In the fast-paced, ever-evolving world of project management, staying organized and seamlessly collaborating with your team is a challenge. Traditional project management approaches often leave project managers like you struggling to piece together scattered information and gain total control over all the tasks of the project. This challenge calls for modern solutions that can not only streamline task management but also offer versatile visualization options to effectively plan and execute projects.
Notion and Trello are two powerful project management tools designed to solve these problems and give you full control of the project. Both are great tools but there are subtle differences in features that you must know before picking one.
For example, while Trello's Kanban view empowers you to manage tasks efficiently, Notion takes it a step further by offering a wide array of view types, such as gallery, timeline, list, and more, providing you more options to visualize and organize your projects. Further, Notion allows you to rearrange project tasks based on different properties like owner, deadline, status while Trello’s Kanban boards do not accommodate that.
As a project manager, if easy filtering and data visualization are your primary requirements, Notion is a better alternative to Trello. However, the comparison is not limited to basic features, a lot more goes into picking a tool and asking your team to adapt to it. We will explore all you need to know about both tools before making a choice.
Let’s dive in.
Everything you need to know about Notion for Project Management
Notion is a powerful, feature-packed project management tool for both businesses and individuals. It lets you create high-level dashboards and intricate databases that help you zoom in and out of your project seamlessly.
You can also visualize your database in different ways and filter tasks seamlessly. You can also create cool progress bars to quickly check what percentage of tasks your team managed to accomplish.
Notion can help you succeed with all project management use-cases easily. It also grows as your team scales and projects become more complicated. Let’s explore some powerful features of Notion that make it a better project management tool than Trello.
Key Features of Notion for Project Management
1. Centralized Workspace:
Notion allows you to create a private workspace with your team. If you are a part of a larger organization, you can create predicate pages that host your assets. You can share your content with the set of people who need to access the asset and block it off from the rest of the organization.
This centralized private teamspace allows your team to interact and communicate seamlessly, right inside Notion. For example, if you manage content projects in Notion, you might want content writers, editors, product managers, and everyone responsible to write sections of content or comment on the existing text.
2. Customizable Templates:
Notion offers a wide range of customizable templates to get started with different project types. You can pick templates based on your specific needs such as project plans, to-do lists, meeting notes, and more.
Templates save hours of your time by providing easy to customize frameworks which need not be created from scratch. You get well-designed structures that are intuitive to use.
And if you want to, you can create your own Notion templates and the whole team can use it when required.
3. Kanban Boards and Task Management:
Notion's Kanban board feature enables users to visualize the project's workflow, move tasks through different stages with simple drag-and-drop. This makes tracking the project easy.
Notion Kanban View
Also, you need not be stuck with the “Status” determined columns like with Trello, Notion allows you to set the board the way you want without having to create a new version.
Moreover, Notion allows you to make duplicates of the board and apply filters as per your need. This feature is useful if you want to see tasks that satisfy a specific criteria. For example, if you are managing a product development project, then you might want to see tasks at the feature level. You can set the right feature value in the tasks properties for it to show when the filter is applied.
5. Cross-Platform Accessibility:
Notion is accessible across various platforms, including Android, iOS, Mac, Windows, and the web. This ensures that team members can collaborate and update information from any device easily.
6. File Management and Note-Taking:
Your team will produce a lot of content throughout the duration of the project. Each task comes with a whole ecosystem that needs to be stored and organized efficiently.
You can easily create folders in Notion and subpages under each folder. This parent-child hierarchy helps organize project assets easily. And since each asset is another Notion page, just like your project database, you can easily link to it within your task body.
7. Notion relations and rollups
As project complexity grows, you will find the need to merge multiple databases to generate unique views. Notion's rollup property type allows you to pull data from disparate databases and display it in a master database that gives an in-depth view of a specific aspect of the project.
Notion Rollups in Action
For example, you have different project databases for each product feature, and your boss wants a budget analysis. You will have to pull very specific data points across all databases and be able to add or average the dollars. Notion relation feature allows you to pull the data while rollups help you perform mathematical functions on them.
8. Multiple Views and Customization:
Notion offers various database views, such as Calendar view, Kanban view, Timeline view, and gallery view, enabling users to visualize project data in different formats. The platform can be customized to match the team's branding or preferences.
Notion Calendar View
Each view also supports finer features like setting reminders, sorting, and filtering.
9. Website Creation:
You can easily create a website with your content in Notion by integrating Notion with Super. This capability is especially useful if you manage content, marketing, or design projects. It allows you to store your content in Notion and use it to create beautiful portfolios with Super.
Shortcomings of Notion as a project management tool
1. Learning Curve:
Notion's extensive features and functionalities may result in a steeper learning curve, especially for users who are new to the platform. But once project managers get used to the platform, no other tool looks better.
2. Performance and Speed:
Project managers on Notion might face performance issues - the platform may become slow and less responsive when dealing with large databases or complex projects.
3. Limited offline usage:
While Notion can be used on any device, it can’t be used while it’s offline. Though you can edit your database if it were open before losing connectivity, you can’t open it without a connection.
4. Lack of the Gantt chart feature:
Gantt chart is an important feature for project managers but there is no in-built feature that supports this capability in Notion. However, Notion offers a “timeline” view of databases that doubles up as a Gantt chart.
How is Notion rated?
Notion is rated 4.7 on a 5-point scale, with 4,760 reviews on G2.
Everything you need to know about Trello
Trello is known for its Kanban style project management board. It allows you to add tasks in the form of cards — you can place them under columns which represent the status of the task. You can drag and drop cards from one column to another when there is progress.
Features of Trello for Project Management
1. Kanban Board:
Trello's Kanban board system allows users to visualize project workflows and tasks, making it easy to move cards through different stages of completion. Users can create tasks (represented by cards) and assign them to team members, set due dates, add labels, and attach files or checklists to keep track of progress.
2. Team Collaboration:
Trello enables real-time collaboration by allowing team members to comment on the tasks and tag others for updates or discussions. Team members can also update meta description and the card properties when status changes.
Trello also offers email-to-board functionality, allowing users to add cards and comments to boards directly from their email accounts. This prevents the need to even open the Trello board to collaborate with the team.
In addition, Trello provides a voting feature, allowing team members to vote on cards to prioritize tasks or make decisions collectively.
Power-Ups is probably the most talked about feature of Trello. Power-ups are essentially add-ons that provide additional features and functionalities, allowing users to extend the capabilities of their boards.
4. Deadline Tracking:
Users can set due dates for tasks, and Trello provides visual cues to indicate approaching deadlines, helping teams stay on top of project timelines. This is similar to the “Progress Bars” feature in Notion.
Disadvantages of using Trello for project management
1. Limited Project Complexity:
Trello's simplicity can be a drawback for complex projects that require extensive project planning, resource management, and advanced task dependencies. It may not offer the level of sophistication needed for large-scale and intricate projects.
2. Lack of Time Tracking:
Trello does not have built-in time tracking features, making it challenging for teams to accurately monitor the time spent on each task. This can be a significant limitation for projects that require detailed time tracking and billing.
3. Integration Complexity:
While Trello offers integrations with various third-party tools, setting up and managing these integrations can sometimes be complex, especially for users who are not familiar with integrating different applications.
4. Limited Customization:
Trello's flexibility comes with some limitations in terms of customization. Users may find it challenging to adapt Trello to specific workflows or project management methodologies beyond the basic Kanban board approach.
5. Limited File Management:
While Trello allows file attachments, it may not be the most efficient tool for extensive file management. Large file repositories and complex document structures may not be easily organized within Trello boards.
6. Not a wholistic tool:
Trello is predominantly a project management tool. It does not support storage of assets, content organization, and other important features that force users to use more specialized tools, in addition to Trello.
What is the limitation of the Trello free version?
The Trello free version allows you to create only up to 10 boards. Once the limit is reached, users need to archive or delete existing boards to create new ones. Notion, on the other hand, puts no limit on the number of project boards you can create.
Can a single person use Trello?
Yes, Trello free plans are useful for personal use.
Does Trello have a data limit?
You can upload files that are up to 10 MB in size, with the Trello free plan. You can upload files as large as 250 MB with the paid version.
How is Trello rated?
Notion is rated 4.4 on a 5-point scale, with 13,334 reviews on G2.
Notion vs Trello for project management - Features Comparison
Notion stands out with its unique features, offering a comprehensive workspace and dynamic content organization, making it a versatile platform for managing projects of any scale or complexity. On the other hand, Trello is known for its simplicity and intuitive Kanban boards, making it a preferred choice for teams seeking a straightforward approach to project management.
Let's delve into a detailed comparison of Notion and Trello's features for project management.
1. Comprehensive Workspace:
Notion provides a single workspace where users can plan, write, collaborate, and get organized. This all-in-one platform eliminates the need to switch between multiple tools and keeps everything related to the project in one place. Users can easily create project pages, subpages, and folders, streamlining project organization and access to relevant information. On the other hand, Trello's interface centers around boards, lists, and cards, creating a visual representation of the project's workflow. While it offers a clean and straightforward workspace, Trello may lack the depth and flexibility that Notion provides.
2. Flexibility and Dynamic Content:
Notion's biggest strength lies in its flexibility and dynamic content organization. Users can combine various content types, including text, images, tables, and files, to create personalized workflows. This unique capability allows teams to tailor project management to their specific needs and work styles. Trello's content organization is more straightforward, with cards representing tasks and lists representing different stages of the project. While it offers ease of use, Trello may not offer the same level of content customization that Notion provides.
3. File Management and Note-Taking:
Notion serves as an effective file management tool, allowing users to store and organize documents, images, and attachments related to the project. Additionally, the platform offers note-taking capabilities for capturing meeting minutes, ideas, and brainstorming sessions. Trello, on the other hand, supports file attachments, but its file management features are limited when compared to Notion. While Trello's focus is on task organization, Notion provides a richer environment for storing project-related files and notes.
4. Multiple Views and Customization:
Notion offers various views, such as Calendar view, Kanban view, Timeline view, and Chart view, enabling users to visualize project data in different formats. The platform can be customized to match the team's branding or preferences, offering a more personalized experience. Trello primarily revolves around the Kanban view, which is effective for many projects. However, Notion's diverse views allow for more in-depth data analysis and customization options.
5. Database Functionality:
While Trello’s Kanban boards are essentially a version of database, it does not support niche features like Rollups and filtering. Notion, on the other hand, makes combining databases into a master database easy with its Rollup feature.
Notion vs Trello - Pricing Comparison
Notion and Trello both have a free version. However, Notion’s free version offers unlimited project boards while Trello offers only 10. Notion’s paid versions can cost between $8-$15 which is higher compared to Trello’s paid plans that range between $5-$10. However, Notion provides many auxiliary project management features for the extra $5 that deliver immense value.
While Trello is a popular kanban board tool, it offers focussed features that may not serve as well as Notion for complex project management needs — Notion offers a whole ecosystem right from niche features like rollups to storing large sized project-relevant files in-house for easy access.
This makes Notion a better project management tool than Trello.