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Improve Your Workflow: 10 Best Kanban Tools of 2019 (Trello Alternative)

By 31/08/2019 4 Comments

Trello is one of the best-known Kanban project management tools available today, and, because it offers a free version, it’s often the go-to Kanban tool. However, when you need a little more oomph from your Kanban tools, such as the extra functionality or integrations that don’t come with Trello’s free version, you’re going to need to pay for those “Power-Ups”.

Before you sign up for something that doesn’t quite serve your needs, it pays to look at alternatives to Trello—and there are plenty of Trello competitors on the market.

Trello Alternatives Logo Soup

Here’s what you’ll find in this review of the best Kanban apps:

Let’s take a closer look at Trello, the Kanban method that it’s based on, and the best Trello alternative Kanban apps on the market (paid and free).

Best Kanban Software Shortlist

In this Kanban tool review, we examine the following software:

  1. Clarizen Go
  2. Kanbanize
  3. MeisterTask
  4. ProjectManager.com
  5. monday.com
  6. Kanban Tool
  7. Blossom
  8. Trello
  9. ZenHub
  10. Breeze

Below you’ll find an overview of these Kanban tools, with screenshots, feature overview, pricing and our score.

JUMP TO KANBAN TOOL REVIEWS

Quick Facts About Trello

What is Trello?

Trello is a collaboration software based on the Kanban method. It helps you manage tasks with cards on boards. It’s renowned for being highly user-friendly, allowing users to get started within a few minutes and offering straightforward, easily understood tools and functionality.

What is Trello used for?

Here’s 10 things Trello is used for:

  1. Project management
  2. Workflow management and automation
  3. Event planning
  4. Personal task management
  5. Tracking time
  6. Website and blog management
  7. Organizing files or digital collections
  8. Hiring and onboarding employees
  9. Storing and sharing files
  10. Product planning and roadmapping

How much does Trello cost?

Trello offers a free forever plan with limited functionality, Business Class plans at $9.99/user/month, and Enterprise plans at $20.83/user/month for 100 users. With more users, the price decreases (with 5,000 users Trelo Enterprise plans cost $5.92/user/month).

Is there a Trello Windows app?

Trello project management software works on all web and mobile devices, and they offer mobile apps for Android and iOS as well as desktop apps for iOS and Windows.

Is Trello open source?

No. Trello is a closed source SaaS. Open source alternatives that are similar to Trello include Taiga, Kanboard, Wekan, TaskBoard, and Restya.

Is Trello based on Kanban?

Trello collaboration software is based on the Kanban method, using Kanban boards, cards, and swimlane structures that are characteristic of the Kanban method.

What is Kanban? Kanban Definition

Kanban is a project management and workflow method based on a work management system developed in Toyota manufacturing plants in the 1960s. The Kanban method allows you to minimize multitasking, streamline your work in progress efficiency, and improve the speed and quality of the work your collaborative and self-managing team produces.

For an in-depth discussion on what Kanban is, check out my detailed breakdown of this workflow methodology here.

What Makes A Great Kanban Tool?

With the right Kanban board software, you can focus on your priorities, keep your team in the loop about what’s current and what’s coming up, and you can control a steady flow of work, especially in output-heavy environments like production, agencies, support and maintenance.

Kanban software is often used to manage agile development, thanks to swimlanes, activity streams, charts, cards and a range of features that help you visualize and manage your workflow.

Everyone’s needs are unique, but when I evaluated the best alternatives to Trello for this review, I used this basic Kanban tool criteria to score each software:

  • User Interface: Most apps like Trello look like Trello with a clean, easy-to-understand interface. However, I give higher scores to tools that offer the most beautiful UI.
  • Usability: I looked a how easy the software is to learn and master. To be honest, the competition is pretty fierce with simple workflow apps like these. The Kanban method is inherently simple and intuitive—and luckily, most of the software is, too. Therefore, I give priority to tools that go the extra mile in terms of usability: do they offer training resources, templates, and videos that help you easily implement and find new use cases for the tool?
  • Features & Functionality:
    • Kanban board: organize your cards with work-in-progress limits, swimlanes, sub-columns, “to-do”, “in progress” and “done” column categories, tasks with checklists, attachments, multiple members and time tracking.
    • Kanban cards: assign tasks with checklists and attachments, offers different views, the ability to link tasks, add task hierarchy to help define cards within cards and assign to resources, and provides Kanban card templates.
    • Analytics and reports: pull and create reports.
    • Automation, business rules, and IFTTT: customize the workflow to suit your environment.
  • Integrations: if you’re using Trello for project management and you’re looking for an alternative, you’ll probably want something that integrates with Google apps (Calendar, Google Drive) and/or a time tracking software if you’re using it. I factor in the most commonly needed integrations like these when evaluating the tools.
  • Value for $: I use the Trello cost at $9.99/user/month as a yardstick by which to measure other tools. Do they offer more value or less value for the same price? I also give higher scores to tools with transparent, clear, and flexible pricing.

Top 10 kanban tools - the best trello alternative

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10 Top Kanban Tools (The Best Trello Alternatives 2019)

Here are a few of the best Kanban tools:

  • 30 days free trial.
  • From $60/user/month.

User Interface (UI)

100%

Usability

90%

Integrations

100%

Value for $

80%

Features & Function

100%

Overall Score

94%

Clarizen GoFully-featured, flexible PM tool easily configured to support kanban and agile methodologies

Clarizen Go is an enterprise-grade professional services automation software solution. Although it’s not purely a Kanban board, I mention this tool because it’s a good choice if the reason you’re looking for a Trello alternative is because you want something more robust. Using Clarizen Go could eliminate the need for a handful of tools, and it can help manage a wider range of your business processes better than Trello can.

Clarizen Go’s real focus is making projects happen faster with timesaving workflows. It’s a great project management tool if you have lots of repeatable projects that require repeatable processes as the workflow automation is pretty flexible and powerful.

clarizen-screenshot-agile-tools

It covers off the PPM basics of task lists, schedules, docs and files, communications and reporting without breaking a sweat. Clarizen Go’s project planning tools are a powerful mix of functionality across the planning, executing and controlling of a project. Within planning are project workflows, a full-featured resource, schedule and task planning tools, with project and portfolio optimization so that you can easily and quickly align projects to business objectives.

For project execution, Clarizen Go enables everyone on the team to be aligned with a dashboard that enables teams to work better together and see how their contribution fits into the bigger picture – from the project timeline and milestones, to budget, project discussions, and sharing documents.

Instead of being obligated to make educated guesses, project managers can make accurate data-based decisions that align project selection and investment with big picture priorities. Changing tasks and schedules takes a few clicks, and project managers can run hypothetical scenarios to proactively see the impact of resource changes before they go live, and alert end users via their personal dashboard of any changes to their workload. Because resource scheduling is built-in, Clarizen Go delivers real-time insights into all available resources, schedules and tasks.

Clarizen Go has some really powerful integration options out the box that are worth considering if you’re have other business-critical systems already in place. You can combine the power of Clarizen Go with other enterprise tools including Jira, SharePoint, Tableau, Salesforce and Intaact, among others with a subscription to an App integration so you don’t have to play around with the API’s yourself. As well as the enterprise tool integrations possible, Clarizen Go has an App marketplace to add additional functionality into the system including helpful add-ons like active directory sync, Excel reporting integration and priority automation – many of which are free.

Clarizen Go costs from $60/user/month and offers a free trial.

Overall Score: 9.4
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  • free 30-day trial
  • $6.60 for user/month

User Interface (UI)

100%

Usability

90%

Integrations

100%

Value for $

90%

Features & Function

100%

Overall Score

96%

KanbanizeOnline portfolio Kanban software for agile project management to organize and manage your workflow

Kanbanize is a Kanban software for agile project management. Kanbanize help companies visualize work, track projects, and optimize workflows to achieve organizational transparency & increase efficiency.

kanbanize trello alternative

To bring simplicity, productivity and efficiency to the way you work, their features include initiatives and timeline workflow for planning, customizable Kanban boards, business automation rules, a powerful analytics module and more.

Within the system, users can structure and visualize their daily work – plan initiatives and projects, break them down into manageable tasks, visualize dependencies and create multiple workflows for cross-functional teams.

Work and project progress is shown in real-time to eliminate the need for constant status updates and reporting. As a result, project delivery becomes transparent and more predictable and you can increase your efficiency by spending time on the work, that brings value.

Having the ability to integrate with multiple other systems such as Google Drive, Dropbox, GitHub, Jira, and other tools (and you can also connect through Zapier), Kanbanize brings more agility to your business processes.

Kanbanize costs from $99/month for 1-15 users (so, that’s anywhere between $99 to $6.60 per user per month).

Overall Score: 9.6
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  • free plan with limited functionality
  • from $8.25/user/month

User Interface (UI)

100%

Usability

100%

Integrations

100%

Value for $

90%

Features & Function

90%

Overall Score

96%

MeisterTaskpowerful Kanban tool whose focus on simplicity and design makes it an absolute joy to use

MeisterTask is a beautifully designed and incredibly intuitive Kanban tool. Its Kanban boards can be customized to fit any workflow, from software sprints to sales funnels, and from editorial calendars to your company’s onboarding process. Teams can collaborate on one simple platform, where they can communicate, work together on tasks, and easily track the time they spend on them.

MeisterTask screenshot - Kanban tools

With MeisterTask, you can not only visualize processes but also automate them in various ways. Creating recurring tasks, adding predefined checklists, notifying stakeholders when a task is completed, or ensuring that tasks are assigned and tagged correctly when they are moved to a specific section — all of this can be done automatically. Larger teams will find MeisterTask’s sophisticated roles and permissions management as well as the insights gained through various statistics and reports particularly useful.

MeisterTask offers an extensive online help center, free webinars for new users, and fast email support in case you need to talk to a real person. However, thanks to MeisterTask’s focus on simplicity, even companies who are just getting started on their journey to digital organization are usually able to get productive within minutes after signing up.

MeisterTask integrates with the mind mapping app MindMeister where you can brainstorm and plan with a mind map and then export it onto a Kanban board. MeisterTask comes readily integrated with popular tools such as Slack, Microsoft Teams, GitHub, Zendesk, Harvest, and various email apps. In addition to these native integrations, you can use Zapier or IFTTT to connect your projects with hundreds of other tools.

MeisterTask costs from $8.25/user/month. They also offer a free plan with limited functionality.

Overall Score: 9.6
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  • free 30-day trial
  • from $15/user/month

User Interface (UI)

100%

Usability

90%

Integrations

100%

Value for $

100%

Features & Function

100%

Overall Score

98%

ProjectManager.comWell-rounded PM tool marketed as the “Ultimate Kanban Board Tool”

Marketing itself as the “Ultimate Kanban Board Tool”, ProjectManager.com delivers just about everything you need in a kanban board, along with real-time reporting, collaboration, and time and expense management features. If you’re looking only for a kanban board, this software provides way more than you need. However, if you want a whole project management ecosystem around your kanban board, ProjectManager.com is a great choice.

ProjectManager.com screenshot - Kanban tools

ProjectManager.com’s kanban features the ability to attach files to cards, make comments, assign tasks, assign work-in-progress limits, and get an overview of your progress in the dashboard view.

The reporting feature is above average, letting you pull various types of pre-set reports with just a click or create your own custom reports. The only thing it doesn’t do as well as other tools is to build automated workflows. However, it does provide a really useful viewing feature which can help you visualize your workflow, as you can toggle easily between different task views (Gantt chart, list, board).

ProjectManager.com comes with integrations with GoogleApps (like Drive, Gmail, and Calendar), Microsoft Office and Microsoft Project. For other integrations, you can use Zapier.

ProjectManager.com pricing starts at $15/user/month, with their basic “Personal” plan requiring a minimum of 5 users. They offer a 30-day free trial (a credit card is required).

Overall Score: 9.8
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  • free 14-day trial
  • from $17/month for 2 users

User Interface (UI)

100%

Usability

90%

Integrations

100%

Value for $

90%

Features & Function

100%

Overall Score

96%

monday.comAward-winning, intuitive planning tool with kanban boards and tracking, collaboration, and workflow automation features

monday.com, an award winning platform, is one of the few tools that prides itself in ‘not being a project management tool’! They’ve done away with a lot of the trimmings of typical tools and focused on simple structures that help clarify the sequence of work that needs to be done.

This tool is a great Trello alternative that can actually offer quite a bit more than Trello can. monday.com features include multiple views of work—view as a list, on a map, on a Kanban board, in a spreadsheet, and other views. Users can upload and attach files to cards, make comments, mention teammates, and more. It also offers a great project reporting dashboard that can collect data from multiple boards, allowing better tracking abilities of progress.

Monday screenshot - kanban tools

Some standout features of this tool include tools to automate certain processes, as well as customizable task boards that lets users manage tasks by cards, assignees, due dates, hours spent, etc. Overall, it’s a highly customizable tool that lets you work in whatever methodology—kanban or otherwise—that fits your project and team.

monday.com’s integrations include project management apps like Slack, Google Drive, Gmail, Google Calendar, Jira, GitHub, Trello, Dropbox, Typeform and many more, accessible via Zapier.

monday.com costs from $17/month for two users. The company’s customer support is available 24/7 by phone or email.

Overall Score: 9.6
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  • freemium version, limit 2 users
  • free 14-day trial
  • $5/user/month

User Interface (UI)

100%

Usability

90%

Integrations

100%

Value for $

90%

Features & Function

100%

Overall Score

96%

Kanban ToolVisual project management tool with real-time team collaboration on online Kanban boards

Named after the concept of Kanban, this tool provides a user-friendly, visually appealing interface on which teams can collaborate. While it doesn’t offer a complete suite of project management features, it offers ample tools to ensure every kind of team can derive use from it. Similar to Trello, upgrades called “Power-Ups” allow users to access additional features. This is a lightweight tool with easy onboarding and a relatively low cost compared to other tools.

kanbantool-screenshot-kanban-board-app-trello-alternative

If tools like Breeze (above) are on one end of the kanban tool spectrum as a fully fledged management suites, Kanban Tool marks the other end of the spectrum with a more focused set of core kanban features. This is a reliable tool for teams who want “more kanban and less frills”.

Kanban Tool costs from $5/user/month. It also offers a free version limited to 2 members and 2 boards, as well as free trials of its various paid versions.

Overall Score: 9.6
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  • free 14-day trial
  • from $19/user/month

User Interface (UI)

100%

Usability

100%

Integrations

100%

Value for $

100%

Features & Function

100%

Overall Score

100%

BlossomModern project tracking tool built specifically for distributed agile development teams

Designed uniquely for software developers (and specifically with distributed work teams in mind), Blossom is a more specialized tool. It offers features that are especially useful for software development teams, but beyond software dev, it’s also a viable Trello alternative.

In fact, with its clean, simple interface, built-in integrations, and extra functionality (make work in progress limits, analyze performance, and more), its arguably better than Trello for only a sliiiightly higher price.

blossom-screenshot-kanban-board-tool-app-trello-alternative The product is easily integrated with GitHub, and thanks to its automatic project status updates, you don’t need to leave your code base and can focus on getting projects completed. A bonus of using Blossom is that they offers full training, including online and in-person options, to make it easy to onboard your team.

Blossom costs from $19/month for teams of up to 5 users. Blossom goes the extra mile by offering free trial periods for all versions (Startup, Company, and Enterprise), so you can try the full product as opposed to a typical promo version that’s limited in features and functionality.

Overall Score: 10
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  • freemium.
  • $9.99/user/month.

User Interface (UI)

100%

Usability

100%

Integrations

100%

Value for $

100%

Features & Function

100%

Overall Score

100%

TrelloWidely-used Kanban software offering both paid and free online Kanban boards

As one of the best Kanban tools in the market, we couldn’t leave Trello out of this list. So even if you’re looking for a Trello alternative, you can use this review of Trello as a point of comparison as you scope out the options

This tool enjoys widespread use and has integrations with Salesforce, Slack, GitHub, Google Drive, Evernote, and many other apps and platforms, made available through upgrades called “Power-Ups”. You can configure your own automated flows by integrating Trello with IFTTT (for example, every time a new GitHub bug is detected, Trello automatically creates a card).

This configurable approach has the advantage of being lightweight and highly customizable. On the flipside, it does require you to have the ability to clearly think through and set up your automated process as opposed to choosing from a list of pre-configured business rules.

The only thing that we consider a downside of this tool is the lack of expenses and time tracking, although an integration can solve this shortcoming.

All around, this is a great tool and has the added advantage of popularity—onboarding Trello is that much simpler because many of your team members are probably familiar with it.

Trello costs from $9.99/user/month. There’s also a free version with limited functionality.

Overall Score: 10
Visit Website
  • free 14-day trial
  • from $5/user/month

User Interface (UI)

100%

Usability

80%

Integrations

100%

Value for $

100%

Features & Function

100%

Overall Score

96%

ZenHubGreat Trello alternative for development teams who want a tool buit to work directly within the GitHub environment

What differentiates ZenHub is that it’s designed to work in a GitHub environment and as such it is promoted as a way for teams working in GitHub to manage tasks without disrupting their workflow. Overall, ZenHub is a user-friendly and workable alternative to Trello, with the functionality to migrate data, automate workflows, and integrate with other tools. If you are using GitHub, ZenHub is the sensible choice—not only is it likely to be familiar to your developers, it theoretically can save your team a lot of time by eliminating the need to jump in and out of GitHub to manage tasks in third party tools.

zenhub-screenshot-kanban-tool-app-trello-alternative

Zenhub costs from $5/user/month and is available in a free trial version for 14 days.

Overall Score: 9.6
Visit Website
  • free 14-day trial
  • from $29/user/month.

User Interface (UI)

100%

Usability

100%

Integrations

90%

Value for $

90%

Features & Function

90%

Overall Score

94%

BreezeKanban project management software with a full suite of budget, time, expense, project, and portfolio management tools

Breeze is one of the few Kanban boards online that offers a full suite of project management tools, including everything from budget management and time and expense tracking, to milestone tracking, project planning and portfolio management.

It has a simple interface, and, although it does provide a wider scope of tools than many platforms, Breeze makes a point of not being a “feature factory”, keeping only the features that are critical. For it’s simplicity, it’s a bit pricey, but if you want something clutter-free, lightweight, and streamlined, it’s worth the price.

breeze-screenshot-kanban-tool-trello-alternativeBecause Breeze wraps a kanban tool inside of a full management suite, the added functionality—and correspondingly higher price—isn’t a great fit for simpler projects.

On the other hand, the all-encompassing nature of this platform is a major advantage for some teams, as you may save time, resources, and headache by managing everything in one place.

Breeze does come with built-in Google Drive and Dropbox integrations, but compared to the integrations offered by other similar tools on the market, it could up its value by offering a few more.

Breeze costs from $29/user/month and offers a free trial version.

Overall Score: 9.4
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Summary Of The Best Kanban Tools:

Software Overview Free Option Price Score Site
Clarizen GoClarizen logo - kanban tools Read Clarizen features & functionality 30 days free trial from $60/user/month 9.4 Check out Clarizen Go
Kanbanizekanbanize logo - kanban tools Read Kanbanize features & functionality free 30-day trial $6.60/user/month. 9.6 Check out Kanbanize
MeisterTaskMeisterTask logo - Kanban Tools Read MeisterTask features & functionality Free plan with limited functionality from $8.25/user/month. 9.6 Check out MeisterTask
ProjectManager.comProjectManager logo - Kanban Tools Read ProjectManager.com features & functionality 30-day free trial from $15/user/month. 9.8 Check out ProjectManager
monday.commonday logo - kanban tools Read monday.com features & functionality 14-day free trial from $17/month for 2 users. 9.6 Check out monday.com
Kanban Toolkanbantool-logo-kanban-trello-alternative Read Kanban Tool features & functionality free 14-day trial

free version for up to 2 users

from $5/user/month 9.6 Check out Kanban Tool
Blossomblossom-logo-agile-tools Read Blossom features & functionality 14-day free trial from $19/user/month. 10 Check out Blossom
TrelloTrello logo - kanban tool alternative Read Trello features & functionality Freemium from $9.99/user/month. 10 Check out Trello
ZenHubzenhub-logo-kanban-tool-app-trello-alternative Read Zenhub features & functionality 14-day free trial from $5/user/month. 9.6 Check out ZenHub
Breezebreeze-logo-project-management-software-kanban-tool Read Breeze features & functionality 14-day free trial from $29/user/month. 9.4 Check out Breeze

Or Try Another Trello Alternative:

Here’s a list of a few more alternatives to Trello:

  1. ZenkitWell-rounded management suite that works as a Kanban board, CRM, scheduling tool, collaboration tool, bug tracker, and more
  2. LeanKitKanban software made specifically for lean project management
  3. WimiCollaboration and management tool suite that offers free personal kanban software
  4. TaskworldLong-standing tool with Kanban-based features for managing projects, time, files, communications, timelines, and more
  5. Kanban ToolVisual project management tool with real-time team collaboration on online Kanban boards
  6. HyggerKanban tool with a beautiful, easy-to-understand interface
  7. KanbanflowStraightforward and affordable Trello alternative (no user limits on the free plan, and just $5/month for the premium plan)
  8. Pivotal TrackerSimple tool for managing agile software development projects with 140+ prebuilt integrations
  9. KanboardThis free Trello alternative is open source. No frills: self hosted and simple to install
  10. RestyaPolished, Trello-like Kanban board that’s open source, with the added perks of offline sync and a mobile app
  11. OraHighly customizable agile PM tool with a great user interface
  12. ProggioCollaborative PM software offering numerous project views like Kanban boards, Gantt charts, task lists, and more
  13. RindleSoftware for growing teams designs to automate tasks and processes while consolidating project data in to useful reports
  14. AssemblaEnterprise software development platform with robust project and program management features that let you deliver projects using various methodologies including Kanban, Scrum, and SAFe
  15. KantaskSimple kanban software designed to provide transparency, coordination, and alignment to multidisciplinary teams
  16. NuvroEasy to use project management software with enterprise-grade task management features

Want Help Narrowing Down the Options?

This tool is pretty useful. We’ve partnered with Crozdesk to give you access to their “Software Finder”.

If you input some of the details about your project and the features you’re looking for in a project management tool, it will generate a list of tools that match your preferences. You provide your email, and they send over a nice PDF guide with a summary of your best matches.

How To choose The Right Kanban Tools For Your Team

As with anything involving project management, there are a few things to consider before making your selection among workflow apps. In your decision, account for these important considerations:

The Size Of Your Team

Which app is best going to suit your team, and will it scale properly to suit a growing team over time?

Which Tools It Should Integrate With

Maybe you’re using GitHub, Slack, Asana, or other team management tools, or maybe you need it to work across multiple devices, including mobile. Make sure the tool you choose covers all your needs—or is customizable enough that it can be upgraded later.

Project Workflow

Not all tools can handle the volume of projects some businesses produce, so check how many projects you will easily be able to manage at once.

Set-up Time And Cost

How soon can it be installed, or is it immediately available on the cloud? What kind of ongoing support do they offer? Is it a hosted solution or will you have to maintain the infrastructure?

Ease Of Onboarding

How simple is the platform to start using right away, and how much training will be needed to get everyone up to speed?

What Do You Think?

What other considerations have you made when looking for a Trello alternative? Have any recommendations for good project management software? Let us know in the comments below.

Ben Aston

About Ben Aston

I’m Ben Aston, a digital project manager and founder of thedigitalprojectmanager.com. I've been in the industry for more than 15 years working in the UK at London’s top digital agencies including Dare, Wunderman, Lowe and DDB. I’ve delivered everything from film to CMS', games to advertising and eCRM to eCommerce sites. I’ve been fortunate enough to work across a wide range of great clients; automotive brands including Land Rover, Volkswagen and Honda; Utility brands including BT, British Gas and Exxon, FMCG brands such as Unilever, and consumer electronics brands including Sony.

4 Comments

  • Brandon says:

    Hi Ben – I was surprised that Digite’ SwiftKanban was not on your list. Did you not know about them? They are definitely worth looking at and putting on your list since they directly compete with the likes of Planview/Leankit

  • Kate says:

    Hi Ben! Thank you for the mention of Hygger! Another great feature that differentiates it from Trello – is built-in prioritization, that allows you to focus on the strategically essential features.

  • Scott Butler says:

    For our company, a primary requirement is data security. We prefer the data to be hosted on an internal server if at all possible. Restyaboard offers this, Trello does not. Which other tools allow an internal data storage?

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