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Shortcut vs. Asana: Choose the most lightweight, powerful, and enjoyable software project management tool

Erika Carter

Okay, we’ve covered how project management tools like Jira and Trello stack up against Shortcut; now it’s time to talk about Asana.

So let’s do that; let’s talk about Asana.

More than a million people use Asana across 190 countries. That sounds like a lot. Why is this? It’s because Asana is a good tool for basic, generic task management.

It also has a lot of features.

Too many features? This is what some would argue. Too many features that also aren’t directly related to software and product development? This is also what some would argue.

The problem with trying to be all things to all people is that you can't please all of the people, all of the time, especially when those people are Software Engineers and Project Managers trying to ship increasingly complex features and code.

In contrast to Asana, some (we?) would argue that Shortcut is simple, intuitive, and fast, offering all the functionality your team needs without the needless complexity - which is why hundreds of organizations have made the switch from Asana to Shortcut.

Shortcut is built by our software team for your software team, helping to optimize modern product development and product collaboration. It’s project management software that’s user-friendly and made for team collaboration - both small teams and large teams.

Views, Integrations, and Reporting Functionality to unblock software development

Shortcut makes it simple for software development teams to relate how their everyday tasks contribute towards larger goals. Asana, on the other hand, does not provide a seamless and easy way to pivot from individuals to squads to goals to timeline views. It does not provide visibility into development progress, performance, and bottlenecks.

Lacking smart filters, Asana requires more clicks, more data entry, and more screens to access relevant data.

Asana also does not provide effective analytics, such as customizable burndown charts, velocity reports, and cumulative flow diagrams, making it nearly impossible to clearly understand how much work can be delivered over time.

Unlike Shortcut, Asana does not have a native GitHub integration. The integration is provided by a third party and requires a separate subscription. It then provides only basic sync capabilities.

Only Shortcut provides a GitHelper and full automate-linking.

The most lightweight, enjoyable platform for software and product development

Because Asana has so many features, many features remain unused while team members struggle to find projects, manage tasks and subtasks, and get visibility into project progress.

Let’s face it: adding features for the sake of adding features is one of the reasons why many teams view Asana as too complex for their requirements, while also simultaneously finding that it lacks key features that are helpful in software development.

The lightweight, focused nature of Shortcut allows teams - especially engineering, design, and product - to spend less time managing work and more time creating and shipping awesome software.

Just because Shortcut is lightweight, however, doesn’t mean we aren’t powerful. Shortcut supports comprehensive project and task management with features like Stories, Epics, Iterations, Teams, Roadmap, and a wide range of agile visualization. Shortcut provides the ability to work on a task list at the smallest level all the way up to tracking the entire company's engineering velocity at the Milestone level.

We prioritize ease of use by giving you all the features you need without overcomplicating things. While Shortcut is very much usable by your entire organization, we take a development-first approach that ensures the needs of product-led teams are met. It’s that simple.

Shortcut is much better for agile project management: easily visualize and organize work by Iteration:

Shortcut has Iterations to help support sprint planning.

You can create Iterations to manage and track the number of Stories and points your team is working on.

  • Add a Story to an Iteration 
  • From the Iterations page, drag and drop
  • From the Stories page, drag and drop 
  • Speed things up by adding Stories in bulk
  • If you’ve ever wanted to see exactly what you should be working on, use the Iterations Detail Page to filter a view that shows your most important work.
  • Use reporting for better prioritization: CFD, Burndown, and Velocity Charts
Visualize and organize work by Iteration

Unlike Shortcut, Asana only has a kanban board to manage your work.

Basic kanban board

Shortcut has much better Roadmap views for effective planning and visualization

Shortcut Roadmaps help you plan, visualize, and communicate work more effectively.

  • Visualize business initiatives to plan and collaborate more effectively
  • Track time lines and due dates and be transparent about strategy
  • Plan and collaborate more effectively on different projects
  • Streamline team communication
  • Track, prioritize, and adjust work directly in the Roadmap 
  • See both Epics and Milestones in a clear way
Shortcut Roadmap

As you can see below, Asana is not granular enough - it looks just like a Kanban board vs a true Roadmap.

Basic Roadmap

Here are a list of features that Shortcut has that Asana DOESN’T have:

  • Purpose-Built for Product Collaboration
  • Granular Permission Controls
  • Feature Parity Across Plans
  • Dedicated Customer Success
  • Quick Filters and Status Views
  • Range of Agile Visualizations
  • Pointing and Estimating
  • Iterations / Sprints
  • Import from Trello

Plans that scale with your team 

Asana is available in four packaged plans – Basic, Premium, Business, and Enterprise. Basic is a free plan that supports project management and tasks and collaboration with up to 15 team members. It offers good functional depth, but much less flexibility.

Premium starts at $10.99 per user/mo. and adds timelines, dashboards, custom fields, unlimited guests, forms, rules, milestones, admin features, and private teams and projects.

Business starts at $24.99 per user/mo. and adds portfolios, goals, workload management, custom rules, forms branching, approvals and proofing, and a few advanced integrations.

Enterprise starts at $59.99 per user/mo. and adds SAML and SCIM support, data export capabilities, custom branding, cross-region back-ups, and service accounts. The company offers volume-based discounting and discounts for non-profits.

Shortcut’s free plan is…free. It enables small teams, startups, and small businesses to manage all ongoing work in Stories, plan multiple springs using Iterations, get tailored reports for quick insights, filter and view Kanban views, and access our Slack, Figma, and VCS integrations.

Our Team plan, at $10 per user/mo., enables multiple software teams to organize and build collaboratively with access to everything in the Free plan plus the ability to see progress on an organization-wide and filterable Roadmap. It also enables you to customize multiple Workflows allowing each Team to work the way they want, organize work by cross-functional Teams, leverage advanced integrations to connect Shortcut with other tools, and keep track of ongoing work with a suite of Reports.

Shortcut’s Business plan, at $16 per user/mo, enables you to access everything in the Team plan, plus you can: organize complex projects with Milestones, easily track plans with an expanded Roadmap, get detailed insights with advanced Reports, use Teams to organize work and process as you scale, access multiple Workspaces for sandboxing and testing support, get priority support and help with migrations and setup.

Our customized Enterprise plan enables mature product-led organizations to scale with everything in the Business plan, plus you can scale your organization with unlimited everything, additional priority customer support, predictable pricing with volume discounts, and SSO, SML, Okta, OneLogin, Azure, and more admin options.

Which one is right for you?


Sign up for a free 14-day trial of Shortcut and discover the most lightweight, enjoyable choice for issue tracking and software project management.

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