Trello was one of the early project management tools that helped kanban-style workflows become mainstream for almost any type of business. Trello has continued to improve since its launch in 2011 with added features like dashboards, timelines and tables. It has also completely revamped its card system, which allows for connecting across different boards and even apps.
But in that same time, more project management alternatives have entered the marketplace, and many have exciting features that match Trello’s latest offerings.
If your team’s requirements have surpassed Trello’s features, or if you’re just researching whether there may be a project management tool that is a better fit for your organization, check out how the top Trello alternatives compare to Trello’s features set.
- Why would you need a Trello alternative?
- Best Trello alternatives
- How to choose between the best Trello alternatives
Why would you need a Trello alternative?
Trello’s main strength is its simplicity and easy learning curve; teams and individuals can quickly add new boards and cards without menu-diving or other navigation hassles. However, some users may have outgrown Trello and need features that can handle more complex projects and workflows.
Thankfully, there are numerous project management tools to choose from and each has its own features, strengths and unique abilities. Here are the top alternatives to Trello.
SEE: Hiring kit: Project manager (TechRepublic Premium)
Best Trello alternatives
As a Trello alternative, Asana might just be one of the closest comparisons but with more flexibility—so much so that Asana has a built-in tool to import your Trello boards with one click.
Asana breaks away from the strict board views of Trello and instead focuses on projects. Once Asana is set up, projects can be displayed in multiple views, including kanban.
Asana focuses more on collaboration than Trello by offering tools to facilitate communication and sharing between teams and departments. This can be helpful for creative teams and any other teams that need to share information quickly during projects.
These added benefits do come at a cost, with Asana’s first premium tier coming in at $10.99 per monthly user compared to Trello’s $5.00 per user rate.
Key features of Asana
- Clean and easy-to-use interface
- Import Trello boards right into Asana
- Strong communication and collaborative tools
SEE: Asana review (TechRepublic)
Airtable is unique in that it’s a project management tool that’s based on a spreadsheet and database model. Think of it like a version of Excel or Google Sheets that’s supercharged specifically for project management.
Airtable is perfect for teams with data-intensive workflows. By incorporating the tools of a spreadsheet and database, Airtable helps organize projects that involve large datasets or asset management.
This Trello alternative is also a great fit for teams that prefer to work in spreadsheets as their main way of visualizing and entering data. But don’t worry, users are not locked into a spreadsheet view with Airtable; they can quickly swap between kanban, calendar and other popular views.
Airtable’s pricing is set higher than Trello, with its initial premium tier being $10 per monthly user—double that of Trello’s rate.
Key features of Airtable
- Numerous templates to help with getting started
- Robust data visualization and charting tools
- Built-in chat feature for team members
SEE: Airtable review (TechRepublic)
Hive is a great alternative for larger teams that may have outgrown Trello. In particular, Hive’s analytic features allow project managers and departments to quickly visualize and analyze projects and team performance to spot issues.
In addition, Hive has stronger communications features than Trello’s more simplified “mention” system. Hive includes real-time notifications and a built-in instant messaging system.
Key features of Hive
- Strong communication features
- Powerful analytics for larger teams
- Real-time integrations for popular email solutions
- Slack-like layout that is likely familiar to most users
ProofHub is similar to some Trello alternatives in that it builds on Trello’s core functions and offers more advanced features but without adding undue complexity; this includes ProofHub’s powerful proofing and project management tracking tools that are easily accessible.
ProofHub also offers strong communication features that work better for large organizations than Trello. And, project managers can access all features from almost any part of a project to make adjustments on the fly.
ProofHub is a great alternative to Trello for teams that need more advanced features than what Trello offers while still being easily accessible.
ProoHub has a unique pricing structure that is a flat-rate instead of per-user like other Trello alternatives. Its premium tier is $89 per month, which allows for unlimited users and projects.
Key features of ProofHub
- Great for larger organizations and interdependent teams
- Custom workflows for flexibility
- Online proofing tools
- Custom reporting tools
Similar to Airtable, Smartsheet is a spreadsheet-focused project management tool aimed at helping teams work with large amounts of data and need complex budgeting or asset tracking.
Smartsheet lacks some collaborative features that come with many project management tools. For example, communication is not a priority in Smartsheet, so those who focus on collaboration will probably find Smartsheet too limiting.
Smartsheet is priced closely to Trello, offering its first premium tier at $7 per monthly user.
Key features of Smartsheet
- Powerful spreadsheet features
- Flexible views including Gantt charts
- Robust reporting features to help with budgeting and forecasting
- Detailed permission controls
SEE: Smartsheet review (TechRepublic)
ClickUp is a powerful project management tool that is more similar to Asana in layout and features than the other alternatives featured in this comparison article. ClickUp’s dashboards are slightly more graphical than in Asana, but not as much as Trello.
In terms of features, ClickUp definitely beats Trello. For instance, ClickUp can do kanban boards just as easily as Trello, but with added features like embedded mail and the ability to easily customize the dashboard or switch between views.
ClickUp is ideal for small to medium-sized organizations that may have outgrown Trello’s features set. Its pricing is also equal to Trello, with its first premium tier being $5 per monthly user.
Key features of ClickUp
- Easy to switch between the following views: Board, Calendar, Box, Gantt, Workload, Activity, Timeline, Table and Map view
- Customizable dashboard to show the most important information
- Colorful and intuitive interface that is easy to learn
SEE: ClickUp review (TechRepublic)
Wrike is a great alternative for users who want to take a big leap in features, even beyond what Asana and other project management tools have over Trello.
Wrike’s features set includes many built-in integrations, making most third-party tools unnecessary. This comes with a slightly more complex suite of options that go beyond comparable tools from Asana or ClickUp. These tools are meant for larger organizations and more complex team interactions. Wrike also offers the standard project management views, including kanban and timeline.
Wrike is almost double the price of Trello at the initial premium tier, with a cost of $9.80 per monthly user compared to Trello’s $5.00 per user rate. But, this increased cost per user does come with added advanced features that Trello doesn’t offer.
Key features of Wrike
- Most built-in tools of the Trello alternatives featured in this article
- Pricing offers more value than Trello when comparing features
- Ability to manage large projects and organizations
SEE: Wrike review (TechRepublic)
How to choose between the best Trello alternatives
For project leaders who enjoy the core functions of Trello but now need more customization and workflow options, Asana is the best choice. Asana takes the core functions of Trello and adds the ability to customize workflows more than using Trello’s set processes. Breaking up projects into smaller categories and assigning individual parts to specific team members is easy in Asana, while Trello does not offer this flexibility.
If you need even more features and scalability than Asana or Trello, then Wrike tops that list. However, for project teams with detailed data to track above all else, Airtable and Smartsheet are the top choices.
The bottom line is, with so many choices, there is definitely a Trello alternative to fit whatever project and team workflow you need to manage.