Trello is a task manager built around the concept of ‘Kanban’ which is essentially a scheduling system that allows you to move your tasks from one state to the next.
The interface is built around the concept of a ‘Task board’ with columns for each state a task might be in (for example “to do, in progress, done”). The workflow is then to move tasks from one column to the next.
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Pro Simple and easy to use interface
There are two primary columns: the board is shown on the left and all the other controls on the right. The main means of interaction is dragging and dropping to-do cards into the various lists.
The board structure is very customizable, and includes a variety of features that help along the way: color-coding, due dates, card images, checklists with a graphics bar that allows following progress easily, and card aging for cards that haven’t been touched in a long time.
Pro Great real-time team collaboration features
Trello has permissions at the board level as well as the ability to assign multiple people to each card. There are a lot of sharing options available and boards can be made visible for the public. It's also possible to subscribe to a card to be notified of its progress. The simplicity of the UI makes collaboration easy because it’s very simple to see the progress of each card and who is responsible for it. It also updates constantly to reflect real-time changes in progress.
The simplicity of the UI makes collaboration easy as it’s very simple to see the progress of each card and who is responsible for it. It also reflect changes on boards in real-time.
Pro Highly flexible workflow
Trello calls items used in the workflow “cards.” Cards are double-sided and can contain subtasks as well as notes and other details.
Card columns can be used to simulate a workflow by moving cards from left to right as they are completed, or as a way of indicating task priority.
The workflow is highly flexible as the columns are completely customizable to suit the task flow. For example, tasks can be put through a workflow "idea > approved > in-progress > pending review > released" or simply "ideas > released" depending on the granularity level needed.
This makes Trello a great solution to feature management as it's possible to set up boards to handle everything from agile sprints to a more generic to-do list, all with status management.
Pro Free for unlimited users
Trello offers a very generous free version that has no ads, no restrictions on the number of users, and very little restriction on how the program can be used. The paid features are generally cosmetic, such as the ability to change the background, add stickers, etc.
Pro Markdown support with well-rendered images
Trello supports Markdown, meaning that HTML input is represented appropriately. Cards with attachments are also rendered well. For example, images are shown correctly on the card, bug links are detected etc.
Pro Excellent for groups using agile software development
The responsiveness and layers of customization make it easy for team members of various disciplines to collaborate on the same task board.
Pro Works well for visual thinkers
Pro Functionality can be extended via plug-ins
Voting, view, and calendar plug-ins further increase the functionality.
Each card can have one or even multiple task lists.
Pro Lots of API integrations
Pro Great native app for Android and iOS
Pro Action history log allows you to rapidly follow changes
There is a global history system which allows to rapidly follow changes. There is also a notification system if another user updates the board while you're watching it.
Pro Features to add voting on cards
Trello offers support for features to add voting on cards, often referred to as 'power-ups'.
Pro Cross-platform and cross-sync
Trello works on all modern devices through the web application and has native apps for iOS, Android and Windows 8/10 devices.
Pro Good performance
Pro Smooth media integration
Pro Attach files to cards
Keep all of your files (images, documents, etc.) organized on their relevant cards.
Con Managing large projects may be difficult
Trello works best with medium to small projects and with very high-level overviews. It is less effective for projects that require very granular management due to the fact that it becomes considerably more difficult to keep track of various cards and priorities as they are pushed off the screen.
Con Not really a to do list
Trello is much more a workflow and project management program than a typical to-do app, which makes it overwhelmingly robust for those looking to jot down their shopping list.
Con Subtasks lack features
Every task can have a list of subtasks which more closely resembles a standard to-do list.
These lack the functions that cards offer you. You cannot comment on a sub-list, give the sub-tasks due dates, or provide additional information. You are limited to only checking them off once completed.
Con No multi-board aggregation
If you have multiple boards with tasks on them there is no way to get all the tasks on one board in a way that changes on one board will update the other.
Con Light on features
Trello is focused on simplicity and as such forgoes certain common features that may or may not be important to you.
Con Can't create dependencies between cards
Con Can't get one view of cards across all boards
However, you can view all cards assigned to you.
Con No desktop client
There is no Windows or Mac client now but you can still access all of the features through your web browser.