When comparing Trello vs MindMeister, the Slant community recommends Trello for most people. In the question“What are the best Evernote alternatives?” Trello is ranked 7th while MindMeister is ranked 22nd. 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 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 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 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.
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.
Pro Various layouts
User can switch between classical mind map layout, a layout where all topics are aligned on the left or the right, and org chart layout.
Pro Notes can be shared and collaborated on in real-time
MindMeister allows sharing maps with an unlimited number of collaborators so it's possible to take notes and brainstorm together. Mind maps can be shared by inviting people either directly via email or by sending them a link to the map. Even people without a MindMeister account can access the maps and even edit them.
Pro Web and mobile versions available
In addition to web software, MindMeister is available on iOS and Android mobile platforms as well.
Pro Comments and votes
Users can create polls and have collaborators vote individual topics up or down, or comment on them.
Pro Clear overview without losing any details
The mind mapping format provides with a clear overview of connections, hierarchies and relationships of notes. At the same time, it's possible to add more detailed notes, links, pictures and even whole files to the keywords, so that no important information gets lost.
Pro One node can have marks, emoticons and comments
Pro Adding a Table or Matrix
Xmind is one of the few mind maps that allows you to add a table or matrix to your mind map. Very useful when you have content that works better in a table.
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 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 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 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 get one view of cards across all boards
However, you can view all cards assigned to you.
Con Can't create dependencies between cards
Con Project management system only
This is cumbersome to get started.
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.
Con Free option limited to 3 mind maps
A free XMind app/online account or MindMup account both provide unlimited mind maps.
Con No good offline mode
You can only work completely offline when using an iOS or Android device. For your browser there's only a clumsy 'offline mode' available. If you didn't hit the switch before you have the need for working offline (for instance: in a meeting, at a customer's location, in a plane, etc.) than your out of luck... no tool for note taking. Especially with all those HTML5-capable browsers and the Chrome App store (including Desktop apps), this limits the usage of this commercial product.
Con MindMeister has very poor Evernote integration
Evernote is the number one 'store-everything-archive' when it comes to unstructured data or information. MindMeister markets there Evernote integration as a very cool feature. But this integration is very basic and buggy: only the last 50 (?) notes from Evernote's default notebook are shown in the list, and it takes about 30 seconds to one full minute to generate that list. After that it takes about the same amount of time to add a copy of the selected note as an attachment to a topic. MindMeister support is well aware of this poor implementation, but doesn't put any effort in fixing it.
Con Expensive compared to the competition
A basic monthly subscription ($92 USD) gives you no more than XMind FREE except PDF exporting. XMind paid with PDF export is $79. $20 less for lifetime use of an app with more features as of writing.
Con Very basic
Con The interface has only very basic features
For example, it lacks the possibility to define a long text under the node title showing it in a permanent way. The software is 1000 less powerful than Microsoft Visio. Meanwhile it should just be more specific.