The age of having a centralized whiteboard in an office scrum room littered with due dates and notes is long gone. In some office environments, pulling the team together for a quick morning huddle is also out with workers taking remote positions across time zones – and even continents – the need for online project management software is high.
Helpfully, there has been massive growth within this sector to meet the emerging and growing needs of all types of businesses – both in the office, remote, and hybrid.
The sheer amount of tools available is overwhelming, so this article seeks to address the key strengths and weaknesses of the two popular platforms, Notion and Trello.
Notion was launched in 2012 and has a staggering 30 million users worldwide. On the other hand, Trello was launched in 2019 and lists 30 million users worldwide. Clearly, both tools are greatly successful, and this article will help businesses decipher which tool is the better fit through a detailed comparison.
Key Features of Notion
A great feature of Notion is its flexible workspace options for users. The designated workspace can be tailored to meet the project team’s needs.
The space can host databases, pages of notes, or even graphs and charts; anything required for efficient project management for your team can be shared in this space.
The customization aspect of the project management tool is essential. No one company shares the same process or working style, so the ability to customize is a great plus for Notion.
Another vital feature of any project management application or tool is the ability to delegate, monitor, and manage task assignments. In essence, this is the core role of the project manager: to own the deliverables of the project and allocate roles and responsibilities.
Notion enables PMs to manage their team effectively through tools such as kanban project management boards, to-do lists, and task boards.
There is a whole world of office-related project management tools on the market, so it is always nice when a PM tool incorporates some hybrid features. Rather than invest in costly note-taking applications, Notion also includes this in their tool.
The note-taking feature can also support multi-media files such as images and videos, which is a really nice touch. The information is easily stored and grouped within the tool to keep things organized and searchable for other team members.
With the fluctuating office environment, employees must have an online space that they can collaborate in – in real-time. Notion offers this feature, and document editing, uploads, and chats happen in real-time to keep collaboration progressive.
Databases and Tables
However, project managers need to export and manipulate their data to manage multiple projects efficiently; the software has a reporting option.
This is helpful for PMs who frequently need to report to internal or external stakeholders and want to depict progress visually.
Notion offers a diverse array of templates within the software designed for various purposes, such as meeting notes and memos; these templates help users work more efficiently.
These templates serve as ready-made frameworks, streamlining the process of initiating tasks by providing users with pre-structured formats tailored to specific needs. By offering this wide range of templates, Notion enhances user efficiency and expedites the creation of organized, visually appealing, and professional content.
Although not intended to spoon-feed employees, templates are certainly a supportive and user-friendly way of initiating a helpful starting point for less experienced project managers.
Many project managers prefer a chronological list incorporating all projects and project deliverables. Notion supports this preference by offering a calendar-view option for deliverable layout.
This is optional and can be selected by those who prefer logical and linear deadlines.
Cross Platform Compatibility and Mobile App
Notion is compatible with many popular office third-party tools and applications. This seemingly simple feature is really helpful to keep users on-task and encourage seamless productivity across platforms.
Similarly, the well-designed Notion app ensures employees can make critical updates on the go.
One of the best features of Notion is the user’s ability to completely customize the tool. A huge amount of the platform can be tailored to the specific needs of the users.
Customizable elements include workspaces, adding and removing widgets, and customized page layouts.
Key Features of Trello
Boards, Lists, and Cards
As a Notion alternative, Trello utilizes the popular board-and-card type structure throughout its user interface. This style is incredibly aesthetically pleasing and linear and provides simplicity of use.
Anything simplistic and user-friendly is an enormous asset to companies trying to implement change and encourage the use of new software. The easier something is – the less friction there will be from employees. Similarly, the easier the interface, the less training, time, and money needed to roll it out.
Drag and Drop Updates
Trello also utilizes the drag-and-drop style project updates and edits to add to the simplicity of use. This convenient method allows PMs and other stakeholders to quickly make edits and updates to project statuses, keeping everyone on track.
Trello goes beyond the typical task management as it includes robust collaboration features, which enable users to work together on tasks and projects seamlessly. Team members can leave comments on work, attach and upload multiple multi-media files, and tag others in their comments. These attributes are vital in a remote workforce and even a traditional office environment.
Often, companies do not want to distract their employees with constant meetings and sync-ups. Trello’s chat and collaboration feature mitigates the need for these constant meetings with direct and purposeful messaging in real time.
Color Coding and Tagging
There are some quirky features of Trello that users absolutely rave about, and the color-coding and tagging feature is one of them! Alongside their intuitive drag-and-drop interface, the software includes a fun and purposeful labeling and color-coding system, further complementing general task organization.
This feature enables users to color-categorize and prioritize cards effortlessly and provides clear visual cues for project teammates.
The benefit of assigning labels and color coding is that users can quickly identify and differentiate tasks, ultimately streamlining the overall project management process for all stakeholders. This functionality adds a layer of customization to the tool and improves clarity and efficiency in project tracking and managing tasks within the program.
Due Dates and Checklists
Time management is one of the most vital aspects of project management, and Trello provides an excellent set of tools for implementing effective time management. One of the best features includes setting individual due dates for each card. This seemingly simple attribute is powerful, considering that it keeps entire teams organized and workflow on track by allowing PMs to set clear timelines for important deliverable items.
In addition to the ability to set due dates, Trello elevates task granularity by adding checklists within the task cards themselves. This versatile tool enables employees to break tasks into smaller, more manageable chunks.
These combined features facilitate a systematic approach to task execution, contributing to greater productivity and efficiency.
Power Ups and Mobile Apps
Trello offers power-ups with popular office tools like Slack, Github, and Google Drive. These seamless integrations ensure seamless productivity when switching between applications and programs.
Trello also provides a mobile application version of their software, which is essential for companies that operate remotely and their team is required to travel.
Keeping on top of being organized is critical for a project manager. Trello assists with maintaining PMs organized through the robust search and filter features within the software. This allows users to navigate through files to locate the required information quickly.
Additionally, Trello also allows users to use the filter function to narrow down search criteria into more specific areas of interest. Whether it’s organizing tasks by labels, due dates, or assigned members, the filtering feature provides a tailored and efficient way for users to access the necessary information.
What is the cost of each tool?
Trello offers four pricing tiers ranging from a free plan to $17.50 per month/user.
Notion also has four pricing tiers ranging from a free plan through to $15 per month/per user plus an additional Enterprise model, which must be priced per business.
What is an interesting feature of each program?
Trello: Remember Facebook’s activity wall? Well, Trello still uses this interesting feature. See what your colleagues have been searching and uploading via your live activity wall. A helpful touch of nostalgia!
Notion: Overall, Notion has some unique and interesting advanced features – however, the additional notetaking feature is a very nice touch and offers a little extra.