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Jira or Trello? Stop Comparing, Start Cooperating!

Jira or Trello? Stop Comparing, Start Cooperating!

The right tools can make all the difference, serving as the deciding factor between what turns into a smooth operation and what ends up a jumbled mess.

We tend to think of tools as things like hammers and screw drivers or word processors and art programs, the sort of things employees use to accomplish their assignments, but the truth is that organizational materials like calendars and task lists are tools as well, and that those in managerial positions need to make proper use of them in order for their teams to succeed.

However, just as there are various kinds of screwdrivers for sale that all differ in quality, there are also many types of management tools available on the market, but not all of them are as useful as others. Two of the most established and well respected programs are Trello and Jira, both of which are now owned by Atlassian. Although they share a parent company, the two have plenty of unique features and set-ups to stand out from one another, so it can be difficult for entrepreneurs to decide which one they should use. Trying to research the individual differences can be confusing and time consuming, so I thought I’d make a simple little rundown on what sets them apart.

First and foremost, let’s look at pricing. Trello is free to use in its basic version with two paid options available for those wishing to upgrade, while Jira has a free 7-day trial period and different subscription levels depending on the number of employees who’ll be using it. While saving money is always important and useful for small companies with simple needs, larger teams with a variety of collaborative tasks may find it worthwhile to invest in a system that will enable smoother cooperation.

Indeed, when it comes to usability, Trello has a more straight forward system with cards and columns, whereas Jira has a wide variety of organization options available like sprints and epics. Trello’s basic toolset can be ideal for simple workflows, but it may be limiting for those seeking more advanced options. On the other hand, Jira’s wider array of features allows users to tailor a customized experience to meet their specific needs, but the time and effort it takes to arrange and navigate such a system can be more difficult than the user would prefer.

After comparing the strengths and weaknesses of the two, a good entrepreneur should be able to decide which of the two best suits their needs, though a great entrepreneur should be able to see the advantages of using both simultaneously!


Utilizing every resource available is what enables businesses to excel in their work and outperform their competition, which is why my teams make use of both tools. It takes some extra investment on my part, and requires my employees to learn how to use multiple programs, but the benefits to workflow and organization are well worth it. Depending on the needs of the specific departments and individual employees, as well as the nature of their work and means of accomplishing their tasks, I have them utilize one or both of the programs as they perform their duties.

Since Trello is better organized and simpler to use, it is very useful for building up backlogs and showing how much work employees have in the pipeline. Once all that’s in order, Jira can be used to create finely tuned pages for individual tasks, cataloging their progress and connectivity to other issues past, present, and future. Using the more specialized options on Jira like flowcharts and progression reports, we are able to assess performance levels and then apply our findings to optimize the backlogs on Trello.

Making the most of the two programs helps my teams achieve the best results, and it could very well do the same for you. That’s not to say you should rush out and sign up for both programs right this second, perhaps your team or business model really would be better off with one over the other, and that’s okay. If your needs are met by only using one program, then insisting on utilizing both may only end up causing unnecessary complications. Review what I outlined earlier, weigh the pros and cons against what you’re looking for in a project management tool, and decide for yourself.

You may end up switching to the other if you find your first choice didn’t pan out the way you’d hoped, or you may eventually end up using both after all, but you won’t know for sure until you try.


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