A Rundown of Three Popular Project Management Tools from a Director of Operations and Online Business Manager
You may have heard these three names before, or maybe you are brand new to the online business world and wondering if I am speaking a different language. These are three of the most popular project management tools. In fact, across the three platforms, they boast close to 100 million users worldwide.
One of the biggest adjustments for me when I started working in the online space as a virtual assistant and online business manager, was switching from my paper planner-loving ways to a digital planning tool (you can take a teacher out of the classroom..). There were so many options and so many strong opinions about which one is THE one you need to use to run your business efficiently.
As a high fact-finder (7 on the KolbeA(nerd face emoji), I needed to get to the bottom of this myself. So, I signed up for each of the top three platforms I kept hearing about the most: Click Up, Asana, and Trello.
After using all three for months, here are my findings…
Click Up is super robust, period. It offers multiple views, has automations for days, and has a clean interface. Once you get past the scary, overwhelming feeling that you’re going to break everything, it’s really fun to dig into the capabilities and try out the multitude of features that ClickUp has to offer.
- Powerful automations
- Robust in its views (you can see the same data in many different ways, which is handy for different types of data)
- Clean interface
- Can be hard to navigate
- At times (for me), things were sticky – wouldn’t always save, requires refreshing a lot
- Most automations and frequent usage of custom fields are on a paid plan only
Admittedly, I played around with Asana for the least amount of time. It does the same list view, board view, calendar view, etc. that ClickUp can do for free, but it somehow felt rigid to use. It does have some powerful workflows and automations that can be used with collaborators, which is nice!
- Great for collaboration (free for up to 15 users in the workspace)
- Functions well as a task management tool
- I didn’t love how projects open on the right side of the screen (picky, I know, but didn’t jive with my brain)
- A lot of the super fun automations are on the paid plan only
Trello is the most straightforward, least powerful project management tool of these three. The free version only supports a board view, which can be frustrating if you don’t like to see your work laid out that way. The power-ups seem a little confusing and most are paid after a free trial. However, aesthetically, I really like the ability to change the background photos for your board (it’s the little things, amiright?)
- Very easy to learn and use, super straightforward
- Boards can be shared and exported easily
- Simple layout
- Lacks a lot of power in its views, automations, and overall capabilities
- Most power-ups and other views are paid
Each one of these project management tools serves its purpose well for what it claims to be. When deciding which one you should use to run your business, the best one is the one you’re actually going to use! A client of mine started on Trello and was told to move to ClickUp by an agency she started working with and she was so confused. She ended up resorting back to sticky notes, paper planners, and notebooks for days. She was so stressed about having no idea how to actually use the tool, that she just didn’t use it at all.
This was not the answer.
Once we started working together, we moved everything back over to Trello in an organized and efficient way that works for the way she works. And just the other day, she was telling me how she hasn’t used a single sticky note or her daily written planning pages because she feels so in control of her business and the tasks on the boards that we created for her.
My best advice when choosing a PM tool? Watch a youtube video on each, sign up for the top two and try them both out for a week each. At the end of those two weeks, decide which one feels more aligned with how you like to work.
After going through the Director of Operations Certification, I felt more clarity than ever. Using the one that feels the best (and can scale along with you) is definitely the way to go. My personal preference is ClickUp however!
Want to get your business systems streamlined but don’t know where to start? Let’s connect and we can see what we can do together!