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When folks at Toyota invented the “Kanban method,” little did they know it would spread so widely. The simple to-do system of moving “cards” from one column to the next has caught on, and how. Trello is the undisputed king of Kanban apps 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 . But Zenkit might just dethrone the king.

Zenkit includes the best features of Trello, and then adds other productivity systems. So not only do you get the Kanban process, but you also get a regular to-do list and a calendar view. And the “table” view is a game-changer for anyone who has a lot on their plate.

So what makes Zenkit a Trello killer, and not just another contender to the crown? Let’s dive in to find out.

Matching Up to Trello

In the Kanban part, Zenkit works exactly like Trello does. Create a task, add it to one of the three columns, i.e. to-do, in progress, or done. You’re free to rename the columns and add more of them, if that’s how you use Trello.

Each card or task you create can have plenty of additional information. You can also add attachments, up to 1 GB of total space in the free plan. Paid plans raise your limits.

And like with Trello, sharing your collections and tasks with teammates is an integral part of Zenkit.


The Four Pillars of Productivity

Where Zenkit scores over Trello is in the five major viewing modes.

  1. Kanban — A simple Kanban board, where you can move tasks around, and add or delete columns.
  2. List — A to-do list of every task you need to do, arranged by due date.
  3. Calendar — A calendar view of all your scheduled tasks.
  4. Table — A table of all tasks, which you can sort based on any parameter, like important, status, estimated time, and more.
  5. Mind Map — Get an overview of how all your tasks relate to each other.

We suggest that you start your project with the mind map to turn your brainstorm into an organized overview Turn Your Brainstorm Into a Mind Map for Maximum Insight Turn Your Brainstorm Into a Mind Map for Maximum Insight Recording your brainstorm in a mind map could help you gain deeper insights. And it's easy. We show you how to combine both strategies for research, planning, and innovating. Read More  of everything it involves.

A Combination of Productivity Systems

The viewing modes combine with several popular productivity methods.

Due Date — The easiest system to sort a to-do list is by deadline. And why not? If you are generally organized, that’s all you would need. The List view, in that case, shows just what you need to do next, keeping you always focused.

Prioritizing Tasks — The most important part of any to-do list is prioritizing The 3-Strike System: How To Prioritize Your To-Do List The 3-Strike System: How To Prioritize Your To-Do List Are you not getting through your to-do list? The problem might not be your productivity, it might just be your priorities. Let's learn how to prioritise the to-do list, and get things done. Read More the items in it. If you do the silly stuff first and get burnt out, then what’s the point? Zenkit asks you to assign low, medium, or high priority status to each task. There are different methods to prioritize your tasks, so choose any that works for you.

Time EstimationTime management is a big hurdle 7 Time Management Lessons I Learned from Mountain Climbing 7 Time Management Lessons I Learned from Mountain Climbing How you manage your time from the first moment in the morning, to the last moment when you go to bed, is a lot like mountain climbing. I learned these lessons the hard way. Read More in getting through your list. For each task, Zenkit asks you to add an estimate of how much time it will take. I would suggest adding another custom field for “Time Taken” to write how many hours it actually took. By doing this regularly, you will get better at estimating how much work you can get done in a day, and schedule your tasks accordingly.

This approach gives the user tremendous flexibility. Some productivity tools are rigid in how the user can sort their own data. On the other hand, Zenkit empowers the user to make his or her own choice, and figure out how to make things work for themselves.

Great for Teams Because Productivity Is Subjective

Here’s the thing that no productivity guru is ready to admit. Productivity systems are subjective. Maybe the Pomodoro technique 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 works for you, maybe you need to visualize your goals on a Kanban board, or maybe you’re a fan of the “Don’t break the chain” method. As long as you are getting work done, that’s what matters.

And in a team, different individuals will have different methods that they prefer. Yes, it’s wonderful that Trello lets you create a task schedule for the entire team. But if one person doesn’t like Kanban, they’re stuck using a productivity system that is counter-productive for them.

Zenkit breaks that barrier, which is crucial in making a team chug along. If you don’t like Kanbans, just use the to-do list How Visual To-Do Lists Can Power Your Personal Productivity How Visual To-Do Lists Can Power Your Personal Productivity Do you like visual to-do lists or do linear lists make you more efficient? We look at five visual tools that are make your daily planning more interesting. Read More . Maybe the table method will help you get things done based on time management or priority tasks alone. Use it however you want, with the knowledge that you aren’t imposing that system on the rest of your team.

Zenkit also told MakeUseOf that the company will be releasing a “global dashboard” soon. This will be a one-page view of all your items across collections and teams, providing an overview of all your projects.

A Few Problems Persist

No software is perfect, and Zenkit isn’t an exception. Right now, there isn’t a mobile app for Zenkit, although the developers say that an iOS version is coming in March and an Android version in May. That’s one area where Trello has a huge advantage at the moment, and I can’t see people shifting to Zenkit completely without the availability of mobile apps.

There are a few minor features that are missing in Zenkit. Chief among them is the ability to color-code your tasks. Kanbans are about visual management Goodbye, Trello! 5 Alternative Free Kanban Board Tools Goodbye, Trello! 5 Alternative Free Kanban Board Tools Trello is an incredible app for project management and organizing your tasks. But there are other kanban apps that could be ideal for your tasks. Let's talk about the best Trello alternatives. Read More , and colored cards are wonderful to visualize your work. If that’s a Trello feature you love, you’ll miss it sorely in Zenkit.

Should You Shift to Zenkit?

The big question at the end of all this is whether you should stick with Trello or shift to Zenkit. We suggest basing your decision on a few different factors.

First, what about your entire existing Trello boards? Well, don’t worry because Zenkit has built a Trello import tool.

You should shift to Zenkit if:

  • You use Trello only from the desktop.
  • You love Kanban but also use other productivity methods.
  • You like data and want to investigate your task list’s data carefully.

You should stick to Trello if:

  • You’ve bought Trello Gold.
  • Your entire team is happy with Trello.
  • You need mobile apps.

What do you think of Zenkit? Are you happy with Trello right now or are you looking for a good Trello alternative?

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