When comparing Todo.txt vs Trello, the Slant community recommends Trello for most people. In the question“What is the best cross-platform to-do list app?” Trello is ranked 1st while Todo.txt is ranked 9th. 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 Easily editable format
Todo.txt can be edited in plain text and then displayed with neat styles.
Pro Command line support
You can edit your lists using the command line (e.g., Terminal) via a supplied bash script.
Pro Full control over your to-dos
You have full access to the underlying programming rules, and therefore total control over your task lists.
Pro Works with lots of apps for every platform
Todo.txt lists can be edited in virtually every text editor ever made and accessed on devices that support Dropbox. The user community has also created a number of apps for dozens of platforms.
Pro Editable from any text editor without needing any proprietary software
Because todo.txt is just a todo standard with various compatible apps to edit it, you can update it from any device as long as it can edit text and you can access your todo.txt file
It's convenient to be able to access your todo list quickly via your programming environment so you don't have to switch contexts, and to have a separate todo.txt file per project.
Pro It's free
It runs on MacOS, Android, and Python (in the Mac's Unix CLI) -- all for free.
Pro Wide range of interface apps
The community has developed a wide range of apps that interface with the basic file structure. These apps vary in how much they accomplish, how much hand-holding they do, their level of glitz, etc. They range from plugins for an editing app like vim to stand-alone, platform-specific GUI's. So YMMV depending on what you use. (todopy is particularly nice, a Python program that has a "console" mode which provides a keyboard-driven GUI.)
Pro It's easily extensible, and in fact has been extended to include most things people want
Pro Easy syncing
Todo.txt automatically and seamlessly syncs through Dropbox.
Pro Easy to sync up between lots of devices and interfaces
At a bare minimum you just need to be able to edit text, but there are many apps and advanced interfaces you can install on many devices to supplement your to-do list editing.
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 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 or integration with other tools.
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 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 Works well for visual thinkers
The UI is based around Kanban, so you can see all your tasks and their status clearly.
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.
Each card can have one or even multiple task lists.
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 Good performance
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 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.
Pro Lots of API integrations
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 Great prioritization, Due date and Story point features
Can set different priorities to various tasks, set appropriate due dates and Story points - timing allotted to each task.
Con No support for reoccurring tasks
Tasks have dates corresponding to creation and completion, but there is no explicit support for due dates or for tasks that reoccur.
Con Nested tasks not supported
Many todo tasks for developers end up having sub tasks that need to be performed for a parent task to be completed, but the todo.txt format does not have any nesting.
Con Android app not updated since 2013
The app only seems to support Dropbox. It would be nice to see support for different and newer file storage services.
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 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 Can't get one view of cards across all boards
However, you can view all cards assigned to you.
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 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 Can't create dependencies between cards
Con Project management system only
This is cumbersome to get started.
Con Data is locked into Trello. Board
It can be exported in Trello’s own data format, JSON, which is not usable in other programs such as Excel.
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 You can't add more than 1 Power Up without paying for it
Con Impossible to use Pomodoro timer connected to Trello on iOS
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.