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The Best Trello Alternatives: 10 Top Kanban Tools To Improve Your Project Workflow

By 22/08/2018 No Comments

Efficient project management is the key to running a successful business, and using the most appropriate workflow app or Kanban tool will help you do it right. Of course, everyone is familiar with Trello, but if you’re looking for an inexpensive or free Trello alternative, you need to know which ones do the job best. That’s why we’re taking a closer look at the best Trello alternative Kanban apps on the market.

Trello is one of the best-known Kanban project management tools available today, and, because it offers a free version, it’s often the go-to choice. However, when you need a little more oomph from your Kanban tools, such as the extra functionality or integrations that don’t come with the free version, you’re going to need to pay for those power ups and added users. Before you sign up for something that doesn’t quite serve your needs, it pays to look at alternatives to Trello before making a decision on which is the best Kanban app for your needs.

Understanding Kanban

Before you go wild with your free alternative to Trello, it helps to know just what you’re using it for. For an in-depth discussion on what Kanban is, you can check out our detailed breakdown on this workflow methodology here. In brief, Kanban is a project management and workflow method that allows you to minimize multitasking, streamline your work in progress efficiency, and improve the speed and quality of the work your collaborative and self-managing team produces.

With the right Kanban board software, you can focus on your priorities, keep your team in the loop about what’s current and what’s coming up, and you can control a steady flow of work, especially in output-heavy environments like production, agencies, support and maintenance. This is a tool that helps you manage agile development, thanks to swimlanes, activity streams, charts, cards and a range of features that help you visualize and manage your workflow.

What Makes A Great Kanban Tool?

Everyone’s needs are unique, but the upside of the Kanban method is that, once you apply it, you can standardize and optimize your workflow with relative ease. That said, there are some tools that do the job better and more effectively than others, which is why we applied a few specific selection criteria when looking into the best alternatives to Trello available on the market. The criteria we used to gauge these alternatives help you select a tool that allows for optimum control over your projects, and include the kind of functionality you want to make Kanban work for you.

  • The Kanban board – organize your cards with work-in-progress limits, swimlanes, sub-columns, “to-do”, “in progress” and “done” column categories, tasks with checklists, attachments, multiple members and time tracking.
  • Kanban Cards – assign tasks with checklists and attachments, offers different views, the ability to link tasks, add task hierarchy to help define cards within cards and assign to resources, and provides Kanban card templates.
  • Analytics/reports – pull and create reports.
  • Automation/business rules/IFTTT – customize the workflow to suit your environment.
  • Integrations – whether the tool integrates easily with other project management or development tools.

Here Are A Few Of The Best Kanban Tools:

SoftwareOverviewFree OptionPriceSite
Trellotrello logo - agile project management toolsRead overviewFreemium from $9.99/user/month.visit website
Hyggerhygger logo - kanban tool trello alternativeRead overviewFreemium

14-day free trial

from $9/user/month.visit website
ZenHubzenhub-logo-kanban-tool-app-trello-alternativeRead overview14-day free trialfrom $5/user/month.visit website
LeanKitleankit-logo-kanban-tool-app-trello-alternativeRead overview30-day free trialfrom $19/user/month.visit website
Blossomblossom-logo-project-management-software-kanban-toolRead overview14-day free trialfrom $19/user/month.visit website
MeisterTaskMeistertask-logo-project-management-kanban-tool-trello-alternative-2Read overviewFreemiumfrom $8.25/user/month.visit website
Taskworldtaskworld-logo-project-management-kanban-tool-trello-alternativeRead overview15-day free trialfrom $10.99/ user/month.visit website
Breezebreeze-logo-project-management-software-kanban-toolRead overview14-day free trialfrom $29/user/month.visit website
Kanban Toolkanbantool-logo-kanban-app-trello-alternativeRead overviewFreemium

14-day free trial

from $5/ user/month.visit website
Kanbanizeagile-tools-easy-kanbanize-fwRead overviewFree trialfrom $99 for 15 users/monthvisit website
trello logo - agile project management tools

Score

95%
  • freemium.
  • $9.99/user/month.

Trello – https://trello.com/

Trello is the best-known of all the Kanban project management tools. Trello is renowned for being highly user-friendly, allowing users to get started within a few minutes and offering straightforward, easily understood tools and functionality. This tool enjoys widespread use and has integrations with Salesforce, Slack, GitHub, Google Drive, Evernote, and many other apps and platforms, made available through upgrades that Trello calls “Power-Ups”. You can configure your own automated flows by integrating Trello with IFTTT (for example, every time a new GitHub bug is detected, Trello automatically creates a card). This configurable approach has the advantage of being lightweight and highly customizable. On the flipside, it does require you to have the ability to clearly think through and set up your automated process as opposed to choosing from a list of pre-configured business rules.

The only thing that we consider a downside of this tool is the lack of expenses and time tracking, although an integration can solve this shortcoming. All around, this is a great tool and has the added advantage of popularity—onboarding Trello is that much simpler because many of your team members are probably familiar with it.

Trello costs from $9.99/user/month. There’s also a free version with more limited functionality.

Summary Of Trello:

  1. The Kanban board: Pass
  2. Kanban Cards: Pass
  3. Analytics/reports: Pass
  4. Automation/business rules/IFTTT: Pass
  5. Integrations: Pass
hygger logo - kanban tool trello alternative

Score

90%
  • free for up to 5 users
  • from $9/user/month
  • free 14-day trial

Hygger – https://www.hygger.io/

Hygger provides a well-rounded view of your projects, allowing you to track milestones and expenses, along with task and project management. Along with Github, Slack, Google Drive, and other apps, the Harvest widget comes pre-integrated in this tool, adding time-tracking to the list of Hygger features. The tool also comes with some simple automation rules such as automatically moving a parent task to “done” when tasks linked to that parent task are marked as “done”.

hygger-screenshot-kanban-tool-app-trello-alternative

A strong selling point for people who are already using Trello and looking for alternatives is that this platform gives you the ability to import your pre-existing boards, tasks, and members from Trello when you decide to make the switch. Simple to use and easy to get to grips with, Hygger can be quickly used by new users without an extensive training period, although the company does offer a manual to help get you started.

Hygger costs from $9/user/month on an annual plan. A free version is available for small teams with up to 5 users.

Summary Of Hygger:

  1. The Kanban board: Pass
  2. Kanban Cards: Pass
  3. Analytics/reports: Pass
  4. Automation/business rules/IFTTT: Pass
  5. Integrations: Pass
zenhub-logo-kanban-tool-app-trello-alternative

Score

80%
  • free 14-day trial
  • from $5/user/month

ZenHub – https://www.zenhub.com/

What differentiates ZenHub is that it’s designed to work in a GitHub environment and as such it is promoted as a way for teams working in GitHub to manage tasks without disrupting their workflow. Overall, ZenHub is a user-friendly and workable alternative to Trello, with the functionality to migrate data, automate workflows, and integrate with other tools. If you are using GitHub, ZenHub is the sensible choice—not only is it likely to be familiar to your developers, it theoretically can save your team a lot of time by eliminating the need to jump in and out of GitHub to manage tasks in third party tools.

zenhub-screenshot-kanban-tool-app-trello-alternative

Zenhub costs from $5/user/month and is available in a free trial version for 14 days.

Summary Of Zenhub:

  1. The Kanban board: Pass
  2. Kanban Cards: Pass
  3. Analytics/reports: Pass
  4. Automation/business rules/IFTTT: Pass
  5. Integrations: Pass
leankit-logo-kanban-tool-app-trello-alternative-2

Score

95%
  • free 30-day trial
  • from $19/user/month

LeanKit – https://leankit.com/

With its extensive range of customizable features and benefits, LeanKit is one of the best Kanban tools available. LeanKit’s angle is all about scalability, this cloud-based solution is robust and built to easily scale to an enterprise-grade solution. The interface started out as slightly less pretty than some of the other Kanban tool solutions, but a recent UI update freshened up the platform’s look. The kit comes with a higher price tag, but it does offer a complete suite of collaboration and development features in addition to integrations with a large number of requirements management, project portfolio management, test management, dev ops, and monitoring tools.

leankit-screenshot-kanban-board-tool-trello-alternative

LeanKit costs from $19/user/month.

Summary Of LeanKit:

  1. The Kanban board: Pass
  2. Kanban Cards: Pass
  3. Analytics/reports: Pass
  4. Automation/business rules/IFTTT: Pass
  5. Integrations: Pass

blossom-logo-project-management-software-kanban-tool

Score

90%
  • free 14-day trial
  • from $19/user/month

Blossom – https://www.blossom.co/

Some tools are designed to be flexible so that they can accommodate any type of work environment, but Blossom takes a different approach. Designed uniquely for software developers (and specifically with distributed work teams in mind), Blossom is a more specialized tool. For software development teams, Blossom offers the advantage of including features that are specifically useful to that niche—and minimizing the need to make decisions about using a smattering of features that may or may not be relevant to your software dev environment.

blossom-screenshot-kanban-board-tool-app-trello-alternativeOverall, Blossom has been designed to be a viable alternative to Trello for those who enjoy the latter’s functionality. The product is easily integrated with GitHub, and thanks to its automatic project status updates, you don’t need to leave your code base and can focus on getting projects completed. A bonus of using Blossom is that they offers full training, including online and in-person options, to make it easy to onboard your team.

Blossom costs from $19/month for teams of up to 5 users. In terms of free trials, Blossom goes the extra mile by offering free trial periods for all versions (Startup, Company, and Enterprise), so you can try the full product as opposed to a typical promo version that’s limited in features and functionality.

Summary Of Blossom:

  1. The Kanban board: Pass
  2. Kanban Cards: Pass
  3. Analytics/reports: Pass
  4. Automation/business rules/IFTTT: Pass
  5. Integrations: Pass
Meistertask-logo-project-management-kanban-tool-trello-alternative-2

Score

85%
  • freemium version, unlimited members
  • from $8.25/user/month

MeisterTask – https://www.meistertask.com/

Hailed as the “most intuitive task management tool on the web”, MeisterTask is uniquely flexible and adaptable to a wide range of different teams and projects. Because it’s integrated with MindMeister (an online, collaborative mind-mapping tool), MeisterTask is an attractive choice for teams in creative agencies, marketing, events, or other areas where visual brainstorming plays a foundational role in project planning.

meistertask-screenshot-kanban-board-tool-trello-alternative

MeisterTask also integrates easily with GitHub, Slack and Zendesk, and offers a near-complete suite of task management features. Keep in mind, however, that several key features such as reports are only available in paid versions.

MeisterTask costs from $8.25/user/month for the Pro version. There’s also a free basic version with limited features that allows an unlimited number of members.

Summary Of MeisterTask:

  1. The Kanban board: Pass
  2. Kanban Cards: Pass
  3. Analytics/reports: Pass
  4. Automation/business rules/IFTTT: Pass
  5. Integrations: Pass
taskworld-logo-project-management-kanban-tool-trello-alternative

Score

80%
  • free 15-day trial
  • $10.99/user/month

Taskworld – https://taskworld.com/

Taskworld offers a fully integratable task management and project planning platform for a wide variety of industries. Slightly more complex to use than its counterparts, Taskworld takes a bit more time to get used to in order to take full advantage of its wide array of features—but they do offer a comprehensive user guide for learning to use the platform. Once you have got to grips with it, Taskworld offers a more wide-ranging and robust platform than most other Kanban tools.

taskworld-screenshot-kanban-tool-trello-alternative

This tool’s user interface is one of the more sleek and visually compelling we’ve seen, but we’re missing automated workflows. Whether of not the lack of automation is a deal-breaker will depend on your specific use case.

Taskworld costs from $10.99/user/month.

Summary Of Taskworld:

  1. The Kanban board: Pass
  2. Kanban Cards: Pass
  3. Analytics/reports: Pass
  4. Automation/business rules/IFTTT: Fail
  5. Integrations: Pass
breeze-logo-project-management-software-kanban-tool

Score

98%
  • free 14-day trial
  • from $29/user/month.

Breeze – https://www.breeze.pm/

Breeze is one of the few Kanban boards online that offers a full suite of project management tools, including everything from budget management and time and expense tracking, to milestone tracking, project planning and portfolio management. It has a simple interface, and, although it does provide a wider scope of tools than many platforms, Breeze makes a point of not being a “feature factory”, keeping only the features that are critical.

breeze-screenshot-kanban-tool-trello-alternativeBecause Breeze wraps a kanban tool inside of a full management suite, the added functionality—and correspondingly higher price—isn’t a great fit for simpler projects. On the other hand, the all-encompassing nature of this platform is a major advantage for some teams, as you may save time, resources, and headache by managing everything in one place.

Breeze costs from $29/user/month and offers a free trial version.

Summary Of Brezze:

  1. The Kanban board: Pass
  2. Kanban Cards: Pass
  3. Analytics/reports: Pass
  4. Automation/business rules/IFTTT: Fail
  5. Integrations: Pass
kanbantool-logo-kanban-app-trello-alternative

Score

95%
  • freemium version, limit 2 users
  • free 14-day trial
  • $5/user/month

Kanban Tool – https://kanbantool.com/

Named after the concept of Kanban, this tool provides a user-friendly, visually appealing interface on which teams can collaborate. While it doesn’t offer a complete suite of project management features, it offers ample tools to ensure every kind of team can derive use from it. Similar to Trello, upgrades called “Power-Ups” allow users to access additional features. This is a lightweight tool with easy onboarding and a relatively low cost compared to other tools.

kanbantool-screenshot-kanban-board-app-trello-alternative

If tools like Breeze (above) are on one end of the kanban tool spectrum as a fully fledged management suites, Kanban Tool marks the other end of the spectrum with a more focused set of core kanban features. This is a reliable tool for teams who want “more kanban and less frills”.

Kanban Tool costs from $5/user/month. It also offers a free version limited to 2 members and 2 boards, as well as free trials of its various paid versions.

Summary Of Kanban Tool:

  1. The Kanban board: Pass
  2. Kanban Cards: Pass
  3. Analytics/reports: Pass
  4. Automation/business rules/IFTTT: Fail
  5. Integrations: Pass
agile-tools-easy-kanbanize-fw

Score

95%
  • free trial
  • $99 for 15 users/month

Kanbanize – https://kanbanize.com/

Kanbanize is easily one of the best alternatives to Trello on the market. Made by a lean company for lean teams, the way Kanbanize has set up its plans allows you to add functionality in increments depending on your needs. The standard version supplies kanban essentials such as cards and boards, time-tracking, integrations (including an integration with Trello for Trello users who want to make the switch).

kanbanize-screenshot-kanban-board-trello-alternativeAt any time, you can add (or remove) business rules, analytics, and other advanced functionalities. All in all, this is a bug-free platform that’s simple to use and offers great visibility. In fact, the only downside we can find to this tool is that it isn’t available offline.

Summary Of Kanbanize:

  1. The Kanban board: Pass
  2. Kanban Cards: Pass
  3. Analytics/reports: Pass
  4. Automation/business rules/IFTTT: Pass
  5. Integrations: Pass

Other Kanban Tools You Can Try:

There are so many alternatives to Trello out there—if the above aren’t making the cut, try out one of these:

  1. Kanbanflow – http://kanbanfow.com
  2. Pivotal Tracker – http://www.pivotaltracker.com
  3. Kanboard – http://kanboard.net
  4. Restya – https://restya.com
  5. Ora – https://ora.pm
  6. Zenkit – https://zenkit.com
  7. Manuscript – http://www.manuscript.com

How To choose The Right Kanban Tools For Your Team

As with anything involving project management, there are a few things to consider before making your selection among workflow apps. In your decision, account for these important considerations:

The Size Of Your Team

Which app is best going to suit your team, and will it scale properly to suit a growing team over time?

Which Tools It Should Integrate With

Maybe you’re using GitHub, Slack, Asana, or other team management tools, or maybe you need it to work across multiple devices, including mobile. Make sure the tool you choose covers all your needs—or is customizable enough that it can be upgraded later.

Project Workflow

Not all tools can handle the volume of projects some businesses produce, so check how many projects you will easily be able to manage at once.

Set-up Time And Cost

How soon can it be installed, or is it immediately available on the cloud? What kind of ongoing support do they offer? Is it a hosted solution or will you have to maintain the infrastructure?

Ease Of Onboarding

How simple is the platform to start using right away, and how much training will be needed to get everyone up to speed?

What Do You Think?

What other considerations have you made when looking for he right project management software? What questions would you like answered?Let us know in the comments below.

Ben Aston

About Ben Aston

I’m Ben Aston, a digital project manager. I've been in the industry for more than 10 years working in the UK at London’s top digital agencies including Dare, Wunderman, Lowe and DDB. I’ve delivered everything from video virals to CMS’, flash games to banner ads and eCRM to eCommerce sites. I’ve been fortunate enough to work across a wide range of great clients; automotive brands including Land Rover, Volkswagen and Honda; Utility brands including BT, British Gas and Exxon, FMCG brands such as Unilever, and consumer electronics brands including Sony.

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