Project management

Notion vs. Trello | Comparison of project management software

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Project management can quickly become tricky waters to navigate, especially as your projects and business grow. Not only will you have more projects to undertake, but you will also have more stakeholders working to bring them to fruition. As those numbers grow, you need the right project management tools to keep the workflow flowing and on schedule.

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To complicate matters, the number of tools and services available to help you manage these projects and documents is staggering. Who do you turn to? What service do you use? Do you opt for kanban, Gantt, Wiki, tasks, calendars or a combination?

When you begin your search for the right project management software, you’re bound to come across both Notion and Trello. These two project management platforms overlap quite a bit, but Trello and Notion are also quite different. Which of these services is best for your business? Let’s dig and find out.

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What is Notion?

Notion is a project management and document management platform designed to help your teams collaborate with tools to coordinate deadlines, goals, and assignments. Within a single workspace, your teams can think, write, plan, capture ideas, manage projects and manage departments. With tools like kanban boards (Figure A), workspaces, meeting notes, documents, tasks, assignments, and calendars, Notion just might be the ideal platform for any team looking to merge document management and project management.

Figure A

Notion kanban boards are streamlined to make them very easy to use.
Notion kanban boards are streamlined to make them very easy to use.

What is Trello?

Trello may not be one of the most popular workflow management tools out there, but it can certainly compete with the competition by offering all the features you need in a modern, easy-to-use interface. utilize (Figure B). Trello offers workspaces, kanbans, timelines, boards, calendars, dashboards, cards, templates, filters, automation, and bonuses to add new features.

Figure B

Trello Kanban boards are one of the best I've used.
Trello Kanban boards are some of the best I’ve used.

Common Features of Notion and Trello

Workflow

If there’s one buzzword that deserves its time in the spotlight, it’s workflow. When you have an efficient and smooth workflow, project management becomes easy. Between these two, Trello gets a leg up on the workflow, simply by sticking to a layout that makes it easy to move between the different (but tightly interconnected) tools. With an interface that not only lets you switch between these tools, but also see how well integrated they are, Trello has a slight edge.

However – and this is a big “however” – Notion offers a more complete package for teams to collaborate. For example, Notion includes additional features that combine to create a more complete workflow. Start with meetings, turn them into documents, create document-based tasks, create boards to manage tasks, assign tasks, and then keep track of it all in a calendar view. It’s a complete workflow that would benefit almost any team.

Project management

Although Notion divides its time between project management and document management, the project management aspect of the service is as strong as many others in the field. However, for straightforward project management, Trello steps ahead by adding just the right collection of features that most teams are used to using.

Another advantage of Trello is the interface. While Notion makes it easy to switch between features, the layout is rather old fashioned and can sometimes feel more like a Wiki on steroids than a proper project management suite.

Collaboration

I’m going to have to give Notion the edge when it comes to collaboration. Although Trello offers many powerful collaboration tools, as soon as you start working with Notion, you immediately understand that this platform is all about collaboration. From meeting notes and documents to homework and the ability to connect a workspace to a Slack channel, Notion offers plenty of collaboration options. Once you’ve added team members, you can then add them as stakeholders to various items. These stakeholders will automatically send emails about additions and updates.

That doesn’t mean Trello lacks collaboration options. For example, you can share an entire board or a single map with team members and even invite non-members to join the collaboration.

Models

Notion and Trello offer plenty of templates to make it easy to create project management spaces. Trello has templates for things like one-on-one meeting agendas, nimble boards, company presentations, design groups, go-to-market strategy, kanban, set-up productivity, project management, remote team meetings, etc. Notion categorizes its templates by purpose, such as design, students, engineering, human resources, marketing, personnel, product management, sales, and support.

Although the two services approach templates very differently, they simplify the process of creating new assets from scratch.

Feature Comparison: Notion vs. Trello

Notion Trello
Project and document management Project management
Multiple workspaces Multiple workspaces
Wiki-like layout Modern layout
Kanban, tasks, documents, calendars, meeting notes Kanban, timelines, boards, calendars, dashboards and maps
Limited models Unlimited templates designed by the Trello community
Slack, Jira, GitHub and Asana integration Lots of third-party integrations
Plans ranging from free to $8/user/month Plans ranging from free to 17.50/user/month

If I had to choose, the win would be Trello because the modern interface will be much easier to use for new team members. This doesn’t rule out Notion, but the Wiki-like user interface may put off some project members who are more accustomed to mobile interfaces with easy drag-and-drop assets.

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