Comparing Top 10 Free Online Kanban Board Tools
50 Shades Of Free Kanban Board Tools
Most of the online Kanban board tools offer free plans under different conditions. Some limit their features, while others limit the time you will be using the tool. Some tools only present a free tour of the tool’s features on demand.
Depending on your and your team’s project or area of expertise, the task would be to find the right online Kanban tool with free features which will suit your needs. In order to do that, I will list all the tools and then describe the features they have and their pros and cons.
ProdGoal is a flexible and easy-to-use product management tool with powerful features that scale really well. It is good for personal use as well as business use for large teams or a team of teams. Colorful and simple, it clearly displays the workflow and makes visualizing it very easy.
ProdGoal offers all of its features for free with unlimited use. These include Google one-click sign-up and sign-in, unlimited projects, roadmap, boards, cards, assignees, and much more. Let’s see what they bring to the table.
Roadmap and board columns have WIP (work in progress) limits. However, they don’t affect the number of tasks you can move or create in the column. There are also column or status categories and category types that can be used for much-needed customization and configuration.
Cards and tasks have types too. Although they aren’t as flexible as a roadmap or board columns’, they are very useful for labeling and color-coding tasks and used as an improvement of overall team communication.
Multiple assignees make sure you add the right people or a whole team to the task. The great thing about this feature is that you can assign invited team members who haven’t accepted their invitation yet.
One more cool feature is integrations with Jira and Trello. You can easily migrate the projects you want from these tools so you don’t have to waste time on the manual transfer.
And it is all free. Really free, unlike all other tools, as you will see. And this is the reason (besides trying to promote ourselves, right) why we have put it on the top of our list.
A great, flexible tool with free features, whether you are just starting with Kanban, or you are a skilled product manager with a large team who needs a reliable Kanban board tool. ProdGoal has it all.
Monday is a comprehensive project management tool with lots of features that you can customize to track and analyze the workflow. It offers an unlimited free plan for up to 2 users and a 14-day free trial for teams. When the free trial ends, they charge $8 per user per month.
So if you are using it for personal use or you just want to experiment with different methodologies, Monday is a pretty good choice for you. It is pretty easy to use if you want a simple setup, but for complex and big projects, the learning curve is steep.
The free trial is lacking, though. You can have unlimited boards but no tasks and Kanban view. Only by customizing or being creative, you can create Kanban boards. Another downside is that dashboards are part of the paid plan, so it is not as customizable as the other online Kanban tools.
All in all, Monday can do much for your workflow organization and team productivity, but you will have to make a budget plan if you want to use it with a larger team.
Asana is a more Kanban-oriented tool that focuses on communication and workflow organization.
The good thing is that the Kanban board view is available in a free plan, so you can take advantage of the Kanban to boost your team’s productivity. With a clear design, it is easy to visualize upcoming tasks, blockers, and assignees.
And that’s about it for the free features. Unlimited boards, templates, and notifications come into the free tier, and the rest goes to the paid ones. And if you take a deep dive into the task creation, you will see that only one assignee is available per task, which makes organizing the work really hard.
Not only that, but its complex subtask system will give headaches to the newcomers not used to dealing with this kind of tool. Asana offers a really rich palette of features but if you are running on a budget, it may be hindering for you and your team.
KanbanFlow focuses on its Kanban workflow view. It is a Lean project management tool that helps you visualize and organize your tasks. It is fairly simple and pretty easy to use. It also comes with the Pomodoro timer that lets you see time spent on a certain task.
The number of features is limited in the free plan, and not the number of users, so you can have a team of as many people as you need. The timing used for the Pomodoro tracker is also unlimited. The features include unlimited boards, tasks, WIP limits, subtasks, filters, and recurring tasks. When it comes to reporting, only the print view is free.
As for the paid plan, they have much more to offer. Some of the crucial Kanban board features like swimlanes or relations are available there. There are also file attachments, task numbering, mass updates, and column subscriptions to get notified when a task changes status.
Analytics and reporting receive a big upgrade in the paid plan. Excel and CSV exports, burndown charts, calendar, forecasting, and dashboards are available there. These are also crucial parts of task manager if you want to boost your productivity and improve your throughput.
To summarize, the free plan can be a good initial basis for a Kanban board. It is what you need to get started to work in a Lean way. And some teams can go only by that. But for a more customizable and broader scope, you will have to go with a paid plan.
Now we will look at Wrike, a robust enterprise tool that has a free plan as well as a free trial to test out the enterprise plan. It packs a lot of really good features that could help your team achieve better results.
Free features in Wrike’s arsenal are task and subtask management, account-wide work schedules, project templates, and custom work views of which a Kanban view is one. The free plan offers up to 5 users so if you are working with a small team, Wrike could be a good choice for you.
The paid features regarding Kanban are personal work schedules, custom fields, workflows, and statuses. These are an important part of Kanban workflow organization, so lacking the customization in your work could prove to be bad for you and your team.
So to drive the point home, Wrike is a very useful tool overall. Of course, it depends on your needs. If you are willing to tackle Kanban properly, you would need to subscribe to Wrike’s paid plan.
Trello as one of the most popular task-tracking tools doesn’t need much introduction. It is easy to start with, simple to work in, and easy to visualize and communicate. But as a Kanban tool, it lacks some features that are important to have such as WIP limits and task dependencies or swimlanes.
Trello is listed in this text because it can become more of a Kanban-type tool with unlimited Power-Ups. So you can customize it the way you need it to be. It takes a little time and learning, but it can pay off in the long run.
The bad side is that searching for the right Power-Up can become difficult and time-wasting. And if you are working with or are a part of multiple teams or multiple projects, you may run out of boards, because there are only 10 boards per workspace allowed in the free tier.
To sum up, Trello is a great tool for simple task-tracking or starting a Kanban board with the basic setup and experimenting with it. If that works for you and your team, then you should go for it, but if you are looking for a more complex Kanban tool, then it might not be the tool for you.
ClickUp is a free project management tool where features are simple and flexible and what’s even more important for the subject of free Kanban online tools, it brings most of the Kanban features to the table.
Those features include tasks, groups, columns, statuses, WIP limits, and task dependencies. Swimlanes are yet to be added, but until then, you can improvise by customizing the existing features.
As for the pricing plans, there are 5 of them - free, unlimited, business, business plus, and enterprise. Each of them offers more features than the previous one - which is standard practice. The unlimited plan is $5 per user per month. The business plan is $19 per user per month. For the last two plans, you would have to contact sales.
The upside of the free plan is that it has unlimited tasks and members, so if you are in a small team or working on one project, this is a good option to get you started. Tasks also support multiple assignees, unlike some other tools, so this is a plus for using ClickUp.
However, you have only 5 spaces or seats in the free plan. What’s more, some of the features are limited, such as lists that have only 100 uses per space. Custom fields are also limited to 100 uses. After you spend all of the feature’s uses, you won’t be able to create more, until you upgrade to the pricing plan which offers unlimited feature usage.
With this tool, you will have to get creative in order to stay in the free plan. While it is possible to use most of the features, the limited usage may become too difficult to handle down the line.
KanbanTool is centered on Kanban workflow management methodology. It has essential as well as advanced Kanban features in its repertoire. Let’s see the upsides and downsides of this feature-rich tool.
Customizable layouts with swimlanes and configurable boards and board templates are at your disposal to make the most out of your Kanban board. Task assignments and WIP limits will help you and your team maintain an organized and productive workflow.
Real-time updates will ensure everyone stays on the same page. It also has PowerUps like Trello to give you the flexibility you need.
Unfortunately, this is available for free for 2 users only, and you can create only 2 boards. The team plan starts at $5 per user per month, and they charge $9 for the enterprise plan, though there is a free trial available for the enterprise plan if you wish to take a tour of the application.
Zoho Projects is a part of the Zoho platform. It is project management cloud-based software designed for personal as well as small or large teams. It boasts many features that help boost productivity, visualize the workflow, and easily communicate with team members.
The good thing about this tool is its connection to the Zoho platform where you can find many helpful add-ons and plugins. It also offers easy migration from other tools like Jira and Basecamp. It is flexible and customizable, and you won’t have much trouble setting up your board.
As with most of the tools I mentioned, the bad thing is that Zoho Projects allow only up to 3 users and 2 projects in the free plan. The other plans are premium and enterprise, with a $5 and $10 price respectively.
The other downside is that Zoho Projects can get very complex and you might end up spending time working out some of its features, especially on a more complicated project.
Of all Kanban features, Zoho Projects doesn’t lack any. Tasks, columns, task dependencies, and WIP limits are some of the features at your disposal with this tool. Task relations can help you track the task’s life cycle. Task automation is also available and can help you decrease the time wasted manually setting up workflow rules.
Again, if you are starting out or you have a small team, this doesn’t have to be a bad thing. But if you want more freedom and space, you should check out the paid plans.
Another popular free Kanban tool is MeisterTask. It isn’t as robust as the previous tool I mentioned, but it makes up with other useful features like a mobile app so you can view and control your projects while on the move or its simple and clear design for easier visualization.
The good sides of this tool are, as mentioned, its on-the-move mobile support, real-time updates to help better communication, and the integration with MeisterSuite which expands the tool’s possibilities. There are also unlimited members, but we will see later in the text that this differs from team members, which are not unlimited in the free plan.
For the free plan, the tool might seem too limited. Though MeisterTask has a lot of useful features, most of them are only available in the paid plans.
Paid plans go from $4+ per month for the Pro plan to $10+ for the Business plan. For an enterprise plan, you’ll have to contact sales support.
As previously mentioned, WIP limits are available in the Pro plan. That is not great, because WIP limits are very important for team communication and workflow organization in Kanban.
Multiple team members and recurring tasks are also in the Pro plan, which in my opinion is a deal-breaker for me, because most often I am working with a team or a team of teams.
So if you are using this for personal use, it is a good tool to experiment with and explore its possibilities. But if you’re looking for something that has more to offer for free, this might not be the tool for you.
In The End, It’s For You To Decide
This was an overview of some online Kanban tools. I hope it helped you decide if any of these tools can be good for you and your team, and at what cost. There are many more tools out there and some of them may offer even better plans, so be on the lookout.
If you find one that isn’t covered in this text and has even more free features, you can contact me. I will be delighted to include it in this list. And you are interested to see the comparison of the best free online Kanban tools of 2022, feel free to read on.