Complex projects, both individual and team-based, entail many moving parts including tasks, deliverables, milestones, collaboration, dependencies and most importantly of all, a clear and discernible map for what lies ahead. Project management software is a key ingredient to achieving business and employee success. Therefore, finding the right software that can help provide these elements will keep companies on the straight and narrow path to victory.
Two such prominent project management platforms are Trello and Todoist. These products can serve the needs of any business via comprehensive features that are both easy to learn and easy to use as well as being affordably priced, and I would qualify them as among the best project management tools I’ve encountered. Moira Alexander recently shared her views on the best project management software as well, including Trello. Now let’s take a deep dive comparison between Trello and Todoist.
SEE: Feature comparison: Time tracking software and systems (TechRepublic Premium)
What is Trello?
Trello is a browser-based project management ecosystem that can tackle large or small projects. It works by creating cards resembling sticky notes; the cards represent tasks that can be assigned to users. These cards are then pinned to boards, whereby each board is a particular project. It’s simple to organize cards based on status — e.g., To Do, Doing and Done.
Attachments to cards allow users to add relevant files, and plug-ins known as power-ups make it easy to add further functionality to Trello, such as time tracking, Jira/Gmail/Microsoft Teams access, custom fields, bulk actions and much more. Workspace commands, also known as Butler commands, are basically automatic actions or rules executed on a Trello board when activities occur, such as when a card changes status. For example, if a card is moved from In Progress to Done, a Workspace command can then archive the card.
Trello’s simplicity makes it easy to see an array of projects at a glance as shown below.
I have worked extensively with Trello and enjoyed its breadth of features as well as the lack of any training requirements.
Trello’s free version allows unlimited cards, 10 boards per workplace, unlimited power-ups per board, unlimited storage, 10 MB file uploads, 250 Workspace command runs per month, custom background and stickers, an unlimited activity history log, assignee and due dates, 2-factor authentication and iOS, along with Android mobile apps.
Trello’s standard version contains all the basic version elements plus unlimited boards, advanced checklists, custom fields, 250 MB file uploads, 1,000 Workspace command runs per month, single board guest access and saved searches.
Trello’s premium version contains all the standard version elements as well as dashboard, timeline, workspace table, calendar, workspace calendar and map views for a holistic picture of ongoing and upcoming work. Unlimited Workspace command runs are also included, along with admin and security features, workspace-level templates, collections, observers, priority support, Google Apps sign-on capability and simple data exports.
Trello’s business version contains all the premium version elements, plus unlimited workspaces, organization wide permissions / visible boards, public board management, multi-board guests, attachment permissions, power-up administration and free single sign-on and user provisioning with Atlassian Access (related to JIRA or Confluence).
Pricing is $0 for the free version, $5 per month for standard users, $10 per month for premium users and $17.50 per month for business users.
What is Todoist?
Todoist is a multi-platform task-tracking environment that runs on an array of operating systems and devices, including Windows, Apple, Chromebooks and even smartphone watches. It also offers extensions for browser and email clients, which save webpages as tasks.
Like Trello, Todoist offers a clean and simple interface, along with a Karma feature, which measures productivity charts and statistics. The more productive you are, the better your Karma rating.
Todoist uses labels much like Google has done in order to sort out related tasks and their status. Filters also come in handy to show tasks based on certain criteria, such as by urgency, assigner involved (for instance, something my boss assigned to me would be considered higher priority than a typical non-urgent end-user request) or departments or dependencies involved. Reminders can be set both on a time and location basis, the latter of which I find truly intriguing. That would have come in handy when I worked in an on-premises office by pinging me when I entered the data center to present the tasks I needed to accomplish in the room.
Todoist offers a simple yet comprehensive at a glance mapping of your work and goals, as well as how best to plan out your time and daily structure.
Todoist’s starter version allows five active projects, five collaborators per project, 5 MB file uploads, three filters and a one-week activity history log.
Todoist’s power users version allows 300 active projects, 25 collaborators per project, 100 MB file uploads, 150 filters, time and location-based reminders, an unlimited activity history log and themes and auto backups. Better Karma options are also available.
Todoist’s business version adds onto the power users version, upping the limit to 500 active projects, 50 people per project, a team inbox, team billing, admin and member roles and priority support.
Pricing is free for starters, $3 per month for power users and $5 per month for the business version.
SEE: Project management software: What features are necessary for marketing teams? (TechRepublic)
How to decide between Trello and Todoist
Trello and Todoist are both examples of powerful, detailed, quality project management software that can help workers navigate through their days, weeks, months and beyond on the job.
While I wouldn’t designate one product as better than the other, I see Trello as more of a group-based productivity tool and Todoist as more of a power business user productivity tool, and I believe the pricing models support my assessment.
Collaboration and information sharing is equally powerful in both products, but I would choose Trello for my day job as a system administrator at a global corporation, and Todoist for my freelance job as a technical writer to keep my personal endeavors, goals and contacts well organized.
Top project management software recommendations
monday.com Work OS is the project management software that helps you and your team plan, execute, and track projects and workflows in one collaborative space. Manage everything from simple to complex projects more efficiently with the help of visual boards, 200+ ready-made templates, clever no-code automations, and easy integrations. In addition, custom dashboards simplify reporting, so you can evaluate your progress and make data-driven decisions.
Rocketlane is purpose-built to run customer facing projects. It uniquely ties project management, document collaboration, and communication to help teams hit their project goals, accelerate time-to-value, and elevate the customer experience.
Tackle complex projects with Wrike’s award-winning project management software. Break projects into simple steps, assign tasks to team members, and visualize progress with Gantt charts, Kanban boards, and calendars. Manage resource allocation and forecasting with software that’s easy to launch. Automation and AI features strip away time-consuming admin tasks so you can do the best work of your life. Streamline your practices, align your team, and ensure you hit deadlines and stay on budget.
Smartsheet is an online work execution platform empowering organizations of all sizes to plan, manage, automate, and report on work. Over 80,000 brands rely on Smartsheet for project and work management.
BigTime is a leading Professional Services Automation (PSA) software that helps you scale your business by giving you the ability to track and act on your operational metrics. Even with remote work, easily manage time, expenses, and billing for multiple projects all at once, and quickly identify areas of opportunity with advanced features like resource allocation and custom reporting. With BigTime Wallet and client portal, you can get paid faster using custom invoicing and payment processing.