Project management

Trello vs. Slack | Comparison of project management software

If you’re considering adding project management and communication tools, Jack Wallen is sure you’d be sorry if you didn’t consider Trello and Slack.

Image: Kudryavtsev/Adobe Stock

Every business in the market needs help managing workflows, projects, and communications. This means using project management software of all types. From kanban and Gantt to communication and collaboration, there are so many tools you need to keep work flowing effortlessly.

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Most of the time, you will use a collection of tools to manage these projects and teams well. But knowing which tools to assemble can sometimes be a bit of a pain. For that reason, let’s look at two tools you’ll most likely choose in your efforts to put together the best combination of project management software you can find.

Two of these tools are Trello and Slack.

Pitching them against each other would be unfair, as they both serve different purposes in the realm of the best project management tools. However, knowing what Trello and Slack can do for you will help you make the right decision.

That said, let’s get to the products.

What is Trello?

Trello is a web-based kanban board (Figure A) and a list creation service, developed by Trello Enterprises (subsidiary of Atlassian). Although Trello has a fairly low market share (around 1.6%), it’s still a very viable option for any business looking to add kanban to their workflow.

Figure A

My personal Trello account makes it easy to keep track of my fiction writing.
My personal Trello account makes it easy to keep track of my fiction writing.

What is Slack?

Soft (Figure B) is one of the most widely used communication/collaboration platforms on the market. With Slack, your teams can easily communicate through dedicated workspaces and share files to keep everything moving in a collaborative effort.

Figure B

Slack makes team communication with multiple organizations or workspaces incredibly efficient.
Slack makes team communication with multiple organizations or workspaces incredibly efficient.

What are the main features of Trello?

Trello is all about kanban. Of all the kanban offerings on the market, you would be hard pressed to find one that offers a better balance between usability and functionality. Trello doesn’t overwhelm the user with too many options and instead keeps everything very relevant to Kanban.

When it comes to kanban, Trello nails it with easy drag-and-drop cards that give users quick front and back card previews with inline editing, a progress checklist, data filters, and more. .

If you’ve experimented with kanban before, you owe it to your teams and your business to give Trello a try. This service is best in class in kanban and can help your teams collaborate better and bring a level of efficiency to your project management that you have never experienced.

Along with the simple kanban offering, Trello also offers built-in chat tools, such as one-to-one chat sessions, group meetings, file sharing, and commenting. And with Dropbox, Box, and Google Drive integration, Trello makes your team’s collaborative efforts even easier.

But is Trello alone enough? Given the combination of kanban and communication tools, you might think you wouldn’t need to add another piece to the puzzle. This assumption might be spot on for some. However, the only caveat to using Trello as a single point of contact for project management and communication is that the third-party integration requires a bit of coding knowledge. This is great if you have a capable development team on staff. If not, and you need to expand Trello’s communication capabilities, you might be out of luck.

This is where Slack comes in.

What are the main features of Slack?

Slack is about communication and collaboration… but not so much about project management. You won’t find a Kanban board or Gantt chart in Slack. You’ll find almost every feature you can imagine for communication/collaboration. With Slack, you can divide your teams into different workspaces and channels, so you can get granularity on how your teams are organized.

Team members can communicate in channels, threads, and direct messages. They can send files, save and share video/audio clips, and much more. There are so many features in Slack that it could easily serve as your only communication/collaboration tool. And if you combine Slack with a kanban board service like Trello, you not only meet your communication/collaboration needs, but also your project management needs.

Direct comparison

Where Trello is a true workflow management system, Slack is a workplace communication platform. Here’s how the two break down in comparison:

Trello Soft
Workflow management Workflow Management
Workspace communication
Multiple workspaces with kanban boards Workspaces, channels, threads, direct messages
Third-party integration with some coding required 3rd party integrations, little to no coding required
Can work with Slack using Power-Up Can work with Trello with the Trello app for Slack
Effective kanban boards Effective communication
Drag and drop infinite maps and lists Slash commands and asynchronous communication
Plans ranging from free to $17.50/user/month Plans ranging from free to $12.50/user/month

Conclusion

While you can choose to use Trello as both a project management and communication platform, you’re better off serving your teams using both services. Why? Because you’d be hard-pressed to beat Trello kanban boards or Slack communication tools. By using these two platforms together, your teams will be more productive and communicative than they have ever been.

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