Accomplishing a project takes ingenuity and strength. You need to be able to make the plan, execute the plan, and adjust the plan when everything (inevitably) goes off the rails. But what do you do if your team isn’t all on the same page—and if you don’t all know what you’re supposed to be doing?
That’s where productivity management sites come in, to help connect your team and keep you on track. But deciding which app to use is a whole other project in and of itself! With so many apps, with so many different focuses, how do you know which one is right for you?
Fortunately, this isn’t a task you have to schedule in—we did the work for you. Today, we’re reviewing two of the biggest names in scheduling and productivity apps, Trello and Todoist. We’ll lay out the pros and cons of each, how they compare, and who they are better suited for. Let’s get started!
Trello vs. Todoist: Meet the Sites
Trello is a Kanban-style list-making application. Used by both Google and Squarespace, “Trello cards are your portal to more organized work—where every single part of your task can be managed, tracked, and shared with teammates.”
Those Trello cards are the backbone of the whole process. They function as individual tasks—whether that’s buying groceries, scheduling a meeting, or organizing marketing materials. On these cards you can have checklists, due dates, attach files, or make comments and assign the card and task to particular teammates. 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.
Trello is all about the progress of tasks—so when tasks are in progress or completed, they’re moved to the correct list. Since assignees are broadly displayed, you can see what everyone is working on—and how the team as a whole is doing too! You’re able to actually visualize how close you are to the finish line.
On its simplest level, Todoist is an interactive to do list. But as it’s won both the Editor’s Choice in the Google Play Store, and used by NASA, you know it’s a useful tool. The company creates “tools that promote more fulfilling ways to work and live.” So it’s more than just a to-do list, it allows you to delegate work to others, schedule tasks ahead, and organize all your projects and tasks into one place.
Adding a new task is simple—hit the plus button, give a deadline, and the task is ready to go. Todoist has a natural-language system that can easily schedule a task to Monday if you simply start typing “mon.” With a single button you can schedule a task for today, tomorrow, this weekend, next week, or a specific day on the calendar. You can also do more complicated scheduling, like next Thursday, or every second Friday. You can also create reoccurring tasks—one like paying bills, or daily habits—that will appear on their own in your daily to-do-list.
You can make specific topics to include tasks in, whether that’s for a presentation, ordering supplies, or cleaning schedules. You can also add sections to delineate between different parts of your project—have a section for research, for branding, and another social media.
You can delegate tasks to different people as well. Simply start typing @theirname, and they’ll be assigned to the task, and you’ll get notifications when they complete their tasks.
Trello vs. Todoist: Ease of Use
Trello has some good templates to help make getting started easier—no matter what kind of work you’re doing. However, they don’t offer any sort of onboarding system, besides one example video. However, using it is fairly intuitive—hit “new” to create a list, board, or card, and then click on it to edit and add more details.
Trello also integrates with other apps to help you streamline your process. It can integrate with Slack, Confluence, Evernote, and Google Drive. Trello also has an automation system to help you with tasks—aptly named “Butler.” Butler can automate common actions like moving lists, bring upcoming deadlines to your attention, and schedule teammates’ assignments.
Todoist also has templated—but it also has a built-in beginners guide, that walks you through everything you need to know about creating tasks, projects, scheduling, and even gives insight into some of the finer tips of subtasks and reoccurring tasks. Yet Todoist is also very intuitive, with their natural language scheduling making it where you don’t even have to type out the whole word of when you want to schedule something.
Todoist allows you to integrate apps as well, from Calendar to DropBox to Alexa. In fact, you can integrate it with almost any app or program, because Todoist can connect to IFTTT. If you upgrade to Premium, you can also get alerts on your email and phone.
But Todoist also holds another little perk that makes accomplishing tasks easier—it has a built-in reward system, Karma. You earn points by adding tasks, completing your goal-number of tasks each day, and by creating streaks—several days in a row where you’ve crushed your goals! This hacks into the risk-reward part of your brain, giving you extra motivation to get things done.
Conclusion: Trello vs. Todoist Ease of Use
Both Trello and Todoist are both extremely intuitive to use, and make everything from creating new tasks to organizing them easy. Todoist has the slightest hint of an edge here—simply because they offer and onboarding process, and the Karma goal-tracker to help motivate you.
Trello vs. Todoist: Customization
Though Trello is centered on cards, you can customize those cards to add what you wish. You can add comments, checklists, or attach files or photos to particular cards—so you can see what all you need, and what all needs to be done.
You can also customize how you view your tasks with Trello Premium. You can set up a timeline, to see how long things will take; a calendar to see when things are due; or a table to see how everything fits together. Premium users also have their own dashboard, which gives stats on the progress of different tasks.
Todoist is centered around simple tasks—but you can adjust those tasks so they’re easier for you to accomplish. Click and drag a task to rearrange it, or to assign it to a project, or to simply move it to another section. You can also sort your tasks by date, priority, or who they’re assigned to.
Because the design is so simple, you can adjust it to your needs without changing much. College students can use Todoist’s built-in template to track their class schedule; and business owners can track sales and set reminders to get those slides ready for the meeting.
Conclusion: Trello vs. Todoist Customization
Both Trello and Todoist are simple tools—there’s not many bells and whistles that need customization to make it work for you. They work for most everyone. However, Trello does offer a bit more wiggle room—allowing you to add attachments, and view information in different formats.
Trello vs. Todoist: Pricing
You can access Trello for free—and use it for most all of your individual needs. On the free plan, you can create unlimited cards and add unlimited 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/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
Todoist also has a free plan, that works effectively too. You can make all your lists and assign tasks to different team members. However, Todoist Premium barely costs the price of a cup of coffee for a month. Premium costs $4/month (or $3/month if you register for an entire year), and has several tools to help you take more advantage of the app. You can set reminders to alert you on your phone or email. You can use templates to make creating tasks more efficient. You can take advantage of different labels and filters, upload files, and see your tasks displayed in your Calendar App. You’ll also have access to a productivity trends report, so you can see how many tasks you’ve accomplished, and where you’re making progress. They also offer up to 70% off for students and educators, so you can apply for more discounts as well.
Conclusion: Trello vs. Todoist Pricing
Both of these sites have great free versions—but their paid versions are cheap enough that they’re definitely worth all the tools you get. Todoist edges ahead here, simply because of their lower price (only $4/month, with lots of discount options!), which gives you access to productivity reports.
Conclusion: Which is Better, Trello or Todoist?
Both Trello and Todoist are top-tiered apps, who are neck and neck in almost category. When it comes down to it, which app is better is going to depend on your particular needs.
Are you working mainly with a large team? Do you need to see the layout of a project and visualize the entire process? Trello will probably work better for you. Do you want reminders of what you need to do, and want to stay on track to accomplish tasks? Todoist will be a better fit for you.
Fortunately for you, both of these apps offer free versions—and 30-day free trials of their premium versions, that allow you to try them out and see which is best for you! Want to learn more about Todoist? Read our full review here!
Ease of Use: Trello: 4.8/5, Todoist: 4.9/5
Customization: Trello: 4.3/5, Todoist: 4.2/5
Pricing: Trello: 4.9/5, Todoist: 5/5