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By Hannah Connolly
ver the course of the last 18 months, digital management systems have exploded, becoming an integral part of project and team organisation across countless industries. Seriously, how many times have you been asked, do you have a Notion board for that? Well if the answers no, (or like me 6 months ago: A what?) fear not – if you don’t know your Monday’s from your Asana’s, we've got you covered.
As a recent convert to all things digital project management myself, from experience, going in cold can feel overwhelming and discovering the right fit for not just you, but your team, can be a tricky process. So, how do you know which one will work for you and why is everyone so obsessed? With a range of customisable pages, tools and boards at your disposal, digital management systems can be a great way to keep in touch with your own goals and align them with your team.
Seeing a huge increase in user bases across the board as a result of the pandemic with more people than ever working remotely. In fact, as of 2021, Notion alone has a value of $10billion after a recent raise of $275million led by Base10 partners. More broadly the 5 industry leaders have amassed a staggering combined net worth of over $25billion, here The Stack World breaks down the best options out there…
With a $10billion valuation, Notion boasts over 20 million users, a staggering 20% increase from the company's 2019 figure of 1 million and there are plenty of reasons why. With a 4.8/5 star rating on Getapp.com, the love is far-reaching. Launched in 2016 by Ivan Zhao, who is also the company CEO, the management system prides itself on being an “all-in-one workspace for your notes, tasks, wikis, and databases.”
Citing “community” as the main reason for the success, the 32-year old founder has hours of dedicated Youtube content to help you hack your own perfect boards, as well as stories about Notion’s route to success.
If Notion sounds like it could be the right fit, The Stack World has the perfect Club for you, Frances Odera Matthews is on hand to help you and/or your team reach new heights. Matthews was the first certified Notion consultant and is on hand for 12 months of sessions designed to help you get to grips with the interface, tackle productivity and curate your own bespoke Notion design. Discover more here and join the Club in time for the upcoming session.
Flexible and easy with a clean user interface making information and data easy to digest. Hugely customisable, giving you the opportunity to tailor your workflow for you and/or your team – this also allows your team to operate in one space but customise their own experience. A wealth of templates to use and play with, some of which are totally free. One of the most customisable interfaces available. Web and mobile functionality.
Calendar view/page views don’t translate as well on the mobile app. You have to dedicate time for set-up (this is a testament to the flexibility but can be frustrating if moving into the interface mid-project or if working under short time frames.)
Free for basic access for you and up to 5 guests. $4 for Personal Pro for you and unlimited guest. $8 for Team Pro for you and unlimited guest. Price on enquiry for enterprise management.
Also hitting the billions, with a net worth of $8.97billion, Asana was co-founded by Justin Rosenstein and Dustin Moskovitz in 2008 and launched in 2012, both previously at Facebook (Metaverse as of 2021) with Rosenstein credited as creating the social media platforms “like” button and Moskovitz, Asana’s current CEO, as one of the Facebook co-founders.
The web and mobile app work management system describes itself as the “easiest way to manage your projects and tasks” and as “the best tool for keeping remote teams organized and on track.”
According to Trustradius.com, Asana’s “most common users are from Small Businesses and The Marketing & Advertising industry.”
Asana offers strong integration options and can work in conjunction with Google Drive, Microsoft Teams and Slack making it easy for teams already working across these platforms to move over. This is a platform based on collaborative working and allows for clear denotation of tasks. Project tracker/progress trackers give a strong overview of the state of play of any given project or tasks. Overdue tasks are denoted by a time frame in which it hasn’t been completed.
A common problem shared with many users of Asana is that often it can feel quite difficult to navigate at first. When lots of projects or subtasks are happening in tandem it can be difficult to navigate to specifics and can become overwhelming. You can only assign one person to a task, to add more than one person you have to add them in the comments or as a subtask.
Price: Free for Basic access. £114 annually for Premium access. £11.59 a month for Premium access. £252 annually for Business access for teams. £308 a month for Business access for teams.
Founded 10 years ago by Roy Mann, Eran Zinman and Eran Kampf, Monday is the place to “create your ideal workflow in minutes”, with the option to choose from hundreds of ready-made templates to boost productivity and manage team alignment. The tech company completed an initial public offering (IPO) in June 2021, raising $574 million and ending with a valuation of $7.5billion.
As of last year, the digital management company reported serving over 127,000 customers worldwide and is also the 2020 Webby Award winner in the Productivity category of Apps and Mobile.
Describing itself as the place to: “centralise all of your work, processes, tools and files into one Work OS. Connect teams, bridge silos, and maintain one source of truth across your organisation.”
The option to use a bank of premade templates make it easy to adapt to your team's needs. All types of communication can exist coherently, recording the journey from brainstorming, task assignment, edit notes to due dates – this makes the software ideal for teams that work creatively as well as collaboratively. Email communication can be attached easily to keep track of team comms to external partners or contacts. Notifications are very frequent.
No Gantt charts. The platform has a lot of features that can make initial integration difficult, particularly if migrating from spreadsheets is an example. For some people, the user interface can feel quite busy in appearance. The App is not as efficient as its desktop counterpart. Notifications are very frequent.
Free for basic access for you. Basic £7 per person a month. Standard £9 per person a month. Pro £14 per person a month.
With a net worth of $425 million, Trello was founded by Joel Spolsky and Michael Pryor in 2014 and boasts 50 million users. Tapping into the new model of working from home seen across the globe, Trello says: “From high rises to the home office, the way your team works is unique–accomplish it all with Trello.”
Trello’s strengths lie in to-do lists, if this is a way of working you prefer this may well be the ideal format as it is easy to navigate and operates with an easily buildable user interface. Scoring an 8.4/10 on TrustPilot.
The automation of recurring tasks or repeats makes the process very easy to replicate. Various users can edit one task at the same time – ideal for collaborative project management. Simple dashboard format and aesthetic.
The limitations of the pricing strategy leave a lot of the best features behind paywalls. The IOS app is not as efficient as the desktop functions. No Gantt charts. Can be difficult to see an overview on far-reaching/large time frame projects.
Free for up to 10 boards. $6 monthly for Standard access. $60 Annually for Standard access. $12.50 monthly for Premium access. $120 annually for Premium. $17.50 monthly per user for Enterprise. $210 annually per user for Enterprise.
Asana, Notion, Monday… Digital workflow platforms are having a boom, here we break down the pros and cons of the industry leaders so you can find the right fit for your business
By Hannah Connolly
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