Trello vs ClickUp: Which Is Better?

Your Ultimate Guide for 2022


Before we do, we want to tell you about a new PM software alternative to Trello and Asana. After using them both (and trying countless other PM tools), we realized that the PM software on the market today is missing a lot of important features … features that we needed to run our own business.

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Overview

Trello vs ClickUp Overview

If you want to know whether Trello or ClickUp is right for your team, you’ve come to the right place! In this guide, we’ll share 10 main differences between Trello and ClickUp, review the pros and cons of each, tell you what their users think, and help you decide which project management (PM) software is right for your business.

Launched in 2011

Joel Spolsky and Michael Pryor, co-founders of Fog Creek Software, came up with the idea for Trello in 2011 and launched it that same year. The popular work management SaaS product was later acquired by Atlassian in 2017.

Trello improves collaboration by providing a visual way to manage tasks, workflows, and projects. To accomplish those aims, Trello relies on Kanban boards.

Similar to bulletin boards, Kanban boards visually represent projects and workflows in an organized way. For example, users can add columns -- which are called lists in Trello -- to boards and give them titles, like To Do, In Progress, and Complete.

They can then place “sticky notes” on those lists to represent tasks. Those notes, which are called cards in Trello terminology, contain important task details (e.g., assignee, priority, due date) and can be moved from list to list to track progress.

If users want, they can also add automations to their workflows using Butler, Trello’s automation tool. Butler lets users automate repetitive tasks, like sorting, copying, and archiving cards.

In addition to its board view, Trello’s paid plans also offer dashboard, timeline, workspace table, calendar, workspace calendar, and map views.

Launched in 2017

ClickUp was originally created as an internal project management tool for a team led by serial entrepreneur, Zeb Evans. At the time, Evans was trying to build a fraud-proof competitor to Craigslist. When that idea didn’t pan out, his team pivoted and turned its focus to their internal tool, ClickUp.

ClickUp was released to the public in 2017, and today, the feature-rich, cloud-based project management software is used by businesses of all sizes for task management, organization, and collaboration.

Notably, ClickUp offers 15+ views for users, including list, board, calendar, box, Gantt, activity, workload, table, embed view, and more. As a result, teams can view project data in a number of different ways for better understanding.

Still, ClickUp’s main view is the list view, which is a grid that’s similar to a standard to-do list. This list features key information, such as a project’s tasks, subtasks, and due dates, as well as the progress of those tasks and who’s responsible for completing them.

Now that you have a better understanding of the two different software programs, let’s take a look at the key differences between Trello and ClickUp …

Differences

Trello vs ClickUp: 10 Main Differences

1. Ease-of-Use

Trello Interface

Trello is more intuitive and user-friendly than ClickUp. Because Kanban boards are easy to understand, even non-technical users can figure out how to manage projects using Trello boards in just a couple of minutes.

By contrast, ClickUp has a steep learning curve. Because the software has lots of features and is highly customizable, businesses can expect a longer onboarding period should they choose to use ClickUp.

For these reasons, Trello wins this category hands down.

Our Vote:
  • Trello
  • ClickUp

2. Pricing

Both Trello and ClickUp have several membership tiers, and each tool offers a free plan. As of this writing, membership pricing is as follows:

  • FREE - no cost for your entire team
  • STANDARD - $5/month per user, billed annually
  • PREMIUM - $10/month per user, billed annually
  • ENTERPRISE - $17.50 per user, billed annually
  • -
  • FREE FOREVER - no cost for your entire team
  • UNLIMITED - $5/month per user, billed annually
  • BUSINESS - $12/month per user, billed annually
  • BUSINESS PLUS - $19/month per user, billed annually
  • ENTERPRISE - Contact sales

While cost shouldn’t be the only factor you consider when purchasing a work management tool, Trello’s Premium and Enterprise plans are cheaper than ClickUp’s comparable Business and Business Plus plans.

However, you can easily end up paying more for Trello if you use Power-Ups, which are apps that provide additional features and integrations to Trello. For instance, a Trello Power-Up might be used to automate tasks, track cross-collaboration tasks, or limit the number of cards that can appear in a list.

Although the Power-Ups created by Trello are free, there are lots of paid third-party Power-Ups that cost $1/month per user or more.

Bottom line? This was a tough category to call, but ultimately, we feel it's a draw. While Trello is slightly cheaper for some membership tiers, Trello users would need several Power-Ups to come close to matching all the features ClickUp offers.

Our Vote: Draw
  • Trello
  • ClickUp

3. Free Plan Limits & Restrictions

Both Trello and ClickUp offer free plans, and neither plan limits the number of team members that businesses can add to the plan. However, the membership plans do come with several other restrictions.

Trello, for instance, allows free users to have 10 open boards in their workspace. They also have access to Trello’s board view, so they can view projects and workflows on Kanban-style boards.

However, users of the free plan can’t access Trello’s other board views (e.g., dashboard, timeline, workspace table, calendar, workspace calendar, or map), unless they upgrade to Trello Premium.

By contrast, ClickUp gives free users the ability to create 5 workspaces, and each workspace can contain unlimited projects. Businesses typically designate an entire workspace for each department (e.g., marketing, sales, finance).

However, free users are limited to just 100 custom fields. For larger, more complex projects, it’s pretty easy to use up these custom fields, requiring users to upgrade to ClickUp’s paid plan. Clickup freemium users also have access to over a dozen views, although many of these views are limited to just 100 uses.

When it comes down to it, ClickUp’s free plan offers way more functionality than Trello’s -- which is why we chose ClickUp for the win here.

Our Vote:
  • Trello
  • ClickUp

4. Reporting

ClickUp Reporting Dashboard

Trello offers a dashboard view for businesses on the Premium and Enterprise plans. From the dashboard, users can view project data, such as the number of cards per list or the number of cards assigned to each team member.

Trello users can also take advantage of Power-Ups, if they want more in-depth analytics, such as Gantt charts, swimlanes, and burndown charts. However, Power-Ups often come at an additional expense.

ClickUp, on the other hand, offers advanced real-time, custom reporting to all users -- although ClickUp’s reporting features are limited in the Free and Unlimited plans. ClickUp also provides access to 50+ widgets that can be used to build a customized reporting dashboard.

Additionally, ClickUp allows even its free users to export project data in CSV format for use with Microsoft Excel, Google Sheets, and other applications. However, teams on ClickUp’s Free and Unlimited plans are limited to 5 data exports per view. By contrast, Trello only allows Premium users to export in CSV format.

Because ClickUp offers extensive reporting options and more generous exporting capabilities, we’re Team ClickUp on this one.

Our Vote:
  • Trello
  • ClickUp

5. Mobile App

Trello and ClickUp Mobile Apps

Both Trello and ClickUp offer mobile apps for iOS and Android users.

While Trello users give high marks to the app’s intuitive interface, visual appearance, and overall simplicity, some note that the Trello app is occasionally buggy and has limited capabilities. As such, it tends to be better for viewing project details and adding cards, than it is for using templates, automations, and Power-Ups.

By contrast, ClickUp users appreciate the app’s offline mode which allows users to work on tasks offline, then synchronizes those tasks once there’s an Internet connection. Additionally, many people note that ClickUp is good about listening to its users and is constantly adding new features and fixes to the mobile app.

Still, some users are dissatisfied with the ClickUp app’s awkward navigation and cramped user interface. Additionally, many note that the mobile app is missing key features that are available in ClickUp’s desktop version.

This category is a close call, but ultimately, we chose Trello for the win here, because Trello’s user reviews are good across the board (4.5 on the Apple App Store and 4.3 on the Google Play Store).

By contrast, Apple users enjoy the ClickUp app much more than Google Play users (4.7 compared to 3.8). Because of this operating system-based ratings discrepancy, we feel Trello has a slight edge over ClickUp.

Our Pick:
  • Trello
  • ClickUp

6. Customer Service

Both Trello and ClickUp offer several ways for users to get assistance -- however, neither of the two competitors provides phone support.

Trello users can submit a customer support request using a form on Trello’s site or via email. Additionally, Trello has its own YouTube channel and an extensive knowledge base which contains hundreds of articles that users can view for assistance. Trello also offers 10+ on-demand webinars that teach Trello basics, hacks, automations, and more.

ClickUp also lets users send an email or contact customer support via a form on its website, and unlike Trello, ClickUp offers live chat. This makes ClickUp somewhat of a standout in the world of PM software, since live chat support is less common than you might think.

Additionally, ClickUp offers several other ways users can get help, including a private Facebook group for users, dozens of live and on-demand webinars, a YouTube channel, and ClickUp University, which offers 20+ self-paced classes for users.

While both Trello and ClickUp offer multiple ways for users to get help, we’re Team ClickUp on this one because ClickUp provides live chat support.

Our Vote:
  • Trello
  • ClickUp

7. Integrations

Trello and ClickUp Integration Options

Both Trello and ClickUp integrate with 50+ applications. However, if you use an automation tool like Zapier, you can integrate either software with thousands of additional apps.

Plus, both Trello and ClickUp integrate with the apps that teams are most likely to use, including popular picks like Slack, Google Drive, GitHub, and more.

Our Pick: Draw
  • Trello
  • ClickUp

8. Time Tracking

Both ClickUp and Trello offer time tracking, however, this feature isn’t built into Trello. Instead, you’ll need to use a Trello Power-Up if you want to track time -- most likely, for an additional monthly fee.

By contrast, ClickUp has native time tracking available for all membership plans. Users can track time from ClickUp’s desktop app, mobile app, or from a web browser using ClickUp’s Chrome extension.

ClickUp users can also create customized timesheets and run time tracking reports -- for instance, by tracking time estimates of tasks versus actual time spent on those tasks.

Furthermore, if your business already uses a different time-tracking tool, it’s not a problem. ClickUp integrates with many popular time-tracking apps, so team members can continue using the system they’re familiar with right alongside ClickUp.

Because time tracking isn’t available in Trello without a Power-Up, ClickUp is the obvious winner of this category.

Our Pick:
  • Trello
  • ClickUp

9. Budgeting

Trello doesn’t offer budgeting, invoices, or billing, so if those are features your company needs, you’ll probably want to opt for PM software that offers this functionality already. Another alternative is to use Trello alongside your existing financial software.

By contrast, users can track project budgets in ClickUp, as well as tie financial goals to project progress. However, ClickUp doesn’t offer advanced billing or invoicing features, so you can’t make payments with the software.

Our Pick:
  • Trello
  • ClickUp

10. Communications

Users can engage in real-time chats using both Trello and ClickUp. However, to chat in Trello, you’ll need to use a Power-Up.

For instance, the Board Chat Power-Up adds a chat section to any Trello board. That said, Board Chat costs $1/month per user, so there is an additional fee if businesses want their teams to have the ability to communicate in Trello.

In addition to Board Chat, Trello also has a Slack Power-Up. This Power-Up lets users create Trello tasks within Slack, among other things.

Like Trello, ClickUp integrates with Slack. Additionally, ClickUp has a chat view that can be added to any location within ClickUp, so real-time conversations take place in relevant areas. For convenience, these conversations can be made private or pinned for easy access.

ClickUp also offers slash commands, so users can easily format chat messages, assign tasks, and insert views right into chat conversations. Although ClickUp chat is available with all membership plans, the Free plan limits chat to 100 uses.

Because ClickUp offers built-in messaging, we’re Team ClickUp on this one.

Our Pick:
  • Trello
  • ClickUp

Reviews

Trello and ClickUp Reviews

While reviews don’t paint the entire picture, they can offer some helpful insights into Trello and ClickUp. So, let’s take a look at how the PM software stacks up against each other on Capterra.

reviews-logo

Trello Reviews

At the time of this writing, Trello has 21,134 reviews and a rating of 4.5 out of 5. Generally speaking, Trello users like the software’s visual design, flexibility, and ease of use. Additionally, many users note they enjoy using Trello’s free plan for personal productivity.

However, not all the Trello reviews are positive, and a minority of users express disappointment with Trello. For instance, some reviewers note that Trello has limited features compared to its competitors. Additionally, users observe that it’s hard to track complex projects with Trello, and the Kanban view quickly becomes cluttered.

reviews-logo

ClickUp Reviews

ClickUp’s reviews on Capterra are similarly favorable. The software has a rating of 4.7 out of 5 and 2,851 reviews. On the plus side, users commend ClickUp’s feature-rich free plan, regular updates, and integrations.

Still, some reviewers had complaints. For instance, some of the negatives identified by ClickUp users include: needless features that make the software too complicated, poor customer service, and ironically, those regular updates we mentioned in the last paragraph.

Users observe that ClickUp adds new features too often and without thoroughly testing them, which occasionally causes the software to stop working correctly.

Pros and Cons

Trello vs ClickUp: Pros and Cons

If you’ve read this far, you can see that there is no clear answer as to which PM software is better. The right solution is going to depend on the size of your business and what you intend to use the software for.

However, to help you make your decision, we’ve summarized Trello and ClickUp’s strengths and weaknesses below, as well as identified which type of business would best benefit from each.

Pros
  • Intuitive Design - Trello is very easy for new users to pick up. Even if they lack project management experience, most people can get the hang of Trello in just a couple of minutes with little instruction.

  • Flexible - Between Trello’s automations, integrations, and Power-Ups, users can configure the software how they want it and extend Trello’s basic functionality considerably.

  • Free Plan - Because Trello’s free plan is available to teams of any size, some small to medium-sized businesses may find that Trello provides everything they need to manage team tasks -- at zero expense.

  • Board View - Trello’s Kanban board view is visually appealing and designed really well. Because this view makes it easy to see task statuses at a glance, Trello Kanban boards improve project collaboration among team members.

Cons
  • Free Limitations - While Trello freemium may be enough for some businesses, the plan only offers 10 boards and Trello’s default view, the board view. As a result, those on the freemium plan really can’t experience what Trello is capable of without upgrading.

  • Expense - Trello’s Power-Ups make it all too easy for businesses to end up paying more for Trello than they bargained for. Not only do these Power-Ups come at the expense of built-in features, but they can really make Trello far more expensive than it appears at first glance.

  • Not Ideal for Complex Projects - Trello isn’t recommended for big, complex, projects. For starters, Trello’s default view makes it really hard to track projects that have hundreds of tasks. Of course, Trello does offer other views, but it doesn’t provide Gantt charts -- which PMs rely on to manage project dependencies, monitor projects, and allocate resources.

  • Lacking Key Features - Trello is lacking some key PM software features, like time-tracking, progress reports, dependency management, and messaging. As a result, Trello doesn’t offer as much functionality as some of the other PM software that’s on the market today.

Who Is Trello Best For?

Trello is best for businesses with:

  • Simple project management needs
  • Small projects that don’t make use of task dependencies
  • A preference for a whiteboard-style view
  • No need to use an Agile methodology
Pros
  • Feature-Rich Free Plan - Unlike a lot of other PM software, ClickUp gives its free users the ability to use most of its features. Although many of those features are capped at 100 total uses, businesses have the opportunity to see what ClickUp is capable of before deciding whether or not to upgrade.

  • Eliminates the Need for Multiple Apps - ClickUp has many useful features, such as real-time chat, task management, file storage, and time-tracking. If companies were to pay for this functionality piecemeal, their expenses would really add up. With ClickUp, teams can access most, if not all, the functionality they need within one app.

  • Highly Customizable - ClickUp is very customizable. Users can customize tasks, workflows, projects, dashboards, and workspaces. As a result, businesses have the opportunity to design the exact tool they need.

  • Agile & Scrum Support - Although some PM tools don’t work well with the Agile methodology, ClickUp does; it’s a versatile tool that’s flexible enough to support Agile, Scrum, Kanban, or any combination thereof.

Cons
  • Too Many Features - Too many features may not sound like a problem. However, these features do make ClickUp more complex. The software has lots of bells and whistles, many of which have limited value to a vast number of users. As a result, even relatively simple tasks can seem overwhelming.

  • Less User-Friendly - With its vast number of features and extensive customization options, ClickUp comes with a steep learning curve--especially for users who are new to PM software. As a result, it can take way more time to get comfortable using ClickUp, especially when you compare the software to Trello.

  • Lacks Visual Appeal - ClickUp’s desktop app uses a small font and light colors that lack contrast. Although users can adjust the default layout size and style in their settings, at the time of this writing, ClickUp states that this ability is a temporary feature and could change without notice.

  • No Video Conferencing - Unlike some other PM tools, ClickUp doesn’t have a video conferencing feature for teams. However, businesses with a Zoom account can integrate ClickUp with Zoom if they want.

Who Is ClickUp Best For?

ClickUp is best for businesses with:

  • Large teams that have complex needs
  • Projects that make use of task dependencies
  • An Agile or Scrum methodology
  • The time and ability to onboard team members
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We’ve been building and selling software online since 2005

And along the way, we’ve used just about every well-known project management tool out there.


While they were OK, we never found one tool that offered all of the important functionality we needed to manage our large teams and projects. Instead, we were forced to patchwork together a few different PM tools to meet our needs … which wasn’t efficient or cost-effective!

Rather than continue doing that, we decided to build our own PM software. One that does EVERYTHING you need to manage a remote team of people, ultra-effectively … without all the confusing features nobody actually uses or the unbelievably steep learning curve that goes hand-in-hand with most PM software.

It’s called Teamly, and best of all, you can get your absolutely FREE account by clicking the button below.

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