Trello vs Wrike: The Battle of the Kanban Boards

If you have been scouting around for a new project management tool that uses Kanban boards, you have most likely come across both Wrike and Trello in your searches. Picking the right one can be difficult without a side by side comparison. In this blog, we will be running through the pros, cons and comparisons between Trello vs Wrike to help you make the most informed decision for your team’s next project management tool.

The Trello vs Wrike Battle in Summary

If you only have a minute, here is the battle summarised in three points.

  • Both are great cloud-based services that offer free versions for you to try for yourself.
  • Trello is best suited for smaller teams that like to use Kanban boards to collaborate. Wrike also has an in-built Kanban board but it is not as intuitive.
  • Wrike has better all-round features like Gantt charts, better integrations and custom workflow management that can help accommodate growing teams.

Introducing Trello

Trello is a cloud-based Kanban-style project management tool that primarily uses boards, lists, and cards to facilitate project collaboration, planning and management. One of the biggest selling points of Trello is its simplicity and practicality. The simple board system allows all users to have a quick and easy overview of tasks and progress throughout the progress. It was recently acquired by Atlassian in 2016 and has since grown to have over 50 million users worldwide.

Trello Pros

  • Trello has a super easy to use and understand drag-and-drop UI. Through the simple system of boards, lists and cards, users can get started with little to no prior knowledge.
  • The free version allows for unlimited users and offers basic integrations to popular services like Google Drive, Dropbox, and Jira.
  • Real-time updates and push notifications that keep users updated at all times
  • In-built communication tools that allow you to communicate and collaborate directly within the app, reducing your team’s email notifications. 

Trello Cons

  • Once you step beyond the Kanban board, Trello does not have many extended features or tools to offer. There are no inbuilt Gantt charts, time trackers or dependency management tools.
  • It is not ideal for running multiple projects or large projects. The interface can be easily cluttered with too many boards and the lack of effective reporting tools makes getting an overview of project progress a challenge.

Who benefits the best from Trello?

Smaller teams that are completely Kanban-based would reap the benefits of Trello’s easy drag-and-drop Kanban board, basic automation and workflow management features. 

Introducing Wrike

Wrike is a cloud-based project management tool that is also known for its easy to use Kanban boards. However, Wrike expands beyond the boundaries on Kanban boards alone and focuses on facilitating holistic start-to-end project management with in-built features like interactive Gantt charts, resource management tools, real-time dashboards, active task time-tracking and more. With free and paid versions available, Wrike has become a popular solution for teams of all sizes.

Wrike Pros

  • Wrike allows you to manage all project-related activities like resource management, schedule management and more on a single platform.
  • Advanced task dependency, progress tracker and automation features make it a powerful tool for growing teams who need to constantly optimise processes throughout their projects.
  • In-built reporting tools, customizable dashboards and smart Gantt charts allow project managers to easily manage multiple projects at the same time.

Wrike Cons

  • There is no inbuilt message feature. This means your teams will always be dependent on another third party tool to meet your communication needs.
  • The handy customisations features they are known for are only available in the premium version.
  • Wrike has a steep learning curve for first-time users. While all those tools and features can be handy, it takes time to figure out how it works and how best to use them.
  • The reporting format is limited to PDF only. This means your reports cannot be exported in other vital formats like Excel to be directly integrated with other reporting tools.

Who benefits the most from Wrike?

Wrike is a versatile tool for teams of all sizes who want to benefit from more than Kanban boards alone. As a full project management tool, Wrike can be scaled up to an enterprise-level and handle portfolio management activities.

Trello vs Wrike: Side by Side Comparison

We have given you a general summary of Trello and Wrike but to make your life easier, we will do a side by side comparison of certain key features to see which one has the upper hand.

Trello vs Wrike: Project Management Features

While some may argue that the simplicity of the Kanban board is enough to fully manage projects, that is highly dependent on the size and complexity of the project in question. While Trello does have certain features beyond its general Kanban board structure, such as time-tracking and basic automation, Wrike takes the lead in this field.

Wrike completely covers stat-to-end, project to portfolio-level management with in-built resource management, time tracking, reporting, Gantt charts, customised workflows and much more. Your teams can manage their budgets, their tasks and more all on a single platform. For these reasons, Wrike takes the crown here.

Trello vs Wrike: Collaboration Features

Surprisingly, this is where both Trello and Wrike lose big points to other competitors. Both tools do not offer an in-built messaging system so a third-party app needs to be brought in to facilitate the bulk of project communications. Both tools offer integrations with prominent communication tools like Microsoft Teams and Slack as well as email integrations.

However, both tools do offer some level of in-app collaboration, predominantly through mentions and comments. For Trello, users can make comments in cards to detail their specific needs or changes that are all updated in real-time to other users’ devices. Wrike uses a mention approach to keep users in the loop within the app. On this front, both tools are tied.

Trello vs Wrike: Usability

In this era, accessibility is everything. Being able to tap into your information whenever, wherever you may be is a critical asset to a flexible and adaptable business. Thankfully, both Trello and Wrike are available on desktop and mobile versions. Trello does take the lead over Wrike when it comes to language accessibility with over 20 language settings available compared to Wrike’s eight languages. 

When it comes to the user interface, Trello yet again takes the lead. Sometimes less is better and the simplicity of Trello has meant that new users have almost no issue instantly starting with the tool. On the other hand, many users have mentioned that Wrike requires a steeper learning curve as many of the handy tools they are known for are hidden within the tool itself. Wrike has a unique way of visualising and managing projects, so it may take teams some time to fully acclimatise and bring the most out of their tool.

Trello wins this round!

Trello vs Wrike: Integrations

Project teams are always using multiple apps or tools to fully manage their projects, be it a communication tool or an ERP tool. The most critical quality of an effective project management software is how many and how well it integrates with different tools.

Trello connects with over 200+ tools and services with main enterprise tools like Adobe and Google Drive as well as their further custom API service known as Power-Ups. Wrike does take the upper hand with double the amount of in-built connectors, 400+, as well as its own API development space. Through sheer quantity alone, Wrike secures a win.

Trello vs Wrike: Pricing

Sometimes a project management tool can come with all the perfect features and tools you need but can quickly lose its appeal due to misaligned pricing packages. Fortunately, Trello and Wrike both offer free and paid versions so you can give it a shot for yourself. Both tools also have four standard subscription packages, with Trello’s cheapest package starting at $5/user per month and Wrike’s cheapest starting at $9.80/ user per month. 

However, Wrike does offer specialized packages catered specifically to the needs of marketing and creative teams as well as service delivery teams. This may be a tricky battle to settle. While Trello may be cheaper, Wrike still inches out as your better investment if you are growing your team. While you may be able to get away with running on the free version of Trello, you will quickly encounter many challenges if you attempt to implement Wrike on a grassroots level.

Is there one solution to rule them all?

Can there be one solution that brings the best of both tools into one? Well lucky for you, you are in the good hands of pmo365! 

With the help of our team of PPM experts and developers, pmo365 makes bespoke custom project portfolio management solutions that adapt to your organisation’s specific needs. Rather than adapting your team to the tool, we adapt the tool to your team!

If you want to find out more about why pmo365 is one of the most highly rated solutions, make sure to click here or chat with our PPM experts directly!

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