When comparing JIRA Agile vs Trello, the Slant community recommends Trello for most people. In the question“What are the best agile project management tools for software?” Trello is ranked 1st while JIRA Agile is ranked 7th. The most important reason people chose Trello is:
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.
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Pro Powerful tools for issue management
Issues in a current sprint are viewed in a Kanban interface. But for the issues not in a sprint Jira provides a compact view with many powerful tools to search and filter the list. You can create custom filters such as "Show me all issues not yet designed that are assigned to me" and a variety of other tools that make dealing with large backlogs easy.
Pro Has App Marketplace for extensions
Pro Highly customisable and powerful workflows
You can provide custom workflows for all the different types of issues. For example you can make features go through a flow of "Backlog -> Needs design -> Built -> Needs QA -> done" with bugs going through a different flow. These workflows are very powerful as you can configure them to automatically assign your QA lead when moved into the needs QA state. These features do require some learning curve to set up, but make the tool a lot more efficient to use as things like managing who is assigned to an issue can be automated.
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 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 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 Works well for visual thinkers
The UI is based around Kanban, so you can see all your tasks and their status clearly.
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 Functionality can be extended via plug-ins
Voting, view, and calendar plug-ins further increase the functionality.
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 Lots of API integrations
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.
Each card can have one or even multiple task lists.
Pro Good performance
Pro Attach files to cards
Keep all of your files (images, documents, etc.) organized on their relevant cards.
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 Smooth media integration
Works like a charm.
Con Slow to use
Every view switch and action takes a second or two. Doesn't seem too bad when you first start using it, but the UI is complicated enough that you need to manipulate it a lot and all that time adds up.
Con Merely a thin interface to a massive database
Too many configuration details, too confusing, too difficult to search and modify numerous tickets.
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 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 quick deadline assignment
You have to open a Calendar every time to set a date without any quick options like today, tomorrow etc.
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 Can't create dependencies between cards
Con Impossible to use Pomodoro timer connected to Trello on iOS
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.
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.