Managing multiple projects, coordinating teams, attending meetings, creating reports… being a project manager is a tough job!
While it seems like you’d need superpowers to manage all of what you’re in charge of, most project managers settle for a basic project management tool like Trello.
Trello project management gives you the visibility and flexibility to keep track of projects—but overall, how effective is the tool?
In this article, we’ll discuss Trello’s key features, advantages, and disadvantages. We’ll also highlight the best solution to tackle Trello’s limitations.
All set to find out what it’s like to use Trello? Let’s get started.
What Is Trello?
Trello is a project management tool for task management and collaboration. The software is well-known for its kanban board style. As a result, understanding Trello is quite simple too. It’s like a whiteboard with sticky notes you can move around.
This management tool lets you:
- View your workflow
- Create and assign tasks
- Collaborate and communicate
- And more
5 Key Features of Trello
Here are the main Trello features that make it a great tool for project management.
1. Templates feature
Trello project management aims to make your lives easy and save time by presenting you with board templates.
The tool comes with free preset templates and is publicly available to be copied. Preset templates include:
- Team management
- And more!
2. Butler feature
Butler is an automation feature in Trello.
Remember Geoffrey from The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air? Geoffrey keeps everything in the Banks’ residence organized and functional. Trello’s butler does the same for your project activities by automating things.
Trello has a butler, and he does the same job.
It’s just not as cool as Geoffrey. I mean, look at his dance moves. Trello can’t beat that.
With Butler, you can create rules and commands on your Trello board to reduce repetitive work:
- Card buttons: set up a button on a card with your preferred action, trigger by a click
- Rules: instantly triggered by a set action
- Due date commands: triggers an action when the task approaches the due date
- Calendar commands: set commands for recurring tasks
Want to know more about Trello’s Butler? Check out our guide to Trello automation.
3. Cards feature
A Trello card (the smallest unit of work) is typically an individual task in your workflow. You can include:
- Task descriptions
- Due dates
- Multiple project assignees, etc.
However, basic cards with task details can be a snooze fest.
Here’s an idea: make them more visual with card covers and colors. 💡
To add a front cover display on your Trello cards, upload your photos or use the Unsplash gallery. This is a simple way to add context to any project task!
4. Trello boards
Trello boards are the basis of the entire platform, as Trello task management operates on a kanban project management system.
You can create multiple boards for your projects.
The board system also lets you oversee your project progress at all times. Task cards listed on the main Trello dashboard make it even easier.
To move a task card from one task status to another in a workflow, drag and drop the card to another status, and that’ll automatically notify all your teammates.
5. Integrations feature
Trello has an entire page full of apps and add-ons called “power-ups.” They open the door to a whole new world of additional abilities that can enhance Trello project management.
Some of these power-ups are your favorite apps that you can integrate into Trello, such as Slack, Microsoft Teams, Dropbox, and more.
The power-ups list is impressively long, so you won’t have to worry a bit about integrations.
3 Advantages of Trello Project Management
One of the biggest Trello advantages is how easy it is to adopt the kanban approach.
1. Ideal for agile workflows
Trello’s kanban board style makes it well-suited for agile methods and a place to build your scrum board.
Your agile team can easily employ the kanban method and use a Trello board to see:
- What they need to do
- The task statuses of all their to-dos
- The potential bottlenecks
2. Wide use cases with Trello boards
And since kanban inspires Trello, the software, too, has several use cases:
- New hire onboarding
- Interview pipeline
- Sales CRM pipeline
- Product roadmaps
- Freelance assignments
- Production incident management
3. Effective communication with Trello cards
Email can be a useful form of communication, but it certainly isn’t the fastest way to get a hold of someone or get a reply.
With that said, it’s not a great way to organize and plan.
What you need are Trello cards. You can have conversations within cards and keep everything relevant to a specific task in the same place.
However, Trello is far from perfect. Let’s check out some of its disadvantages.
5 Disadvantages of Trello (With Solutions)
Here are five drawbacks of Trello for project management:
1. No designated space for note-taking
Trello employs kanban, supports resource management, offers customization options but has no note-taking space.
Where do you take meeting notes? Create personal to-dos? Write down your friend’s suggested banana cake recipe?
You can rely on integrations for taking notes, but that seems like a lot of work for something so simple.
No worries, though; we’ve got the perfect solution.
Everybody, say hello ClickUp! 👋
ClickUp is a highly rated productivity tool with both small and large organizations swept off their feet.
The ideal Trello alternative.
ClickUp solution: Notepad
Unlike Trello, ClickUp has a designated notes-taking space called Notepad.
It’s yours and yours only. So go crazy. Jot down your amazing business ideas, thoughts, meeting notes, things you need to pick up for your dog, and more!
Or even create quick checklists so you can enjoy the satisfaction of checking them off every day.
Did you know you can easily convert your thoughts into tasks with our Notepad?
- Open the Notepad from the Chrome extension, desktop app, or mobile app
- Click + on the note options or within the note
- Choose a List and make any necessary changes before you create the task
The note title becomes the new task name, and the note’s content becomes the task description.
2. No native time tracker
Even though we all know time is money, there’s no option in Trello to see where all your time goes.
How do you improve your team’s performance? What about billable hours? Where’s the accountability?
With Trello, all you’re left with is a bunch of unanswered questions.
ClickUp solution: native time tracking
Let ClickUp help you answer all your time-related queries and track time for every task or activity you do.
All you need to do is click on the play icon. Or add time manually, if that’s what you prefer.
However, what makes our native time tracking amazing is the global timer feature. You can start the timer on one computer and stop it from another if you’re logged in.
We strongly believe you won’t need them but we like to give options!
3. Requires too many power-ups
If you need integrations, you need power-ups.
If you need a Gantt chart or custom fields, you need power-ups… and this is just the beginning.
Trello limits the number of power-ups you can use at a time per board. If Trello users want to use more than one, they need to use Trello’s paid plans.
And for unlimited power-ups, they must get ready to pay for Trello’s business plan even if other plan features are not needed.
ClickUp solution #1: Gantt Chart view in ClickUp
Unlike the Trello software, ClickUp is a complete solution. You won’t have to look for power-ups to manage projects on a Gantt chart.
With ClickUp, it takes three small steps:
- Click on + on any List, Folder, or Space
- Select Gantt
- Name it
What can you do on the Gantt view?
- Plan projects
- Create a timeline
- Schedule and assign tasks
- Monitor progress percentage
- Calculate the critical path
- Manage task dependencies
- And more!
ClickUp solution #2: Custom Fields
Another feature that doesn’t need to be “powered-up” is ClickUp’s custom fields.
Use Custom Fields to build and manage anything you like, such as a whole new management system, a custom workflow, and more. Some Custom Field types include:
- And more!
4. No Linux app
Is project management for all? We say, yes!
However, Trello doesn’t seem to agree with us with its lack of a Linux app.
ClickUp solution: apps for all platforms
Don’t worry. ClickUp has a big heart, and we’re welcoming of all platforms.
Our project management tool’s desktop app is available for Windows, macOS, and Linux.
ClickUp also has mobile apps for both Android and iOS users to be productive on the go.
5. Limited free plan and expensive paid plans
There was a time when all Trello had was kanban. Now they’ve added new views like calendar, timeline, map, dashboard, etc.
Guess who’s not getting access to the views? You, a free plan user.
That means you’re stuck with just boards.
Let’s assume you’re okay with just boards. Now what? You’ll notice the lack of unlimited boards.
If each board is a project, you won’t start the next until you finish the current one.
Thinking about upgrading?
Trello pricing starts at $10/user per month, which is pretty high compared to several of its (more powerful) competitors.
ClickUp solution: feature-rich Free Forever Plan
If you saw ClickUp’s free plan features, you’d think it was a paid plan!
Our feature-rich free plan comes with:
- Unlimited projects, tasks, and members
- Dashboards in ClickUp
- Gantt chart and other views
- 50+ Native integrations
And that’s just a drop in the ocean.
Here’s what our paid plans can do:
- Unlimited ($5/user per month):
- Unlimited integrations
- Custom exporting
- Unlimited custom views
- And more.
- Business ($9/user per month):
- Business Plus ($19/user per month):
- Subtasks in multiple Lists
- Custom role creation
- Personalized admin training
- And more
Here are other exciting features by ClickUp:
- Build your own workflow with Custom Statuses
- Enjoy real-time updates and see who’s doing what with team collaboration detection
- Integrate with your favorite app such as Zoho Projects, Asana, Jira, etc. directly or via Zapier
- Make collaboration easy with Mentions and Comments
- Keep on the good work even when the wifi is down with Offline Mode
- View your work however you prefer with Box view, Table view, Calendar view, and more
- Create and delegate Reminders in ClickUp
Having second thoughts about Trello? Check out more Trello alternatives.
Say Hello To Better Tools Than Trello!
Trello project management has its pros and limitations.
There’s no denying its kanban approach is great, and every project board helps you visualize your project progress.
But is it good enough to mask the fact that it’s not a complete project management solution?
Trello needs power-ups to handle any complex project and doesn’t have something as simple as a notepad or custom fields.
With that said, you should be looking to switch from Trello to an all-in-one solution instead, like ClickUp!
It’s a powerful project management tool that can help you manage projects, tasks, time, resources, documents…all without external help.
Join ClickUp for free, fasten your seatbelt, and prepare yourself to experience the smoothest project management journey ever!
Questions? Comments? We're here for you 24/7 at firstname.lastname@example.org!