Trello vs Jira Compared (Pros & Cons & Features) Which Is Best?

Thursday, June 16, 2022
Sandra Petrova
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Atlassian owns two of the most popular players in the project management software space: Jira and Trello. In this Trello vs Jira comparison, we examine the different strengths of either platform. 

Both have been around for years, helping users manage their projects from start to finish. Both offer a freemium version of their products. But there are instances when Jira is a better fit and times when Trello is more suitable. 

Which one should you choose to manage your tasks?

Join us as we compare the two tools in terms of project management features and functionality. 

Let’s dive in. 

 

What is the difference between Trello and Jira?

The difference between Jira and Trello is that Jira is geared toward agile teams with advanced needs, while Trello caters to smaller businesses that need a general-use project management solution. 

As we have mentioned in our earlier Trello review, Trello is lightweight and there aren’t many things to configure. In our Jira review, we noted how Jira is a more robust tool, and as such, it has a steeper learning curve. 

Jira comes packed with native features that support software development teams like issue tracking, sprint planning, bug tracking, etc. Trello comes with all the features you would need for basic project management, like boards, lists, cards, integrations, and automation. There are no epics, no stories, no sprints—you simply work on a card and move it through the different stages.

Jira offers kanban, scrum, and sprint boards, while Trello gives users kanban boards and has recently introduced a few additional views like Timeline view and Calendar view. 

Another difference is that Jira offers an on-premise option along with a cloud option. Trello is only available as a cloud software package. 

 

Trello vs Jira comparison chart

Comparison

Trello

Jira

Best

Pricing*

$5 /user/month

$7.50 /user/month

Jira

Free version?

Yes

Yes

Trello

Customer support

 

Trello

Knowledgebase & learning

  

Tie

Limitations

Not suitable for large-scale projects 

Requires a learning curve to use it successfully

Tie

Ease of use

 

Trello

Integrations 

200+ integrations through Power-Ups    

Integrates with 3,000+ apps and tools

Jira

Mobile versions 

iOS and Android

iOS and Android

Tie

Task management

 

Trello

Agile project management

 

Jira

*Prices start at

 

Trello vs Jira pricing

Both Trello and Jira have a free plan and three paid plans: Standard, Premium, and Enterprise. 

Trello's cheapest paid plan costs $5 per user per month, while Jira's is $7.50. With the Standard plan, Jira users get access to the same features that are available with the free plan, except for features such as user roles and permissions, advanced permissions, audit logs, and more. The other major upgrade is that this plan supports up to 20,000 users, unlike the freemium version that only supports 10. 

Trello users of the Standard plan get everything from the free plan, plus Unlimited boards, Advanced checklists, Custom Fields, Unlimited storage (250MB/file), and 1,000 Workspace command runs per month.

The Premium plans of each platform are like a middle ground between the cheapest paid plan and the highest-paid. These plans are a great option if you need access to some more advanced features that the Standard plan lacks. 

For Jira, those features are Advanced roadmaps, Sandbox & release tracks, Project archiving, Guaranteed uptime SLA, and Unlimited storage.

For Trello, that includes features like Dashboard view, Timeline view, Calendar view, Workspace Calendar View, Unlimited Workspace command runs, Admin and security features, and Priority support. 

Trello’s Enterprise plan starts at $17.50 for 25 users and offers advanced features like  Unlimited Workspaces, Organization-wide permissions, Public board management, Multi-board guests, and Attachment permissions.

Jira doesn’t offer public pricing for its Enterprise plan. You have to get in touch with sales for a custom quote. 

Jira also offers a self-managed solution, but you’ll need to dedicate $42,000 per year for 500 users. The price goes up as you add more users. You can host a fully functional copy of Jira Software Data Center on your own hardware, free for 30 days.

Both tools offer a free trial. 

Which is best for you?

Jira is slightly more expensive than Trello, but Jira's paid plans might be more competitive in terms of features, depending on what you need. 

Trello's Standard plan is pretty limited in scope, and the Enterprise plan doesn’t extend features too much. That leaves users with the Premium plan, which will cost you $10 per user per month, which is not so cheap if you consider what you're getting: a few additional views that you may or may not use, unlimited command runs, and some more advanced security features. 

Jira's Premium plan is pretty powerful. Jira also offers a self-managed solution, something which Trello doesn’t have.

Jira vs Trello free versions

Both Jira and Trello have a freemium version. Jira's free plan comes with all the basic features you would need for simple project management, such as Unlimited project boards, Backlog and basic roadmaps, Reporting and insights, and 2 GB of storage. This is a good plan if you have fewer than ten users, as this is the maximum number of users the free plan supports. 

Trello's free plan doesn't impose a user limit, but it only lets you have up to 10 boards per Workspace. This should be enough for personal project management or if you're working as part of a smaller team with basic needs. 

Other features available with the free plan include Unlimited cards, Unlimited Power-Ups per board, Unlimited storage, and 250 Workspace command runs per month. The free plan might not be ideal for larger teams with more complex needs. In this case, subscribing to one of the paid plans might be the wiser option.

Trello also offers its automation feature with the free plan—although the automation functionality is limited to only 50 Butler commands per month. Jira also offers limited automation with the freemium version. 

Which is best for you?

Trello’s free plan is ideal for smaller teams of a few people that need to manage basic projects. And the best part is they can use it indefinitely. 

Jira also offers a free plan, but it’s limited to 10 users, while Trello’s free plan doesn’t impose a user limit.

Customer support

Some companies opt for offering customer support as a feature that you need to pay for in order to get. That’s the case for both Trello and Jira. 

For Jira, users of the free plan only get access to the platform's community forum, while users of the Standard plan can reach out to support but only during business hours. Premium users get 24/7 support, while Enterprise users get 24/7 Enterprise support, including phone support. 

Trello offers Priority Email Support to users of the Premium and Enterprise plans, meaning the company reaches back within one business day. Users of the free plan and the Standard plan can find help in the knowledgebase or the community forum. 

Which is best for you?

From a holistic standpoint, Trello takes the top spot in this category. In cases when you run into an issue that’s not covered in the knowledgebase or the community forum, Trello’s customer support is quite responsive.

If you go for Jira’s Premium or Enterprise plan, you’ll find excellent support. It just might not be as quick. 

Knowledgebase & learning

As both Jira and Trello reserve customer support for their paying customers, their knowledge bases are quite extensive. Jira's knowledge base contains troubleshooting and how-to articles for versions of Jira Software Server 7.0 and newer. Trello's knowledge base contains 300+ help articles covering topics like automation, power-ups, templates, views, mobile apps, and more. 

Which is best for you?

Both platforms offer the same type of knowledge bases that contain a vast collection of resources. You won’t find any substantive qualitative difference. 

 

Jira vs Trello features & functionality

In the following chapter, we'll compare Jira and Trello in terms of features and functionality. Although the two platforms offer the same features you'll find with most project management software, there are some visible differences. Let's uncover those differences and announce the winner in each comparison category. 

Trello or Jira for ease of use?

Trello is one of the easiest project management tools you can use. Its simplicity is its strength. Even if you’re new to using project management software, it shouldn’t take you more than an hour to learn how everything works. 

It does the Kanban thing pretty much better than any other app. If you need Kanban boards with the addition of a calendar or timeline view, Trello is a fantastic collaboration tool. You can also make comments (with emojis of course). Link to files in Google Drive or Dropbox and you’re good to go for straightforward projects.

Where Trello starts to run into problems is when you have a lot of boards and need to get a clear view of what happens across each board. With that said, Trello works most efficiently when you're a small team that just needs a few boards and lists. 

When it comes to Jira, the software is not immediately intuitive to the new user. There's a learning curve that requires the user to do a lot of learning to most effectively and optimally use Jira. For small teams or startups, Jira could be a bit overkill and a time-waster. The real benefit of the software is when you have 100+ people that need a powerful tool for managing anything from a product backlog to a new project or product's development lifecycle. 

Which is best for you?

Trello is the most straightforward app to use. Jira is more complex, but that's the price of having a larger stable of advanced features. 

Jira is fantastic if you get it working right, with all the integrations and so on. But it really needs a trained professional to set it up perfectly for your team.

Integrations

Both Jira and Trello integrate with a range of tools and apps teams need to be more productive. 

Jira integrations work through the Atlassian Marketplace, where you can find 3,000+ integrations, apps, add-ons, and plugins that can be customized to fit any use case. For example, design teams will find integrations to tools like AdobeXD, Invision, and Figma. 

Software engineering teams will be glad to hear Jira integrates with tools like Github, Jenkins, and Bitbucket. Other integrations include Slack, Zoom, Microsoft Teams, Gmail, and Confluence. 

There's even a Trello and Jira integration so that you can work with Trello inside Jira. The Trello-Jira integration can be set up with only a few clicks and works seamlessly. 

Trello's integration feature is called Power-Ups that add an extra feature to your board. You can connect your Boards with 200+ tools and apps that range from analytics and reporting to sales and support. You can also build your own Power-Ups with Trello's own API. Some Power-Ups are free, while others require an additional subscription fee. 

Which is best for you?

Jira has way more stuff, with a massive library of native integrations for CRM, time tracking, reporting, code review, cloud storage, and more. Through the Atlassian Marketplace, users get access to thousands of third-party apps, plugins, and extensions. 

Trello is part of the Atlassian family, but it cannot use third-party apps in the Atlassian Marketplace. 

Product limitations

Trello and Jira are two powerful tools used by millions of teams combined. They both have their perks, but no tool is perfect. 

For example, one of Trello's downsides is that it's unsuitable for large-scale projects. Trello can be a brilliant platform when working on less complex projects requiring manipulating only a few cards daily. 

But once you try to add more boards, more cards, and more lists, managing your workflow within the platform can become cumbersome. It lacks advanced functionalities like native reporting and time estimation features. It doesn't do much beyond letting you drag and drop lists and cards.

Trello users might also be disappointed to find the platform doesn't have a built-in task dependency management. Those who require this feature have to use elements such as checklists and attachments to represent and manage task dependencies. 

Now let's discuss Jira's product limitations. Although Jira can be customized to be used by teams in different industries, it's more geared towards agile teams. So, unless you're a software development team, you might not need all the features this tool comes packed with. 

Another downside is that it comes with a myriad of features that can overwhelm the average user. Some users even say the app feels "bloated." It can be a powerful tool, but only if you have a trained professional who can configure the software for your team. 

The best way to use the software is to break things down to what you want from the tool. Once you know what you want, you can prioritize and make the key configurations. 

As long as you can keep the project managers from overcomplicating it, Jira can be a top-notch tool for improving project visibility and team productivity.

Jira might also be an overkill for small companies that aren't remote. It's more suitable for medium to large software teams. Jira might be too much for your needs if you're a hobbyist or freelancer. In this case, a simpler tool like Trello is the better option. 

Which is best for you?

Both tools have their perks and their downsides. Trello’s limitation is that while it’s a fantastic tool for smaller teams, it doesn’t work well for agile teams or fast-growing teams. Jira is a powerful tool for agile teams but has a learning curve, so it takes time to implement successfully.

Mobile versions

Like most project management tools, Jira and Trello have mobile versions of their software for Android and iOS. Like most mobile apps, they’re not exactly great. 

Although the mobile version lets you do the same things as the desktop or browser versions, the software doesn't translate well to a small smartphone screen. The mobile apps are great if you need to quickly add or remove a detail while on the way from work and not much about anything else. But this has nothing to do with the Trello or Jira app's design; it's just the limitation of mobile screens. The good news is that the mobile apps are easily accessible at no extra cost.

Which is best for you?

In either case, the mobile version isn’t really a working substitute to the browser version. Useful in a pinch, but you really want to be using the web app whenever possible.

Task management 

Trello excels when it comes to task management. On the plus side, it’s one of the easiest tools on the market to learn, especially for novices. The software has three main features: Boards, Lists, and Cards. All work happens here. In short, a Trello board is a list of lists, filled with cards, used for project management. You can create different Boards for different projects, assign cards to team members, add due dates, attach files, and more. 

Jira was built differently than Trello in terms that it's geared towards software engineering teams. Jira workflows are designed in such a way to support teams in building, testing, and releasing software. In other words, its task management features are baked directly into an agile framework. 

Similar to Trello, you can create tasks (although in Jira, they're called issues), assign tasks to team members, move tasks from one column to another, etc. You can even create custom workflows to help your team work as efficiently as possible. 

Which is best for you?

Trello was built to make task management simple for its users. It has one of the best Kanban boards that can easily be adopted. It does a good job of breaking down a large project into smaller tasks. 

Jira is more complex, and this complexity can make it more challenging for users to perform simple task management.

Agile project management 

Jira was built specifically for agile software development teams and offers all the critical agile features to support such teams. Whether you're building code or tracking issues, Jira supports Kanban boards, Scrum boards, or a mix of the two. 

Once tasks, or "issues," are created in the backlog, you can import them into the scrum board. If you want to use a more linear workflow, there are also kanban boards and a roadmap for long-term planning. 

You can even attach code to a project, which comes in handy when working on a software development project. The software also comes with powerful agile reporting features like burndown charts and sprint planning that will help you keep everything on track.

If you have your foot down on using Trello, you can add these agile features to the software with the help of Trello’s Power-Ups that could mimic what you need. The difference is that these agile features are native to Jira, and with Trello, you have to add them as add-ons.

Which is best for you?

Although Trello is the “kanban king,” it doesn’t offer the agile features most software development teams need, like sprint planning, Scrum boards, or issue tracking. Jira has all these things and more. 

 

Which is better, Jira or Trello? Our conclusion

We’ve arrived at the end of this extensive comparison post. 

We compared the two “siblings” in terms of pricing, free plan, ease of use, and product limitations, among other things. But the big question remains:

Is Trello better than Jira? Should you start using the software today? 

As usual, the answer to this question is not so simple. At the end of the day, the best project management software for you is the one that best suits your needs. 

Look at it this way:

If your team has more than five members and you’re working on a more complex project, Jira might be the better choice—especially if you’re following the agile methodologies. If you and your team need to develop products that require testing and debugging, Jira comes with all the features you would need for project tracking. 

If your team has fewer than five people and you're working on a simpler project, for example, building a website, then Trello seems like the better pick. In fact, Trello is the safer and more practical choice for most organizations and businesses. You can use it for everything from marketing campaigns and event planning to editorial calendar planning.

It’s also possible you’ll end up wanting something different altogether. You can check out our best Trello alternatives to see what other apps might suit you. We also have an article covering the best Jira alternatives, so you can get coverage from the other side too.

We wish you good luck with any project management software you end up using.

 
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