5 Best Trello Alternatives for Project Management in 2020

Ivan Pavlov
March 10, 2020
Last updated: March 10, 2020

Table of content

What is Trello and why would you need an alternative?

Top free and paid alternatives to Trello

Try our alternative for project management

Trello reached 50-million users this last year. That’s more people than the population of Tokyo, the most populous city in the world.

But just because something is popular doesn’t mean it’s the best. Sliced American cheese is popular, but it will never beat sharp white cheddar especially when it comes to grilled cheese sandwiches.

Similarly, while Trello is popular, there might be a better Trello alternative out there. Trello might be perfect for some, but better project management tools do exist. Keep scrolling to find out why we think you can do better.

What is Trello and Why Would You Need an Alternative?

Frog Creek Software created a web-based project management solution in 2011 and called it Trello. Trello is a collaborative software suite and it allows users to create a digital Trello board for their projects. There users can define project requirements, prioritize and organize project actions, and collaborate with team members through comments, links, files, and photos.

Trello is entirely online and comes with its own Android and iOS apps. Trello’s basic account is free. The free option limits plugins or “Power-Ups” as Trello likes to call them. You can upgrade to a Gold account for $5 per month or $45 per year.

PC Magazine only gave it a 3.5 out of 5 stars back in 2017, however, and there’s a reason for this. Trello has a steep learning curve and it might take time to customize their tools to fit your company’s needs. While Trello was an innovative and great visual collaborative tool when it first arrived, it’s lacking a few useful features other apps include.

If you’re looking for time tracking, billing software, progress reports or Gantt charts, look somewhere else. Trello’s lack of time tracking is a glaring flaw in the software’s design.

Not everyone needs time tracking, but many rely on it. If you charge by the hour, you’ll need to buy something like Toggl or Everhour and those could cost you anything from $5 to $49 per user. For businesses and freelancers, those costs add up.

The goal of any good project management tool is to keep you working within the ecosystem and focused on your project. When users must work with tools outside the ecosystem, it breaks the flow. If you could collaborate, time your projects, complete them, and then bill clients all within the same app, wouldn’t that be easier?

That’s why the following apps exist. To do what Trello couldn’t.

Top Free and Paid Alternatives to Trello

An entrepreneur’s job is to seek out problems and then find and market solutions. When you release your product to the public, you’re inviting someone else to find flaws. If they’re smart, someone will find the flaws, fix them, and release a better product.

The following products are similar to yet better than Trello.

1. Bitrix24

PC Magazine rated Bitrix24 better than Trello. Bitrix24’s “wide variety of lead management tools” and their automation features blew them away.

Like Trello, Bitrix24 is a Kanban board visual project collaboration system. It’s a real-time collaboration system with all the productivity tools you need including Gantt Charts, file sharing, time management tools, workload tracking and more.

The software is free for up to twelve users and only $99 a month if you need unlimited access for an unlimited number of users. If you’re unsure if you want to upgrade to the professional version, you can try it out for free in a 30-day trial. Don’t worry, you’ll want 30 days to explore this massive armament of CRM and project management tools.

What’s So Great About Bitrix24?

Bitrix24 saw Trello’s lack of features and acted. Need billing software? Check. Need time-tracking? Double check.

This project management tool includes social networking tools, CRM, document management, calendars, team management, email marketing, phone management, HR management, etc. It’s the all-inclusive option in a sea of limited functionality.

Do you want to track leads, close deals, manage your sales funnel? Bitrix24 has you covered. Using Bitrix24 is like an endlessly satisfying archeological dig where you’re finding new features instead of dusty artifacts.

Bitrix24 shines out when it’s enabling communication. Within Bitrix24’s intranet, collaborators can see your activity in their activity stream. There they can comment, like, or unfollow various records. When you “like” a record, other people in your group will receive a notification.  This allows users to quickly confirm that they’ve seen information without much fanfare and to provide supervisors the opportunity to take action or communicate when necessary.

Time tracking in Bitrix24 isn’t a tool designed merely for personal time tracking. It offers group task management and allows you to see where each user is spending their time and how much time they’re spending on each task.

There are two kinds of time tracking available in Bitrix24. Punch-clock-style time tracking and individual project and task time tracking for freelancers and project managers. These tools allow you to easily create invoices within Bitrix24 or pay employees.

Bitrix24 is more than just CRM or a project management tool. It’s the largest array of business productivity tools on the market.

2. Asana

Asana is more of a workflow management tool than a project management tool. It’s main purpose is to help users manage tasks simply and easily. It’s less structured than other options, but that can be a plus when some software suites lock you into a ridged preset form.

If you want to simply keep track of who is responsible for a certain task, the information about each task, and the progress for each task, you will want to go with Asana.

Asana does have a free version but it’s severely limited. You can’t use their timeline view (Gantt charts). You can’t produce start dates, milestones, forms, custom fields, portfolios...you get the picture. The free version does come with the core offerings like task creation and assignment, due dates, and the ability to write comments and attach files.

If you want the full software suite, you’ll have to pay $13.49 per person per month. If you want to save a few dollars, you can pay $131.88 per person per year.

Asana targets large enterprises with their Asana Business tier. It costs $30.49 per person per year or $299.88 per person annually. For large enterprises this is a drop in the bucket but for small or medium sized businesses, these prices are high.

Asana’s Minimalist Design Can Be Restrictive

Again, Asana is great if you need simple task management software. It’s the kind of software a minimalist would desire. But sometimes minimalism feels restrictive.

For example, in Asana, you must choose to work with either a task view or a Kanban project view. Once you choose, you’re stuck with that interface. Their Kanban board function is missing a few features including swim lanes and work-in-progress limits which are useful for developers and larger projects.

What’s Asana’s answer to people who desire more functionality? An open ended design that allows app integration. This makes it difficult to set up if you’re looking for an all-inclusive platform for your business. But you can add time tracking, document editing, and live chat if you’re willing to put in the time to learn how.

The bottom line? Asana will please the minimalist manager who wants to keep track of tasks and workloads. It will also please the DIY fan who wants to add the features they want and not have to sift through a thousand others.

3. Clickup

Clickup arrived on the scene in 2016. Their aim was to find the goldilocks zone of project management tools. They were dissatisfied with other platforms that were either too complicated or too simple.

To simplify, Clickup uses a hierarchy organizational system. This allows you to control who works where and at the same time allows your teams to communicate to one another without cluttering up project spaces.

Clickup includes a free version through which you can access most features except certain custom settings. It costs $60 per user per year to upgrade to the Unlimited plan. You’ll receive all the features of the free version plus the customizable features and unlimited cloud storage.

The Business plan costs $108 per user per year. It includes all the features of the Unlimited plan plus security features. Then there is the Enterprise plan which costs $204 per user per year and includes contract and legal reviews and HIPPA compliance among other features.

Did Clickup Succeed?

While Clickup may have succeeded in leveling the learning curve for some users, their software is still difficult to learn if you’ve never used project management tools before. The sheer amount of customization needed to begin working will confuse newer managers.

Programs like Trello often attempt to wow users with an elegant and beautiful user interface. Clickup holds no such pretense. Most reviews cite a lack of UI design aesthetics as the number one issue. You may not care about UI design aesthetics, but sometimes a poorly designed user interface can interfere with functionality.

If you’re looking for a great mobile experience, however, check out Clickup. Where they failed on their main online suite, they more than made up for in mobile functionality. The mobile app easily integrates with calendars and provides great flexibility.

Clickup’s extreme customizability will be something experienced online project managers will appreciate. Each team can choose and change how they view their projects on the screen. And the hierarchy system allows a simple flow most systems don’t.

4. Proofhub

Proofhub accomplished what Clickup could not. If you’re looking for a Trello alternative with a decent balance between simplicity and many features, this might be it.

Originally, Proofhub was designed with real estate and property managers in mind. They later expanded and marketed to small and medium sized businesses. The software includes an API and supports integration with Dropbox and Google Docs.

Proofhub does offer a free plan, but they do not advertise this tier. You must email their support team to request access to the free software tier. What this free tier includes isn’t well documented.

There are two paid plans: Essential and Ultimate Control. These both include a free 30-day trial.

Proofhub Essential is $50 per month and $450 per year. This includes 40 projects a year and 15GB of cloud storage. Proofhub Essential features all of the core offerings including group chat, time tracking, project templates, file versioning, and Gantt charts.

Proofhub Ultimate Control will cost you $150 per month or $1620 per year. You’ll have access to 100GB of storage and there will be no limit to how many projects you manage. This tier includes all the core features plus administrative controls and priority support.

The Pros and Cons of Proofhub

Proofhub is competitively priced. Other tools like Asana charge per person per month or year. Proofhub charges one flat fee. The more people working on a project, the cheaper the software becomes.

The learning curve on Proofhub is not as steep as other software suites. It gives you just the right number of tools without overwhelming the newcomer. This is best for small teams who don’t need a massive suite of features at their fingertips.

Their UI is simple. At times, navigation is a breeze, but at other times, navigation is difficult. To access an item’s details, you must open new windows which will quickly clutter your screen.

While fairly feature-rich, Proofhub could stand to add a few more features. Most CRM and project management tools include some sort of budgeting tool. Proofhub does not.

There is a Kaban-like system called Board View, but if this feature is something you will use frequently, we recommend you use something like Bitrix24 instead. The Board View interface is clunky and slow.

5. Jira

Jira is one of the oldest project management software suites on the market. Teams have historically used it to build products and ship them or for app development projects. The Jira team has kept their software up to date for fifteen years.

Over time Jira evolved into a general project management system like Trello. It now offers similar features like task management and collaboration features. Unlike Trello it includes time tracking and reporting.

Jira now offers a free option. This tier used to be $10. It allows up to ten users and includes most features. You can store up to 2GB in their cloud storage.

Their Standard option is only $10 per user per month up to ten and then $7 per user per month for teams of eleven or more. If you want to pay annually, you can pay $100 per user for up to ten users.

The Standard option includes all features plus 250GB of cloud storage and a 9-5 support window.

Jira’s Premium option costs $14 per user per month. It will give you all the features plus unlimited file storage and 24/7 support access.

Jira: The Toyota Camry of Project Management

Jira isn’t fancy and it doesn’t try to impress you with visuals. It’s the old reliable software suite many people swear by especially software developers.

You can find similar features in Jira as you’ll find in other project management tools. There are simple kanban boards, collaboration features, project reports, and time tracking.

Jira lacks financial features. For this reason, you won’t be able to invoice or create contracts directly through Jira.

If you don’t care about highly visual management features and want a reliable free Trello alternative, Jira will suit your needs.

Try Our Trello Alternative for Project Management

Again, Trello is popular there’s no doubt. But it’s not the only project management software tool on the web.

If you’re looking for a feature rich, visually enticing, and extremely reliable Trello alternative, try Bitrix24. Come see why six million people rely on Bitrix24 every day. Try it for free now.

Free. Unlimited. Online.
Bitrix24 is a place where everyone can communicate, collaborate on tasks and projects, manage clients and do much more.
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