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Trello is an incredible app for project management A Guide to Trello for Life and Project Management A Guide to Trello for Life and Project Management Trello can help you get organized. It's a free tool to manage any kind of project. Read this guide to understand its basic structure, the navigation, and how Trello can be useful to you. Read More and organizing your tasks. It also makes working with teammates much easier. But not everyone likes it or wants to sign up for a new service. There are enough free kanban board apps to ditch Trello.

Trello’s interface can feel off-putting and old-fashioned. And the features are limited. You can get Trello Gold for free A Guide to Trello for Life and Project Management A Guide to Trello for Life and Project Management Trello can help you get organized. It's a free tool to manage any kind of project. Read this guide to understand its basic structure, the navigation, and how Trello can be useful to you. Read More for a limited time, which gives you advanced features, but you’ll eventually have to pay for those.

Of course, using Trello means that your data is being stored on yet another server. Safety of data aside, it means you have to connect it to other services that you or your team uses, to access your files and images.

There are alternative ways to do things, possibly better too.

1. KanbanFlow (Web): Simple Alternative With Built-In Pomodoro

Trello is based on a productivity technique called kanban, originally developed by Toyota. KanbanFlow is the simplest implementation of it. You can create boards, add cards to boards, and move things around in a simple drag-and-drop interface. It’s the most intuitive kanban app, even more so than Trello.

Trello Alternative KanbanFlow

KanbanFlow also adds one other popular productivity technique, the Pomodoro timer. This is all about working in short, focused bursts so your concentration levels remain high. Harry found that a Pomodoro timer changed his work life How a Simple Pomodoro Timer Made My Life Better How a Simple Pomodoro Timer Made My Life Better The Pomodoro Technique is one of the simpler time management life hacks. Break through distractions with the help of 25-minute chunks and a timer. It could be a life-changing routine change if it suits you. Read More , so you can use KanbanFlow to incorporate it for all the tasks on your plate today.

One other thing to note about KanbanFlow is how well the mobile site works. You can fire up any browser, go to KanbanFlow, and you’ll be able to work with it flawlessly. That’s not something which can be said about most kanban apps.

2. GitHub Projects (Web): Trello for Developers

If you’re a developer, then you probably already have a GitHub account. Whether you use the free version or the paid one, you’ll be pleased to know that GitHub now has a Trello-like kanban board built into it. It’s under the Projects tab in your dashboard, and it’s marvelous.

Trello Alternative GitHub Projects

GitHub Projects lets you create as many columns or boards as you want, and add as many tasks or cards as you want. There are no limitations. Each card can be a simple note, or turned into a GitHub issue. You can assign cards to other GitHub users you are collaborating with, making it easier to distribute your work among the team.

GitHub Projects is so good that it’s reason enough to sign up for an account. It’s not just for developers, anyone can use GitHub for creative work Not Just for Coders: 9 Ways To Use GitHub For Creative Work Not Just for Coders: 9 Ways To Use GitHub For Creative Work GitHub is known for the great features it can offer programmers, but it's not only for them. There are plenty of other creative uses for GitHub. Here are nine you can explore. Read More .

3. Microsoft Planner (Web): A Trello Made for Microsoft Office

Under the new CEO Satya Nadella, Microsoft has been focusing heavily on productivity tools. A project management tool was a natural step then. Microsoft Planner mimics the functions of Trello, but plugs deep into your Office Live account to access OneDrive storage, OneNote files, and all your Word, Excel, and PowerPoint files stored online.

Like Trello, you can create Cards and Boards for individual tasks and large projects, respectively. Each card can be colored individually, set a deadline, add attachments, and so on. Since Trello is integrated into Office 365, these attachments can be the Microsoft Office files you and your teammates are already working on. Planner also has an integrated chat to discuss all your plans.

If you have bought an Office 365 subscription How to Manage Your Office 365 Subscription How to Manage Your Office 365 Subscription Getting to grips with Office 365? Make sure you're in complete control of your account and subscription settings with this guide. Read More , then Planner is part of the suite now. It’s available for some Office 365 subscribers already. If you haven’t already got access, you should see it in a couple of weeks, according to Microsoft.

4. Sortd (Chrome): Trello for Your Gmail Inbox

So many of us use our email inbox as a makeshift task and project management tool. What we need to do is more often than not emailed to us, as are things we need to follow up on. So why would you want a separate app to organize all that? Just do it in your inbox with Sortd, a smart skin for Gmail.

Trello Alternative Sortd for Gmail

Sortd turns your Gmail into a Trello-like board Turn Gmail Into A Trello-Like Task Board With Sortd Turn Gmail Into A Trello-Like Task Board With Sortd In the modern workforce, your email often turns into your task list. Well, now you can get Trello-style organisation right in Gmail with a new Chrome extension, Sortd. Read More , so you can arrange emails according to whatever “board” or column they should fall under. Emails, like any other task, have a simple flow: Discuss, take an action, follow up on the action, add it to the “finished” pile. That’s what Sortd brings to the table, in the simplest way possible.

In case you like it, get the Sortd app for your Android or iPhone to further push the possibilities of email-based project management.

DownloadSortd Smart Skin for Gmail for Google Chrome (Free)

Download — Sortd Mobile Companion for Android (Free) | for iOS (Free)

5. Essential Kanban Condensed (eBook): From the “Father” of the Kanban Method

While the kanban technique originated in Toyota, management guru David Anderson is credited with distilling it into a concise productivity method. Widely acknowledged as the “father” of the kanban method, Anderson has co-authored a book explaining the basics of kanban — and you can get it for free!

Trello Alternative Essential Kanban Condensed

To access Essential Kanban Condensed, you’ll need to sign up for a newsletter from LeanKanban. Give it your details, sign up with a temporary email 3 Ways to Instantly Create a New Email Address for Yourself 3 Ways to Instantly Create a New Email Address for Yourself There are a lot of different ways that you and I use the Internet and sometimes they should be kept separate. That includes email inboxes. It's nice to keep your personal emails apart from your... Read More , and then filter out that email address once you’re done downloading the PDF.

The book is actually quite detailed, so don’t fall for the “condensed” in the name. Of course, it helps that Anderson himself is talking about the method since he arguably knows more about it than anyone else.

To Trello or Not to Trello?

I’ve tried to get into the Trello habit many times, but there’s something about the app that makes me fall out of love with it after a month or so of usage. Maybe it’s the interface, maybe it’s something else. But these other kanban apps are fantastic and I regularly use KanbanFlow and Sortd. Microsoft Planner seems like a really useful tool as well.

What’s your take on Trello? Are you ready to switch or happy with how it’s functioning right now? What would make you ditch Trello?

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  1. uffo
    May 21, 2017 at 2:40 pm is one of the best alternatives to Trello! It should be mentioned.

  2. Chris R
    March 14, 2017 at 11:11 pm

    Just a question. Is Trello integrated into Office 365? Or did you mean to say Planner? (Item 3, para 2)

  3. Eric Ebert
    January 10, 2017 at 9:33 am

    Hi Mihir,

    Did you hear about the Trello acquisition?
    We've seen quite a bit of interest in our Trello alternative, Zenkit.

    If the MUO community would like to test with us, please let me know. eric (at)

  4. Grainne Logue
    January 3, 2017 at 8:42 pm

    The Kanban approach really is fantastic, I actually wrote an article about its origins over on the Buckets blog too. We also utilize the Kanban over at and we're bringing in new features to support it too - it's an exciting time! Let me know if you get a chance to check it out :) All feedback that we get is SO useful to us right now. Gr√°inne

  5. Jack Kingsley
    September 30, 2016 at 3:42 pm

    We ditched Trello and switched to!

  6. Joe
    September 28, 2016 at 7:09 pm

    Our company uses 4th office

  7. Mozimaker
    September 28, 2016 at 5:27 pm

    MeisterTask is another good one.

    • Taryn
      October 2, 2016 at 4:04 pm

      I second MeisterTask - by far the most intuitive and flexible PM, Calendar, Task Manager - Android app is amazing as well. I'm just a "me" but I can see this working for all sorts of needs. I tried to get into Todoist but I never could - and Trello was great for some things and not so much for others - if you are a company, using several apps to organize your workflow makes sense. But although I do use others some of the time, I keep my day-to-day tasks, projects, and appointments in Meistertask.

  8. Chris Mathews
    September 28, 2016 at 12:07 pm

    Also check out - like the Github Projects option.