I’m sure you clicked on the link in the hopes of finding which kanban tool is right for your company. So, that’s exactly what I’m going to help you achieve with this blog post.
I’ll walk you through the top 9 kanban tools that are available in the market, the features they have, and why you should pick them. That way, you can take an informed decision when you select a kanban tool for your organization.
Ever since Toyota, the car manufacturer, pioneered the kanban methodology back in 1940s, nearly every software team has adopted it. Mostly due to its ease of use, ease of understanding, and of course, the value it provides to teams - clarity and visibility into what’s happening within the team.
Which is why, almost every project management tool on the internet provides a Kanban board. Of course, only some of them will suit your needs.
So, let’s jump in and look at 9 kanban tools you should consider for your organization.
If you’ve been looking around for a kanban tool for sometime, you’ve most likely heard about Trello. While Kanban tools have been around for a long time, Trello popularized it primarily due to how effortless it is to get started with Trello. In fact, if you simply walk over to a random stranger and ask them for a suggestion for a Kanban tool, they’re more likely to suggest Trello.
Trello can be used for literally any use case - wedding planning, freelance work, software development, and more. Since Trello can be used for a variety of cases, out of the box, its feature set is pretty basic. But to counter that, Trello provides you with what they call as power-ups to improve your collaboration.
- Free with limited features.
- Business plan starts at $9.99
- Enterprise plan starts at $20.83
Zepel is the project management tool teams use when building software and to streamline their development efforts. It’s the tool teams use when simple Kanban tools like Trello, simply isn’t enough. And when complicated tools like JIRA, are too cumbersome.
What does that mean?
Zepel provides a simple document-like interface that lets you plan your next set of features with User Stories, Enhancements, Tasks, Subtasks, and Bugs.
When you’re ready to start working on them, you can add multiple Kanban boards for each team who will be involved in building the feature and track your feature in multiple teams.
And when you want to a birds-eye view of how your feature is progressing across all teams, Zepel provides you with a Progress view. This view also lets you prioritize each feature with simple drag-and-drop cards, set owners, and deadlines.
Of course, Zepel also provides a dedicated view for you to plan and run Sprints, have Sprint Boards to track them, and detailed reports to keep an eye on the progress.
Whether you view your work item on the Feature Document, on a Kanban Board, or on a Sprint, Zepel is simple and effortless to get started. But also has a ton of other features you’d expect, like subtasks, descriptions that support Markdown formatting, comments, drag in attachments to keep files for that task together.
To ensure you spend more time doing the work that matters, Zepel provides tight integrations with Slack, GitHub, Bitbucket, and GitLab. That way, you can automate the boring, manual work. And if that isn’t enough, with Zepel’s public APIs, you can go one step further and build custom workflows.
- Free with all features for 5 members
- Standard plan starts at $7/member/month
Since Kanban is closely associated to Agile and JIRA is marketed to be one of the popular agile tools for software development, a lot of teams who want a feature-rich tool, prefer to use JIRA. It provides a Kanban board and a scrum board, apart from its array of features.
What is JIRA’s biggest strength - the feature set - is also the biggest cause for the backlash it has received in the last several years. Plenty of teams and developers are frustrated with how slow it is, its poor usability, and its clutter.
- Free for upto 10 users
- Standard plan starts at $7/member/month
If you’re someone who wants a JIRA alternative that is as feature rich as JIRA, but isn’t as cumbersome to use, you might be interested in this list of 9 JIRA alternatives.
Asana is one of the popular project management tools that has an array of features including a support to use it as a Kanban tool. It originally provided a list and a calendar view, but as years progressed, they added a support for Kanban as well.
Every column in a Kanban board in Asana is automatically mapped to a Section when you view your project as a List. Everyone gets their own workspace with tasks assigned to them and every task can be a part of a larger project with the deadline set and its own priority level.
- Free with basic features
- Premium $9.99 with more extensive features
- Enterprise custom price
Kanbanize, as the name suggests, is a kanban tool that helps you organize and manage your work efficiently. It allows you to see all initiatives at a glance, break down a card in a kanban board into smaller chunks of cards, and then automate it to go through a series of steps.
Kanbanize is great if you are a client services company, thanks to their time tracking functionality that will help you get accurate agile reports. Unlike other Kanban tools, Kanbanize also provides the capability to set WIP limits, so you can complete work items faster, by helping your team to focus only on the task at hand.
- Free to $99 per month
Taiga is a kanban tool that provides both cloud and self-hosted options. It’s built for small developers, designers, and project managers.
It includes Kanban boards and backlogs, so you can track user stories and sprints. It allows teams to monitor and fix issues by assigning a person to them. Taiga provides a ‘Wiki’ feature to help you with project documentation where you can add, edit and upload wiki pages and related documents.
- Free with limited capabilities
- Premium plan comes at $7/member/month
MeisterTask is built for teams that want to manage tasks on a kanban. Several teams use MeisterTask to organize and manage tasks in a beautifully designed, customizable environment that adapts to their individual needs.
Similar to Trello, MeisterTask’s kanban-style project boards allow teams to create custom workflows that are tailor-made for each team and get more work done together. One of the biggest reasons why teams use MeisterTask is that it has an in-built feature to track time, which can be super useful if you’re a company that services clients.
- Free with limited functionality
- Pro plan starts at $8.25/user/month
- Business plan starts at $20.75/user/month
Paymo is a kanban tool that plenty of small companies use to manage their projects. It helps teams to track time, collaborate in projects, and track the project all the way to completion.
Paymo provides Gantt charts for you to plan your project. It is quite popular among services companies since it even lets you track expenses, generate quotes and invoices, and ultimately get paid.
- Free for 1 user and other feature limitations
- Small Office plan starts at $9.56/user/month
- Business plan starts at $15.16/user/month
Your team probably uses GitHub as their version control system for your code base. With Github project management, your team can also quickly track and fix issues, with the code by their side.
Github project management tool is a simple Kanban tool that lets you link issues and pull requests to specific tasks. This allows your team members to quickly track updates without having to setup a complicated workflow and get their work done quickly.
- Free for limited features
- Pro plan comes at $7 per month
- Team plan starts at $9 per month
If you’re someone who isn’t using GitHub, you can do this with Zepel’s integration with Bitbucket, GitLab, and Github.