The best GDPR-Friendly Alternatives to Asana & Co: A Comparison of awork, MeisterTask, OpenProject, and Stackfield

Julia Reis & Silvia Tosatto

As collaboration becomes increasingly complex, it is essential to have tools that make task management, project management and communication easier. With teams working remotely and sometimes even across different time zones, having a centralized platform to manage your work has become essential. 

Tools like Asana, and Trello have emerged to be the go-to solutions for many organizations, providing a wide range of features and integrations to help teams manage projects more efficiently. 

However, if you take data protection and sovereignty seriously, you might also want to consider project management software solutions that are fully GDPR-compliant - and not only when booking the most expensive enterprise versions. This is especially important when you plan to work with any personal internal or client data within your project management software.

Project management tools like awork, MeisterTask, OpenProject and Stackfield, which are all based in Germany, have emerged as possible alternatives to the global players that can guarantee you and your company a GDPR protected environment to manage your day-to-day collaboration.

In this article, we will compare these four tools in terms of their pricing, usability, features, integrations and key differentiators. By the end of this article, you will have a better understanding of the pros and cons of these tools, their stand-out features, and will be ready to select the best GDPR-friendly alternative for your organization's needs.


awork is a project management tool that provides a user-friendly interface and a range of features to help teams collaborate effectively. You can plan your projects with a list, board and timeline view. 

This tool stands out because it highly facilitates capacity planning, and can therefore help you ensure that no one on your team is overburdened with work, and making it possible for everyone to formulate realistic project timelines. 

A team workload overview feature is available and provides a visual representation of each team member's workload. This overview shows the number of tasks assigned to each team member, along with the due dates for each task. 

Additionally, awork also has critical resource planning features that can help team leaders to assign team members to specific projects and tasks based on their availability. Thanks to the Google and Microsoft calendars integrations, the awork planner provides team leaders with a detailed breakdown of each team member’s capacity and availability in hours. 

With the additional feature of time tracking, awork further allows team leaders to see how much time is being spent on each task and project, thus further facilitating capacity planning.

And awork's customizable task templates feature will further support teams in saving time when planning projects, and estimate the time required for each task and allocate resources accordingly.

Comparing awork to leading project management tools like asana, you will notice that you won’t miss out on useful features like task automations, setting tasks as recurring or dependent on other tasks as well as inviting external collaborators like freelancers to use the tool together with you. 


  • User-friendly interface: awork has a clean and intuitive interface that makes it easy to use for both novice and advanced users.
  • Flexibility: The tool allows you to customize workflows, create project templates, and integrate with various platforms, making it a versatile option for project management.
  • Capacity management: the planner feature and the calendar integration help teams and individuals plan and keep an overview of their capacities in an easy and accessible way. An especially cool feature is that you can simply drag and drop your tasks in your calendar view for more realistic integrated planning and time-boxing. 
  • Useful integrations: The direct integration with sevdesk, lexoffice and HQ makes this tool particularly attractive for any service providers charging their clients by the hour. While the total number of integrations is smaller than that of leading tool providers, you can connect awork with tools like slack, MS Teams, Personio, Google calendar and many more for working seamlessly across your software solutions.


  • Limited reporting: awork's reporting features are somewhat basic compared to some other project management tools, with only a limited range of reports available. 
  • No direct integration of goal tracking: In contrast to some other tools on the market, awork does not (yet?) include an integrated goals section to track OKRs or other team goals.


MeisterTask is a web-based task management tool created by parent company Meisterlabs that allows you to create, organize, and assign tasks to team members. The tool provides a user-friendly interface and integrates with various platforms, including Dropbox, Google Drive, and GitHub. The tool has been gaining popularity in recent years, due to its ease of use and flexible features. 

Its flexibility lies in the fact that MeisterTask's project boards are highly customizable. This allows users to build boards that fit their specific project management needs, and thus create custom fields, labels, and workflows to ensure that project boards are tailored to their team's unique requirements.

Additionally, MeisterTask also allows users to automate checklists, making it easier to manage repetitive tasks. Users can create templates for checklists and then automate them to apply to specific tasks, saving time and ensuring that tasks are consistently completed. MeisterTask also includes a time tracking feature that allows users to track the time they spend on each task, something that not many other management tools have to offer. 

MeisterTask is also closely integrated with two other tools designed by Meisterlabs, namely MeisterNote, that allows for team collaboration on document editing, and MindMeister, a platform for mind mapping. 


  • User-friendly interface: MeisterTask has a clean and intuitive interface that makes it easy to use for both novice and advanced users.
  • Flexibility: The tool allows you to customize workflows, create project templates, and integrate with various platforms, making it a versatile option for project management.
  • Collaboration: MeisterTask offers collaboration features such as comments, file attachments, and task assignments, as well as integrations with popular communication tools like Slack and Microsoft Teams.
  • Automations: MeisterTask offers a range of automations that can help to streamline workflows, including rule-based triggers and task assignments.
  • Free version available: the fact that MeisterTask offers a free version that still allows for multiple team members to collaborate makes it accessible to teams that might have limited financial capabilities but that might still be looking to enhance their collaboration through a project management tool. 
  • Mobile app: MeisterTask offers a fully-featured mobile app for iOS and Android, allowing users to stay on top of tasks and projects while on the go.


  • Kanban view only: MeisterTask only allows a Kanban view with an additional timeline function, and it is therefore not possible to visualize tasks in a list format. 
  • Limited customization: While MeisterTask allows some customization, it is not as flexible as other project management tools and may not meet the needs of more complex projects.
  • Scalability and pricing: a number of users have complained about the structure of the tool’s pricing packages, as these often do not align with the needs of smaller startups and enterprises. In fact, the free version is often reviewed to be too limited and paid plans turn out to be too expensive for smaller organizations. 


OpenProject is an open-source project management software that is particularly popular with data-sensitive organizations like public institutions, universities or health organizations. One of its standout features are its extensive project planning and tracking tools. OpenProject allows users to create detailed project plans, including tasks, milestones, and deadlines, and track progress towards those goals in real-time. 

Another key feature of OpenProject is its collaboration capabilities. In fact, the tool features a forum and wiki, which can be helpful for sharing knowledge and facilitating collaboration within teams.

Additionally, OpenProject seeks to accommodate teams with various project management styles. The tool offers project overviews in list, GANTT and agile kanban board style. In addition, its Scrum project overview is specifically designed for agile teams and includes features such as sprint planning, backlog management, and burndown charts. This option is ideal for many tech development projects using agile methods. 

OpenProject also offers a powerful reporting and analytics tool that provides insights into project performance, resource allocation, and team productivity. This can help teams identify areas for improvement and optimize their workflows accordingly.

One of the most significant advantages of OpenProject is that it is open-source and free to use, making it an excellent option for smaller teams or organizations with limited budgets. However, it also offers a paid enterprise version with additional features and support for larger teams or organizations with more complex needs.

Overall, OpenProject's comprehensive project planning and tracking capabilities, collaboration features, reporting and analytics tools, and integrations make it a versatile project management solution for teams of all sizes.


  • Comprehensive project management tools: OpenProject offers a wide range of tools for project planning and tracking, including Gantt charts, agile boards, issue / bug tracking and time tracking.
  • Collaboration: OpenProject provides a centralized location for team collaboration, with features such as discussions and wikis. Their new integration with Nextcloud facilitates easier document management. 
  • Customization: OpenProject can be customized to fit the specific needs of your team or organization, with options for custom fields, workflows, and templates.
  • Open-source and free: The basic version of OpenProject is open-source and free to use, making it accessible to small teams and startups.
  • Cloud or On-premise: You can choose between the cloud version and installing the software on your own infrastructure.


  • Steep learning curve: Due to the wide range of features and functionalities, OpenProject can have a steep learning curve for new users.
  • Complex user interface: Some users may find the user interface to be initially overwhelming and confusing, particularly when compared to other project management tools.
  • No mobile app: At this point in time, there is mobile app for OpenProject available, making it a bit harder to edit tasks when you are not at your desk. 


Stackfield is an all-in-one collaboration tool that combines project management, task management, and communication. Differently from the other tools we analyzed, Stackfield allows team members to communicate directly with each other and create chat channels, almost like on Slack or MS Teams.

This makes Stackfield an ideal solution for organizations looking for an all-in-one solution for their collaboration needs. 

Moreover, Stackfield is known and praised for its advanced security features, including robust data encryption capabilities. The platform uses end-to-end encryption to ensure that all user data, including messages, files, and task information, is protected from unauthorized access. When a user creates a new project on Stackfield, the platform generates a unique encryption key for that project, which is then used to encrypt all the data associated with that project. This means that only authorized users with the correct encryption key can access the data, and even the Stackfield team cannot read it.

Additionally, Stackfield uses the AES-256 encryption standard, which is a widely accepted and highly secure encryption protocol. Therefore, for teams that are highly concerned with data protection and security, surely the AES-256 encryption will be a selling point. 


  • All-in-one solution: Stackfield combines project management, task management, and communication in one tool, making it easy for teams to collaborate.
  • Security: Stackfield has end-to-end encryption and advanced security features, making it a secure option for organizations that deal with sensitive information.
  • Flexibility: Stackfield allows you to customize workflows, create project templates, and integrate with various platforms, making it a versatile option for project management.
  • Cloud or On-premise: You can choose between the cloud version and installing the software on your own infrastructure (from 100 users).


  • Complexity: The advantage of being an “all round tool” brings a wide range of features and use cases with it. Initially, users might need some time to get fully acquainted with the software.
  • Pricing: In comparison to some other tools we’ve looked at, there is no free plan available and the general price point is slightly higher than that of some other tools.

At a glance

We have created a simple comparison table that can help you gain a quick summary overview of these four german-based project management tools. Here you will find a summary including starting prices for each tool, integrations available to users, a breakdown of the most critical features of a project management tool, and what we deemed to be the most distinctive features of each tool. 

Ready to choose your project management software?

Before taking your final decision, we would recommend you to start a trial phase with your top 2-3 options to check which solution best fits to your personal working style and your organization’s processes. 

It can also be helpful to check out customer reviews on pages like or OMR Reviews.

You don’t think you can handle this selection process and implementation on your own?

✉️ Reach out to us to discuss options for support in an initial call. 

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Disclaimer: Please note that all information mentioned in this table was accurate as of 20 March 20 2023. Pricing as well as feature overviews are subject to change. We encourage you to check out the most up to date information on the providers’ websites.

Full disclosure: Julia Reis Consulting has been collaborating with OpenProject (one of the tools reviewed above) in the past. However, we’ve not received any payment for including them in this blog article. 

March 28, 2023