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There are so many project management tools that it can be hard to choose one. In many instances, project management solutions offer very similar feature sets.

In this software comparison, we have one project management tool with just the right feature set for most projects and a fairly shallow learning curve vs. a platform that has more features than you’ll need that nearly any user could get up to speed with. Those project management tools are ClickUp and Trello, respectively.

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What is ClickUp?

ClickUp is project management software promoted as “The one app to replace them all.” In other words, ClickUp wants to replace all of the apps you use so that they can be housed in a single location. To that end, the company has squeezed as much of your productivity needs into one project management platform. For the most part, ClickUp has succeeded.

SEE: Hiring kit: Project manager (TechRepublic Premium)

Within a single ClickUp workspace, you can work with lists, boards (kanban), calendars, Gantt, timelines, tables, mind maps, workloads, activity, maps, whiteboard, documents, chats and forms. You can create dashboards, add attachments, comment, collaborate and share. And with the ability to create multiple workspaces (Figure A), you can fine-tune each of those using templates that cover operations, project management, personal usage, engineering and product, HR and recruiting, sales and CRM, IT, professional services and support.

Figure A

I have two different workspaces that are very different from one another on ClickUp.
I have two different workspaces that are very different from one another on ClickUp.

What is Trello?

Trello is project management software that offers the basics and has a very user-friendly interface. And although Trello might not include all the bells and whistles as ClickUp, what the project management software does, it does very well.

Unlike ClickUp, Trello does not want to be the one app to rule them all. Instead, Trello wants to be your project management tool. Period.

Trello’s learning curve is very shallow. Create an account and start building boards (Figure B). Create multiple workspaces based on simple templates and then view kanban boards, timelines, tables, calendars, dashboards and maps.

Figure B

Trello boards are some of the easiest to use on the market.
Trello boards are some of the easiest to use on the market.

Common features of ClickUp and Trello

Kanban

Kanban is one of the hottest tools for managing projects. With the ability to view the status of all aspects of a project in an easy-to-consume view, kanban makes it incredibly easy to break a project into its constituent parts and see exactly where each of those parts is in the workflow.

Both ClickUp and Trello do kanban just right. With the ability to drag and drop cards along across lists, you’ll find very little, in either product, to trip up you or your teams. If one service has a leg up over the other in this area, it would be Trello because you can do more with individual tasks such as adding members, labels, checklists, dates, attachments, covers, custom fields, drop-downs, powerups and buttons (some of those features are only available with paid accounts).

Either way you go, ClickUp and Trello offer some of the best kanban boards on the market.

Workflow

Workflow is an orchestrated and repeatable pattern of activity, empowered by systematic organization to improve the efficiency of given or related tasks. The smoother and more organized the workflow, the more productive a team can be.

This is where ClickUp has the advantage because it offers so many options within a single interface. With ClickUp, team members can do a fairly large percentage of their work in one space. This is not so with Trello. Yes, Trello makes it possible to do things like add attachments to tasks, but it doesn’t offer a built-in CMS tool found in ClickUp. And although the CMS tool is fairly rudimentary, it adds an important component to the workflow that removes the need to use yet another third-party tool.

Collaboration

Another area ClickUp has the advantage is collaboration. This is primarily because the platform includes several built-in collaboration tools, such as chat, whiteboard and forms. But with Trello, you can add any number of collaborative integrations (such as Slack) with the help of Powerups.

ClickUp also allows you to manage permissions for features such as the whiteboard. Create a new whiteboard and then share it with team members for easy collaboration.

Templates

ClickUp and Trello offer plenty of templates to choose from to help power your project management workspaces to new heights. Because of this, you don’t have to do so much work up-front to get your workspaces up and running. Create a new space and select a template to base it on, and you’re ready to hit the ground running. The advantage in this area goes to Trello because not only does it include hundreds of templates, but it also allows you to choose from community-developed templates and even build your own.

Feature comparison: ClickUp vs. Trello

Features ClickUp Trello
Kanban
Gantt
Calendar
Document management
Templates
Third-party integration
Simple interface
Whiteboard
Multiple workspaces
Collaboration tools
Automation tools
Free plan
Paid plan

Choosing ClickUp vs. Trello

When it comes to features, ClickUp wins by a large margin because it offers far more features than Trello. However, although both project management solutions are user-friendly, Trello runs away with this category.

If you’re looking for a project management platform to be all things to your teams, ClickUp might be just the ticket. If you’re looking for a project management tool just about any employee regardless of skills can use to hit the ground running, you cannot go wrong with Trello. Either way you go, ClickUp and Trello are outstanding project management tools.

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