Poor project management can lead to the death of your business.
This is why we reviewed the most popular kanban software out there. Whether you’re familiar with this lean method to manage work or looking to join the growing ranks of businesses that already use it, we’ve got you covered.
Discover the best kanban software in 2019 and learn how to choose the most suitable one for you!
Good suit for high-end users.
- Simple and clean UI
- Free version
- Variety of boosts
- Limited options for the free version
- Lack of a direct communication channel
- The mobile version needs optimization
The company offers a free version that is available to use forever. It does limit the number of functionalities you can use though.
Most user reviews are positive. People like the simplicity and fun the software provides. Negatives include the search functionality and accuracy of results. Some users report difficulties with certain features on their cell phones, and some are disappointed with the Android App.
Ease of use
Extremely easy to work with. Very intuitive and customizable. You can just start creating task cards, assign them to a team member, set priority, due date, etc.
Trello provides all the basic features like creating checklists and adding labels to tasks with different colors for better visibility. It also gives a lot of customization options like uploading an image cover to your tasks and upvoting a task. On top of that, you are able to create both a regular and a business team. The latter has more advanced security options and administrative control, as well as having unlimited power-ups. And essentially the key feature of Trello is the integrated power-ups.
A lot of the aforementioned cool power-ups like voting, analytics, adding a map, and the automation “butler.”
In case you’re wondering what it does, the butler reacts automatically to actions on your board. You can choose what actions trigger the butler. For example, when you are added to a card, the butler sets the task due in 5 working days and posts a comment “I got this!” Very much like P. G. Wodehouse’s legendary Jeeves.
Still, you can only use the true potential of the power-ups with paid versions.
You are able to share documents directly from your computer or connect Dropbox and Google Drive. You also have a discussion section, which is a chat/forum mix-up.
I couldn’t actually find a support/contact section on the homepage. Apparently, there is a form to send a message to the support team. I had to resort to Google to find it, though. In the form, you have the option to give Trello support staff temporary access to your account. Support over the phone is not available.
The support working hours are 8/5 GMT. I received a response from support 6 days after my query, which is not ideal, even for a free package. It’s worth noting that purchasing a package does provide priority support.
- $0/monthly per user – Free
- $12.50/monthly per user – Business-class
- $20.83/monthly 20-100 users – Enterprise
- $5.92/monthly 5,000+ users – Enterprise
Trello is one of the easiest and simple kanban tools you can find. It’s perfect for beginners. A very good option for experienced users, too. And the best part – you can use the free version forever, which makes it an instant favorite for small businesses and companies on a tight budget.
While it does come with very limited options, the free version will do the job, at least initially. If you want more high-end features, the paid packages offer tons in terms of security, advanced admin permissions, and automation. To conclude, if you’re not sure where to start, Trello is definitely a good option.
Perfect for beginners and big teams.
- Free version
- Very fast support
- No calendar function
- Limited integrations for the free version
The basic version is completely free to use forever, and you can request a free trial of the Business package.
While there are some small tweaks that users would like to see updated in MeisterTask (such as lack of list view, calendar with scheduled tasks), the general audience reception is excellent. People love the simplicity, the fact that there is a free version, and the intuitiveness of the software.
Ease of Use
The intuitive design allows for a pleasant experience. Using the software feels more like playing a game than doing work. It narrows down the options, providing you with a simple yet effective experience. And after all, it has the popularity of the most intuitive task management tool on the web. That’s a lot of expectations to live up to, but MeisterTask certainly does.
MeisterTask provides a good, free kanban board, the ability to create checklists, and the activity log is very convenient to use for checking the recently completed tasks. You also have access to statistics, such as time tracking and performance, where you can see the number of completed and new tasks, and reports for overdue, completed upcoming and open tasks. Unfortunately, the statistics are only available for paid versions.
Still, the features provided with the free version would be sufficient for freelancers or companies with tight budgets. And, after all, you can always upgrade to enhance your performance.
MeisterTask offers a large number of integrations available such as Slack, Zendesk, Github, Confluence, Gmail, GSuite, and much more.
You have the option to upload files directly from your device or connect your Google Drive or Dropbox. It’s always useful to have such functionalities in front of you.
The company support replied very fast – within two hours of my queries. The main way of support communication is by email, though the company also has a phone line. Support working hours cover both Europe and the US – a good overall support experience.
- Free – Basic
- $9/monthly per user – Pro
- $23/monthly per user – Business
- On request – Enterprise
You can use a free version forever, so MeisterTask is an ideal solution for freelancers and small companies or for those on tight budgets. The ease of use and fast learning curve make for a good working experience. Overall, one of the best free kanban software you can use and a good Trello alternative.
Subscribing for a paid package will give you access to tons of additional features like admin and account manager accounts, group sharing and security. This also makes it a good choice for bigger companies.
Best for high-end users.
- Very customizable
- Intuitive UI
- 24/7 support
- Overburdening learning curve
- Occasional bugs
- No free version
While the company does not have a free version of the product, you are able to register for a 14-day free trial.
This software is well-appreciated for its various options for customization and multiple features. But the fact is, it can get a bit too time-consuming to adjust everything. That’s why more experienced users would be able to benefit from monday.com more than newcomers. The latter might have some headaches trying to understand how the system works.
Ease of Use
The software has so many features and options for customization that you’re bound to get lost somewhere along the road. New users need some time to learn the program before they use it efficiently.
There’s an abundance of features on monday.com. You have timelines to monitor progress, charts to visualize your milestones, numbers to keep track of statistics, and even a llama farm. The llama farm widget is a fun way to keep track of your finished tasks. It will display a llama for each item on your board, and the color of the llama will match the status of a specific status column on that board.
You also have the option to invite viewers to your board – while they can only see what’s going on, they may offer valuable feedback to improve your performance. There are also info boxes, where you can add Q&A sections, add a file or just leave a note.
Monday.com offers a good amount of third-party integrations, including but not limited to Asana, Jira, Typeform, Zendesk, Slack, and Trello.
The platform provides options to integrate a calendar, export tables to Excel, and more.
Their support replied to my email within a matter of minutes. The company offers 24/7 email support, aiming to give responses in a 30-minute timeframe. Monday.com also has a 24/7 phone line. You can watch webinars and read guides within their website as well.
- $25/monthly for 5 users – Basic
- $39/monthly for 5 users – Standard
- $59/monthly for 5 users – Pro
- On request – Enterprise
Monday.com is a very reliable platform that provides all the basic organization functions, as well as high-end options like task automation. It’s a perfect fit for small businesses, although it could get a bit too expensive for large companies with many users. The software has an astounding 99.9% uptime SLA, so you can surely rely on it to be there when you need it, as well as the 24/7 support.
It’s a perfect solution if you’re already familiar with similar software. Having said that, it can get a little too complicated for newcomers. All in all, monday.com is a unique kanban project management software that could suit all types of businesses.
4. Kanban Tool
Ideal for freelancers.
- Free version
- 24/7 system monitoring
- Clean and simple UI
- The functionalities need some slight tweaks
You have a free version available and can also get a free trial of each version. A free trial of each version is something very few kanban tools offer.
There’s not much to dislike about the tool. Sure, some additional options for customization and small interface tweaks would be welcome, but apart from that, Kanban Tool delivers for all the basic necessities of running a business.
Ease of use
It’s very easy to get started with Kanban Tool. The interface is clean and simple to navigate and create tasks.
This software has a lot of cool features. You can create checklists, set recurring tasks, so that you don’t waste time assigning them every day, and add calendar widgets to help you schedule your work accordingly. You can set keyboard shortcuts if that’s your thing and import existing tasks from your email.
Tech-savvy users can take advantage of developer tools to customize the experience to their heart’s content. On top of all that, the software features a process automation option, alas only available for Enterprise users.
Kanban Tool allows you to collaborate with multiple systems like OneDrive, Apiant, Bitium, Zapier, etc. You can use Kanban Tool on both Android and iOS, and you can even build your own extensions using API/SDK.
You have several handy tools like analytics, import tasks, export to a calendar, and even take a screenshot. You also have the cool option to stream your board to any TV via Kanban Cast.
The company offers only email support; however, the response rate is very fast. The representative answered my queries within about 30 minutes and was very knowledgeable and helpful.
- $0/monthly – Free
- $5.50/monthly per user – Team
- $10/monthly per user – Enterprise
Kanban Tool is a very reliable and stable platform for all kinds of businesses. Their pricing is a very fair bargain for what it offers. Of course, you can always just use the free version, which is powerful enough on its own, if you’re a freelancer.
The highest package, which would cost roughly $50 each month for five users, offers time tracking, reporting, and process automation – a good suit for bigger companies.
- Good support
- Very customizable
- Free version
- UI can be confusing at times
- Minor bugs
You have a 30-day free trial available for the Startup and Professional packages. On top of that, there’s an entirely free version for up to three users.
Ora provides many features and options, which allow users to utilize it for multiple purposes from personal to business needs. People really like the software, and most of them think Ora will only get better in the future.
Sure, there are some minor bugs from time to time, and the user interface can become slightly confusing now and then. But these are really small flaws in the larger scheme.
Ease of use
The design is minimalistic and somewhat confusing at times. Still, it’s easy to get to know how things work. It helps that you have a good beginner tutorial and quick customer support to answer your questions.
The Agenda feature allows you to follow-up on tasks and plan your weekly schedule. There is also a Timeline feature to help you keep track of the latest finished tasks and events. You can see your project health status, which will give you a tip whether the pulse of your workload is good. You can easily export your project, save a template, change the background and add milestones.
The paid packages also feature so-called “observers.” While they do have limited rights, they can play an important role for private projects, having the ability to see tasks, comment, and vote on them.
The software allows integration with Slack, GitHub, Bitbucket, Gitlab, Zendesk, Google Calendar, Trello (integration will begin at the end of 2019 or beginning of 2020).
You have access to additional options like adding milestones, time-tracking, chatting with your team, and doing invoices.
A support rep replied to my questions in less than 12 hours – in my experience, good response time for kanban software support. Working hours are 12/6 EST, handling queries mostly by email and sometimes chat. Support is helpful and friendly.
- $6/monthly (billed annually) per user – Startup
- $8/monthly (billed annually) per user – Professional
- $20/monthly (billed annually) per user – Enterprise
While there are some minor glitches and occasional navigation troubles, Ora is a stable follower of kanban methodology. Combine that with layers of add-ons and integrations, and you get a good management platform. The pricing flexibility makes Ora a good suit for both small and big businesses.
The free version is an ideal solution for freelancers and for handling personal tasks. The enterprise package gives high-end businesses with big teams their money’s worth.
- Clean design
- Good UI
- Free version
- No real-time support and slow support response-rate
- Limited app connections
You have a free trial available for a limited period of time. There’s also a free version at your disposal.
Online reviews of GitScrub are mostly positive. Most people like the software and find little to no negatives. Apart from the lack of actual customer support. Having a chatbot is great, but it’s not ideal for customers who want to receive quick responses.
Still, GitScrub has a solid system and is often updated to keep track of market demands. In fact, you can always check the countdown timer on the main page to see when new updates will come.
Ease of use
GitScrub is simple and efficient. You don’t really need to watch a tutorial to get familiar with the system. Just start organizing your workflow from day one.
The software combines kanban with scrum really well. It has a time tracker, calendar planning, leaderboard for employee motivation and healthy competition, tracking tasks (to-do, in progress, done). The discussions section acts as an internal chat/forum, which is really useful, because you can communicate with your team inside the platform, instead of having to switch to different software. Furthermore, you can personalize with a company logo, which is a really cool feature to make your business look legitimate and self-conscious.
The task effort system offers point rewards to employees. There’s also an option to create checklists and manage multiple projects. Last but not least, there are built-in templates for website launch, e-learning, development, training, etc.
You can easily connect your accounts on GitHub, Bitbucket, Asana, Slack, Discord, GitLab, Trello.
White-label feature (upgrade to GitScrum business version). It removes the GitScrub branding and provides you with a custom domain name. This is a really cool option, which is not available anywhere else from what I’ve experienced.
24/7 Chatbot. If you want to contact support, you must give the chatbot your email, and a ticket will be created. I didn’t receive an answer from their support at all, which is a bit of a shame for a company that claims to be customer-centric. In fact, from all kanban software companies I reached, only GitScrub did not reply at all. No phone support provided, either.
- $0/monthly – Personal – up to 3 users
- $12/monthly – Freelancer – up to 10 users
- $22/monthly – Professional – up to 25 users
- $128/monthly – Business – unlimited users
Overall, GitScrub is a very good kanban project management software. It would be especially useful to newcomers since it has a clean and simple design that allows the quick organization of your tasks and workflow. Using GitScrub gives a sense of excitement and gamification. I believe it has significant growth potential and can become one of the best inventory management software in the future.
- Free version
- Affordable price
- UI looks outdated
- It doesn’t have enough features
KanbanFlow offers both a completely free version and a free 14-day trial for its paid version.
The outdated design is a major flaw of the platform. It’s one of the main reasons behind negative reviews. Other than that, users are satisfied with the product, especially given the fact that there is a free version.
On the downside, KanbanFlow does not allow third-party software integrations. What’s more, there are no advanced security and analytics options.
Ease of Use
The software is pretty straightforward to use. Still, this means there aren’t a lot of features apart from the standard kanban framework.
KanbanFlow has a clean kanban workflow process with WIP limits, subtasks, swimlanes, and time tracking. The premium version gives you the possibility to backup, attach files, use a calendar and dashboard. The mass update feature is very handy in case you want to change a lot of tasks, labels or swimlanes simultaneously, as it reduces the process to the click of a button, rather than having to change each one manually.
You can also import tasks you already have running from Excel, use the filter option to quickly navigate to find all unassigned tasks, for example. That’s another good way to reduce lost time on mundane tasks.
Combine your KanbanFlow experience with software like Slack, Outlook, Gmail, GitHub. You can also integrate it with Zapier.
Easily connect to your Dropbox and Google Drive or simply upload files from your computer. The software also offers a time tracker.
The company only offers support over email. Response time for premium users is prioritized – around 12 hours. You may need to wait up to seven days for free version support depending on the workload.
- $0 – Free
- $5.50/monthly per user – Premium
Everyone loves free products, and KanbanFlow gives you just that. But there’s more – the Premium version is only $5.50 per month per user, which is one of the most affordable packages among all kanban project management software.
It’s a tool you can use instantly, as it requires minimal effort to learn. It’s straight to the point, making it a valuable kanban board for less experienced users. But while it does have a decent amount of additional features, this software falls behind others on the list in terms of options.
The free version, while limited in functionalities, still manages to deliver a positive and reliable work experience. It’s entirely sufficient to meet the needs of companies on tight budgets and freelancers.
- Good and fast support response
- Free trial applicable for each package
- No direct team communication channel
- Lackluster design
- No free version
There’s a free 14-day trial. The good news is you can try each package for free to determine which will suit you the most.
Breeze has no major flaws. It has all the kanban features for your business needs. In user reviews, people share they would like more options for customization. Truth be told, the visuals are not stunning, but the software will get the job done.
Ease of use
Breeze has a simple interface. It’s rather easy to navigate, but the design is not impressive.
The software offers a reasonable amount of features including email notifications, discussions, file uploads, task analytics, calendars, etc. You can easily access time tracking reports and the activity log. All these features may seem a bit dull compared to what other kanban tools offer, but Breeze relies on simplicity and clear navigation. So, less of the fancy stuff and more workflow optimization – that may just be the thing for you.
A decent amount of software can be integrated into the platform, including the likes of GitHub, Slack, HipChat, Flowdock, Bitbucket, Gitlab.
Breeze does not offer much in terms of add-ons. It has an activity log and time tracking but does not provide a direct communication platform for teams, except for comments on tasks.
Breeze currently offers support only by email, but the company does intend to add a chat option in the future. Support answered my questions within less than 24 hours, which is great, especially for a free trial user. The representative was clear and precise in answering my queries.
- $29/monthly – Freelancers – up to 5 users
- $59/monthly – Small business – up to 12 users
- $129/monthly – Large team – up to 30 users
- $249/monthly – Enterprise – up to 60 users
Every plan has the same features; only the number of users changes.
Breeze wins extra points for its ease of use, allowing people to get familiar with the software quickly. It’s great that you can try each package for free. Small businesses and freelancers should definitely try out Breeze, though it’s not the best kanban software on the market yet.
In case you’re wondering whether to use Breeze or not, just go for the free trial to determine if this is the best platform for you and your team.
- Simple UI
- Outdated design
- Expensive basic version
- Some bugs
You can take advantage of the company’s 30-day free trial. However, there is no free package.
The user reviews are quite mixed, with the overall feeling being: lack of satisfaction.
Ease of Use
The software is confusing at first glance and requires some time to master. It’s also not the most visually appealing.
The platform features options like flaw reports, a timeline view. There are a lot of useful built-in templates ready to use, in case you’re struggling to create your own ones initially. You can assign user roles, download snapshots, create a custom icon and set up both exception and distribution reports. Luckily, you have good tutorials for setting both reports, eliminating the chance to get overburdened. You also have access to the activity stream and filter mode, both quite useful to navigate quicker.
LeanKit offers a ton of options in terms of possible integrations. Jira, Zendesk, Pivotal Tracker, Jenkins, Bitbucket – these are just a small part of the long list.
Not much in terms of add-ons really.
LeanKit offers both email and phone support. A representative was quick to reply to my email; however, he did not answer my direct queries, providing links to the knowledge pages instead. I can easily find that by myself, so I can definitely appreciate more precise answers.
- $19/monthly per user – Team
- $29/monthly per user – Enterprise
- On request – Custom
LeanKit might turn out to be the best fit for your business, but it’s definitely not the best kanban software for everyone. That being said, it can play a beneficial role in simplifying complex dependencies and improving your workflow.
Overall, LeanKit is easy to use and highly customizable. However, the pricing is relatively high, and there’s more to be wanted from the product, so you’re better off going with a free trial if you’re not sure this is the right tool for you.
Here are the steps I followed in order to arrange this list and find the best kanban software in 2019:
1. I created a free account or registered for a free trial on a dozen management tools, ranging from software that only uses kanban to ones that combine kanban with scrum and other methods.
2. I read a massive amount of online reviews and opinions from different users in order to establish a diverse point of view.
3. I contacted each site’s customer support to evaluate what their response time, courtesy, and knowledge level are.
4. I adopted the point of view of various businesses – from big teams and high-level companies to freelancers and small businesses.
5. I took the value for money factor under consideration. Does the product have a free version? Are the paid packages too expensive for what they offer?
6. I monitored and obtained information about how regularly the companies update their software. Are they listening to popular user demands? Are they trying to always be in touch with the times?
7. I evaluated the number of available integrations with third-party software as well as the provided add-ons that make the companies stand out in the crowd.
8. Last but not least, I tested each software to see how easy it is to use. Can you pick it up right away, or do you need time to learn the process? Most businesses and freelancers don’t have the time to spare to get up to speed with complex systems.
Benefits of Kanban Software
Kanban software is certainly beneficial for your business, but what are the main pros? It’s something I like to call the COW (Collaboration, Organization, Workflow) effect.
Create tasks for your team, which reflect what every member is best at. This will also increase team spirit and make your employees feel like valuable assets. Using kanban, your co-workers can easily visualize what they have to do and what priority it has. Essentially, every member of your team is like a piece of a jigsaw puzzle. Find the right place for them instead of trying to mash in the piece where it doesn’t fit.
A crucial part of every business is to be able to organize tasks well. Get this right, and half the work is already done. It’s amazing how much the simple kanban process can help you. You don’t need to waste valuable time telling every person what they have to do. You need a couple of clicks and voila. Again, it’s like a jigsaw puzzle – you can just start placing pieces randomly, without any pattern – and that may give results, but chances are you will feel more confused. But when you start focusing on certain sections of the puzzle to arrange, you can bet you’ll see the image faster.
In order to maximize value delivery and efficiency, you need a well-established workflow. Identifying and addressing bottlenecks and blockers is a key part of a successful workflow. There are some tasks that are simply more important than others. Don’t let confusion and miscommunication lead to the improper flow of your work. Let that be something everyone can enjoy – use kanban software.
How to Choose the Best Kanban Software
It should be easy and fun. After all, what is kanban if not a way to make your life easier? Running a business is hard enough, and you don’t need to struggle with the software as well. Kanban management must deliver in terms of optimizing your tasks and reducing the time for their organization.
Choose one that provides you with your money’s worth. Why splash the cash on overpriced software which fails to fully meet your needs and expectations? Heck, given the fantastic completely free options on the market, paid versions should really be worth it. And, of course, a lot of them are – but take a moment to compare before subscribing.
And make sure you know exactly what you’ll need the software for. Are you looking for something basic and very easy to use, or are you ready for a more advanced platform that gives multiple layers of options?
So, in the end, don’t jump straight on the first kanban software you see. Take some time to test different options and establish which is the best one for you and your team.
Kanban methodology was developed with the intent to improve work and increase efficiency. The visualization of tasks from start to finish increases productivity and reduces time-wasting.
Before choosing the best kanban software for your needs, it’s a must to properly assess your place in the business hierarchy. Ask yourself if you only need a simple, free kanban board or you must have additional options in terms of both customization and integration. Do you need a combination of scrum and kanban, also known as scrumban? Think about what your planned budget is and which tool will deliver the best results for its value.
Feel free to always come back to this page, as I will monitor the progress of the tools and provide regular updates accordingly. In case you want to know additional information about these or other tools, or simply want to ask us a question – drop a comment in the section below the article.
Q: How Do I Use Kanban?
A: Imagine a piece of paper. Draw three lines on it to separate three major sections – To Do, In Progress, and Done. Start writing tasks underneath each section. For example, in the “to-do,” you write “Buy office supplies.” and “10 AM meeting with the marketing department.” In the “in progress,” write “Budget planning for Q4,” and under the “done” section – “Organize tasks.”
These are pretty much the basics of how you navigate the kanban process.
Q: Is Trello Based on Kanban?
A: Yes, Trello is based on the kanban methodology, although it combines several different features in order to maximize productivity. Trello integrates both the agile solution and the scrum framework. It gives you full visibility about your project stages, roles, and deadlines.
Q: What Is The Difference Between Scrum and Kanban?
A: Scrum and Kanban are two different agile project management methodologies. While they have similarities, kanban visualizes your workflow with simple boards, helping you to optimize the organization of your daily tasks. Meanwhile, scrum is focused more on a simple framework for effective team collaboration on complex products.
Q: What Is Better than Trello?
A: Trello is one of the best kanban tools on the market. However, depending on your preferences, you might prefer using other kanban-based software like Ora, KanbanFlow, monday.com or Kanban Tool.
For example, MeisterTask would be a better solution than Trello in case you’re a freelancer looking for a free solution. You don’t have to integrate with third-party software, and you’ll feel limited by what Trello’s free version offers. Or you have a small business with 20 employees, and the pricing for a Trello package is a bit too much for you to spend. In this case, Kanban Tool would be ideal, as it has lower pricing and will still provide you and your team with all the basic necessities.
Q: How is Kanban Different Than Agile?
A: While kanban focuses on improving your workflow and its organization, agile aims to help with adaptive, simultaneous workflows so that teams can adjust their processes with some frequency.
Q: What’s the Best Kanban Software?
A: Like most things in life, there is no unique and almighty answer. It depends on the type of business you run, the options you wish to have, etc. Still, narrowing down the choices – Trello, Meister Task, Monday.com, and Kanban Tool are among the best kanban software in 2019.
Now, I bet you also want to know which is the best kanban software for each type of company and user. Well, here’s a convenient, brief summary:
Best for freelancers – Kanban Tool, Ora
Best for small business – KanbanFlow, GitScrum
Best for big teams – MeisterTask, Ora
Best for high-end users – monday.com, Trello
Best for beginners – KanbanFlow, MeisterTask