What tools do you use to self-manage your projects?

cescquintero profile image Francisco Quintero πŸ‡¨πŸ‡΄ ・1 min read

I really like Jira but also dislike it sometimes. Simplicity of tools like Trello, Asana, and Pivotal seem to make Jira a burden to use. The thing is Jira is better suit for big projects(many people, long term), IMO.

Trello is the main tool I use for my personal and freelance projects but I'm working on this new project that has to many details and Trello is almost falling short to me. I could setup two or three boards but that would complicate my life even more.

So, to the point of the title. Is there any other tool you have/would used/suggest to manage a soon-to-be midsize project or project with many details?

If you allow me, this tool should:

  • have a free tier(this is the only project giving me issues right now, so)
  • allow me to have separated sections like in Jira you have backlog separated from sprint and releases, kind of the idea

Finally, I've used Asana but didn't really understand it well, I'm open to give it a second try if you can point me to a good guide on how to use it.

Thanks :)


Posted on by:


markdown guide

I'd highly recommend checking out Notion.so. It has all the same functionality as Trello, but can connect boards better and has much better note/documentation abilities.

It may seem tricky to figure out at first, but once I nailed my workflow I couldn't be happier. It has a free tier, but their paid version is well worth it.

Feel free to PM me if you want to bounce ideas off me for your workflow, I'd be happy to share mine πŸ˜ƒ


I just found notion.so and at first it was a little intimidating with so many features. But after playing around with the templates and trying to re-create some of my more complex notes I keep on Boostnote, I have to say that I'm a believer now. Notion has just replaced around 4 or more different apps for me.

Thanks for mentioning it!


Cool. I checked it out a few weeks ago but felt it does too much. Gonna check it again as this service has popped twice in the comments.

Thanks for posting!


Sure thing! If you have any questions don't hesitate to reach out.


I feel like it does a lot, but makes it super easy to ignore the features you dont want/work it to your needs, I love it :P


JIRA is the absolute worst tool I've ever had the displeasure of using. I hate that so many companies use it because "it's what everyone else uses". This is speaking as a former JIRA admin who had to receive expensive training just to do basic things.

I've been playing with zenkit.com recently. I still love Trello though. Asana has also been pumping out features over recent years and are worth checking out again if you weren't a fan in the past. wrike.com, archmule.com, and kanbanflow.com are cool as well.

I've used waffle.io in the past as well, which is pretty much a 1-to-1 competitor with ZenHub. They both require paid plans to access private repos, but they're both pretty cheap.

Another cool product (which includes more than just a project management tool) is phacility.com/phabricator. Their hosted version costs a decent amount but you can self-host it. tuleap.org is a similar product.


Creating a defect in jira harder than filling bank account application form.


"it's what everyone else uses"

we are caught in this trap right now and i am hating it so much :(


I really like using Github Issues, combined with their Project Boards. I get the ease of just dumping stuff into the issues backlog, but the nice simple organization of kanban boards like trello. Plus its got automation, where commit messages can automatically reference and close issues.


It really seems that Trello would handle what you need to do quite effectively, especially given that you are already familiar with it. I think all you would need is to add a few Chrome extensions such as Planyway or Trellius: Calendar For Trello, Nests for Trello or Parent/Child Management for Trello, and Scrum for Trello.

That said, if you still find Trello is not going to do it for you I am a huge fan of Notion. As others have stated, it is a jack of all trades and master of some. It really is an incredible tool. The only caveat is that it will definitely require some time investment to set up the way you want it.

Finally, if neither of those recommendations works for you I would direct you to ClickUp. This is a more modern approach to Trello or Asana. It is really clean and very actively developed. Also, you can import data from a bunch of other tools including Jira and Trello so you can hit the ground running if you already started or have data in other apps.


Wow, thanks. Gonna check all those extensions. You made a point, I might be lacking an improved workflow in Trello.


Github issues & projects. Though I wish a non-organization could organize issues from multiple repos into a single project.

I've also recently moved away from Evernote to Keep It (reinventedsoftware.com/keepit/) for note taking and syncing between devices. In most cases, just a list of todos and bullet points is enough for my individual projects if nobody else is following along.


I also am quite content with GitHub issues & projects. Could they be easier to use? Sure. But are they unobtrusive and integrated with software I'm already using on a daily basis? They sure are.


I would highly recommend sticking to GitHub Issues if you can. You can use Zenhub as a nice chrome extension to see kanban style boards, projects, etc. It gives you extra features all for free.

Jira is absolute junk! Do not use it.

Asana is great if you can spend the time. It's very generic and perfect for many projects.

Finally, if you have too many tools, you can also use Unito to synchronize work items across teams.


Nick, thank you for posting.

Well, the project is using Bitbucket(the only thing I like about it is its free tier for private proojects) and I don't like very much the options it provides, but it just a matter of taste.

Gonna check out Zenhub and Unito!


I personally use Azure DevOps (dev.azure.com). Started using it for personal projects, now I'm using it in work too.

It's an amazing tool to manage projects and code. And has great automation tools for a lot of different projects.

You can have an unlimited number of private project/ repos with up to 5 people working on them, or you can create an open source project similar to GitHub.

You can also use GitHub as a code repository and Azure DevOps and a project management dashboard and automation tool.


As someone has said, notion.so. I use it for a lot more than project self management and it has everything I spent years looking for in notebook apps.

I have one notebook where I keep jobs and projects, under each I can have issue tracking, to-do lists, language cheat sheets if needed, the source code for pasting in and out of ides, etc THEN copy that whole bundle and not have to set it up 400483912 times.


Over the years I've used Pivotal, Trello and JIRA and this is exactly the order from my favorite to my least favorite :D

Notion.so seems to be interesting in case you want to converge all your services into one


I’d recommend GitLab.

I’ve used and tried Jira + Bitbucket, Trello, Dapulse (Monday), Github, Wrike, and Asana before but the one that really hit the sweet spot for me as a developer was GitLab’s project management tools.

Initial setup is pretty simple and I think it handles both small and big projects pretty well.


I mainly do all my stuff in Trello and integrate that sometimes with Github. So far haven't needed anything else, but if you are using a lot of tools to manage everything, you can use Zapier automation to make everything run smoothly.


I also use Trello for almost everything but this project is getting a lot of tasks and subtasks from subtasks, so listing them all in a single list or splitting them in lists will bloat the board (in will drive me crazy :D)

Second one to mention Github, as I'm using Bitbucket, gonna check out their issue tracker and see what value I can get.

Thanks for posting!


Have you tried Quire? I've found it a pretty good project management tool, much better than ClickUp and Basecamp. Found them randomly on the internet and now our team is loving it.


ZenHub has been pretty impressive so far for me


i use gitea for personal git repository, it provide basic feature like github and gitter to team contact


You could give Taiga (taiga.io/) a try :) I love this one :)


I've used Asana for work and it worked nicely for collaboration, but for personal projects I find that Github Issues/Projects/Wiki is more than enough for my needs.


Using Bitbucket but I'm going to see what it has to offer.

Thanks for posting!


I love Asana, their flexibility is their strongest advantage, you can just make it the way that fits your workflow.


I try to keep it simple for personal projects.

I use the new Github project board and Bear app for taking note, it is so minimalistic and supports Markdown


Definitively, gonna give it a try.

Thanks for leaving your comment!


I enjoy using Zenhub. You can also check out taiga.io.


Well, for source code management I am using only fossil.

It is great, very small, very lightweight, all-in-one system, that has really intuitive interface.


I mainly use Trello, tried Favro in the past, but right now I'm thinking about moving to Coda. Does any of you use it and has anything to say about it? Looks pretty good.