Trello vs Jira – The Best Tools to Manage Your Team

Trello vs Jira. Which one is the leader? Take a look at the key differences between the best tools for efficient project management, find out about their differences and similarities, and decide on a perfect solution for your next project

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Project management has never been easy. No matter what size your team is, there are always either communication or task delegation imperfections and issues. You, as a project manager, could choose the wrong direction or get into one of the numerous pitfalls. Fortunately, there are tools that can help you build a seamless development process. Jira and Trello are among the most popular ones.

Before we start our Jira vs Trello discussion, let’s analyze existing problems. Recent surveys provide interesting information on the most common project management difficulties:

  • 33% of respondents say that people within their team don’t communicate enough.

  • 90% of respondents think that decision makers should pay more attention to alternative opinions.

  • 97% of respondents believe that poor task management may cause project failure.

Jira and Trello. Which is best?

Here are the greatest challenges project managers should be ready for:

  • Poor communication
    As research shows, employees are often unsatisfied with the level of communication within a team. This situation can become even worse in the case of remote teams.

  • Lack of team spirit
    Here, we have a consequence of poor communication. Team spirit is a non-financial benefit that each specialist expects to receive in their current position. Lack of team spirit damages work efficiency.

  • Time-consuming meetings
    Have you ever participated in a daily meeting that takes more than an hour? How did it affect your performance? Time-consuming meetings are an indicator of poor management.

  • Failed deadlines
    Commonly, development teams struggle with communication, spending too much time on myriads of meetings and as a result, they fail to deliver a product on time.

Agile project development methodology deals with most of these issues. And powerful project management software tools take care of the rest. These great solutions are able to:

  • Save your projects, clients, and budget.

  • Improve collaboration and management.

  • Help focus on key goals without wasting attention on routine troubles.

  • Increase time and resources efficiency.

  • Increase employee engagement.

  • Raise team spirit.

  • Improve your business.

“Wow, what are the tools that can address these tasks?” you may ask. We have the answer. Today, we will discuss the most popular software management solutions that handle the above-mentioned (and many other) PM tasks. This article is devoted to Jira and Trello, their specific strengths and weaknesses with a detailed comparison. Let’s find out which option is a better fit for your business! 

What is Jira?

Let’s start at the very beginning. What is Jira? If you have ever worked with an Agile app development team, you are definitely familiar with this powerful tool. The most important project manager tasks are collected into this easy-to-use platform:

  • Planning

  • Tasks management and organization

  • Workflow optimization

  • Accelerated project execution

  • Accurate reporting

How to use Jira

According to Atlassian, the developers of Jira, this product is used by more than 125,000 teams worldwide. A variety of companies use Jira, including world leaders like ANZ bank, The Telegraph, and even Audi’s R&D center. IT teams love Jira and its features. Sprints planning and results overview are all easier with this platform.

The tool is on-premise, which means it is run locally on team members’ computers. The administrative functionality available with Jira cannot be overestimated. Its admin panel allows the creation, modification, and configuration of workflows, as well as access permissions to the workflows. Another prominent feature is rich Jira documentation that provides detailed descriptions and F.A.Q. answers.

Teams worldwide prefer Jira because of its high-flexibility, user-oriented interface, and customizable design. The platform’s API capabilities enable you to fit the system to your precise needs.

Additionally, the search and filtering features work impeccably. And, if you opt for Jira, you can be sure that your data is always highly secured.

What is Trello?

After you have read our brief Jira review, it’s time to proceed with its main competitor.

What is Trello? Why did we decide to pay attention to this tool? Atlassian acquired it in 2017, and since then, the popularity of this management tool has grown. The number of Trello sign-ups reached 25 million. World-renowned names like Adobe, Kickstarter and National Geographic use Trello boards to organize their tasks and maintain their positions in the market.How to use Trello?

Trello is a cloud-hosted product that provides Kanban boards for tasks management and organization.

The tool works well on any device and any browser, winning user attention.

In-platform messaging contributes to the overall quality of team communication. Comprehensive and detailed discussions help you keep your head above the ocean of deadlines. Drag-and-drop functionality along with simple editing and customizable design make the platform extremely convenient. Unlike Jira, where better customization can only be achieved with the help of an engineer, even a non-tech-savvy user can customize a Trello board to the team’s current needs.

It’s security and APIs are impressive, too. However, Trello cannot completely replace a management tool for project tracking. Why? Let’s explore the details.

Trello vs. Jira comparison

Jira vs Trello: the confrontation between the leaders

After you’ve had a quick introduction to the most popular tools for management, it’s time to dive deeper. Trello or Jira: which one to choose? The answer to this question requires an understanding of the key specifics. We have collected some facts about Trello and Jira differences and similarities to help you make this vital decision. The table below displays the key features:

 

Trello

Jira

 

Main Differences

Key purpose

Trello is a task board. It helps to categorize tasks, delegate responsibilities and visualize workflow.

Jira is a tool for planning, design, development, testing, releasing and supporting a software product. It allows you to track tasks, issues and progress. This tool is highly customizable and fully caters to Agile team needs.

Target users

Trello is an excellent choice for Kanban teams. The experience shows, and it fits the needs of:

  • Small IT engineering groups

  • Freelancers

Jira is a powerful extended tool for efficient project management. It is the best choice is you work with:

  • Big enterprise companies

  • Agile teams

Meetings and retrospectives

Trello helps schedule and organize any meeting. It allows you to develop clear agendas and helps remind your team-players about upcoming meetings. Follow-ups help keep each person aware of the latest project updates. The commenting feature serves as real-time chatting and allows common goals to be accomplished. The specifics of its dashboard make this an excellent option for a successful retrospective.

Jira may help you with update notifications. Teammates are aware of who is working on what thanks to a dashboard that describes the entire workflow. It can hardly beat Trello in this section. However, if you extend the available functionality with external tools and integrations, your needs may be satisfied completely.

Reporting

Features like progress status and reports are not available on Trello. In this case, Trello power-ups for analytical purposes are useful. A variety of options can augment the original features and make Trello cater to your specific needs.

Jira has great reporting functionality. It gives you information about edits, project and task history, progress. etc. With its help, you can automatically build numerous charts, analyze issues and access a variety of reports that significantly improve your work process.

 

Basic Similarities

File sharing

Using Trello, you can easily attach files of any type to your tasks, is it a text document, image, or huge video file. The number of files you can add is unlimited but keep in mind there is an upload limit. To find out what your limit is, take a look at the subscription plan you have chosen and features you have got access to with this plan.


In Jira, you can similarly add links to external files or attach them to the task directly. Integration with Google Drive and Dropbox is available, too.

Calendar and scheduling

You can set up specific deadlines on the Trello board.


A simple calendar is available on Jira, too, but neither Trello nor Jira is able to provide you with an advanced scheduling feature. You can use an additional tool, like Google Calendar, to clarify your schedule and get information about upcoming events in your team.

Internal communication

You can use comments for communication purposes with both tools. However, keep in mind that none of these solutions provides advanced communication features like video chats or group conferences. We’d recommend using Slack, Skype or similar for this purpose.

Setup and management

You can get both tools up and running in just a few minutes. Detailed setup guides simplify the process as much as possible. Authorization takes up to a minute. Depending on your own needs, you can enable desktop notifications. Customization and management are simple and seamless.

Mobile version

Do you need a mobile PM tool but don’t know what to choose yet? Both Trello and Jira are available on mobile. Just visit Play Market or the App Store, and you’ll find out that both tools look and work awesome on mobile devices, too.

The Trello mobile app provides the same level of user experience as the web or desktop versions do. You can handle task assignment, listings management, progress tracking and many other responsibilities on the go. The Jira mobile solution is also convenient, but its primary purpose is to inform you about possible issues, and it is hard to fully use the extension from a smart device.

 

Jira and Trello pricing plans

Now that you’re several steps closer to the right decision, let’s pay extra attention to other significant features.

In many cases, pricing is a decisive factor when opting for a certain software solution. Project budgets are often limited, especially if you are involved in a startup business. Besides, if there’s an opportunity to spend less money but get more results, is there a reason not to use it?

The Jira standard plan starts at just $10 per month. Each plan also offers a free trial, and we highly recommend taking the opportunity to see if a cheaper plan meets your primary needs.

Jira pricing plan

The Trello basic plan is free. Although it provides limited functionality, it is one of the reasons so many teams and users worldwide prefer Trello.

Trello pricing plan

Adaptability to project needs

If you expect a software solution to be as flexible as possible and adapt to your specific needs, you should add Jira to your list of priorities. Jira supports different Agile frameworks, Scrum processes and methodologies.

It will be harder to adapt Trello to your specific Scrum needs. While you can select the most suitable theme, you cannot get a fully customized dashboard, create user stories, plan sprints or build statistics.

Project management and time tracking

Jira workflow enables fast task assignment and efficient project management. It will help you:

  • Organize a team

  • Create sprints, tasks, and subtasks

  • Track workflows

For easier task tracking you can set up reminders, due dates or deadlines. The tool is also suitable for bug and issue tracking. It also provides functionality for time tracking and will help you understand and evaluate a developer’s skills and efforts, measure performance, and analyze the strengths of every specialist.

Trello is about simple task assignment and management.

With its boards, lists, and cards, you can always keep an eye on your progress. However, you cannot log work into Trello. Third-party extensions are needed for time tracking.

The list of integrations

Next in our Jira and Trello review is an introduction to integrations.

Trello has around 30 integration partners. Here are the integrations we use actively in our work and recommend our partners employ:

  • Dropbox

  • Google Drive

  • Slack

  • Zendesk

  • Evernote

A wider range of integrations is available using Jira. It has more than 100 partners, which may impact your choice. Have a glance at some of them:

  • Google Drive

  • Slack

  • One Drive

  • Gannt

  • Salesforce

Both tools integrate with Github and Bitbucket.

When to use Jira and Trello?

Final thoughts

To summarize, we have answered 3 top questions:

  • How to pick the best project management tool? First, analyze your project requirements, clarify your vision and define your short-term and long-term goals. Set your team size and decide whether you plan to hire new specialists or not. For example, in the case of large companies consisting of several different departments, Jira would be a perfect fit. On the contrary, small teams can better organize their work with the help of Trello.

  • What is Jira used for? This tool is used for building software products, tracking and fixing bugs, as well as testing and releasing software. Jira is a robust tool that serves the needs of large Agile and Scrum teams the best. The right integrations make Jira invincible.

  • What is Trello used for? Trello is a great tool for task management. It caters to the needs of freelancers and small teams regardless of the industry they are working in.

Try both tools and build your own opinion about each of them. Employ both and get even better results.

Does this choice seem too challenging for you? Just let us know about your concerns and we’ll help you resolve them and choose the best tool for you.

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