Online Kanban Boards - From 100% Free To 100% Paid
In this text 3 free and 3 paid online Kanban board tools will be reviewed. We have focused on tools that might have gone under your radar and that might pique your interest - these are not the ones you already know and that are most popular, but as Kanban methodology is concerned, they are certainly worth checking out so let’s continue.
Most of these tools can be found on the Capterra shortlist and are chosen based on popularity and rating score. They will be described here more in detail and evaluated by criteria such as price, usability, features, learning curve, and more. Now, let’s dive in and see what they offer.
The first on the list is ProdGoal. It is a powerful and intuitive virtual Kanban board tool that will help you achieve your goals, be they on a personal or business level. With unlimited products and views, it can be used for a simple project with a small team or for complex product management where teams of teams have to communicate together.
There are no pricing plans at ProdGoal. Everything is free, and it is free forever. You can cancel anytime. In ProdGoal, all the features come in the full version and there are no limitations except for the attachments, but more on that later.
Its lean design and centralized view make sure you stay focused on the chosen item. The options with which you design and manage your board are easy to find. The same goes for task or card handling. With good user experience and accessibility in mind, you won’t have much trouble finding your way through the app and customizing it the way you need.
Let’s start from the top. ProdGoal’s unlimited projects come with templates so it is easy to set up the Kanban to your liking. Inside a project, there is a central panel where you can stack the views you want. You can control which one is active by selecting them in the sidebar.
Kanban board view is flexible and feature-rich. You can add a column and card types, which are color-coded. The types have 5 predefined categories: Default, Bug, Value, Maintenance, and Business as usual or BAU. You can set column WIP or work-in-process limits. There are column policies too, to better describe column rules or workflow. Columns with In-progress status can also switch states - Active and Waiting.
Tasks or items, apart from having types and type categories, have the flagging blocker option, which color-codes the card for better visualization. Lead time and Cycle time tracking on a card are also present, shown by a little hourglass icon. When the card moves from the Backlog column to an In-progress one, the timer on the backend starts. It keeps track of the time a card has spent in each of the columns until the card moves to the Done column.
Items can be assigned to multiple team members. The team members need to be invited to the workspace first. Item detailed view has a rich-text editor where you can format the text or add attachments. ProdGoal has Google Drive integrations, which can be used to get unlimited storage.
ProdGoal learning curve is not steep at all. The design and features are made in a way not to overwhelm the user, and various customization options are very easy to find and implement, so it is perfect for beginners, enthusiasts, and pros alike.
Kanban One is solely focused on the Kanban board. It is a virtual online Kanban tool with only board and metrics views. It is optimized for any device if you need your work on the go.
The starting plan is free to get to know all of the features. For the first 90 days, you will have all the paid plan features available. Once the 90 days have passed you can continue to use Kanban One with the basic set of features. You get only one Board and a cumulative diagram in the free plan. The rest of the plans are basically the same one plan. The first is $1.99, charged monthly, and the other is $19.99, charged annually.
It is simply built, with only 4 columns per board. Those columns are Backlog, Next, In Progress, and Done. The names can’t be changed, unfortunately. The boards can be renamed. You can find your way very quickly, because of the toned-down customization options.
Of the features Kanban One offers there are WIP limits. They can be set for the Next and In-Progress columns, which makes sense, but it is a bit strange to see such limitations on a Kanban tool. For advanced options like column policies or types, you would have to get creative.
The cards are an unlimited feature. They do have types, but they are not color-coded. They are dynamic at least. You can set flagging blockers only in the In-progress column. The card detail view gives more information on Lead and Cycle time, owners, flow efficiency, and in-progress age, which is being calculated behind the scenes. There you can attach files, add comments and add assignees. Actually, just one assignee.
There is a Share feature, that you can use to kinda invite other users to your board. The user has to have a Kanban One account, though, to be invited. Kanban One doesn’t have integrations available yet, which is a downside, as more and more popular Kanban tools are getting connected.
All in all, not a bad tool if you are just starting with Kanban and don’t want to feel overwhelmed by all the features other tools have. Kanban One is clean and a little basic looking, but if that is what you are after, then Kanban One is a tool for you.
Stackby is a robust and feature-rich work management platform. It offers boards, spreadsheets, databases, and APIs to its users. A large number of free and paid templates are at your disposal to get the most value out of this tool.
Stackby offers a free forever plan which limits the number of rows and so called stacks. Stacks are collections of tables and datasheets that represent a workflow or a project. The free plan is used to take a look around the platform and see all it has to offer. There are 4 more pricing tiers you can decide on. The Personal plan is $5/user/month, the Economy plan goes for $9/user/month, and the Business plan for $18 per user per month. For Enterprise, you have to contact the sales.
The design is colorful and bright and fits well with neatly organized features. Getting around the platform is straightforward. When you create an account, the onboarding process begins, which helps you set up the working environment the way you want. There are a lot of templates to choose from, and you can create the project by using them if you choose not to go through the onboarding process.
The board view, like all the views, is packed with customization features. Every column has a unique field option, so you can set the attribute of the column if you want it to be short-text, long-text, a number, or something else. So even if it doesn’t have a WIP limit option, it makes up with its custom fields, so you can get creative. The columns are collapsible so you can achieve better focus.
Cards have types similar to the columns’. You can choose from many fields, single or multiple collaborators, for example; or you can create a new field. You can set the date, or include a rich-text editor. There is also dependency management included in the card’s detailed view.
Automation is a new feature Stackby released, so you can improve your workflow process even further. Integrations is done via the Zapier platform, but there are also native APIs at your disposal.
Stackby is a serious and complex tool that offers a lot to its users. You might have to dedicate some time to learning all the flows and options to be able to use all of them to their full potential. But if you have a small team, or want to experiment personally, luckily, there is a free option that is more than enough to satisfy your needs.
Kanbanchi is a product management tool based on Kanban methodology. It has plenty of options and customizations so you can fine-tune your board as it suits you and your team. It brings powerful features and a card management system that many of the current tools don’t have.
It is a fully paid online tool with a free trial to let you see all the features it has to offer. After the free trial ends, you will still have access to the account but will be limited to 10 cards.
There are 3 paid plans in total: Starter, Professional, and Enterprise, starting from $7.95 for the Starter plan and $19.97 for the Professional. The price for the Enterprise plan depends on the team and company size. Good thing is that Kanbanchi offers 50% off for non-profit or educational organizations.
It resembles Trello in design and acts a little bit like it. It is fairly easy to get started. They have a quick onboarding flow so you can set up your project, which is good because it can be confusing at the start because of all possible customizations. The options are clear and visible, so you won’t have to waste a lot of time searching for a particular option. There is also a quick menu on the cards where you can access some of the options.
As columns are considered, they can be customized in great detail. You can limit the number of cards per column. You can toggle the card aging feature to show how long has the card been in a particular column (status). The column cards can also be sorted by several parameters, such as title, progress, assignee, and more.
The cards have the option to add labels to them. They are color-coded. This acts as a sort of card type and it helps to visually distinguish the card. There is the aging feature icon that displays the indicator on the card. You can turn it off in the options. You can turn the time tracker on in the settings.
Apart from labels, there are tags to put on a card, which the card can then be filtered by. Custom properties can be set in the options also, along with the dependencies and time and date in the calendar feature.
Kanbanchi has 4 main views: Kanban, Gantt, Task List, and Archive. They are very easy to modify and manage. Although it has a lot of options, this tool isn’t difficult to handle, so it is suitable for beginners and also the pros.
Kanban Zone is a product management platform centered on Kanban. Everything in Kanban Zone starts with a board that can be visualized in a multitude of ways using what are so called zones (Kanban, List, Table, Calendar).
Kanban Zone is a paid online Kanban platform. A 30-day free trial is possible to test out all the features. There are three pricing plans - Personal, Professional, and Enterprise.
Personal plan starts at $5 /user/month. There are limitations on features like user permissions, groups, table and calendar views, and more in this plan. Professional costs $8 /user/month. In this plan, all features are unlocked. If you need to scale, then you have to contact the Kanban Zone sales department.
Its board design and custom fields conveniently provide everything necessary to create the ideal system to satisfy your needs. The Kanban board card holds all the information needed to complete something. Whether you are working on personal or business goals, every piece of work is captured on a card.
Custom fields enable you to extend cards with your information that can be used in filters, views, and metrics. Card templates save you time and help standardize the way you work. Within a card, you can create multiple checklists containing tasks that help you break down your work into clear actionable tasks that can be associated with an owner and date.
You can post comments mentioning members and see their replies. You can also add attachments from your device or cloud providers like Google, Dropbox, and OneDrive. Also, you can create links to other cards or external systems and assign a Parent/Child relationship or Predecessor/Successor dependency.
Of the Kanban-specific features, columns have WIP limits, explicit column policies, flagging blockers, and lead and cycle time tracking. And you can search and filter all your information and use metrics to analyze your workflow.
Kanban Zone is an intuitive platform that you can get around very quickly. You can start with the Personal plan, and when it suits you, switch to the Professional at any time. There is also a possibility to get invited by a team member who already has an account and shares the platform.
airfocus is a strategic product management platform that enables you and your team or organization to adapt it to your every need. It consists of a large number of services and products so you can choose what works for you the best.
airfocus has 4 pricing plans at your disposal. It also includes a 14-day free trial, where you get all of the features from all plans, so you can see all the features. The Essential plan is $15 /editor/month. This plan is limited to 1 workspace with unlimited boards, cards, and limited integrations.
Next plan is the Advanced plan and it costs $49 /editor/month. You get everything from the previous plan, plus an Advanced prioritization framework priority chart, advanced integrations, and more. The Pro plan features everything airfocus has to offer. It costs $89 /editor/month.
Being so customizable, the user experience suffers from the complex options and endless settings. It takes a while to set up a board. There is an onboarding workflow with a progression checklist, to make sure you find your way through the platform’s flows. It does help because even the smallest thing you want to change can be challenging.
When you finish creating a workspace, you can create one of the available views - Table, Board, Timeline, List, or Inbox. Kanban Board is very flexible and you can fine-tune it to adjust to your specific workflow. Columns have a very detailed option settings view where you can add custom fields, custom labels, and other options, such as limiting the card number, defining additional policies, managing permissions per column, and more.
The card is managed similarly, through the quick menu or the expanded settings view. You can set the status, add multiple assignees, labels, attachments, and so on. All of the information is displayed clearly on the card, so you can get all information at a glance.
airfocus can feel a little intimidating at first. You will have to spend some time customizing it the way you want, but it will pay off. If you have a large organization or a lot of projects under your belt, you might consider giving this platform a chance.
There are many online Kanban tools out there, and it can be difficult to find one that suits you or your team. I hope you found the information in this text useful. If you don’t agree with something or have a recommendation, feel free to contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org, and I’ll be happy to include it in the list. Until then, happy hunting!