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Trello and Jira are tools from Atlassian and can handle a variety of project management use cases.

Jira is a sophisticated project management tool with a variety of tools, including support for agile and scrum processes. It’s commonly used for software development with its outstanding issue-tracking capabilities. However, it can be used for various project management applications.

Trello is an easy-to-use, simple project management solution. It’s great for general-purpose tasks, and it can be set up to support software development or industry-specific tasks with ease. Along with its easy usability, Trello is also known to offer a generous free plan. If you’re looking for other easy-to-use project management solutions, check out the list of the best Trello alternatives.

  • Trello: Best for visual task management and quick and simple team collaboration in less complex projects.
  • Jira: Best for comprehensive project tracking and agile methodology in complex and detail-oriented environments.

Trello vs. Jira: Comparison

Features Trello Jira
Automation Yes Yes
Kanban boards Yes Yes
Native time tracking No Yes
Agile reporting No Yes
Free trial 14 days 30 days
Starting price (billed monthly) $6 per user per month $8.15 per user per month

Trello vs. Jira: Pricing

Both Trello and Jira offer four pricing plans, with the same names, to meet the needs of different customers. I found Trello to be comparatively less expensive, especially when you choose annual billing for the first two paid tiers. Trello’s pricing structure is straightforward, designed to scale seamlessly from individuals or small teams to large enterprises by progressively unlocking more features.

On the other hand, Jira’s pricing tiers are crafted to accommodate the growing needs of more technically oriented teams with requirements for detailed project management capabilities. Both platforms, with pricing tiers only similar in name, aim to offer scalable solutions, though Jira’s pricing points emphasize more sophisticated project management tools that cater to agile development teams, while Trello focuses on broader accessibility and simplicity.

Trello pricing

  • Free: For individuals or small teams.
  • Standard: $5 per user per month, billed annually, or $6 per user per month, billed monthly.
  • Premium: $10 per user per month, billed annually, or $12.50 per user per month, billed monthly.
  • Enterprise: $17.50 per user per month for at least 50 users, with a $210 annual price per user for 50 users.

For more information, check out our full Trello review. To see how it performs against other project management tools, you can also check out Trello vs. Asana and Wrike vs. Trello.

Jira pricing

  • Free: Available for up to 10 users.
  • Standard: $8.15 per user per month.
  • Premium: $16 per user per month.
  • Enterprise: Custom pricing, contact for a quote on annual billing.

For more details, read our full Jira Software review. Should you be interested in seeing other tools that can be used in place of Jira, check out our Jira alternatives.

Trello vs. Jira: Feature comparison

Automations

Winner: Trello

I found Trello’s rules-based automation through Butler to be quite effective. It allows you to stitch together various commands to execute tasks on boards or groups of tasks. Using the intuitive editor, it’s possible to set up automated emails based on a task’s progress through the kanban board or update due dates based on specific parameters. Trello’s automation runs range from 250 per month to unlimited, depending on the subscription tier.

Jira also includes a rules-based automation tool for automating tasks and boards for all Jira cloud users. While it doesn’t have any per-run usage limits on these automations, depending on the plan, you may be limited as far as functionality goes.

Setting up automations in Trello.
Setting up automations in Trello. Image: Collins Ayuya/TechRepublic

Task management

Winner: Tie

While both offer task management features, my experience with Trello was much more straightforward. The Kanban board interface helps simplify task management processes. I was able to seamlessly switch to lists or cards view to manage tasks. Its drag-and-drop functionality is useful for quickly updating project status or moving tasks to a different category.

As for Jira, you get more customization options for task management, which admittedly comes with a steeper learning curve. The extra complexity might not be suitable for managing simple tasks. In addition, the task management feature of Jira is geared more toward software development, so it feels less flexible in use.

Native time tracking

Winner: Jira

Regarding time tracking, this is an area where Jira stands out with its native feature that includes extensive configuration settings for user permissions and detailed time tracking reports. This functionality is essential for effective project planning and costing. Trello, however, lacks native time tracking, instead needing integration with third-party applications to achieve similar functionality.

Configuring time tracking in Jira.
Configuring time tracking in Jira. Image: Collins Ayuya/TechRepublic

Kanban boards

Winner: Trello

Trello offers a simple kanban board view that’s not only completely customizable but also quite visually appealing. You can customize the titles of each column and how many columns there are. By dragging tasks between the columns, I found it to be really easy to track tasks through completion. If a user upgrades to the premium option of Trello, they also get to see tasks laid out based on due dates via access to a timeline view, a calendar view or a map view.

Jira also offers comparable kanban functionality to ensure continuous delivery of work and increase efficiency. These boards are easy to set up and their use is straightforward. However, Trello’s kanban boards are still unmatched, as Jira’s boards feel a little bit bland and rigid.

A kanban board in Trello of a budgeting and tracking project.
A kanban board in Trello of a budgeting and tracking project. Image: Collins Ayuya/TechRepublic

Agile and scrum support

Winner: Jira

Trello fits into the agile/scrum flow with its kanban boards, but it doesn’t offer any agile reporting to ensure users are conforming to the methodology. And while it does offer customizable workflows to automate tasks through the process, Trello boards don’t have the ability to track multiple sprints over time, only allowing one Trello board per sprint.

As a result, Jira edges Trello in agile and scrum since it offers more functionality for its boards and methodologies. Jira has other board types like scrum, agile and kanban boards, as well as roadmap boards to help teams plan features and dates for completion.

Jira also supports multiple planning methodologies, including scrum, agile and more. Unlike Trello, you can generate reports for the methodology you choose to ensure your team is on the correct track. Moreover, I found it to be quite easy to create multiple sprints per project and have boards for each of the sprints in Jira.

My scrum sprint in Jira Software.
My scrum sprint in Jira Software. Image: Collins Ayuya/TechRepublic

Ease of use

Winner: Trello

Trello shines with its user-friendly interface, which gives new users an entry point without a steep learning curve. Trello was simple to set up and navigate during my onboarding, and its kanban boards made it easier to adopt the tool and raise productivity. The ability to customize views and utilize drag-and-drop functionality without prior training makes it highly accessible to all kinds of users.

Conversely, Jira — as powerful and effective as it is — was a more complex interface best suited for users in software development and other technical projects. Not to say that it’s not easy to use, but its customization options, although highly advantageous for detailed project tracking and management, need a deeper understanding of project management principles, such as those of software development project management, as well as Jira’s specific functionalities. This complexity can initially overwhelm new users, which can in turn make the onboarding process more challenging than Trello’s.

Trello pros and cons

Pros

  • Easy to use.
  • Feature-rich free plan.
  • Unlimited users in a free plan.
  • Highly visual user interface.
  • Variety of automation tools.

Cons

  • Reliant on kanban boards.
  • Not designed to handle complex projects.
  • Limited agile and scrum support.

Jira pros and cons

Pros

  • Issue and bug tracking tools.
  • Agile reporting.
  • Scalable to support multiple projects.
  • Robust data security.
  • Variety of add-ons available.

Cons

  • Takes time to learn.
  • Limited collaboration tools.
  • Missing some project views.

Review methodology

For our review of Trello versus Jira, we did an in-depth analysis of the features, usability and pricing plans of each software. Our answers came from testing the two tools through free trials to get a firsthand feel and to understand what each tool is good for.

We also looked at what users had to say about the software by examining the feedback given by real-world users. In addition, we analyzed product feature specifications from the vendor websites to see whether they match what they offer practically.

Should your organization use Trello or Jira?

Businesses or users that need a project management solution for general use will appreciate Trello’s ease of use. It’s simple to learn, so users can be up and running in no time. The highly visual interface makes for quick and easy navigation. While Trello is lightweight compared to Jira, it still offers decent functionality for project management applications.

Jira presents a more advanced tool, and it’s not surprising that it requires more time to become proficient. If a business plans to use the software for issue tracking, agile methodologies and other advanced tools, Jira is a better option. Fortunately, you also have the option of integrating both to get the best of both worlds.

That being said, security is a huge factor when it comes to the usability of a tool, and recently, Trello has been under the microscope for a significant privacy issue. An exposed API allowed a threat actor to link private email addresses to approximately 15 million Trello accounts, to be precise. This threat actor gained access to query email addresses, without authorization, to fetch associated public profile information, which compromised the privacy of millions of users and exposed them to potential phishing attacks as the threat actor attempted to sell the data on a popular hacking forum.

Regardless of how the tools compare, security should be a non-negotiable. Jira’s platform not only supports complex project management needs but also emphasizes compliance and security. As a result, Jira Software is my pick for the better project management tool. Although it may not be as intuitive as Trello, it’s highly effective, well-rounded and great for highly technical and complex projects.

Featured Partners

1
Wrike

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Wrike’s top-notch workflow management software allows you to easily visualize priorities, boost collaboration, and maintain control of your projects. Bonus: you can move seamlessly between apps, without logging in or out. Wrike has more than 400+ integrations with popular platforms such as Google, Dropbox, Microsoft Office, and many more. Automation and AI features strip away time-consuming admin tasks so you can do the best work of your life.

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monday.com

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monday.com Work OS is the project management software that helps you and your team plan, execute, and track projects and workflows in one collaborative space. Manage everything from simple to complex projects more efficiently with the help of visual boards, 200+ ready-made templates, clever no-code automations, and easy integrations. In addition, custom dashboards simplify reporting, so you can evaluate your progress and make data-driven decisions.

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Visor

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Visor provides crystal clear alignment for teams. Create and share Gantt charts, roadmaps, and spreadsheet reports that stay in sync with apps like Jira and Salesforce. Add color-coding, Milestones, and more. Share accurate project plans with confidence. Visor is free to try. No credit card needed.

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Resource Guru

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Resource Guru is the fast, flexible way to schedule teams and keep projects on track. Get full visibility of who’s available and who’s overworked, so people and projects succeed in harmony. Assign work, balance workloads, and edit schedules in seconds. Keep your team up-to-date with personal dashboards and daily schedule emails. Analyze utilization rates, clients, and projects for more accurate forecasts and budgets. Trusted by companies including NASA and L’Oreal. Try it free for 30 days!

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Zoho Projects

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Zoho Projects is an online project management software that helps teams plan projects and track them efficiently to the finish line. By intuitive reporting of project progress and budget health, the solution enables teams to make quick decisions. Catering to all kinds of teams, Zoho Projects facilitates automating tasks, workflows, and project notifications in a bid to improve productivity.

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ClickUp

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ClickUp is one of the highest-rated project management tools today. Use Docs, Reminders, Goals, Calendars, Chat, scheduling, assigned comments, custom views, & more with this all-in-one project management tool.

Used by 800,000+ teams in companies like Airbnb, Google, and Uber, it brings all of your projects into a single app! Built for teams of all sizes and industries, Our fully customizable & proprietary features make it a must-have for anyone wanting to keep project management in one place.

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