Is Trello the right project management software for your needs? We will help you figure that out by breaking down Trello’s features, pros, and pricing so you can make the right pick for your next development project.
Trello is a project management software tool that is based on the Kanban method. With it, teams can simplify projects by organizing them into boards that are then broken down into lists and cards that represent smaller, more manageable tasks. Besides simplifying development projects visually to give teams a clearer vision of what needs to be done, Trello also allows users to define workflows, add notes and attachments, collaborate with clients, and track progress.
While Trello is only 10 years old, the software is now used by over 50 million users worldwide. Some of its clients include Wired, Kickstarter, and UNICEF.
Trello Features for Developers
Below you will find a list of features Trello offers that will be useful for development teams and programmers in small to large shops.
One of the reasons why Trello boasts 50 million-plus users across the globe is the fact that its interface is intuitive and easy to use. Trello looks good on whatever device you choose, and its simplicity lets you dive in and get to work without a ton of trial and error.
A look at Trello’s home screen reveals templates, personal and team boards, plus any recently viewed boards for quick access. Notifications are at the top right of the screen. Should you need any help navigating Trello (which isn’t very likely), you can get it by clicking the “i” icon.
As mentioned, Trello is based on the Kanban method. As such, it functions like a digital Kanban board complete with boards, lists, and cards that make projects much easier to visualize and tackle. To let team members know where specific tasks stand, items are split into columns that carry the To-Do, Doing, and Done labels. Trello employs drag and drop functionality for ease of use so cards can be moved around as needed.
Each card in Trello can be clicked to reveal a popup with further details on the task. Users can add a description of the task, when it’s due, and custom labels. To help project managers delegate work, they can assign cards to specific team members, so they’re aware of what needs to be done. And to break down tasks even further, users can add checklists to display mini-tasks and any progress towards completion.
Trello integrates with third-party file sharing apps like Dropbox and Google Drive, which gives users the ability to upload file attachments easily. They can also get real-time updates on work items’ changes via a “Watch” button.
Teams can communicate and collaborate with ease in real-time via Trello. They can attach files and notes or comments to cards, so nobody misses out on essential info. Files can be uploaded directly from Dropbox, Google Drive, or other file-sharing applications and can be previewed by clicking on thumbnails. Notes and comments can be emphasized thanks to markdown syntax support, and you can also embed images.
Team members can use the discussion feature to message one another, tag members with the @ symbol, and organize their work. To provide clear context, all comments are time-stamped and threaded. And if you plan on collaborating with outside clients or contractors for your projects, don’t fret, as Trello makes that easy too. Just use invite links or email invitations, and external collaborators can gain access to any boards, lists, and cards you decide to share.
Just because Trello wasn’t developed with Agile processes in mind like Scrum doesn’t mean it can’t handle such workflows. Development teams can rename columns to turn Trello’s Kanban boards into handy tools for sprint planning, product backlog, user stories, etc. Sprint masters or product owners can assign cards to team members, add due dates to cards, and more. And once team members click on a card, they can see all of the essential info they need to tackle the task.
Issue and bug tracking are also possible with Trello. To do so, simply rename columns to “Reported by team,” “In progress,” “Done,” etc. You can also use the color-labeling system in Trello to prioritize issues with labels like “Trivial,” “Minor,” and “Major.”
Another way to make Trello more Agile-friendly is through integrations with third-party apps (aka power-ups) like Github and Jira. Doing so can give teams the ability to link issues directly to Trello cards, while also helping them see relevant details within the cards themselves.
Speaking of power-ups, Trello integrates with various apps that can help extend its functionality. Your access to power-ups will depend on your Trello pricing plan, so keep this in mind when shopping around. Some examples of Trello power-ups include Github, Jira Cloud, Hootsuite, Adobe XD, Google Drive, Slack, Dropbox, Confluence Cloud, CloudApp, and MailChimp.
You can download the Trello app for both Android and iOS devices. Use it to create new tasks, manage existing ones, add labels, due dates, or checklists, and more. Whenever team members or tasks update boards are completed, the app will send you notifications. And if you’re on the go with no connection, you can work with Trello offline to make any changes. As soon as you’re connected to the Internet once again, those changes will be reflected.
When it comes to Trello pricing, you have four options. The Free option gives you unlimited personal boards, up to ten team boards, and one power-up per board. It also limits your file attachments to a max of 10MB in size.
Next up is the Standard plan, for which Trello charges $5 per user per month. Intended for individual users, this plan gives you unlimited boards and file attachments up to 250MB.
The Premium plan starts at $10 per user per month. It gives you unlimited personal and team boards, file attachments up to 250 MB, unlimited power-ups to fully extend Trello to your liking, and more.
Trello’s final pricing option is the Enterprise plan. It gives you everything the Premium plan offers, plus other perks like SAML SSO via Atlassian Access, organization-wide permissions, power-up administration, enterprise-grade security, and priority support. Enterprise plan pricing starts at $17.50 per user, but you can get it cheaper via volume discounts.
Now that we’ve listed most of Trello’s features, let’s reiterate the software’s strengths if you’re still on the fence. If your team has never used project management software before and wants something easy to adapt, you can’t go wrong with Trello. Since the interface is so user-friendly and easy to figure out at first glance, it’s safe to say that all of your team members should be able to get up and running without much of a fuss.
While simple at its core, the fact that you can use power-ups to extend Trello’s functionality is also a plus. Lastly, another point in Trello’s favor is its pricing, as you can enjoy free access for up to 10 boards. This lets you give the software a whirl without worrying about wasting your money.