenshot

Pros

Cons

  • Use via web browser or desktop app
  • File sharing
  • Integrations with 3rd party apps like Google Hangout, Dropbox, Salesforce, etc.
  • iOS and Android app
  • Extra security features to ensure secure communications
  • Can switch between multiple Slack teams
  • Low resource usage (small footprint; won’t hog memory)
  • Strict privacy policy
  • Video call feature
  • Ability to set a status
  • Flexible API
  • No project management tools

Pricing

  • Free: 10,000 searchable (most recent) messages/month and 10 third-party apps or custom apps
  • Standard: $8/user/month (billed monthly) or $6.67/user/month (billed annually) for unlimited searchable message archive and unlimited apps and service integrations (sign up using link above for $100 in free credits)
  • Plus: $15/user/month (billed monthly) or $12.50/user/month (billed annually) for SAML-based single sign-on and 99.99% guaranteed uptime SLA
  • Enterprise: must contact for pricing (includes unlimited workspaces, HIPAA-compliant messaging and more

Coupon

Our readers get an exclusive $100 off of Slack, just use this link to get started. Discuss this promotion and others on our dedicated Slack discount code page.

Microsoft Teams & Microsoft Yammer Review (Honorable Mention)

Microsoft Teams logo

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Best For: Companies who already use Microsoft products and programs
Ideal Team Size: Small to mid-sized teams (Teams), Large companies (Yammer)

Dubbed the “hub for teamwork in Office 365,” Microsoft Teams is perfect for those who already use Microsoft products and services like Word, Excel, PowerPoint, OneNote, SharePoint, etc.

The Teams platform puts all of Microsoft’s online collaboration tools under one roof, including chat, conference calling, customized dashboards and more. It’s geared toward small team collaboration within an organization. For example, your marketing department could use Teams to work on specific projects.

Yammer is meant for larger, company-wide communications, including announcements, town halls, training, cross-departmental meetings and more. However, you can create private groups in Yammer. Many companies use both Teams and Yammer since they serve different communication purposes.

Pros

Cons

  • All communication tools under one roof
  • Integrates with Adobe, SurveyMonkey, Smartsheet, etc.
  • Enterprise-level security and compliance
  • Mobile apps and connect on multiple devices (Teams: iOS & Android; Yammer: iOS & Android)
  • Active community of help and support
  • Compatible with Windows and Mac
  • Desktop app requires updates
  • Must have/use Microsoft 365 products

Pricing

Teams and Yammer are free services, but you must have Microsoft 365 to use them. Microsoft 365 has 4 pricing options:

  • Essentials: $5/month per user (with annual contract)
  • Business Standard: $12.50/month per user (with annual contract)
  • Business Premium: $20/month per user (with annual contract)
  • Apps only: $8.25/month per user (with annual contract)
  • View all options

Best For All-In-One Team Collaboration

Team collaboration platforms combine communications, task management, project tools and more all under one roof. Instead of doing one specific task exceptionally well, team collaboration tools do a lot of things pretty well.

You might sacrifice certain features, but you get the benefit of having an all-in-one product that consolidates everything into one place versus logging in and out of multiple platforms. We chose Asana as the clear winner for the best team collaboration category.

Asana Review

Asana logoVisit Website

Best For: Team collaboration
Ideal Team Size: Small to mid-sized companies

Asana claims to be “teamwork without email,” and it is just that. It looks and acts like an email inbox but groups projects with the ability to add due dates and “likes” and stars for essential items in one place. It integrates with several third-party sites, including Google Drive and Slack. Many well-known organizations like Salesforce, Meals on Wheels and Deloitte use Asana.

However, it does take some getting used to if you’re not very tech-savvy. There are several bells and whistles users can take advantage of, including the ability to create custom themes and shortcuts.

Pros

Cons

  • View progress reports
  • Color code/highlight key tasks
  • Boards feature that allows teams to organize and manage tasks efficiently
  • Web-based, so there’s no software to install
  • Integrates with Microsoft Office, Zapier, Google Drive, Salesforce, etc.
  • No credit card required for free trial
  • iOS and Android app
  • Add tasks by email and sync to your Google calendar or iCalendar
  • Overwhelming number of features makes for a steep learning curve
  • Messages are encrypted for security, but there’s no two-factor authentication
  • Some users complain about poor customer support

Pricing

Asana offers a 30-day free trial. 

  • Free forever for up to 15 users
  • Premium: $13.49/user/month (billed monthly) or $10.99/user/month (billed annually)
  • Business: $30.49/user/month (billed monthly) or $24.99/user/month (billed annually)
  • Enterprise: contact Asana for pricing

Coupon

Use this link to get the best deal we can offer from Asana.

Best Tool For Document Collaboration

When you have a document that needs editing and feedback, it can be a challenge to go back and forth between versions and confusing to know which is the latest copy. Also, files attached to emails can go unnoticed in email chains and weigh down your email server space. Enter: Google Drive.

Google Drive (formerly Google Docs) is widely used by many virtual teams, government agencies, non-profits and businesses of all sizes. When you have your document hosted on a cloud-based editing platform like Google Drive, you have only one copy of a document, yet you can go back to restore previous versions if needed.

Google Drive Review

Google Drive logoVisit Website

Best For: Document collaboration
Ideal Team Size: All sizes

Google Drive’s functionality is similar to Microsoft Word, Excel and Powerpoint. What’s different is that you and your team can collaborate on a project together in real-time via the cloud. Team members can edit, view and comment simultaneously without worrying about version control. You can also share folders and restrict user access through Google Drive and access your documents on the go using its laptop and mobile apps.

There is 2-step authentication to ensure your documents’ security. It’s important to know that Google offers its tools at no cost, but you’re giving them the ability to see and use your data for their R&D purposes. So in a way, you’re paying with your privacy.

Be sure to check your documents’ access levels and be especially careful with sensitive data. We use Google Drive for active documents and archive older documents to a safer, more private location.

Our Experience

Kimberly A., We Rock Your Web, has been using Google Drive since it first launched in 2012, and here is her experience with it.

I’m a huge fan of Google Drive. I use it for work as well as personal things. I planned my wedding thanks to Google Drive and I keep my research organized for work-related tasks stored here too. It’s super simple to use and easy to teach others how to use as well.

Pros

Cons

  • Free to use with lots of free storage
  • Integration with other Google products like Gmail, Hangouts, Chat, etc.
  • User access permissions available to control who can edit and view documents and folders
  • Simultaneous user document editing
  • iOS and Android apps
  • Data security and privacy may be a concern with Google (read their privacy policy carefully)
  • Requires a Google account (but this also allows seamless integration)
  • No project or task management tools; documents and chat only

Pricing

  • Free: first 15GB
  • Basic: $6/month/user (up to 30 GB cloud storage)
  • Business: $12/month/user (unlimited storage)
  • Enterprise: $25/month/user (unlimited storage)

Best Tool For Cross-Platform Project Collaboration

Change can be difficult, and it can be a challenge to get everyone on board with a new way of doing things, so the last thing you want to do is cause tension in your team.

So why not take your existing software and systems and integrate them to work together? Thanks to SharePoint‘s cross-platform project collaboration you can do just that.

Microsoft 365 SharePoint Review

SharePoint logoVisit Website

Best For: Cross-platform project collaboration
Ideal Team Size: Mid to large-sized companies

SharePoint is great for companies that use Windows since it’s part of the Microsoft Office suite. You can connect with other employees using Microsoft’s technologies like Word, Excel and Powerpoint. Large companies commonly use Sharepoint to integrate with existing Customer Relationship Management (CRM) tools and applications like DocuSign.

Another option is SharePoint Server OneDrive for Business, which syncs files and folders (similar to Dropbox).

Microsoft 365 SharePoint screenshot

Pros

Cons

  • Microsoft brand recognition, support and easy MS Office integration
  • First established in 2001
  • Integration with Yammer for inter-office social networking
  • iOS and Android apps
  • Can be expensive if you have multiple licenses
  • Requires a lot of training and setup

Pricing

  • SharePoint Online Plan 1: $5/user/month
  • SharePoint Online Plan 2: $10/user/month
  • Office 365 Enterprise E3: $20/user/month (annual commitment)
  • View all options

Coupon

Use this link to get the best deal we can offer from Microsoft Sharepoint.

Read Our In-Depth Microsoft Sharepoint Review

Best Tool For Collaborative Brainstorming

Brainstorming can be a challenge when you’re not all sitting in a conference room together or chatting over coffee. That’s where collaborative brainstorming tools like Trello and Kanban Tool come in. They allow you to share ideas, manage to-do tasks and more, visually. It’s like using a giant virtual whiteboard to post sticky notes, tape ideas and assign tasks.

Trello Review

Trello logoVisit Website

Best For: Collaborative brainstorming
Ideal Team Size: Small to mid-sized companies

Trello is a very basic to-do list service you can use to collaborate with team members. There are minimal options to assign tasks, but you can tag “cards,” create alerts and add photos to “boards.” Think of Trello as an online whiteboard with a bunch of high-tech sticky notes.

The free version provides most of the features as the gold/upgraded version, and the functionality is more or less the same. Trello is great for anyone looking for a visual way to virtually brainstorm ideas and display your thoughts in a stream.

Pros

Cons

  • Easy to sign up; no credit card required for free version
  • Clean, simple layout with easy to understand instructions
  • Share links to boards, and invite outside members to view or collaborate
  • Easily print your boards to PDFs
  • Drag-and-drop functionality and stickers to enhance boards
  • Integrates with Google Drive, Dropbox, Zapier, Salesforce and more
  • iOS and Android app
  • Can make unlimited cards
  • Backs up your data
  • Somewhat limited in capabilities
  • Some security vulnerabilities, but they do have two-factor authentication

Pricing

  • Free for (up to 10MB per file attachment and 10 team boards)
  • Business Class: $9.99/user/month when paid annually (up to 250 MB per file attachment and unlimited boards)
  • Enterprise: $20.83/user/month (or less) when paid annually (up to 250 MB and unlimited boards, additional features)

Coupon

Use this link to get the best deal we can offer from Trello.

Should I Use More Than One Collaboration Tool?

Probably yes. Think about how you’ll be using your online collaboration tool. All these products offer various benefits, and you may find that using a combination of these services will work best for you. For example, we use Google Drive, Slack and Basecamp on a regular basis.

Finding the optimal combination of these products to meet your team’s needs is key. Below are some additional online collaboration tools that you may want to consider for your team:

  • Time Doctor – employee time tracking
  • Google Hangouts – video auto-switching (free)
  • FreshBooks – cloud accounting, send invoices, track time, capture expenses
  • Skype – video conferencing/chat/get your own # (good for travel)
  • Join.me – super simple screen sharing
  • Shoeboxed – mobile receipt organization
  • Voxer App – voice texting/walkie-talkie

Security And Privacy For Your Virtual Team

Whether you’re a company or individual, your data is at risk of being hacked or lost. It’s important to take advantage of the security and back-up features these online collaboration tools offer.

Some have built-in security features while others require configurations (read their privacy policies carefully to learn who has access to your data and what’s being done with it).

No matter what, make sure you aren’t at risk for hacks or server crashes (read our article on website security and optimization on ways to protect yourself). Make sure the data you’re passing between platforms is secure and that your data is being backed up.

For example, it’s a good idea to use a secure service for signing important documents. If you’ve been compromised, we recommend a service like Sucuri to clean up the mess. Lastly, check and make sure your email server wasn’t blacklisted as a result of the incident.

Video: Why Use Online Collaboration Tools?

We made this fun, one-minute video to show you how these tools can help supercharge your team’s productivity.

Which Collaboration Tools Do We Use?

Find out exactly which tools we use at We Rock Your Web in our companion article, tips for managing your virtual team.

What tips do you have for collaborating online? Do you have a favorite software or tool?

Sources: [1] Global Workplace Analytics

About The Author:

Sadie has over 15 years of experience in digital marketing, graphic and web design, social media strategy, email marketing and more. She is a 4th generation small business owner and has worked with a wide range of brands from fortune 500 companies to startups and entrepreneurs.

Sadie is a self-proclaimed Apple/Mac guru and keeps up with all the latest tech trends at conferences including South by Southwest. Sadie has a Bachelor of Science degree from the University of Texas at Austin's Moody School of Communications and a concentration in Business from the Red McCombs School of Business.

Her expertise has appeared in many notable media outlets, including The New York Times, Forbes, People, Reader's Digest, Apartment Therapy, and other regional news organizations.

Disclaimer: This website contains reviews, opinions and information regarding products and services manufactured or provided by third parties. We are not responsible in any way for such products and services, and nothing contained here should be construed as a guarantee of the functionality, utility, safety or reliability of any product or services reviewed or discussed. Please follow the directions provided by the manufacturer or service provider when using any product or service reviewed or discussed on this website.

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