Asana Milestones Review + Alternative

Asana Review

Milestones guide your project

If you’re reading this, you undoubtedly recognize the importance of milestones in project management as far as how it creates employee buy-in for company initiatives and transparency for project stakeholders.

In short, milestones serve to guide your projects, facilitate reporting, and maintain participant motivation throughout the course of a project. While milestones are appropriate for projects of all sizes, managing large, multi-initiative projects without milestones is tedious if not outright reckless, as it requires a microscopic delve into a project’s status rather than understanding a project’s pace and checkpoints at a high level.

While Asana implemented their Milestones feature in 2019, we find it lacking in functionality as it doesn’t really provide the context milestones need in an automated way.

Why Asana’s Milestones fall short

Asana utilizes project milestones as an alternative task view.

This is a failure by design, as Milestones are not tasks, rather are groups of tasks that, once completed, signify when a phase or “page-turning moment” is completed.

Appearance and Context

Here is an example of a Milestone in Asana’s timeline view. It displays a Milestone as an end-cap to a work stream that, once completed, indicates that the Milestone was achieved.

Milestones in Timeline view

Milestones in Timeline view appear as a different type of task

Here are the same Milestones in their List view.

Milestones in their List view

The problem here is that the concept of closing this workstream with a separate task view minimizes the importance of Milestones from a tracking and organizational standpoint, and instead implies that a single, special task type encapsulates the progress and details up until that point.

If reading a chapter in a book is a milestone, one would assume that all of the pages leading up to the final page in that chapter are involved in accomplishing the goal, and not just the final page.

Asana milestone pricing

Asana’s Milestones cannot be used on their free plan, which in our opinion validates our belief that they’re not conveying the true value of a Milestone in project management, as essentially any project of any size by any organization would benefit from bundling tasks into coherent, time-based checkmarks. In other words, Milestones are (in Asana’s opinion) a nice-to-have that indicates the final step in a process rather than the process itself.

You need to subscribe to Premium or Business plan and to pay at least $10.99 per user/mo — billed annually or $13.49 per user/mo — billed monthly.

Nifty as the alternative for Asana Milestones

Milestones give context to tasks

Nifty views Milestones as a collection of tasks that are achieved incrementally. Because of this, Milestones store tasks within them and automate the milestone progress upon the tasks’ completion.

Easy to create and manage

Nifty encourages the use of milestones by offering an easy, flexible, and automated experience.

Creating Milestones

Tasks are easily added, edited, and completed from the Milestone experience, which allows you to pilot your project and gather updates in one place.

Milestone inside Nifty

Unlike Asana’s Milestones, Nifty’s Provide Workflow Guidance

While Nifty offers Task-level dependencies, you can also utilize Milestone-level dependencies for added project guidance. Adding a dependency between Milestones locks the tasks of the dependent milestone until all of the tasks of the dependency milestone are complete to ensure your project’s phases are tackled in the appropriate order. As an added benefit, dependent Milestones will shift each other’s start and end dates when other Milestones change to ensure your project structure is maintained through ever-changing deadlines.

asana milestones

Can you import Asana Milestones into Nifty?

If you are currently using Asana milestones but you cannot find a perfect match within it, there is a way to export them along with your tasks, files, and projects on the whole into Nifty!

Import projects

In just two clicks you can import complete Asana projects into Nifty Project Management without losing your previous project data.

Advantages of Nifty Milestones

  • Milestones encapsulate the process and not just the end-result
  • Milestone progress is automated through task completions
  • You can use Milestones on Nifty’s free version for teams up to 10 users with expanded, cross-project overviews on any of the paid plans
  • You can share or hide Milestones from project Guests (&clients)
  • You can set Milestone Dependencies
  • You can view, add, edit, and complete all tasks tied to a Milestone

Go ahead and try Nifty for free today! 🎉