Trello Review – The Good and The Bad for 2023
Trello is a simple and user-friendly project management solution. Everyone on your team can easily use the drag-and-drop Kanban board to manage tasks and visualize progress throughout the workflow. While the software is dead simple to use and has an excellent free plan, it lacks some advanced functionality required for complex projects.
Trello Compared to the Best Project Management Software
Because of its simplicity and focus on ease-of-use, Trello slid made our list of the best project management software. We really like the no-frills boards that are easy for your team to master. It made our list of best PM software, but it wasn’t in the top three:
Trello reigns supreme for simple projects, but if you need something more detailed, it may not be the ideal solution for you and your team. Looking for something a bit more comprehensive with advanced functionality or want to explore all of your options? Read our full breakdown of the top project management software.
Trello: The Good and The Bad
As much as we love Trello, it doesn’t come without its drawbacks. In this section, we explore our favorite—and least favorite—qualities that Trello has to offer. (Our direct comparison of Trello vs. Monday, which is our top pick for project management software, can help you understand how Trello stacks up against the best.)
What Trello Is Good At
Easy to Use: Trello’s usability is one of the biggest reasons it’s on our list of the best project management tools. It’s as intuitive as it gets, making a great solution for smaller teams looking for a no-brainer solution. Even non-technical users can navigate the platform without any hassle or headaches—it’s familiar and simple yet powerful enough to streamline your project management processes. From starting a new project to onboarding new team members, everything is straightforward and takes just a few clicks. Since simplicity is at Trello’s core, there’s virtually no learning curve. You can sign up now and be managing your next project in less than five minutes. It’s that easy.
Workflow Automation: Despite its simplicity, Trello’s automation tools are generous and just as easy to set up. Butler, Trello’s automation bot, makes setting up rule-based triggers and desired actions easier than ever. All you have to do is answer a few questions and Butler configures everything for you. From due-date commands, moving cards from one column to the next, and notifying team members, it offers just enough to help you save time and get more done without worrying about admin tasks. We use custom buttons a lot. The one we just the most automatically moves a card from one list to the next and then assigns it to a new team member after an action is marked complete. We never have to worry about remembering to tag the next person, making it a worry-free solution for our business.
Extended Functionality Options: One of the most significant reasons teams—ourselves included— love Trello is because of its simplicity. Out of the box, it’s easy to use with virtually no learning curve. But there are numerous features you can use to extend the platform’s functionality. From Butler automations to Power-Ups and integrations, it offers just the right amount of power without sacrificing its claim to fame. With Power-Ups, you can integrate tools you’re already using, like Slack, Google Drive, Zoom, and Microsoft Teams, into your Trello workflows to create automations that span all of your tools. Inside Trello, you’ll find Power-Ups for file management, communication, analytics and reporting, and more. These extended capabilities help take a basic Trello board to the next level.
Powerful Mobile App: Most of the best project management solutions come with some version of a mobile app, but Trello’s is a highly-rated fan favorite. With it, you can do just about everything you can do on the desktop version, distilling project management down into just a few taps. It’s easily accessible for you and your entire team at no extra cost, so everyone can stay in the loop even if they don’t have access to their computers.
Team Collaboration Features: Team collaboration is at the heart of the project management process and Trello doesn’t fail to deliver. It comes with a wide range of collaboration tools, including comments, document sharing, @mentions of teammates, and notifications as well. Managers can assign team members to the appropriate cards so users always know what’s on their agenda. Plus, users can comment on cards, tag each other, and keep conversations centralized to each task so it all stays in one place. Each user can configure notifications via email, desktop, and push notifications as well to customize the experience based on their preferences. Trello also integrates with Slack, making team communication and collaboration easier than ever. With the integration, you can paste Trello links into Slack and see important stats, like assignees, task descriptions, and recent comments without ever leaving the app. You can even attach Slack conversations directly to Trello cards and change due dates and invite users to boards or cards directly within Slack. With all these features in mind, we included Trello on our list of the best task management software packages.
Great Value: While some project management tools cost a lot and don’t deliver, Trello takes the opposite approach—it’s affordable yet delivers a lot of bank for your buck. Even if you have no budget, there’s a free-forever plan that comes with unlimited cards and lists as well as up to ten boards per team. So, you can invite your whole team and use it for free, as long as you have fewer than ten boards. Many businesses stay on the free plan forever because it comes with more than enough. But if you ever need to upgrade, paid plans start at just $5 per user and include unlimited storage, custom fields, and advanced checklists. Simply put, you get a ton of value regardless of the plan you’re on.
What Trello Is Lacking
Limited Project Views: Trello is known for its Kanban boards. Beyond that, Trello’s other project views are fairly limited to similar project management solutions at the same price point. This is especially true with the entry-level plans, where Kanban is the only view available. This is fine for simple, linear projects that don’t have lots of moving parts. But it’s not ideal for projects that need more granular insights.
Limited Reporting: Unlike other project management tools on the market, Trello does not offer reporting and analytics out-of-the-box. Project managers won’t have the luxury of seeing how their team is performing or getting actionable insights related to the big picture. Trello does offer reporting tools through Power-Ups, but that’s not quite the same as a project management solution within built-in reporting.
Not Ideal For Complex Projects: Trello is great for project visualization and task management through tasks that go through a linear projection. But it lacks features to meet the needs of agile teams that use project management software for daily workflows. For example, you can’t attach tasks to subtasks, create roadmaps, or review iterations. Trello probably isn’t the best option for complex projects, agile teams, and software developers. (If you need a package that is better at complex projects, check out our breakdown of the best Trello alternatives.)
Trello Pricing and Options
As previously stated, Trello is one of the most affordable project management tools on the market today. There’s even a free plan for basic use. However, the paid options deliver tremendous value for teams of all sizes. Get a free demo of Trello to find the right plan for you.
Here’s a closer look at Trello’s plans and pricing options:
The free plan is great for personal use and small side projects. It comes with unlimited cards, unlimited lists, and 10 MB per file attachment. This package only supports up to ten boards per team, but that’s usually more than enough for personal use.
You also get unlimited Power-Ups per board. That means you can test drive Trello to its fullest extent or even stay on the free plan if your operation is small enough.
Surprisingly, the free plan does support automation. Most project management tools don’t offer automated functionality at a free level, so it’s nice to see that Trello does. You can run up to 250 commands per month.
Compared to alternatives on the market, Trello’s free plan is arguably the best one. But it is a bit limiting beyond personal use. For business use and teams larger than just a few people, you’ll definitely want to upgrade to a paid package.
You can try one of Trello’s paid packages for free with a 14-day trial. It’s also worth noting that Trello offers discounts for educational institutions and nonprofit organizations. So if you fall into one of those categories, contact Trello for custom discounted pricing.
Trello Standard is the platform’s entry-level paid pricing tier. It’s the most popular product offering from this provider. With a rate of $5 per user per month, it’s still a bargain and a great value for teams of all sizes.
If you have 10, 20, or 30+ team members, you’ll definitely want to upgrade to this package. It’s also a great option for organizations with several departments that need to manage multiple projects simultaneously. While the free package only supports up to ten boards per team, Trello Business Class offers unlimited boards.
This product comes standard with advanced features and Power-Ups, including custom fields, calendar and map views, advanced checklists, list limits, card repeaters, voting, and over 100 app integrations. It also includes all the basics found in the free tier.
You can create custom fields with Trello’s Standard tier, which is great for businesses that have some specific needs. Customers can store as many files as they want with their accounts, although you have a file size limit of 250 MB per file.
Should you need to give guests access to your Trello board, you can do this in the Standard tier. However, guests will have a limit of using one board within your Trello setup. This can be a great feature if you use freelancers or have clients who need to see a particular board.
If you want to get the most out of Trello’s automation capabilities, you’ll need a Trello Business Class subscription. There are still some restrictions, but it’s more than enough for most teams. You’ll get up to 1,000 command runs per month. Teams of less than 100 running straightforward projects won’t come anywhere near these limits.
Overall, if you’re comparing Trello’s Standard plan with other Kanban-style project management tools for less complex projects, this is the industry leader.
If you’re planning on using Trello beyond personal use for a side project, go with Trello Standard. This will help put you and your team in a position to succeed.
Try it for free by signing up for a 14-day trial.
Trello Premium soups up the features and capability of Trello’s Standard plan. Great for teams over 100 for whom an enterprise-grade solution is overkill, Premium first and foremost takes the restrictions off of automations.
You’re allowed unlimited command runs, meaning you can fine-tune your project management platform to run like a well-oiled machine.
Customizing and stretching the Trello platform to your needs is the name of the game on this package. The Premium tier unlocks calendar, timeline, and map views, allowing you to get a bird’s-eye view of progress from any angle. You can also create template boards that help you map good, tested processes to other departments or new projects.
Simply, for $10 per user per month, you get to shape the Trello platform into the form that best suits your company with no limitations. Plus, you’ll benefit from priority support and many other sweet features.
Just like the Standard plan, you can try out Trello Premium free for 14 days.
Trello Enterprise is the top-of-the-line product offering from this provider. It’s designed for larger teams with more advanced needs for project management.
The software starts at $17.50 per user per month, but Trello offers volume discounts for larger teams with more than 250 users. For example, the per-user rate drops to $16.25 per month at 500 users and goes all the way down to $7.38 for 5,000 users.
It’s worth noting that Trello Enterprise doesn’t necessarily accommodate more advanced projects. The software simply adds functionality to simple projects on a larger scale. This is especially true for automation. With Trello Enterprise, you’ll benefit from unlimited command runs across your entire team.
The Enterprise solution also comes with the ability to control content management permissions and manage users in real-time. All of this can be handled with just a few quick clicks. This solution comes with enterprise-grade security and reliability, including a 99.999% uptime commitment.
Some of the other noteworthy features that are only available on Trello Enterprise include:
- Data encryption with hourly backups and off-site storage
- Organization-wide access restrictions at team and board levels
- Attachment restrictions and file sharing preferences
- Membership controls
- Control which third-party Power-Ups can be integrated with boards
- Top-tier enterprise support
Overall, Trello Enterprise is perfect for larger organizations and administrators who want absolute control over and visibility into what happens with their team’s boards.
Contact the Trello sales team to get started with an Enterprise plan.
Expanding Your Knowledge: Trello
Reviews of the Best Project Management Software
Trello is a top project management solution for small projects. It’s not quite as feature-rich as some of the other tools on the market today, but it’s more than suitable for simple projects. Check out our top picks of the best project management tools to see some popular alternatives to Trello.
If your team has advanced needs for complex projects, you can find a Trello alternative from one of our top recommendations listed above.