While Trello is a good option for startups and beginners in project management, seasoned experts usually need more advanced features to get their projects to success. Considering its limited functionality, lack of project insights and reporting, Trello is, to put it bluntly, not enough if you want to have adequate control over your resources, project progress, and risks. If you are looking for a next-gen Trello alternative, here is an overview of the most relevant options you can switch to when upgrading your project management toolset.
- First of all, what is Trello?
- Why you might need a Trello alternative
- Signs you’ve outgrown Trello
- Apps like Trello, but better
First of all, what is Trello?
Trello is one of the most recognized Kanban-driven collaboration software in the market. With its simple and user-friendly interface, you can start organizing your workflow within a few minutes, arranging your tasks by categorized columns like “to-do”, “in progress”, and “done”. What makes Trello so popular today is A — it has a free version (with limited features), B — it is very easy to use, and C — it gives you good integration options.
Trello is exactly what it sets out to be: a simple and effective tool for managing projects. The strengths of it include clear, uncomplicated navigation, and an intuitive setup. Even if you have never used Kanban software before, Trello seems straightforward enough to adapt to without much trouble.
However, as your company grows and your team expands, there might come a point where Trello’s features will just not be enough for you to organize and manage projects efficiently. The tool is great for small, self-supporting teams but can quickly become overburdened when there are more moving parts to the organizational puzzle.
And this is where you start looking for something better than Trello.
Why you might need a Trello alternative
If you identify as a small company with a limited team and a simple schedule, Trello might be just the thing for you. But if your work setting is any more complex than that, the tool will only make your project management experience tangled so you will eventually find yourself in search of an alternative to Trello. Despite its simplicity, there are a lot of essential features the tool is missing — Gantt chart, dependencies, time tracking, budget management, to name a few.
Holition, an innovation studio from the UK, switched from Jira to Trello because they liked its cross-platform integrations and felt it was “dead simple to use”. However, it wasn’t long before they realized that the tool wasn’t exactly meeting their needs:
“Trello didn’t have the different levels of insights that Jira offered like user stories and cross-project management. In addition, we were missing a timeline view of all of our projects and product roadmap,” says Matt, Head of Operations at Holition.
In Matt's opinion, Trello is not a bad solution, but it's too open-ended and takes a lot of time and admin work to structure the processes.
Signs you’ve outgrown Trello
Cutting to the chase, here are some classic indicators that will help you decide if it’s time to start looking for a Trello replacement:
- There are more than 10 members in your team. Admit it, it's difficult to keep track of every single task and team member when the business is growing. If you have a small team, you might find that Trello or other project management applications work fine for you to stay on top of projects. But as your team gets larger, it becomes more and more important to implement software that can keep up with the load.
- You feel an urgent need to level up your workload management. At one point or another, you'll feel the need to balance your staff´s workload for better efficiency. This can only be achieved with a portfolio view of all your team members and what's on their plate. One way to get that is to consider a Trello alternative with resource management functionality.
- It’s hard to plan and manage your team capacity with a basic Kanban board only. Another thing that is missing in Trello, but may be present in one of its alternatives is the ability to predict when you need to hire new people. Kanban boards are indispensable tools and they fit perfectly to increase your team productivity and improve the flow. But, if there’s one thing that they lack, it would be the ability to manage your capacity.
- You can’t really measure your project performance. It’s hard to get a good feel for project progress if you're trying to measure it in Trello. Especially for stakeholders, it would be good to have a single source of truth to keep tabs on how the project is progressing.
- You manage many projects at the same time. Managing several projects in parallel is already a tell-tale sign not to use Trello. Apps that provide a single view on your multiple project's progress would be a better option if you don't want to flit from one project to another in search of the answers to your questions. Consider software that supports cross-project planning as well as advanced resource planning.
No denying, there comes a time when you need to move beyond Trello, and here are the best apps to replace it.
Apps like Trello, but better
There are several Trello alternatives out there, some of which have been around since the beginning and have evolved with their users’ needs (as they should).
1. Forecast — one solution to run all your project operations
If you are looking for the best Trello alternative that can cater to all your project needs — Forecast should be your go-to tool. Much like Trello, it makes project management simple and profitable, but it also takes you to a whole new game level.
With Forecast, you will be working with an AI-native platform which, along with Kanban boards and Scrum boards, gives you a project timeline view and the ability to manage projects in sprints.
But project management doesn’t revolve around Kanban boards or Scrum alone. You might also need a way to secure effective cross-project planning, budgeting, retainers, timesheets, and resource management. Luckily, Forecast can give you everything you need to plan, manage, and track projects from the very beginning till the very end in one intelligent automated platform. And here’s a bonus point: when going from Trello to Forecast, you can make a smooth switch between the two tools by importing all of your data from one platform to the other.
No doubt, Forecast is more complex than Trello so it will take a bit more time and effort to adjust to, but it’s mostly going to be smooth sailing after that. You can book a demo, sign up for a free 14-day trial, and choose a paid plan later on which will usually range between €27 and €46/ month per person.
2.ClickUp — a Trello competitor with a free plan
ClickUp is popular project management software where you can use Kanban boards to plan, schedule, and manage your projects. Unlike Trello, this tool will give you access to a wider arrangement of features, including Gantt charts and timelines. Users also get to schedule tasks, subtasks, and even chat with their team members to enhance collaboration.
You can get a free plan with all the basic features included or upgrade your plan to get access to more features for $5/ month per user.
3. Monday.com — a good option for customization features
Monday.com is one of the strongest Trello competitors in the current market. It offers you multiple workload management options: you can organize it into a Kanban board, a list, a map, or a spreadsheet. Another good thing you get to enjoy here is their reporting feature, which will make it easier for you to track project progress.
Getting a plan with Monday.com will cost you $17/ month for two users.
4. Paymo — a simple software like Trello, with more features available
Paymo is a project management tool that can help you in resource scheduling, time tracking, project planning, accounting, file proofing, and team collaboration improvement. You get to create projects, monitor their progress with the time tracking feature, and manage your workflow with different types of task views like Gantt Chart, list, table, or a Kanban board.
With Paymo, you’re looking at a price tag of $9.56/ month per feature, but you get to try a free trial first. If you can make do with a limited number of features, there is a free version available.
5. Asana — a tool similar to Trello with a focus on task management
Asana is usually a popular find if you try looking for apps like Trello. It is a user-friendly tool that offers you lots of integrations to make your workflow smooth. Here you get to enjoy detailed project overviews, Gantt charts, list views, and good old Kanban boards. Another good feature many users enjoy is time tracking: it makes it easy to manage your project timelines.
The tool offers you multiple plans to choose from: a Basic version for free, a Premium version for $9.99/month per user, and a Business version for $19.99/month per user.
6. Proofhub — a simple solution for effective planning
Proofhub and Trello are similar, but the former works better for bigger projects and teams. Along with its simple interface and native time tracking, you might benefit from their dependency management feature and detailed project reporting.
There is no free plan here, but you can purchase their Essential Version for $55/month, covering 40 projects and giving you 15GB of cloud storage space, or Ultimate Control Version for $99/month, which will unlock additional features, 100GB of cloud storage, and the option of having an unlimited number of projects.
7. Teamwork — easy-to-use project management software similar to Trello
Teamwork is another popular solution in the pool of tools that look like Trello, but it can offer you many advanced features Trello is missing. The list includes but is not limited to workload and portfolio management, time tracking, reporting dashboards, board view, and Gantt charts. Unlike Trello, this tool will enable you to run multiple complex projects at the same time.
There is a 30-day free trial available, and then you can choose a plan for $10 or $18/ month per user, depending on the capacity of your projects and the features you need.
8. Wrike — the best team collaboration tool among Trello competitors
Wrike is a great project management option and a very strong Trello competitor offering you real-time collaboration support and detailed reports coupled with real-time updates on your project progress. On top of the basic features, you also get to make use of task prioritization, time tracking, and solid workflow management.
For teams of up to five members, Wrike offers a free version, but if you need more people onboard, there is a Professional plan for $9.80/month per user if you have a maximum of 10 people, and a Business plan for $24.80/month per user for teams with as many as 200 members.
9. Kanbanize — the leading Kanban platform
Kanbanize is a great tool if your focus lies within agile project management. You can plan projects, visualize and optimize your workflows, break everything down into small tasks, track project progress, account for dependencies, and unite cross-functional teams. Because you have access to real-time data, there is no need to chase after regular status updates and reporting. With its customizable Kanban boards and powerful analytics, this tool will bring simplicity and transparency to your projects.
Using Kanbanize will cost you from $149 for 5 users/month.
Finding a tool that makes a perfect match with your business and project needs is paramount for your company to nail one project after another, paving the way towards new heights. Although there is a lot of noise around Trello, it is a far cry from the perfect project management solution, especially considering all the other tools available in the market today. To steadily scale your company, be sure to equip your team with the project management solution that will remove obstacles, not create new ones.