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ClickUp vs Trello

by | Software Review

Project management tools are an incredible resource for helping to boost your productivity, and helping teams work more closely together. Programs of this nature have been steadily rising in popularity over the past decade, with many popular options now cemented in the field.

Two of these are ClickUp and Trello. Both powerful project management tools that have developed a loyal user base beneath them. Today we’ll take a closer look at them both, explore their strengths and weaknesses, and see which one is best suited for your needs.


What is ClickUp?

ClickUp is the new kid on the block. Developed in 2017 by Zeb Evans and Alex Yurkowski. The fresh new project management tool is designed to help teams big and small optimize their workflow, and tailor their workspaces to their personal industry needs.

Having the benefit of coming late on the scene, ClickUp has adopted many strong advantages that many other project management tools have developed over time. Creating a powerhouse of a project management software.

What is Trello?

Trello is a project management tool that is designed on the Kanban system, which was created by Toyota in the 1950s. The Kanban system is a widely popular system that helps teams to identify bottlenecks in their workflow, and stay productive.

The Trello platform has been around for some time now, and provides a minimalist and streamlined approach to keeping you on track. Built around a foundation of a ‘Card’ system, placing all of your tasks within these cards, and helping you track them with ease.

ClickUp Pros

There are many things that help ClickUp stand out in the project management field. Let’s explore some of the pros of the platform:

Generous Free Plan for Small Teams

ClickUp provides an incredibly generous free plan for new users, with three paid plans available for those who wish to invest into the platform. The ‘Basic’ plan, which is free, enables teams of up to fifteen users to use the platform.

This free plan comes with the majority of the platform’s features. Meaning you won’t be too limited in your use, and you’ll be able to make a decent judgement if ClickUp is right for your team.

High Level of Workspace Customization

The ClickUp platform is an extensively customizable platform. Providing users with the ability to tailor almost every little detail of the platform to meet their personal needs. This is especially vital for project managers who need ClickUp to reflect a unique industry requirement.

This customization covers everything from how the UI functions, down to the little details such as how information is reported, deadlines are handled, and roadmaps are structured, and much more. Covering every part of the ClickUp platform that can be customized would require an entire article for itself.

Supported on All Platforms

ClickUp comes supported on all platforms. Including any operating system that can support a web browser, as well as all phones and tablet devices. This includes iOS, Android, and Windows. Furthermore, these apps are designed to sync between themselves, meaning users can work on their ClickUp workspaces on the go, or check the status of projects when they are out of the office.

Multiple Viewing Options

ClickUp is all about allowing project managers, and users, to view information in a variety of ways. To help better understand your workflow, project status, and projections of how your team is doing. 

The ClickUp platform provides a wide range of viewing options, including:

  • Board View
  • List View
  • Box View
  • Gantt Charts
  • Calendar View
  • Activity View
  • Workload View
  • Table View
  • Map View
  • Chat View
  • Timeline/Roadmap View

Custom Task Statuses

Custom task statuses are a minor feature in the ClickUp platform; however, it is often the small details that provide some of the best benefits. This feature allows users to create very specific task statuses, and attach them to their work, projects, tasks, and much more.

This flexibility also extends to the number of statuses that can be placed. Users can attach an unlimited amount of these, meaning you won’t hit any annoying limits. This added level of freedom to the platform is extremely useful for teams of all shapes and sizes.

Unparalleled Organizational Capabilities

ClickUp has an interesting, and in-depth, method of organizing your workspace. Using what they call a Hierarchy system, your workspace will be split into categories. Allowing you to keep an organized, yet complex, project management environment.

This hierarchy system is split into Teams -> Spaces -> Projects -> Lists -> Tasks -> Subtasks. A system that provides administrators with the ability to tailor the internal information matrix to reflect a real company structure.

Trello Pros

Trello has a long history of industry success in the project management and productivity world. So, let’s take a moment to look more closely at the key pros of the software:

Less Complex Pricing Structure – Extensive Free Plan

Trello uses a very straightforward approach to its free plan, and its pricing structure. Not a typical sight in the project management field. Users who use the free version are allowed to invite an unlimited number of members, create boards, cards, and lists.

On top of this, there are the Business Class and Trello Gold plans, costing roughly $25 per month. This provides a range of added integrations, a higher upload limit, and easier bulk exporting features. As well as more tools for administrators to access and manage their Trello boards with ease.

This means the majority of Trello’s features are enabled with the free plan. A huge bonus, and a sign of incredible confidence in their brand.

Simple and Effective UI Design

Trello has one of the most well-designed user interfaces on the market. Employing an extremely simple, yet effective approach to how the platform is set up. This allows users to quickly understand the platform, and make the most out of it in minutes.

Allows You to Understand Instantly When A Deadline Nears

Trello is designed on the foundation of a ‘Card’ system, which is inspired by the Kanban project management style. Each card within a Trello board has a deadline attached to it, and as that deadline draws near the card will turn yellow, and when the deadline passes it will turn red.

This allows users to quickly and easier identify where deadlines are, what process needs to be made, and what bottlenecks they face.

Mobile friendly

Trello has been developed to work on every platform. This includes an extremely well-made mobile app. Coming with its own unique UI, and functionality options, the mobile app allows users to keep track of their Trello boards on the go.

This app also works on any tablet device as well, meaning you can even move your Trello board over to a tablet device for general use.

Trello follows the Kanban system

The Kanban project management system sits at the very heart of Trello’s design. Developed by Toyota in the 1950s, this project management style has been employed by some of the biggest companies in the world.

This design choice plays a major role in Trello’s success. Providing users with a minimalist, yet effective view of their projects, workflow, and productivity levels. 

Instant notifications

Trello is developed with an extensive notification system, helping users to keep up to date with their work. These notifications can be set to meet your own personal standards, yet by default you will be alerted by email as a deadline approaches, new cards are created, and tasks are completed.

ClickUp Cons

With ClickUp only recently coming onto the scene, it’s no surprise that some features of the platform are not perfect. Let’s take a look at some of the drawbacks of the ClickUp platform:

Difficult to Learn

ClickUp is a platform that is designed for seasoned project managers, and this comes with a few difficulties if you don’t fit the exact target user group. For smaller teams, or individual users, ClickUp can prove to be a little frustrating to learn in the beginning.

Many features at the core of the ClickUp platform will require you to research in the beginning, and due to the platform’s age, some of these resources will be hard to find. If you are not accustomed to project management tools, expect to lose some time getting up to speed with ClickUp.

Support is Sometimes Lacking

For any team, corporate or otherwise, that is using ClickUp as their primary project management platform, you may come to a point where you need to reach out to ClickUp’s support team.

It’s here that you will encounter a shortcoming in what the ClickUp team provides. It is very difficult to reach real human support, with many of the support resources simply being articles to read, or automated responses through a bot.

This can be incredibly frustrating for teams who have their work stopped due to something within ClickUp, and need an answer right away. Furthermore, finding this support as a free user is almost impossible.

New Updates Are Often Bugged

As with any piece of software, ClickUp is regularly updated with new features and bug fixes. Yet, over the four years that ClickUp has been operational, these updates have developed a reputation for coming out bugged. Often breaking features within the platform for a few days, until a hotfix is sent out.

Due to the compulsory nature of these updates, that means your team may suddenly be hindered by a poorly crafted update from the ClickUp team.

Poorly Optimized Web Client & App

There is a lot of sponsored content out there for ClickUp, which can work to obscure a glaring issue with the platform. Reports from users have reflected that the ClickUp web client, and the ClickUp apps, have significant optimization problems on a wide range of hardware.

Many users have reported struggling with crashes, freezes, and slow loading times. This is especially present when teams are dealing with large, complex workspaces. It appears that ClickUp still has work to do with their platform’s optimization.

Trello Cons

No software is perfect, and Trello is no exception. With many long standing issues holding the platform back. Let’s look more closely at the key cons that Trello suffers from:

Difficult to Handle Big Projects

Due to the way Trello is designed, it can make it difficult to handle larger projects. If you are handling a larger project management platform, and wish to switch it over to Trello, you will struggle with many of its limitations. 

The Trello platform is much better suited to smaller teams, individuals, or larger teams that only require simple information to be tracked through the platform.

No Offline Access

Trello provides no offline cache. Meaning you will be unable to check your Trello board if your internet goes down. This is not a huge issue, as many of us rarely go without the internet. However, it can prove to be incredibly frustrating if you are suddenly without internet and need to check your Trello board.

No Road-Map Feature

Road Mapping is an important feature employed by project managers of all shapes and sizes. Allowing you to project your work forward, and keep to a certain level of productivity that meets those goals. 

Sadly, Trello provides no native roadmap feature. Meaning you’ll need to use an off-site integration (requiring the paid Trello plan) to include road maps in your Trello board.

Trello Has A Storage Limit

Trello has some surprising upload and storage limits to its platform. For each attachment uploaded to the platform, there is a 10MB limit on that file size. This is somewhat remedied by the paid plans, that offer up to 250MB per attachment. However, for many industries, these limits are completely unusable. Requiring your team to use an off-site solution.

No Comment Editing

Once a comment is written in the Trello board, and a card is created, that command can not be edited. This is a minor annoyance, as many users may need to make a slight edit to a card’s details, or fix a typo in the comment they’ve left. If that is the case, users will need to fully recreate the card to edit their comments.

Advantages That ClickUp Has Over Trello

Let’s take a look at the key advantages that ClickUp has over Trello:

More Extensive Features

ClickUp is designed for a seasoned project management team. Meaning that the platform itself comes with much more extensive features to meet the expectations of those groups. You’ll find ClickUp is able to apply to more specific industry needs, and has more in-depth features for complex project management solutions. 

Considerably More Customizable

ClickUp, compared to Trello, is much more customizable. Allowing users to tailor their project management platform to meet very specific needs. This applies to larger teams just as much as smaller teams, if they require certain industry standards to be met to allow a project management platform to work for them.

Advantages That Trello Has Over ClickUp

Let’s take a look at the key advantages that ClickUp has over Trello:

Easier to Use

It is impressive how easy Trello is to use, and master, in under an hour. The interface is expertly designed, and the features are all simple to pick up. For new users that wish to begin using a project management solution, they will find Trello to be considerably easier to pick up.

Better Free Plan

Whilst both ClickUp and Trello offer good value free plans, Trello’s free plan wins out of the two. Providing almost the entire platform’s features for free, and enabling users to use the free plan forever. With only minor benefits attached to their paid options.

Who Should Use ClickUp?

ClickUp is far better suited to larger teams that are looking to take advantage of more complex project management tools. Designed to fit a corporate environment, teams of this nature will not struggle to find all of the resources they need to make the most out of the ClickUp platform.

Who Should Use Trello?

Trello’s minimalist and straight-forward approach is best suited to smaller teams, and individuals looking to boost their own productivity. With the strong foundation of the Kanban system at its feet, Trello will keep these groups focused and productive.

Which is Better for Project Management?

The answer to this is not straight forward, as it depends on the exact project management needs you, or your team, require. ClickUp has the more extensive features, and will provide more functionality. However, Trello is also incredibly useful in the right project management contexts.

Which is Better for Collaboration?

ClickUp has more collaboration features than Trello, allowing users to work more closely. Whilst Trello also provides the ability to work together, ClickUp is designed for users to be able to completely work within the platform to complete collaborative tasks.

Which is Better for Boosting Productivity?

Trello, based on the famous Kanban project management system, has developed a strong reputation for boosting productivity for good reason. Providing a minimalist approach to staying on task, and keeping you focused.

Pricing: Asana vs Trello


Both ClickUp and Trello are widely popular project management platforms that provide incredible benefits to their users. With both having a range of benefits, and disadvantages to their name. Depending on your own personal project management needs, you’ll be able to find great support from either of these programs.

Want to read more about Notion and other tools like Trello, Asana, OneNote, Basecamp…?

Have a look at our Notion “vs” software reviews here:

Notion Review

Notion vs OneNote

Notion vs Asana

Notion vs Basecamp

Notion vs Airtable

Notion vs Roam

Notion vs Todoist

Notion vs Clickup

Notion vs Coda

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