Trello Review

by Atlassian Corporation Plclast updated September 29th, 2020
4.2/5
starting from$0
Layer 1
Offers free trial

Trello Pros and Cons

RESULTS Score

4.2/5
Lydia Pang

reviewed by

Lydia Pang

Pros

Great task management features
Good range of integrations and power-ups
Offers a free version and free trial
Fast interface that is easy to use
Mobile apps work offline

Cons

No Gantt charts, time tracking, or budget management
Does not scale well with large projects

Overview

Trello is a Kanban-based project management software that allows teams to keep track of tasks as they progress from one workflow to the next. It organizes projects into boards and breaks down chunks of work into manageable tasks named cards. Teams using Trello can also define their own workflows, collaborate with clients, take down notes, share files, and add attachments. The interface is fast and straightforward, making it easy for users to navigate the software. 

On the other hand, Trello is most suited for teams that manage small to medium-sized projects as it does not scale well with larger projects. The software also lacks advanced project management features such as time-tracking and reporting, but integrations with third-party applications (called “Power-Ups”) such as Clockify and BigPicture can make up for these shortcomings.

In this Trello review, we will explore project management features, pricing, ease of use, customer support, add ons, and more.

Trello Kanban Board Screenshot

What is Trello?

Based on the Kanban method, Trello is a useful tool for visualizing projects and managing tasks according to customized workflow stages. The tool’s name originates from the word 'trellis,' which was the project’s name in its early stages. It was developed by Frog Creek Software in 2011 and acquired by Atlassian in 2017.

Today, Trello is used by more than 50 million users worldwide to organize their work, including companies like UNICEF, Kickstarter, and Wired.

Facts and Figures

Employees4.000
Customers Worldwide170.000
Founded2002
FounderMike Cannon-Brookes, Scott Farquhar
HeadquartersSydney, Australia
CEOMike Cannon-Brookes, Scott Farquhar

Trello Project Management Features

As a Kanban-based tool, Trello breaks down large projects into smaller, more manageable tasks in the form of lists and cards. It provides a visual overview of a project’s timeline and tasks currently in the pipeline. Teams using Trello can manage and complete tasks, hold discussions, jot down notes, share files, and collaborate with external partners. Agile teams can also use Trello for Scrum frameworks and Agile processes such as sprint planning and user stories. Trello can be integrated with third-party software such as Google Drive and Slack, expanding its native functions greatly. 

Project Planning

Known for its flexibility and simplicity, Trello is a project management software that lets users set up and customize their own workflows. It uses the Kanban method of task management and viewing project progress, making it a great candidate for teams looking for a versatile and hassle-free project management tool. Projects in Trello are organized in boards and work items are represented by cards. As a card moves through stages of completion, users can move it from one column to another.

How do other options score for project planning?

Kanban

Trello uses boards, lists, and cards as a digital Kanban board, where work items are divided into columns labeled “To Do”, “Doing”, and “Done”. Work items are represented by cards that can be moved around using Trello’s drag and drop feature and columns can be renamed and customized according to a team’s workflow.

Clicking on a card opens a popup window where users can add in further details about a task such as task description, due date, and labels. Project managers can also assign a card to a team member by adding them to the card.

Trello Kanban Board Screenshot

Task Management

Trello’s task management features are easy to use. Using Trello’s Kanban board, every team can build a workflow unique to their approach of managing tasks. Besides adding a task description, users can also add checklists to a work item. File attachments can be uploaded directly from the user’s computer or third-party file sharing apps such as Google Drive and Dropbox. 

Users can also subscribe to updates on a card by clicking the “Watch” button, ensuring that they are notified of all changes made to a work item. Other actions team members can take include copying a card, making a template, and archiving a card. Every card also has its own link so that users can easily share it with their team members.

Trello Kanban Card Editing Options Screenshot

Communication & Collaboration

Trello’s real-time collaboration features make teamwork easy. With the discussion feature, teams can post longer messages, tag members, and organize all work-related information into cards. Trello also allows teams to share boards, lists, and cards with external collaborators via invite links. Team members can take down notes and attach files within cards, making Trello a great collaborative platform. 

How do other options score for communication & collaboration?

File Sharing

Trello’s file-sharing feature works well for teams that need to add external attachments. Team members can easily share files with each other by uploading directly from the computer, Google Drive, Dropbox, and other file-sharing applications. Teams can also preview attachments directly in Trello cards without having to download them by clicking on the thumbnail of the attachment. 

There is a 10MB file size limit per attachment, however, Business Class and Trello Gold members have a 250MB file size limit per attachment. There are no account file storage limits, nor a restriction on the number of attachments a team can have.

With external collaboration features, teams can share project information and project updates with contractors or clients outside of their companies. Trello allows teams to give outside collaborators access to boards via a direct link or an email invitation. It is also possible for project managers members to restrict access to specific project boards.

Project managers and administrators can add single-board guests free of charge. However, if the same guest is given access to multiple team boards, he or she is considered a billable user by Trello and will be billed at the same rate as a standard team member.

Discussion

Real-time discussions are a useful feature in the workplace when teams need to have longer conversations about work. In Trello, team members can add comments and ask questions directly within a card. All comments are threaded and time-stamped, so everyone looking in for the first time has a clear context of what’s going on. Users can also tag collaborators with the @ symbol and all updates are synced in real-time. 

Note-Taking

Though Trello does not offer a dedicated note-taking feature, users can jot down notes and add comments in each card. Trello also supports markdown syntax for card descriptions, comments, checklist items, and bios, enabling users to structure and add emphasis to their text. Embedding images is also possible as long as users make use of the right syntax. 

Agile Project Management

Though not specifically designed for Agile processes, Trello is also equipped to handle Agile workflows. By renaming columns, teams can use Trello for sprint planning, product backlog, issue tracking and more. Project managers can also label and categorize issues according to custom labels. With Trello’s power-ups, it is also possible for teams to integrate Jira and Github and turn cards into tickets. 

How do other options score for agile project management?

Scrum

Trello’s flexible Kanban boards allow teams to configure them for Agile processes such as Scrum. Once set up properly, teams can split up a Kanban board into columns for sprint planning, product backlog, user stories, and more. A Product Owner or Sprint Master can add due dates to cards, create a color labeling system, and assign cards to team members. By clicking on a card, team members can also view all the relevant information pertaining to the work item and get started right away. 

Issue Tracking

Teams can also use Trello for issue and bug tracking. Teams can rename columns to issue tracking workflows such as “Reported by team”, “Reported by clients”, “In Progress”, and “Done”. With Trello’s color-labeling system, it is also possible for project managers to prioritize issues by using the following labels: “Trivial”, “Major”, “Minor”, and “Trivial”. 

With Trello power-ups such as Jira and Github, teams can directly link issues to Trello cards and view detailed information within the card itself. Finally, teams can adopt the Trello-endorsed issue tracking template and modify the columns according to their preferences.

Trello Pricing

Layer 1
Offers free trial

Trello has a free plan and three paid plans, available either as monthly or annual subscriptions. In the free version, users have access to unlimited personal boards, cards, lists, and a 10MB per file attachment. Trello Gold offers users extra features and power-ups and costs $5 per month. 

Trello Business Class and Trello Enterprise boast features such as 250MB per file attachment, priority support, unlimited power-ups, advanced automation, and over 100+ app integrations. They are best suited for large teams and enterprise-level collaboration. Many users get started with the free version, then upgrading when they need more projects or features.

Free

Unlimited personal boards, lists, and cards
Ten team boards
One Power-Up (features/integrations) per board
Simple automation
Commands for one card button, one board button, and one rule per board
50 command runs per month
2-Factor authentication
File attachments up to 10MB

Gold

from $5 per user, per month

Intended for individual users
File attachments up to 250MB
Three Power-Ups (integration) per board
Custom board backgrounds
Extra stickers and custom emoji

Business Class

from $12.50 per user, per month

Unlimited personal boards, cards, and lists
File attachments up to 250MB
Priority support
View-only permissions
Custom backgrounds and stickers
Unlimited team boards
Board collections
Unlimited Power-Ups (integrations)
Custom fields
List limits
Card repeater
Calendar view
Map view
Voting
Automation tools
Custom field actions
Email notifications
HTTP requests
Advanced admin and security features

Enterprise

Contact Trello for custom pricing

All of the features of Trello Business Class
SAML SSO via Atlassian Access
Power-Up administration
Attachment restrictions
Organization wide permissions
Organization visible boards
Public board management

Trello Security

Trello takes industry-standard measures to safeguard the privacy and security of their users. The company protects its customers through these ways:

  • Trello is SOC2 Type 2, ISO/IEC 27001, and PCI-DSS certified. 

  • Trello uses Transport Layer Security (“TLS”), Advanced Encryption Standard (“AES”) encryption and 2-Factor Authentication.

  • All connections to and from Trello are made securely over HTTPS.

  • All user data is stored within the U.S. regions of Amazon Web Services and Google Cloud Storage.

  • Regular data backups are done and data is stored on Amazon Web Services’ (“AWS”) EC2 in multiple secure off-site locations. 

  • Trello’s production site is automatically scanned a minimum of every seven days and all changes are peer-reviewed.

  • Trello is fully compliant with the GDPR, EU-U.S Privacy Shield, and Swiss-U.S. Privacy Shield. 

For further information, visit the security guide available on Trello’s website.

Trello Integrations

Trello is a project management tool with Kanban features, but also officially supports a broad range of integrations (called “Power-Ups”) to extend its overall functionality. Keep in mind that Trello’s “Power-Ups” are limited according to the pricing plan chosen for a Trello account. 

  • Slack
  • Google Drive
  • CloudApp
  • Dropbox
  • Adobe XD
  • Hootsuite
  • JIRA cloud
  • Confluence Cloud
  • Mailchimp
  • Github

Interface

Much of Trello’s popularity comes from its ease of use. The software is clearly structured and visually appealing. Navigation is intuitive and there is drag and drop functionality. 

The home screen shows recently viewed boards, templates, personal, and team boards. Each project can have one board or multiple boards for different workflows. The notifications button is situated at the top right and offers users a summarized view of board activity. The ‘i’ icon offers additional information about the software including helpful tips on how to make the most out of Trello.

Mobile Apps

The Trello app is available on iOS and Android devices. Users can create and manage tasks, as well as add checklists, labels, and due dates to them. It is also possible to receive notifications to stay up to date when team members update the boards and complete tasks. Trello works offline so users can add information or make changes while being on the go. Changes will be reflected as soon as there is internet connection again.

Support

Trello provides support to its users in a variety of ways:

  • The self-help knowledge base contains articles on the most common questions that users ask and tutorials to help them work through technical issues.

  • The Trello community is a forum composed of Trello users and experts, and is an excellent resource for users wanting more personalized support.

  • The Trello Support team can be contacted via form submission and is a good starting point for users who have questions about billing, security, and more. 

Though Business Class and Enterprise users are entitled to priority support, there is no information on response times. In case of technical emergencies, users are unable to reach Trello via phone or live chat.

Trello Alternatives

Trello is a great project management software for teams that need a flexible Kanban tool to manage projects and workflows. Users that require more advanced features such as project budgeting can consider the following alternatives: 

Verdict

Trello is a popular and widely used project management software, with over 50 million users worldwide. It helps teams track projects and manage work through the Kanban method while giving them the creativity to customize their own workflows. Users can manage tasks, collaborate with others, share files, and connect external applications such as Slack and Jira. The tool utilizes drag and drop functionality which makes it easy for users to get started, monitor and track work through different stages. 

Nonetheless, Trello is not equipped to handle large, complex projects as it lacks more traditional features such as time-tracking and Gantt charts. Teams however can make use of Trello’s extensive range of power-ups to broaden its native capabilities.

FAQ

Trello is straightforward to use and users do not need to invest a huge amount of time learning how to use the software. After signing in, users can start by creating some lists with tasks that need to be tracked and completed within a timeframe. 
Trello offers a free plan as well as three pricing plans. Trello Gold costs $5 per month and it is intended for individual users, while the business class plan costs $12.50 per user, per month. Last but not least, the Enterprise plan costs $17.50 per user, per month.