Trello Review: Introduction
As it was recently acquired by Atlassian, Trello is actually owned by the same owner as JIRA. However, these tools still provide a very different user experience.
Trello implemented the Kanban board idea in the best visual way possible. You can create them easily, move them around, mark with colors, attach files and bring in add-ons from Trello’s library. Trello is easy, intuitive, and a joy to use.
As easy and colorful as it may be, my experience shows that it is not really scalable. At the beginning you build the online electronic notes board and it is great. Sharing with others only adds to that. But how many notes can you put out there before you being to lose track? Not many.
In a way, Trello beats Asana and Monday on the visual side, but loses on scalability.
At $9.99 per user each month for the Business Class option, Trello is priced very attractively.
As with any other task management app, project management just isn’t the main focus. It is possible to manage projects here, but it requires a painful planning experience that breaks down when attempting long term projects.
The app is ill-suited for timeline management, and relies on add-on extensions to give it the capability in the first place. Adding a Gantt chart to the visual Trello board is an odd idea, and in reality it simply doesn’t work. We tried two Gantt add-ons, and we still didn’t find this option relevant or helpful.
The visual nature of the board makes it really hard to see the outline a project. It is a kind of “everything that I need to remember” type of solution, not something you can show your managers or customers to answer “how are we doing?” with a project.
Pro Tip: Workflows can be built efficiently into the Trello board. We find it useful with managing sales leads, as well as with managing software defect tracking.
Trello makes task management as visual and intuitive as it can possibly get. People find it very easy to manage, especially when the number of tasks is not too high.
A visual board helps a lot when looking at task status, and changing task status is a breeze – drag from one column to another, and presto – the status is updated. Teams can be created to work on the same board even from different companies, and most of the functionality is there for free – this makes Trello a really good option to start from, though less so for big organizations which require more specification and customization than Trello can realistically offer.
Pro Tip: Each task has an activity tracker. If you are using Trello for project management, you’ll want to pay attention to this! Otherwise you will not see the changes over time in a particular task.
Project Portfolio Management
Not really there. As mentioned, the timeline itself is an add-on with Trello – and as such the app itself cannot provide a visual for team portfolio. The app does provide a set of reports that helps control the overall task status and set the right action. But relying on this for portfolio management is dangerous, and destined to fail. There is no visual, no reporting, and really nothing to work with outside of a manual review of each project.
Ease of Use and Clarity
Trello is as intuitive and easy to use as it gets – for what it does. Task management is a breeze, finding the commands you’re looking for is simple, and the extensions available basically allow you to customize Trello for just about whatever you want it to do. You can sign in, pop open a board, and be planning tasks in no time at all. Trello has a fantastic, easy and simple feel to it, but there’s a powerful task management engine underneath the hood.
Pro Tip: Use color tags to highlight specific tasks, as each task will belong to large groups of tasks and will make it easier to control.
Trello is a productivity tool. It streamlines task planning and management, and puts team members on task – literally. Trello integrates with Slack, Google Drive, and Jira. The power-up ecosystem surrounding Trello brings a variety of powerful tools to your fingertips, and lets your team really get things done. Adding checklists to task cards gives you a percentage report for where the task is holding – this rewards breaking down tasks into bit sized sub-tasks, and doing so keeps everything simple and moving.
Pro Tip: Search the “power-ups” on the Trello website for effective add-ons that can really unlock team productivity, and customize Trello to your needs.
Trello Review: Summary
Overall score: 7.9
Trello is a fantastic productivity tool. Kanban boards are all the rage, for good reason. They’re tops at workflow management. If this were a task management software review, we’d score Trello at 9.9! Using it for project management is a mistake, however. The design is simple and easy, the program has a great feel…just make sure you use Trello for the right application.