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Jira and Trello - What is the Difference Between Them?

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Trello or Jira are two project management tools. Which one is the leader? Both services belong to Atlassian, therefore they have similar approaches. Despite this, the choice depends on the needs of the user.

For most companies, Trello has become more desirable as it offers more functionality to solve common problems. At the same time, Jira provides convenient software project management.

Jira and Trello 2020 The main differences

The main differences between Jira and Trello. Source of the image

Project management has never been easy. Regardless of team size or amount of resources, there are always problems with communication or separation of powers. The project manager can choose the wrong direction once and work will stumble.

The leader must be prepared for such common problems:

  • bad communication;
  • weak team spirit;
  • laborious meetings;
  • missed deadlines.
Partially, these shortcomings are addressed using project management tools. But how to choose the right one? The article describes the main characteristics of Jira and Trello, which will help you decide.

Jira Basics

Jira – is Atlassian's best-selling tool. Mostly used by technical software development teams. Offers excellent project planning and tracking features. With 1000 add-ons and extensions, this service allows you to integrate other services that are popular among developers.

The service runs locally on the computers of team members. The administrative panel allows you to create, modify and configure workflows, and most importantly - set access rights.

Trello Basics

Trello has a wider purpose. This is an easy project management tool that is used by teams, regardless of their area of work. At the heart of Trello are Kanban boards that allow you to visualize the flow of all tasks, from software development projects to marketing campaigns and even holidays.

The service is used as a web application, through a browser or as a mobile application. Significantly simplifies the discussion of each project and individual tasks. Unlike Jira, for the best configuration of which a technical specialist is needed, Trello can be configured even by an inexperienced user.


Today, companies have a great choice when it comes to data storage. The main areas are creating your own network, connecting to a finished network, and using the cloud.

Each method has its advantages and disadvantages. The choice depends on many factors, including security, data access speed, acceptable data storage volumes, ease of access and many others.

Jira and Trello 2020 difference between cloud

The difference between cloud storage on your own network. Source of the image

Trello is only available as a cloud service. If your team needs local support, then the choice will fall solely on Jira. This option requires minimal knowledge in software development, since you need to create your own local network. But this method allows you to set stricter access. At the same time, Jira still leaves the possibility of using the cloud.

Task management

Jira provides task management functionality along with workflows. Workflows help build a team, manage software development and testing, and release it. You can also create your own processes, depending on the type of project.

Trello provides a three-element hierarchy for working on a project, which includes boards, lists, and maps. The creation and ordering of all elements is at the discretion of the user. He can also assign cards to specific performers, indicate deadlines, attach files to cards.

Niceties of Jira task management

Jira workflows provide quick task assignment and project management. This helps to organize a team, create sprints, tasks and subtasks, as well as track progress. To facilitate tracking, you can set reminders, deadlines.

Sprint is a period of time during which a team works to achieve certain goals that may be related. Sprint allows you to more accurately plan work processes and organize work.

Jira and Trello 2020 Sprint Tracking

Sprint Tracking. Source of the image

Also in Jira there is the concept of "epic." This is an analogue of sprint, but tasks are grouped not by time, but by subject. For example, you can set an epic to work on the navigation bar of the site interface. Epics allow you to avoid the time spent by two developers on the same task, which makes the whole process more efficient and coherent.

One of the features of Jira is time tracking. This functionality allows you to track every percentage of the task, which will help evaluate the skills and efforts of the developer, measure team productivity, analyze the strengths of each team member.

Jira and Trello 2020 Time tracking

Time tracking. Source of the image

Bug tracking is Jira's next strength. The project manager can see all the problems in one journal, which encourages you to make the necessary changes in a timely manner. Errors are saved as a separate category, which helps to understand how much a particular developer fixes in a project. Accordingly, it also helps to evaluate his skills.

Jira and Trello 2020 Bug tracking

Bug tracking. Source of the image

Jira allows you to set the priority of a task. For example, the developer sees that within a week he needs to complete 7 tasks that differ in difficulty level. Each task requires verification, the time of which depends on complexity. Thus, heavy goals can be made more priority, and simple goals left in the end. On the contrary, if out of 7 tasks 6 are easy, then you can leave the critical one at last, but allocate more time for it.

Reporting is a Jira trait that Trello does not possess. The service allows you to receive information about any significant changes, study the history of the project and the progress towards a specific goal. With Jira, you can build large charts and analyze the work done, which creates a clearer picture of the whole process.

Niceties of task management in Trello

The main feature of Trello is its easy stages definition. Each column is usually assigned to a specific stage. Also, a column can be selected for each part of the system. For example, if we are talking about developing an interface, then the manager can create columns for the main navigation panel, buttons for switching between pages, media design, etc.

Trello has a visual representation of tasks, which allows you to see what happens when you enter the board (for example, Jeff is working on a presentation of a finished application, and Josh has already completed data parsing).

Jira and Trello 2020 View of Trello board

View of Trello board. Source of the image

Trello also has color labels at its disposal that can be used to set specific values (“important”, “pay attention”, “edits needed,” etc.). This greatly simplifies the work and avoids unnecessary clicks.

One of Trello’s interesting ideas is the concept of the game in fulfilling the project. So, columns (they are also stages) are usually located from left to right, from the beginning of work to completion and payment.

When the card is moved from one column to another, the executor has positive emotions, which increases the level of adrenaline (dopamine). This establishes a physical connection between the project and the performer, which activates the competitive element and stimulates the task.

From the point of view of the developer, Jira is a more flexible service, as it offers many project management functions, allows you to organize work, timely fix errors and evaluate the effectiveness of each team member.

At the same time, Trello has a significant advantage in visualizing the work of the team. It is much more convenient to use, and when learning all the tricks (such as tags), you can manage the project with one hand.

Due to the peculiarities of software development, unlike other business tasks, such as marketing, meeting with clients, designing a blog, etc.) Jira has become the preferred choice of programmers. Trello reached the rest of the audience.

Ease of use

Trello is very easy to use, intuitive and allows you to get to work almost instantly. Its plugins have a clear guide that does not interfere at any time to expand the functionality used. Trello is so simple that most of its add-ons and some basic features are simply underestimated.

Jira is a sophisticated tool with many options, screens and views. There are many ways to configure, but not everyone understands the average everyman of the network. As already mentioned, only a user with technical knowledge can achieve the perfect Jira configuration.


Jira offers traditional collaboration features, including task management, file and message sharing, and sending notifications. The size of the team depends on the tariff chosen by the company, which limits the capabilities of the project manager. Therefore, one of his tasks is to choose the appropriate team that has a variety of skills.

Jira and Trello 2020 Jira team work opportunities

Jira team work opportunities. Source of the image

Trello allows you to invite an unlimited number of people to the same board. This is his advantage over Jira. Everyone who has access to the board can get all the information about the task of each team member, progress and upcoming tasks.

In the context of communication, users can share their ideas in the comments on the cards. All users attached to the card receive notifications of new information by mail, SMS or push-notifications, depending on their own preferences.

Integrations and Add-ons

Very often, managers need to transfer data between a project management application and other systems, such as support desk software or repository.

Therefore, a modern service should provide integration with other services. In this regard, Jira significantly surpassed Trello. Today Trello has about 30 possible integrations with other applications, while Jira provides more than 100.

Trello integrations:

  1. Zendesk.
  2. Jira.
  3. BlueJeans Meetings.
  4. io.
Jira integrations:
  1. Slack.
  2. One Drive.
  3. Gannt.
  4. Salesforce.
Both services support integration of widely used applications such as Slack, Evernote, Github, Bitbucket, Dropbox and Google tools. Jira and Trello also have a great experience with a wide range of plugins, add-ons and automation tools.

Trello add-ons

GetCorello. This tool allows you to display all the statistics of the board on a separate screen, which is very useful for large projects. Thanks to it, you can find out the total number of tasks that are in the work, the productivity of employees, immediate goals. The only downside is that this add-on is paid.

Jira and Trello 2020 Corello Statistics.

Corello Statistics. Source of the image

Elegannt. This tool allows you to implement Gantt charts to track project progress. This is a visual way to find out at what stage is the implementation of a particular card or task.

Jira and Trello 2020 Gantt Charts

Gantt Charts. Source of the image

Custom Fields. This addition makes Trello a very universal service, significantly expanding its functionality. With it, you can add different fields (for example, price, customer, project type) to the card, sharpening it for almost any task.

Butler. This supplement will reduce the need for visiting the board. It allows you to automatically transfer cards between lists at a given time, send notifications when various events occur, set deadlines, define artists, and much more. For many users, it has become the best addition.

Jira and Trello 2020 Trello Automation

Trello Automation. Source of the image

Jira add-ons

Tempo Timesheets provides painless time tracking in Jira. It provides more detailed statistics on the time spent on each task. It also allows you to make other process elements that are not directly related to development (holidays, weekends, holidays, etc.).

Jira and Trello 2020 Tempo Timesheets for Jira

Tempo Timesheets for Jira. Source of the image

Plain Tasks facilitates task management. Due to this addition simple tasks can be added without creating a workflow and even without including them in the main workflow. So, when the task is completed, the leader ticks and it closes, without unnecessary actions.

Jira and Trello 2020 Plain Tasks for Jira

Plain Tasks for Jira. Source of the image

Folio – Jira "personnel department". This tool provides information on how long a team member worked during the sprint. It also allows you to organize data on employee profits, and other costs associated with the project.

What is the difference?

When comparing Jira and Trello, many executives are wondering which tool is better. But speaking specifically about these services, one needs to wonder - which tool is more suitable?

The head of the software development team definitely needs Jira. Jira is also suitable for anyone looking for a fully customizable tool that provides tracking of every step and allows you to visually evaluate the skills of employees. Jira is a service for large projects. But it is important to understand that it requires certain knowledge, as well as time for adaptation.

When looking for a simple tool for a small team, Trello will be your best bet. It is well suited for start-up managers, blog owners, and freelance team leaders. It is easy to learn and allows you to quickly enter the world of project management.

It is impossible to determine the best service among these two, because their purpose is somewhat different. Each has its advantages and disadvantages. Jira paid, but ideal for a large project. Trello is free (but has paid subscriptions to expand the functionality), but at the same time it allows you to manage a project in any field, even if it relates to the creation of a simple advertising booklet.

Jira and Trello - What is the Difference Between Them? key takeaways:
  1. Jira Basics
  2. Trello Basics
  3. Hosting
  4. Task management
  5. Niceties of Jira task management
  6. Niceties of task management in Trello
  7. Ease of use
  8. Collaboration
  9. Integrations and Add-ons
  10. Trello add-ons
  11. Jira add-ons
  12. What is the difference?
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