A picture is worth a thousand words—but sometimes it feels like you need a million words to help your team get the picture of the progress you’re making. Especially in a world where more and more work is going online, it can be hard to keep your team motivated, and help them see the progress they’re making.
One great tool to do this is Kanban boards—little tiles indicating tasks, that you drag to the next section when they’re complete. This hacks into your brain’s psychology, as you physically move the tasks from to-do to in-progress to done. It makes your accomplishment feel tangible, and keeps you motivated!
But which Kanban board do you use? You could design one yourself, but that would take a ton of time (and coding skills). You could use an app—but there are several dozen ones. And all of those claim to be the best. So which Kanban boards stand the test? Today we’re going to review two of the top competitors, Trello and KanbanFlow, to see which one is best for you.
Ready to find out which has what you need, KanbanFlow vs. Trello? Let’s dive in!
KanbanFlow vs. Trello: Meet the Sites
KanbanFlow is, as the name states, based around Kanban boards, but offers a few extra tools as well. Their mission statement is “Lean project management. Simplified.” so it’s easy to learn, easy to use, and easy to customize to your needs.
Adding a new card is as simple as hitting the big green + at the top of any column, and any of your columns can be customized. Need more than just in progress? Hit customize, and adjust it to waiting for feedback, in development, out for delivery, or anything else you need!
Editing these task cards is simple as well. Create a description with bullet points or links, or attach files and spreadsheets. Subtasks are included within larger tasks, and can be marked off individually. Label tasks with to group it with other similar ones, or assign a task to a certain team member. You can comment on a task as well, tagging other team members by using @theirname.
But since project management is all about staying on the same page with your team, KanbanFlow allows everyone to see changes as they’re made, so everyone is up to date. You can assign any task to multiple people, and members get notifications when they are assigned, tagged, or when changes are made to a project that they have “viewing” notifications turned on for. And you can access it from anywhere as well—KanbanFlow works both on your computer, or on an app on your device.
Trello calls those Kanban-tiles cards, and bases its entire system around them. “Trello cards are your portal to more organized work—where every single part of your task can be managed, tracked, and shared with teammates.”
Trello cards function as individual tasks—whether that’s buying groceries, scheduling a meeting, or organizing marketing materials. Each of these cards are organized into lists (such as to-do, in progress, done, and long-term projects), so you can see where each task is in the pipeline. Finally, the lists are on boards—your whole project. On these cards you can have checklists, due dates, attach files, or make comments and assign the card and task to particular teammates.
With Trello, gone are the days of feeling isolated from your coworkers—assignees are broadly displayed on every task, so you can see what everyone is working on, and the progress your whole team is making on their project! As each card gets moved from in progress to complete, your whole team can celebrate together!
And Trello isn’t an outlier to the business world—it is used by employees at Google and Squarespace as well. With a useful mobile app, you’ll be able to take Trello wherever you go.
KanbanFlow vs. Trello: Which is Easier to Use?
KanbanFlow holds your hand a bit more as you learn the ropes—they have a simple onboarding process, which guides you in creating and editing tasks, moving them between columns, and tips and tricks on how to work more effectively.
However, you barely need this onboarding process, because KanbanFlow is so easy to use. Adding a new task is as simple as hitting the big, green + at the top of any column, and all items can be moved simply by clicking and dragging them.
However, KanbanFlow does have a feature that may make it a little harder to use—or maybe just make you more productive. KanbanFlow has a work-in-progress limit. You can only have three items in your in-progress tab at any point—that column won’t accept any new tasks until you complete the ones already in it. According to KanbanFlow, this forces you to finish tasks, and helps you to be more focused and productive. However, it could cause some slow-down in your process if you don’t stay on top of things. But, if you have multiple tasks in progress across different departments, you can get around this works-in-progress limit. By creating different “swimming lanes” for different projects, members, or departments, each lane has its own WIP limit.
But KanbanFlow has some other features that can help make your work faster and easier—such as its filter tool. Want to focus on just marketing tasks? Use their filter to find tasks that are under that label, or belong to a particular user, or have a certain due date. Focus on the things you need to, easily!
KanbanFlow also offers timers, already preset with the Pomodoro technique, as well as time reports and forecasting for paid accounts. Check out our full review of Kanban Flow to see all the productivity tools they offer!
Trello starts you off quickly—one example video of how the process works, and you’re taken to your dashboard. However, it’s very intuitive to use—just hit “new” to create a list, board, or card, and then click on your newly-made item to add more details.
Trello does offer some templates to make getting started quicker as well—ones customized for different types of business, from hairstylists to construction to banking.
But you get more than just an app when you use Trello—you get a personal assistant of sorts. Trello’s automation system, “Butler,” helps you with tasks by moving lists, bringing upcoming deadlines to your attention, and scheduling team member’s assignments. Trello also integrates with many different apps—from Slack to Google Drive to Confluence to Evernote.
KanbanFlow wins here—their onboarding makes sure you can take advantage of every productivity tool they have, and their many different productivity tools makes it easy for you to track your time, see what is taking the most work, and see how your team is doing productivity-wise. While Trello’s assistant has an awesome name (who doesn’t want a personal butler?), in reality, it’s little more than a simple automation system, which you won’t end up using very often.
KanbanFlow vs. Trello: Which is Cheaper?
KanbanFlow offers a free level, with almost free range to most of their tools—including making tasks, boards, and using the timer. However, you don’t have access to any reports.
KanbanFlow’s paid account is less than Trello’s—$5 per user per month. In it, you get access to all reports, integrations with email, DropBox, and others, along with security measures, and the ability to make those different “swim lanes” for different departments. KanbanFlow does offer a 14-day free trial for this tier.
Trello offers a free plan—that will cover most of your basic needs. You can create unlimited cards and add unlimited team members—though you can only create 10 boards and use 50 automations. But you can still assign people to certain tasks, and put due dates on the cards as well.
Trello’s Business plan costs $10/user/month and gives unlimited everything, as well as access to the dashboard view, timeline view, calendar view, and advanced checklists. You also get admin and security features—so this is a great plan for larger businesses that need to keep some customer information private. You can try it for free for 30 days.
KanbanFlow comes out ahead here as well—more tools, for half the price. It’s not much of a competition! However, if you do want to play around with Trello before deciding, you can use their paid-version for free for 30 days, so you’ll be able to truly get a feel for whether it will work well for you.
KanbanFlow vs. Trello: Which is Better?
When it comes down to it KanbanFlow is a better tool. While Trello does offer some great integrations and useful automation tool, KanbanFlow allows you to do more with their time tracking tools, as well as reports. Add onto that the fact that KanbanFlow is cheaper than Trello and only costs about as much as buying each member of your team coffee—you have a winner. Want to see if KanbanFlow will work for you? They offer 14-day trials, so you can test it out!
Ease of Use
- KanbanFlow 4.8/5
- Trello 4/5
- KanbanFlow 3.8/5
- Trello 4.5/5
- KanbanFlow 4.9/5
- Trello 4/5
- KanbanFlow 4.9/5
- Trello: 3.5/5