Jira vs. Trello – a comparison of project management tools

Jira and Trello – both are considered powerful tools to realize project management and task management within your teams. While Jira impresses with its extensive functions, Trello offers an intuitive introduction to the world of organizational tools for companies. However, a final decision in favor of one of the
-offerings at all inevitable?

"In the world of project management, choosing the right tool is not a small detail, but the cornerstone of success and efficiency in any team."

In the beginning there was Jira ...

Jira was published in 2002 to support software developers in completing their tasks. Noticeably higher productivity of individual employees, and therefore of the entire team, quickly made the platform attractive to companies in other sectors, who have been using it as a project management tool ever since. Today, people in 190 different countries use Jira to organize their projects and teams. The entire software is now geared towards supporting agile teams in their work, making workflows smooth and distributing tasks as efficiently as possible.

... and then came Trello

The source code for Trello was written back in 2011. The entire development was based on the Kanban production planning method, which can still be seen after the takeover by Atlassian in 2017. Today, Trello is sometimes referred to as Jira’s little brother, which is characterized by its intuitive operation. Tasks are managed and processed in lists and linked to checklists, appointments or attachments in so-called boards, which can also be shared within the team. Since the takeover by Atlassian, the developer has been working diligently on the compatibility of Jira and Trello.


What is the difference between Jira and Trello?

The difference between Jira and Trello lies mainly in their purpose, functionality and complexity, which makes them suitable for different types of teams and projects:

Target group and purpose

  • Jira is primarily aimed at software development and agile teams that have complex projects with many moving parts and specific project management requirements. It offers detailed functions for tracking tasks, error management and support for specific agile methodologies such as Scrum and Kanban.

  • Trello, on the other hand, is designed for a wide range of users, from individuals to small and medium-sized teams in various industries. It offers a simple, flexible solution for task management, characterized by visual boards, lists and cards. Trello is well suited for projects where high adaptability and user-friendliness are paramount, without the need for specialized project management functions.

Functionality and user interface

  • Jira offers a variety of features designed specifically for the management of software development projects, including bug tracking, sprint planning, backlog management and integrations with developer tools. Its user interface is designed for these complex workflows and enables teams to organize and analyze their work in depth.
  • Trello uses an intuitive card system on boards that allows a simple drag-and-drop operation to manage tasks and visualize project progress. The simplicity of Trello makes it less intimidating for new users and allows for quick onboarding without much prior knowledge of project management.

Customization and scalability

  • Jira is highly customizable and allows teams to configure workflows, fields, issue types and reports to meet their specific needs. This flexibility supports the scaling of projects and teams, but can also result in a steeper learning curve for new users.
  • Trello offers customization through power-ups (extensions) that enable additional features such as calendar views, automations and integrations with other apps. While these customizations are helpful, Trello remains simpler and more direct in its core functionality, making it less suitable for complex project management needs.


The pricing of both tools varies depending on the number of users and the desired range of functions. However, Jira can tend to be more expensive, especially for teams that need advanced features and more customization options.

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Your advantages with Jira

Jira is the better choice for extensive project management tasks with a need for detailed reporting and tracking functions, especially in software development and agile projects.

  • Task lists offer better functions for controlling deadlines and assigning tasks.
  • Visualization, tracking and management of tasks using Scrum AND Kanban boards.
  • User stories, processes and tasks can be used to divide larger projects into manageable units.
  • Better overview of the project progress. A roadmap helps to recognize which tasks are interdependent.
  • Jira is highly customizable, making it possible for teams to create workflows that meet their specific needs.
  • Reports at the touch of a button: Jira supports the creation of reports by generating clear diagrams for projects with just a few clicks.
  • Jira also offers a wide range of integrations with other tools and platforms, which simplifies the automation of processes and the exchange of information between systems.

Disadvantages of Jira

It is in the nature of things that the major advantages of Jira over Trello are also the disadvantages of the project planning tool.

  • Because of its extensive features and customization options, Jira can be overwhelming for new users. The training period can be longer, especially for teams that are less familiar with agile methods.
  • While Jira offers a free version for small teams, the costs for larger teams or for access to extended functions and capacities can be considerable.

"The decision between Jira and Trello is more than a technical choice - it's a step towards customized efficiency and seamless teamwork."

Trello has advantages - despite its limitations

Even larger teams can use Trello as an organizational tool to manage and process their tasks. When we speak of a “simple program” at this point, this is to be understood entirely in the sense of the inventor and user:

  • Simple and uncomplicated: Trello has a simple structure and is fully usable after a short training period.
  • With its boards, lists and cards, Trello offers a flexible task management platform that can be adapted to a variety of projects and working methods.
  • Trello’s visual approach makes it easier to understand the project status at a glance and promotes efficient communication and collaboration within the team.
  • Trello offers a robust free version that is sufficient for many small teams and projects. The paid versions are also often cheaper compared to more comprehensive tools such as Jira.

Trello has disadvantages - because of its limitations

Trello is more suitable for administration than for project management in the classic sense. Trello lacks important functions for this that allow Jira to analyze task processing.

  • While Trello is great for simple projects and task lists, it lacks the depth and specialized features needed to manage complex projects.
  • Although Trello can support agile ways of working through power-ups and customizations, it lacks native support for specific agile features like sprints and detailed backlog management that are built into Jira.

Jira or Trello - To summarize

Jira and Trello serve different needs and working styles. Jira is the better choice for teams that manage complex projects using agile methods. While Trello is characterized by its simplicity and ease of use, ideal for smaller teams or projects that need a quick and straightforward solution

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