These days, it’s hard enough to keep your own life scheduled. If you’re working with a team on a project (or several), it’s nearly impossible to make sure everybody’s doing each task at the right time — unless you have the right tool.
For a lot of people, the right tool is Atlassian’s Trello, an image-based project management app. While more old-fashioned project management applications can take days or even weeks of training, Trello lets you quickly organize your projects using an easy-to-use, highly visual interface known as Kanban.
Here’s how it works: Each task is created in the form of a card that can contain a wealth of information, using not only text, but also attached files (including images), due dates, tags, labels, staff assignments, and other features. The card is then placed into one of several labeled columns that correspond to its status. For example, let’s say you create a card called “Reserve a conference room for lunch meeting” in a column labeled To Do. When you contact the office manager to reserve the room, you drag and drop the card into the column labeled In Process; once the reservation is made, it goes into the column called Done.
While Trello has become quite popular, it isn’t the only visual task manager out there. There are a wide range of applications available, one or more of which might fit your company’s specific needs. For this roundup, we looked at seven alternatives to Trello, each with its own take on the Kanban strategy of organizing projects. To narrow down the field, we chose applications that offer file and task sharing for teams, mobile apps (or mobile-friendly web interfaces), an acceptable level of security, and either a free version or at least a free trial period.
Some of these applications are feature-filled and best suited for larger organizations; others are simpler to use and will work well for smaller companies and startups. Depending on your needs, you’re sure to find one that will help you keep your team projects organized and on course.