Google Sheets vs Asana for Project Management: When to Use Each One

I love the beauty of Asana, they've literally invested tens of millions into this piece of software to give us a free, flexible, project management tool.

I also love Google Sheets as a simpler Excel sheet that's focused on collaboration and connecting to other web sources.

Recently, I was struggling with Asana because I had about 150 tasks on Asana cards spread throughout 10+ projects, and there was no way to get a good consolidated view of all the work I had going on and what to do next.

The problem with project management that I've faced is understanding:

  1. What is the most important few things I should be working on this day/month
  2. What should I work on right now
  3. What are the critical crucial tasks that are due that can jeopardize other projects or client relationships if I don't do

Now both Google Sheets and Asana are so general that it would be impossible to compare every feature for every person. So I'm writing it from the perspective of someone who is broadly a digital marketer. My use case may be different from yours, but it's likely very similar to designers, developers, project managers, UX consultants, paid search consultants, and many people who build or help manage websites in one way or another.

Asana is Best Used for:

  • One-time projects to see progress
  • Breaking down a big project into many tasks and subtasks
  • Visual view of tasks
  • Keeping individual projects separate
  • Easier commenting and collaborations on cards
  • Larger projects with multiple subtasks, collaborators, and media documents

Asana Pros

  • It's built from the ground up as a project management system
  • Premium version includes custom fields that you can edit
  • Very delightful to use, beautiful interface

Asana Cons

  • For beginners, it takes some learning and getting used to
  • There are limitations on what you can do
  • You don't get a high-level view like you might with Google Sheets or
  • No way to roll up multiple projects into one dashboard
  • Reporting is not very good at all, the best you can do is export stuff to Google Sheets in a very simplistic format
  • Historically has been a slow app, although that's been updated in the last year

Google Sheets is Best Used for:

  • Extensive flexibility from formulas
  • Better overall view of all projects and all work
  • Better automation options
  • Can better connect with other related sheets and workbooks

Google Sheets Pros

  • Free to use
  • Most people are well versed with spreadsheets
  • Easy to get started
  • Formulas mean that you can create virtually anything

Google Sheets Cons

  • You can't link to individual cells or rows, can only link to sheets
  • Not a task management system by default
  • Commenting system is not as good as Asana
  • Managing attachments, photos, etc is not really possible – would have to use something like Airtable

Last Updated on April 30, 2018 by Joe

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