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Airtable vs. Asana: Which app is right for you? [2024]

By Kiran Shahid · March 26, 2024
Hero image with the logos of Airtable and Asana

I've used Asana quite a bit over the years, and a few months ago, a client introduced me to Airtable. It was immediately clear to me how different the tools are: Asana is a standard project management tool focused on managing tasks, where Airable is a flexible database focused on organizing data (which may or may not be tasks).

I spent more time in each tool for this article, navigating all their features to see how they compare.

If you're deciding between Asana and Airtable, hopefully my insights can help you determine which one makes the most sense for you and your team.

Airtable vs. Asana at a glance

It's hard to compare Asana and Airtable in a brief table because they're such different apps at their cores. But this should give you an idea of their main differences—keep reading for more details.



Ideal user

Teams focusing on task and project management, without complex data management needs

Teams requiring complex data management along with their project management


Offers a free basic plan, paid plans start at $10.99/user/month

Offers a free basic plan, paid plans start at $20/user/month 

Ease of use

⭐⭐⭐⭐ Intuitive interface and straightforward features, with a few quirks

⭐⭐⭐ Steeper learning curve due to advanced features and database-like structure


⭐⭐⭐⭐ Offers customizable views and task organization but is limited compared to Airtable

⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐ Unparalleled customization through dozens of field types, infinite views, and an interface-building tool


⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐ 200+ native integrations; also connects with Zapier

⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐ Fewer native integrations compared to Asana, but also integrates with Zapier

Airtable focuses on data management, while Asana focuses on task management 

The main difference between these two apps is that Airtable is database software and Asana is a project management app. But it's not that simple: the data you store in Airtable can be tasks, which makes it a very usable project management tool, too.

In Airtable, data is stored in records (which are equivalent to rows in a spreadsheet). You can include almost any kind of data and add highly customizable fields (columns) to your records. This means you can turn Airtable into a project management app by assigning tasks, adding due dates, and including attachments, among other things.

A table in Airtable

Asana, on the other hand, feels like a standard project management app. It's about managing tasks, not data, so it's a lot more straightforward: you can quickly create, assign, and manage tasks without the need for complex database setup or management. 

You can still view it as a database, but the information it's housing is a lot simpler—and easier to set up.

List view in Asana

But it's not overly simple. Asana's hierarchical structure allows you to break down larger tasks into smaller, more manageable subtasks, and you have a freeform field for a description. Plus, you can include attachments and even add dependencies (cross-referencing other tasks).

A task in Asana, with subtasks and a dependency

If you're looking for a straightforward project management app, Asana is probably better for your needs. But if your projects also include a lot of data management (for example, an editorial calendar with thousands of blog posts), Airtable is a great choice.

Asana is easier to learn, but Airtable offers more customization

Because Airtable is a database, it's a new tool type for most people. If you're familiar with spreadsheets, you can figure it out, but it's definitely not as easy to learn as Asana—especially if you're using it for project management.

Let's look at Asana. When I log in, the Home screen gives me a clear overview of three key areas: My Tasks, Projects, and People

The Asana dashboard

My Tasks provides a personalized view of all my upcoming, overdue, and completed tasks across projects. It's a simple, scannable interface that keeps me on top of my responsibilities. The Projects block offers handy shortcuts to my active projects, and the People section shows me my collaborators and allows me to check on their tasks. 

Asana's project-specific views offer even more granular detail. 

A project view in Asana

And I can easily switch between List, Board, Calendar, and Timeline views to visualize my work in a way that makes the most sense for each project. 

Asana can even help you come up with goals, break tasks into subtasks, and answer your questions—all with AI.

Asana Intelligence creating a goal with AI

Airtable doesn't make it as easy, but it's massively customizable. When I log in to Airtable, it doesn't really give me much to work with.

The Home page in Airtable

Of course, you probably just want to access one of your bases, so you can click to do that. When you head into a base from the home screen, you need to do a lot of setup to get the fields you want, how you want them. With almost 30 field types, you'll need to take time building.

An Airtable base, with the field type dropdown

In addition to all those field types, you can also create as many views of your data as you want. So while Asana hands it to you on a silver platter ("here are all your overdue tasks"), Airtable makes (or lets, depending on how you look at it) you build your own views. This means you can see exactly what you want to see—with filters, groups, sorting, color-coding, and more. It's the most bespoke project management experience you could possibly want.

This is all great, but because there's so much focus on data management, you need to think ahead about how you want to use and view your data. Will a simple Grid view suffice, or do you need a Calendar view for date-based information? Would a Gantt view help you manage resources better? These decisions impact how you structure your base from the start.

And it doesn't end there. Airtable also offers an Interface Designer that allows you to create custom interfaces for your bases. 

While this feature provides even more flexibility and customization options, it adds another layer of complexity that may not be necessary for users with simpler requirements.

This level of upfront planning and decision-making can be daunting for new users who aren't familiar with databases. (But Airtable does have awesome templates that can help you get started—I highly recommend them, even if just to see what's possible.) In contrast, Asana's simpler structure allows users to dive in and start managing their tasks without as much initial setup.

Asana offers better ways to communicate

Asana and Airtable both offer communication features to improve collaboration within their respective platforms, but Asana's built-in tools are more comprehensive.

For starters, every task in Asana has a comment section, but it's not just your average, run-of-the-mill comment box. You can attach files and charts, and even format your message using bulleted lists, sections, and links. 

Adding a comment in Asana's WYSIWYG editor

Airtable's comment feature? Not so fancy. You can tag people, but that's about it. 

Airtable's comment feature

While this simplicity might be fine for quick comments, it can get messy when you need to give detailed feedback or have a more in-depth discussion.

But here's where Asana really steals the show: you can manage comments, mentions, and team conversations all in one place. Each project has a Messages tab where you can send messages to the entire team or just a select few. 

The Messages tab in Asana

This is crucial for when you want to discuss high-level project strategies, share important updates, or have focused discussions without cluttering individual task comments. It keeps the tactical stuff separate from the strategic planning, which is a beautiful thing.

Use it to share wins, celebrate milestones, or even have casual, non-work-related discussions that build team morale and cohesion. 

Both platforms integrate with other tools and connect with Zapier

Both Asana and Airtable have built-in workflow builders that allow you to automate tasks and processes within the platform. Asana has a more extensive library of native third-party integrations compared to Airtable, but both integrate with Zapier, opening up possibilities to connect them with thousands of other apps.

By connecting Asana and Airtable to Zapier, you can automate your project management workflows, sending information across apps, so you have a single source of truth. Learn more about how to automate Asana and how to automate Airtable, or get started with one of these pre-built workflows.

Add new Google Calendar appointments to an Asana task list

Add new Google Calendar appointments to an Asana task list
  • Google Calendar logo
  • Asana logo
Google Calendar + Asana

Create Asana tasks from new Google Forms responses

Create Asana tasks from new Google Forms responses
  • Google Forms logo
  • Asana logo
Google Forms + Asana

Add subscribers to Mailchimp via new Airtable records

Add subscribers to Mailchimp via new Airtable records
  • Airtable logo
  • Mailchimp logo
Airtable + Mailchimp

Add new Typeform entries to Airtable as records

Add new Typeform entries to Airtable as records
  • Typeform logo
  • Airtable logo
Typeform + Airtable

Zapier is the leader in workflow automation—integrating with 6,000+ apps from partners like Google, Salesforce, and Microsoft. Use interfaces, data tables, and logic to build secure, automated systems for your business-critical workflows across your organization's technology stack. Learn more.

Asana vs. Airtable: Which should you use?

When deciding between Airtable and Asana, it's not about crowning one as the ultimate winner, but rather understanding which one matches what you need. While Airtable excels as a database-driven powerhouse and Asana shines as a user-friendly task management tool, both have the versatility to adapt to various situations. 

Choose Airtable if:

  • You need to wrangle complex data as part of your project management

  • Extensive customization is your top priority

  • You're willing to invest time in creating a bespoke experience

Choose Asana if:

  • You're looking for a straightforward project management app

  • Seamless communication is essential for your team

  • Simplicity is important to you

Related reading:

  • Asana vs. Basecamp: Which project management tool should you use?

  • Trello vs. Asana: Which PM tool is better?

  • The best free project management software

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