Best Trello Alternatives For Remote Teams And Freelancers

9 min read


Trello is among a few remote team management software that I personally found, very easy to use. That is the most enticing feature of the application that it isn’t very hard to learn and operate even people remotely involved in jobs that do not have much experience with team management software such as this one. But Trello, as a standalone application covers some base and misses some important ones, that make it a little less efficient when you set it up against a full-fledged remote team project management software. It has evolved from merely a to-do list application to a more precise task designation tool but still has a long way to go before you deem it as a “one size fits all” solution. 

What is Trello? 

I assume you may have worked with the application at some point in your professional life and are here to firm your resolve about sticking to the application or migrating to a better, efficient, and cost-effective solution. Trello is the visualization of a real soft board into a virtual one where you can group tasks and assign them to individual team members who can then pin their completed tasks to the review list after completion. Seems simple and it is up to an extent. Trello acts as a collaboration application that enables multiple contributors to join in after permission and then work on the task assigned to them in those cards. After they have completed the task mentioned in one card, they can drag it to the next list as instructed by the admin, and can then move on to the next card in the list, which bears their name. 

Trello uses the Kanban board approach that is used to depict different work stages that are there in a project/ board. The list represents the stage of the project whereas the cards depict the work items that constitute a list. Kanban method is used by almost all remote team collaboration software in some form or other along with Gantt Chart and other work management methodologies that are used to organize the task in an orderly fashion. The tasks or cards can be picked by anyone if it isn’t labeled or assigned to a specific team member or can be done as per the labels applied to it such as the name of the professional. 

Why is Trello preferred? 

Softwares have come a long way from just being able to work on core functions and look bleak and uninviting, to a more aesthetic inclined form that creates an idea of a perfect virtual environment along with the remote work facility. Trello does everything in its capacity for presenting an intuitive user interface and exactly mimics the idea of a virtual board. Trello isn’t bleak and dark, it implements the concept of being minimalistic and enticing at the same time. It uses an opaque list and cards for better visibility and provides the option of adding an image to the background so that everything isn’t bright and white. The topmost tab has borderless icons that depict the name of the board, its existing members, and the admin, as well as the option to manage new members by inviting them to the board. 

Moving on to the menu bar you have plenty of management options that give more control over the board. It contains all the descriptive details about the board as well as the creator and its intended use. There is an option to change the background, search cards, and apply stickers, etc. Pretty basic so far but the settings option has a watch option that enables you to have a notification prompted to your account whenever a change is made to a card. This can be useful to see who changed what and the outcome of the card. A handy function that minimizes keeping tabs on every card. More options in the side menu include Butler, power-ups, and an activity pane that displays each update made to a card along with the comments added to a card.  

Power-ups are an application integration mechanism provided by Trello so that its users can use their favorite apps with ease. The application integration list is growing with time and features other collaborative apps like Slack. The Butler feature is simply an automation tool so that some basic actions can be performed without immediate intervention.  

What Trello currently lacks? 

It will be a bit harsh after explaining how easy it is to use with a great user interface and a few nuanced actions. Still, the application has some shortcomings that need to be fixed to match up to the other competitors in the same genre. 

Trello is not a complete project management system. No matter how you try to justify it, it has does very little to be a remote project management system. The Kanban approach limits its functionalities to extend beyond a virtual whiteboard. Moreover, the application is not designed to be used for every sector like IT and software development that requires a ton of back and forth gruntling work. 

Its view is limited to the Kanban board and many applications like have multiple descriptive views namely Gantt Chart, Pie Chart, Progress view, and much more. Different modes of visualization ensure that everyone has at least two or more ways to visualize a single stream of data and draw conclusions out of it. 

Another important aspect of the remote tool that manages collaboration is to have a robust method of communication available for all the participants. It is not necessary to reiterate the essence of communication in a team, especially a remote one, and Trello lacks a basic communication system. You have the option of commenting on a card but that’s it. You cannot directly message a team member involved in the board. For that specific purpose, you have to use another messaging platform or look for paid API integrations, if any. Coming from a seasoned user, Trello should have a dedicated communication system asap. 

The API integration is not that robust and diverse as it sounds and if you look in their collection you will find most apps missing or very highly-priced. Even if the price is not an issue for an enterprise looking to manage workflow virtually, Trello won’t be of much use with limited possibilities. 

Lastly, it is not a complete and independent remote project management toot, You can use the power-ups to mimic its functionalities with other websites and applications, but the devs know that too. It is for basic project management with few convolutions possible and a lackluster communication system that needs to be improved at least bridge the communication gap between all the members. 

Trello Alternatives:

1.Hubstaff tasks 

Hubstaff tasks usurp our beloved Trello by not restricting it to just the Kanban approach. It uses the agile framework for micromanagement of any project that leaves little room for error while allowing seamless collaboration among the team members. A functionality that Trello currently lacks. The agile framework also enables the managers to provide breathing room to employees by offering a flexible work environment. In addition to the Kanban board, it also offers sprints and daily stand-up boards that are micro-updates generated while executing a task pertaining to the project.  

The sprint is a short span of time that a scrum team takes to complete a work. It is one of the complex workings of agile methodologies but is detailed to the bone. The sprints allow the members to use daily stand-up meetings whenever a new problem disturbs the workflow of the project. It bolsters the brainstorming aspect of project members so each one can contribute to their fullest and come up with different solutions for the same problem. 

So, Hubstaff tasks are agile workflow management software in a nutshell and a perfect alternative to Trello due to its automation feature. The application currently offers a 100 percent free subscription for teams of up to five users. This is more than what Trello allows and even the integration is limited to it. Hubstaff tasks might not reinvent the wheel but it presents as a nuanced remote workflow management software with complete automation capacity and a simplistic user interface. 

2. Meister task 

Meister task also fixes some of the inherent problems that restrict Trello to function as a standalone remote work management software. Meister task is a completely online, 100 percent cloud-based solution for workflow management. No application download is required and you can work on the website as long as you have a stable connection. It also makes a bold feature of bidding adieu to Trello by allowing a feature to direct all your work onto it as if you switched places but the work remains intact. The user interface closely resembles an operating system with a complex color scheme and a visually appealing background. You won’t have a problem with a dull workspace with Meister task. 

The card layout and design are based on the Kanban approach but the color scheme is very intuitive to work with and not the plain blue color scheme that Trello provides to its users. The company has a heightened focus on security which means privacy is the topmost priority when you choose Meister tasks for your remote workflow management. Even the integration module focuses on major key players that are essential for using integrated services such as Google, GitHub, Slack, Dropbox, and many more.  

Meister task allows you to share projects and tasks with other members and add relevant comments and mentions where you deem necessary. The automation facilities are also available with an effective time tracking feature that deters employees from slacking off while working and measures the productivity so far. It transcends Trello when it comes to measuring productivity and time tracking the performance of an ongoing project. It is free up to an extent but not as benevolent as Hubstaff tasks. 

3. Hitask 

Hitask simplifies remote project management with its illustrative interface and competent functionalities that make it a reliable application for working from home and for freelancers. Hitask does not complicate things at all and comes with a ton of handy features that include direct messaging, time tracking, and report generation, to name a few. The application categorizes the work into projects, tasks, and events. Based on that, sub-tasks can be defined depending upon the hierarchy you assign to the subtask. You can add comments to tasks about persisting problems or an update.  

The storage option is grouped according to the different tasks and projects so that a clear difference is present in which belongs to what. This type of organized file storage reduces clutter accumulation as the project grows and the task number increases drastically. Time tracking is another feature that the application excels at with precise time monitoring of the time spent in completing the tasks as well as generate feasibility and performance reports based on the reports. The shared calendar feature lets you round up all the vent scheduled for the project and is visible to you and your team members. This is important to a remote working member as the calendar gives him the idea of his project expectations and task schedules. 

Hitask provides a direct messaging system inside the application for easy collaboration between team members, a feature that Trello desperately needs, in addition to the comments feature. It uses selective sharing permissions to only allow a guided route of file transfer among the designated members an administrator. A quirk that I personally liked is that you can send an email to your task account and it will create a task-based upon the context of that email. A handy feature if you cannot access the account directly. Hitask is available on both Android and iOS platforms and serves as a gateway to access the changes in the project. The basic version is free and has limited storage that does not enable you to work easily. 

4. Task world 

A simple initiative to manage and automate project workflow is now one of the leading remote project management software of the industry. Task world offers effective project management functionalities via a visual board that displays your assigned task and the competition rate so far. Time tracking is of equal importance to the application as it tracks the time taken to complete a project and tabulates logs for future use to measure the overall time spent on a project. The analytics tab offers a dashboard that can be used to open burnout charts, task list overview, and burnup charts for the project with no deadline.  

Team communication is also implemented with sternness in the application and it facilitates direct messaging service to team members and eliminates the room for confusion. The application also uses mentions, tagging features, along with full support for group chats and construction of public and private channels of communication. All this with the trust of Amazon Web services that offer round-the-clock availability and redundant backup in case even if the cloud provider undergoes maintenance you still have access to all the project data and can work on it too.  

The application supports seamless file transfer and sharing with data encryption techniques that safeguard the project data to remain up to the members only. Inside a workspace, you can create task lists, individual tasks, checklists, and add tags and labels to them. Seen by feature in messaging module clearly points out if the member has seen your inputs and applied it or not. It uses an activity log to keep track of the changes right from the inception of the project. It is a paid product and can serve both small and medium enterprises as well as large enterprise needs easily. 

5. Asana 

Asana is last on our list for Trello alternative only due to its similarity with Trello when it comes to the lack of a time tracking mechanism. Asana still manages to shine brighter than Trello in few aspects that make it a lot better than the former remote management software. Asana supplements easy project management that uses multiple views to show what’s happening on every layer of the project.  

The list view allows you to assign tasks and group them to avoid any confusion between teams on what module to work on. The timeline view provides a glance at the overall progress made in a time period and manages dependencies within tasks. Lastly, boards using the Kanban approach facilitate easy access to tasks that require immediate action by a member. The application has a report generation feature that calculates the time, effort, and resources that were infused to complete the project.  

While it does not serve anything for the completed project it offers an insight into areas of improvement and calculates the ROI among other important factors. Asana has a capable search feature that works well for large projects. You can even choose the category to refine your search and get faster results. A bit stringent on the pricing side but still offers a free subscription with limited storage space and a member size of 15. 


Hubstaff tasks is a complete remote project management software and possess all the features that Trello lacks in general. Hitask and Meister Task are equally good with similar quirks up to some extent. Asana is only suitable if you can get your hand around the other four alternatives mentioned in the post. 

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