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Let’s take this offline

I have an old wifi only iPad which I carry around and use it for simple tasks like reading and editing documents.  I don’t really want to use my iPhone’s hotspot as I have very limited data and snap chat stories take a large piece of my data cake.  I’m definitely not willing to sacrifice daily dog videos for productivity.

Kanban style project collaboration apps are quite popular nowadays and the team here at conceptcrunch have been exploring these apps to find the best one that suits our style for a while now.  Trello, Asana and Microsoft Planner are our contenders.

The three apps provide similar functionality so the deal breaker, at least for me, was going to be offline functionality as I am constantly on the move and I prefer to use my wifi iPad rather than my phone or run around trying to find a wifi hotspot.

I put the three apps to the test.

Please note that I am using the Free versions of Trello and Asana while MS Planner comes with our Office 365 subscription.  I have also synced all three apps the last time I was on the Internet.

Trello – iPad app, Version 4.0.7 (2033) & Asana – iPad app, Version 5.16.0

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I’m putting both Trello and Asana under the same header because the main functionality like creating, editing and assigning tasks as well as making comments worked for both of them.

The only difference is that Trello allows you to also move the tasks around the board.  Asana does not.

In Asana, you can edit the task and set the groups manually.  Exit the edit screen you will see the task moved to the new group.  You just can’t use your mouse to move them around like you would if you were online.

Edit: I found that if I exit the Asana app and reopen it, the group assignment returns to it’s original location.  Trello retained all changes.

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Microsoft Planner – iPhone app installed on iPad, Version 1.0.2

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MS Planner does not have an iPad app so I installed the iPhone version on my iPad.  You can’t really do anything offline in MS Planner apart from viewing tasks.

You can’t edit or add tasks.  It’s disappointing but MS Planner is relatively new to the game so I’ll wait and see if they intend to add offline functionality later down the track.

Considering we’re already paying for an Office 365 subscription, it will definitely be exciting to see if Microsoft plans to provide premium features in MS Planner that would only be available to paid versions of Trello and Asana in it’s future offerings.

Winner : Trello

Trello wins as it allows enough offline functionality to be useful for people who sometimes work offline.

Asana comes a close second but the inability to move tasks to a different group lets it down.  However, Asana still remains an excellent project management tool and it’s Kanban style board is a fairly new addition, so Asana may very well come out on top later as they bring in new improvements.

Microsoft planner is dead last as it doesn’t allow any offline editing at all, doesn’t have an ipad app and requires a paid Office 365 subscription.  But as I have mentioned above, if Microsoft plans to have MS Planner to compete directly with Trello and Asana and offer premium features for no extra cost (apart from the O365 subscription) then MS Planner could very well be a late winner.  So watch this space.

P.S. After making your changes offline, just remember to sync your apps when you have Internet again!

Disclaimer: This review was conducted while sitting in a train and drafted in the Evernote iPad app, Offline. ?