Below you’ll find an overview of each of the 10 best Kanban software, with screenshots, feature overviews, and pricing.
Kanban is a popular framework used to implement agile and DevOps software development. It requires real-time communication of everyone’s capacity and full transparency of what’s being worked on. Work items are represented visually on a Kanban board, allowing the project manager and all team members to see the state of every piece of work at any time.
Kanban is a visual system where you get to visualize both the process and the actual tasks in that process. The main purpose of a Kanban system is to visualize progress and manage work in a cost-effective way at a steady speed. It follows a set of principles to improve the flow of work and streamline tasks.
Kanban Software Comparison Criteria
Here’s a summary of my evaluation criteria. These are things I look for when I evaluate any Kanban solution, and they’re also things to consider when you’re trying to find the right one for your kanban team:
- User Interface (UI): Are the Kanban cards easy to read, manipulate, edit, search, and archive? Is the project roadmap obvious at a glance with real-time details, due date, and drill-down capabilities where needed?
- Usability: Does the project management tool offer training, support, and wikis specific to lean work management and Kanban task cards specifically? Can you easily employ work-in-progress limits to keep users focused on what matters most?
- Integrations: Kanban apps tend to work in conjunction with other workforce software, as they may not support every element of a team’s day-to-day. Is the tool easy to connect with other tools using an API? Does it work with common PM apps like Jira software, Slack, Asana, GitHub, G Suite, and LeanKit?
- Value for $: Does the Kanban tool pricing cover the features you would expect like a detailed board view with powerful filters and sorting? Does the tool cover the Kanban method as well as going above and beyond in additional features needed by agile teams? Is the pricing structure flexible, transparent, and scalable?
Kanban Tools: Key Features
The best Kanban tool will have all or most of these key features.
- WIP limits – Kanban feature to limit the number of work in progress items users can have to help prioritize tasks and focus their team.
- Identification of bottlenecks – Whether it’s a ROG system or customizable alerts, we want apps that don’t let task management lag.
- Automation of dependencies – Does the board automatically reflect changes in dependencies when you change dates, add subtasks, or adjust milestones?
- Backlog metrics – Is it easy to measure what has been pinned for later to reactivate or delete old work items when appropriate?
- Workflow management templates – Are there different types of Kanban style cards that can be set-up quickly per differing needs?
- Time tracking functionality – This is a bonus but it’s helpful to know how much time is being spent on each card (and by whom).
- Task dependencies – The ability to easily see what tasks are relying on the completion of another task before they can start moving.
- Recurring tasks – Easy to set up project planning tasks that recur daily, weekly, monthly, or so on.
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Wrike’s versatile and easy-to-use web-based platform adapts to however your team organizes their work—it doesn’t just have Kanban stuff, but you’ll find standard Kanban boards along with other project management features. The built-in proofing and approvals help to accelerate your activity stream and multiple reporting views keep you abreast of developments as they happen. Wrike offers many different types of project templates, including Kanban project templates to get you started quickly.
On higher level plans, you can use Wrike to build schedule tags for full time, part time, contract, and/or weekend workers. Then, you can assign a schedule to each team member and Wrike will consider their unique availability when plotting out timelines for Kanban projects.
Wrike offers 400+ pre-built native integrations, including integrations with the most popular file management software from Microsoft, Google, and Dropbox, along with sales and marketing software from Salesforce and Marketo.
Wrike costs from $9.80/user/month and offers a free 14-day trial.
monday.com is a scalable, flexible, and secure web-based project management tool that sports some of the most user-friendly and engaging interface graphics around. The bright colors, gamification of task completion, and easy drag-and-drop mechanisms can encourage software adoption by even the least techy team members. PMs can easily establish Agile sprints using Kanban-style cards for every step in the task completion process.
monday is easy to use and boasts a modern, colorful interface. You can access kanban templates to get projects started quickly and then customize each item from there. On their higher level plans, they also offer things like task-based time tracking, workflow automations, and project progress tracking reports and dashboards.
monday.com’s integrations include project management apps like Slack, Google Drive, Gmail, Google Calendar, Jira, GitHub, Trello, Dropbox, Typeform and many more, accessible through a paid plan with Zapier.
monday.com costs from $6/user/month and comes with a free 14-day trial. They offer a free plan for up to 2 users.
Every Smartsheet subscription tier has access to hundreds of project templates sorted by industry or type. Here you’ll have access to Gantt charts, construction estimators, legal contract management, customer lifetime value (CLV), team productivity documents, performance evaluation sheets, and anything else you can think of. Anyone who uses Kanban schedules as well as other common calendar views like Gantt will appreciate the ability to flip back and forth between them.
Smartsheet is super customizable and you can work with their customer support team to build the platform out any way you need it. This makes it a great option for professional services or niche industry services. There's a bit of a learning curve involved but that's just because it comes with so much to work with.
Smartsheet integrations include Microsoft and Google apps, as well as development essentials like Jira, and useful business apps like Salesforce, ServiceNow, Slack, Box, and Tableau. The platform is extensible through a REST API and webhooks.
Smartsheet costs $7/user/month, with a minimum of 3 users and a maximum of 25 users. They also offer a 30-day free trial.
Miro is a collaborative online whiteboard with over 1,000 templates including mind maps, Kanban boards, Gantt charts, product wireframes, research boards, and flowcharts. It’s trusted by 99% of the Fortune 100, and used by teams at TransUnion, HP, Upwork, Cisco, Qlik, and Atkins. Miro’s visual platform is built for hybrid work, and has robust resources for continuous learning like Miro Academy, online events, and a community forum.
Miro has an intuitive Kanban template with collaboration features that are built for brainstorming, diagramming, and seamless communication. Your team can leave comments, make collaborative edits in real-time, update task progress, or even launch video calls with its built-in add-on.
At The Digital Project Manager, we use Miro to map out content clusters and to visualize content workflows from the start (brainstorming ideas) to finish (publishing the content on our site).
Miro has integrations with a whole suite of tools, including Zoom, Figma, Asana, Microsoft Teams, Jira, Slack, Google Drive, Box, Airtable, Notion, Azure, and Webex. Some integrations are limited to paid plans only.
Miro is free to use for unlimited members with up to 3 editable boards. Paid plans start at $8/user/month (billed annually).
- Built-in communication features for streamlined collaboration
- Intuitive and easy setup
- Free forever plan available
- Free version does not allow high-quality export to pdf
- Zooming can be jumpy on larger projects
- Visitor/guest accounts locked to paid plans only
Airtable is a flexible, scalable project management tool used by the likes of forward-thinking companies like Netflix, Expedia, Buzzfeed, Time, and Medium. Their Kanban board is an intuitive, no-fluff solution that will engage the whole team regardless of tech savviness. Along with that, enterprises will appreciate unlimited workspaces federated to a single company account as well as their training and change management plans for onboarding.
Airtable is free for up to 1,200 records per base and a 2-week history log. Paid plans start at $10/user/month and they offer a free 14-day trial.
- Helpful color-coded lists and project items
- Forms are simple to distribute and embed
- Rollups and Lookups organize data well
- Easily automate redundant tasks
- Charges per “workspace” rather than per user
- No way to do rich text
- Forms can look dated
ProjectManager is an award-winning Kanban software and project management system that boasts an impressive suite of project portfolio management (PPM) tools. Real-time dashboards, all-in-one roadmaps, and multiple project views are just a few of the features available to users to organize their portfolio, so this goes way beyond Kanban boards. The PPM reporting system is useful, too, giving you a birds-eye-view of data.
ProjectManager is praised by customers for its intuitive and easy to learn design; the robust nature of its project reporting suite; its list of advanced features compared to its competitors; and its ability to scale up and down to accommodate projects and teams of all sizes.
ProjectManager integrates with MS Project, Excel, Office 365, Salesforce CRM, QuickBooks, Xero, Dropbox, Desk.com, JIRA, Hubspot, Slack, Zendesk, Evernote, OneLogin, OneDrive, and the complete Google Suite. They also have a powerful REST API to help you build against internal or external tools.
ProjectManager costs from $15/user/month and offers a free 30-day trial.
Hubstaff Tasks is a project management tool with multiple task tracking and collaboration features. Its interface is based on the Kanban methodology; it lets you organize tasks in different project stages, which are represented by columns. Each task can be categorized using color-coded labels. One of its notable features is custom workflows. These let you automate assigning tasks to team members at different project stages and moving them forward with one click.
You can create checklists within each task and track them from the project view using progress bars. Files can also be attached to task cards, but the free plan only allows up to 100 MB of storage per user. Switching to the sprints view displays all your assigned tasks, organized by sprint. You can move tasks to current or future sprints or to the backlog with a drag-and-drop mechanism similar to Kanban.
Hubstaff Tasks integrates with Active Collab, Asana, Breeze, ClickUp, GitHub, GitLab, Insightly, JIRA, LiquidPlanner, Mavenlink, Paymo, PivotalTracker, Podio, Redbooth, Redmine, Teamwork Projects, Trello, Unfuddle, Wrike, Zoho Projects, Slack, Zendesk, Salesforce, QuickBooks, and other apps. You can boost your integration options with a paid plan through Zapier, unlocking hundreds of other possible connections.
Hubstaff Tasks is free for up to 5 users and 10 projects. The premium plan starts at $7/user/month, and includes a 14-day free trial.
- Easy to onboard new clients
- Excellent project management templates
- Fast to launch & start using
- Generous freemium plan
- No mobile app
- Limited 3rd-party integrations
- No WIP limits
Kanban Zone is designed to allow teams to visualize their entire agency and organization by connecting teams and processes. The tool offers a highly flexible Kanban board editor that does not constrain users to perfect grids and instead allows them to truly map their ideal flow of work.
The tool also includes a timeline view for increased planning capabilities, as well as templates and a Portfolio Kanban for traceability across projects. Also available are project and Kanban metrics, collaboration features such as comments and notifications, and workflow management capabilities.
Kanban Zone has a simple interface that helps teams focus on the work at hand, and a team of support experts to help with onboarding and ongoing questions. They have plenty of learning resources on their site for those who want to learn more about kanban methodology.
Kanban Zone can integrate with other project management tools using a (paid) plan through Zapier.
Kanban Zone pricing starts at $5 per month for a personal plan and $8 per month for professional plans. A free 30 day trial is also available.
SwiftKanban from Digite is a powerful enterprise and portfolio Kanban tool for both co-located and distributed teams. It combines the best of visual management, Kanban, and Scrum to give you a powerful tool for lean/agile software development, visual project management, and business collaboration improvement.
SwiftKanban makes collaboration between multiple teams easier through better visualization of work. Teams working remotely can see the tasks that their colleagues are working on in real-time. SwiftKanban has a number of cool features built-in for defining work-in-progress (WIP) limits, card coloring, and highlighting bottlenecks. It allows product owners to define their backlog flexibly using a varied set of features. SwiftKanban is a great alternative to Trello since it offers way more features and customization options.
SwiftKanban also lets users automate actions within their Kanban board based on any criteria they set using rules. From simple IFTTT rules to automating repetitive tasks to complex configuration of cards and boards, SwiftKanban has it all. Plus, SwiftKanban comes with AI-capabilities built-in where users will be able to get suggestions for Similar cards when creating new cards, using historical data, saving time and eliminating duplication of work.
SwiftKanban can be integrated with a wide variety of enterprise-class tools such as TFS, JIRA, CA Agile Central and many others using its SwiftSync integration platform. It provides native integration with Slack and MS Teams. Using Zapier, you can also integrate SwiftKanban with a wide range of productivity apps like Google Drive, Gmail, Google Calendar, and GitHub. You can also use SwiftKanban REST APIs as service endpoints to interact with your boards remotely and perform various card functions.
SwiftKanban costs between $0-15/user/month for annual subscriptions and comes with a 30-day free trial of its enterprise plan. It's available in both SaaS and On-Premise versions.
Clubhouse is a collaborative project management system that transforms workplace communication into something easy and engaging with drag-and-drop UI, dark mode, and emoji support. PMs can set weekly priorities and the tool will run the schedule based on their input. Clubhouse’s freemium version is quite generous, offering 1-10 users, all core features, and access to community support forums, and iOS/Android app data syncing.
Clubhouse is free to use for up to 10 users. Paid plans start at $8.50/user/month and offer a free 14-day trial.
- Robust searchability for managing multiple teams/workflows
- Good system for ticketing
- Iterations lets users to easily group stories (ie. into sprints)
- Time estimation by point values instead of intervals
- Lack of customization options compared to peers
- Dashboard occasionally stops updating and needs a refresh
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Here’s a few more that I didn’t include in the top list, but these are still great tools to check out:
- Trello – Best Kanban software for small businesses
- Meistertask – Best for your software development team
- Paymo – Best for freelancers and contractors
- Hive – Best for marketing teams
- Sciforma – Best for idea and demand management
- Kanboard – Best free open source Kanban board
- Zoho Project – Best for scalability
- Toggl Plan – Best for any non-techy team member
- Easy Projects – Best for professional services automation
- Kanban Tool - Best for project tasks for a small team
What is Kanban methodology?
The kanban methodology centers around improving speed and quality of delivery by increasing visibility of work in progress and limiting multi-tasking.
Here are some further resources to learn more:
- How To Use Kanban For Project Management
- 9 Of The Most Popular Project Management Methodologies Made Simple
- How To Adapt Agile And Kanban For Remote Teams
- Kanban vs. Scrum: Key Differences & How To Choose
Which Kanban Software Do You Use?
I hope you found the best Kanban app for your team members’ flow of work.
Which Kanban board software from this list is your favorite to use? Do you have a Kanban tool in mind that you would add to this overview if you could? Is Kanban your preferred agile project management organizational technique? Do you have any tips to maximize effectiveness of swimlanes? I’d love to hear from you in the comments.
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