Simplifying SMB Processes

No-code vs Off-the-Shelf Project Management tools, ClickUp and Asana

May 11, 2023
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Simplifying SMB Processes
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In today's fast-paced business environment, effective project management is a critical success factor. While off-the-shelf tools like, ClickUp, and Asana have dominated the landscape with their robust features, the rise of no-code platforms has introduced a new contender to the arena. No-code platforms offer an intriguing alternative, promising unprecedented flexibility and customisation potential. This article explores the unique benefits of no-code tools and contrasts them with traditional off-the-shelf project management software, helping you make an informed decision for your organisation's needs.


Noloco is an example of a no-code web app builder that provides the flexibility to create a custom project management tool tailored to your specific needs. It is often used as a platform to build internal tools and business applications to solve business problems that can be built by non-technical employees at your company.


1. Customisation

Noloco allows you to build a tool that fits your exact needs. You can customise workflows, data fields, user roles, and more. This level of customisation means you can create a tool that aligns perfectly with your business processes.

2. Scalability

As your business evolves, your Noloco app can adapt and grow with you. You can add new features and functionality as needed, without being limited by predefined templates or structures.

3. Unique Solutions

Noloco lets you create unique solutions that might not be possible with off-the-shelf tools. This could provide a competitive edge, particularly for businesses with non-standard processes.

4. External Client access

No-code app builders like Noloco often contain features that enable you to provide secure access to your external users such as Clients and Freelancers. This means you can choose to share a limited view of your app data stored inside your custom-built project management tool. Existing customers using Noloco in this way reap the benefits of enhanced productivity and increased client satisfaction. 

Increasing Satisfaction by involving the customer in your project delivery processes

"Finally our customer value rating average has risen from a global rating of 4.75 to 4.95 by creating a procedure to capture timely task approval and post-delivery feedback from clients within our Noloco app"

-Juan Sebastian Rohrmann, Founder of Singular Design - built a project management tool & client portal app on Noloco

Gantt charts in Noloco


1. Time Investment

Building a custom app with Noloco requires an upfront time investment to design and build your tool according to your needs. However, this investment can pay off in the long run with a tool that fits your needs perfectly. The good news regarding this tradeoff is that with a no-code platform like Noloco, it’s possible to spin up an application in a couple of hours or days. It all depends on how much time you’re willing to set aside to build your project management app. You may also consider recruiting a no-code expert to help you if time is a major concern.

2. Learning Curve

While Noloco was designed to be user-friendly and intuitive, there's still a learning curve. For example, you may need to set aside time to review video tutorials and guides to get you up to speed on your chosen no-code app builder. It’s also beneficial to join the no-code platform’s community to learn from other users and to crowdsource knowledge on the tool. 

3. Bring Your Own Data

Some people may see this as a con initially, however, to leverage the advantages of no-code flexibility and customisation, you must select and design a database to support your app. Fortunately, many no-code platforms offer convenient options, including in-house databases, pre-built templates, or connectors to accessible no-code databases like Airtable. It may require some work at the beginning but it is the key to unlocking greater customisation and design control. Unlike no-code app builders, off-the-shelf platforms eliminate the need for you to worry about the database concept while using their product., ClickUp, and Asana

These are off-the-shelf project management tools with a range of features suitable for most businesses.


1. Ease of Use

These tools are designed to be user-friendly and can be used right out of the box with minimal setup.

2. Pre-Built Features

These platforms come with a wide range of pre-built features designed specifically for project management. This includes task management, time tracking, reporting, and more.

3. Internal Collaboration

These tools often include robust collaboration features, allowing for real-time communication, file sharing, and more.



1. Limited Customisation

While these platforms offer some level of customisation, they may not be able to accommodate unique or complex business processes as effectively as a custom-built tool. This often means you must bend your processes to fit the mould of the tool you are using as opposed to moulding the tool to support your custom business workflows.

2. Cost

As your team grows, the cost of these platforms can increase significantly. In some cases, you may end up paying for features you don't use.

3. Dependent on Provider for Updates and New Features

You depend on the provider to roll out new features or updates, which may or may not align with your specific needs. After months, if not years, invested in an off-the-shelf platform, many customers may eventually outgrow the platform due to missing features. This can be a great reason to consider building a custom project management tool with a no-code platform which often provides greater control over the app design and a richer set of app features to choose from. 

4. External User Access

Outside of basic file sharing, many off-the-shelf project management platforms offer primitive features to provide external users access to your data inside these tools. This may inhibit you from building a highly secure front-end app for Clients or Freelancers to collaborate with your project management teams and increase efficiency. 

The Final Takeaway 💡💭

Choosing between a flexible no-code app builder like Noloco and an off-the-shelf project management tool like, ClickUp, or Asana largely depends on your specific needs, resources, and business processes. 

If you require a high level of customisation to build a custom project management app for your team and are willing to invest time learning how to create a custom tool, Noloco may be an excellent choice. Not forgetting to mention Noloco, can be leveraged beyond your immediate project management tooling needs, as a platform to build other critical internal business apps. When considering your broader tech stack, it's essential to consider how it can affect your team and overall IT setup. Too many individual point solutions can lead to a siloed workforce and a fragmented IT landscape to manage at your organisation. 

On the other hand, if you’d prefer a more simplistic out-of-the-box point solution with pre-built features,, ClickUp, or Asana might be more suitable.

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