Woman using computer and Trello project tool logo

I Keep Coming Back to Trello After Trying Top Alternative Planning Tools

Yes, I’m a pretty unabashed Trello fan and longtime user. Well, I’ve been using it since at least 2014, so that's a LONG time in tech time! 😊 I've tried a lot of planning and project tools but Trello is the one I return to because of ease, simplicity, flexibility and it's FREE! I like Trello so much I've created my own mini-course to help my fellow solopreneurs use it to get more organized in their marketing so they can more consistently do the work that attracts clients.

Why I've Checked Out So Many Planning + Project Tools

But by now you know I’m a geek, a techie, and a researcher. I try nearly ALL the tools. Back when I wrote a regular tech tools column for a print newsletter and did monthly tech training webinars, I was always hunting for options. My solo pal Scott once asked me during a webinar why I tried so many tools, especially if I loved Trello and used it most. I’ll tell you same thing I told him and my audience back then …

Because my brain and your brain work differently, so a tool that’s great for how I think and work may not be so great for you. As a researcher and a trained info pro, I’m compelled to research and then show you your options.🤓

So, I keep my eye out, test tools, and tell you what’s cool or not. What YOU need or how YOU work could be different from me. That's cool and I respect that. But flexibility is a big reason I like Trello so much and recommend it to others. Why might you want an alternative though?

What Are Some of the Top Alternatives to Trello

You may want something with a more prominent calendar, visual tracking for goal progress, or linear task tracking (Asana). Maybe you’re like my consultant pals who work on longer-term projects with big B2B clients and need teams and Gantt charts for timelines (Teamwork). You might like the combo of to-do list + calendar in a mobile app (TickTick). And maybe good ‘ol Google Calendar is enough for you.

Asana Project Management project task timeline example
Asana's project task list main view


Teamwork Projects Gantt Chart timeline sample
Teamwork has Gantt chart timelines for projects

Some of these tools – like Asana and Teamwork seem more oriented for teams (especially those inside of larger organizations) – so we solopreneurs may not use half their features. Honestly, that's true of Trello as well – it has a lot of add-ons that are very software/developer oriented. Oh well. There's a place for those types of tools – and with some work, a solo can make them work.

Both Asana and Teamwork feature examples of use cases in how their users get the most of those tools. Ahem – it's just good sales and marketing to show off real examples and case studies of how your tool works! 😉

Super-powered to-do lists like TickTick, or ToDoist can be cool – but what if we want to attach graphics for social media projects, brainstorm, collaborate, or something other than remember ‘to do’?

TickTick to-do list app
Hah! Putting my Trello training to-do in TickTick

And as easy-peasy as Google Calendar is (love color-coding) – we need more than just a calendar. (besides – you can connect Google Cal to Trello!)

Google Calendar color-coded example

What About Other Alternatives to Trello?

There are as many project management tools out there as people it seems! Many, many more than the 3 or so listed here (looking at you Zoho, Podio, Basecamp, MS Project and a dozen more)!

Alternative project management tools Basecamp Zoho Podio

In the past I checked out Zoho Projects for a nonprofit I worked with. I wanted to like Zoho – because it has a tool for everything! Email, CRM, surveys, projects, invoices, etc. But back then, all the tools were meh or over-complicated. A quick look recently says it could be worth checking out again – but still seems more than most solos want or need. For my library conference nonprofit we paid for Basecamp for two years (after using Trello for 3+). Some folks loved its simple design, some were ambivalent, but by year two the team wasn't using it consistently. That's a big fat NO for me. We've since switched back to Trello and G-Suite for everything. And some consultant pals I know swear by Microsoft, including Sharepoint, for doing all their planning and collaboration. I get it – Microsoft still ‘owns' a lot of headspace inside corporations. Use what already works for you and your clients.

Time management, productivity and projects are HOT topics so it’s natural that software folks have created a TON of tools – each one claiming to be the holy grail. I admit it – searching for the one “perfect” tool is part of why I keep searching and testing! I KNOW better and yet I keep looking. 😄

I also KNOW that Trello isn’t perfect and is missing some things. It has Power-Ups and add-ons that are suited for enterprise and software developers, not so much consultants and coaches. But I ALSO know that there’s no one single ‘best’ tool – so I’ve doubled down on using the easiest-for-me tool that I’ve known for years.

Trello.  I’m sticking like a virtual Post-It to Trello!

I believe that Trello is the easiest to get started with and is flexible in how it's setup and is used by different people. That simplicity mixed with power is why I’ve done webinars and live chats about Trello.  I like Trello so much I created my Mightier Marketing with Trello training course and also the 10-day Kick Your Biz in Gear with Trello Challenge. I want to share what I’ve learned and how I use Trello with my other busy solopreneurs so they can get it to work for them. So, they can do more in less time, market more consistently, and pull in awesome clients more consistently.

Whichever tool you choose to use – use it consistently. Use it to keep yourself – and your marketing – on track and moving forward. Keep your thoughts clear, your actions simple and repeatable. You'll find your mojo that way.

About the author 

Jennifer Burke

I want all of my solopreneur pals to feel confident and mighty in their marketing - sharing what makes their work special and so vital to their clients. No B.S. or fluff here. I do the digging and research for you, translate "marketing-ese" into simpler terms, and help you avoid marketing headaches.

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