ClickUp and Trello are two of the most popular project management tools available today.
But how do they stack up against each other?
Which one manages tasks better?
Which one helps you allocate resources more effectively?
Which one is more affordable?
Discover all the answers in our detailed comparison guide.
A. Project and Task Management
Get. Things. Done.
You and every project manager likely live by those words.
It’s also the heart and soul of any project management software.
This is why, before anything else, you must evaluate a tool’s ability to help you manage your tasks and projects.
Features to look out for:
- Project structure: A simple, intuitive way to organize work and toggle through multiple projects, tasks, boards, etc.
- Views: Board, list, timeline, Gantt, and other types of views that let you visualize various types of information within each project.
- Tasks & subtasks: Dedicated spaces offering the ability to drill down to the smallest level of actionable detail about each project item.
- Statuses: Effortless ways to communicate the exact progress of each task, board, project, etc.
- Checklists: Quick to-do lists for each task so things don’t fall through the cracks
- Task templates: Easy-to-copy templates to create identical tasks at scale across multiple projects.
- Assignees: The ability to assign tasks, boards, or projects to individual team members, groups, or even teams.
- Priorities: A way to communicate the urgency level of each task, subtask, or project.
- Automations: Trigger-based (if X happens then do Y); ways to automate repetitive actions such as notifications, comments, status updates, etc.
1. Project Structure / Hierarchy
Organize your workspace with the help of an easy-to-understand Hierarchy.
Workspace > Space > Folder > List > Task > Subtasks
- Workspace: The team that your ClickUp account is affiliated with
- Space: Various categories, each representing projects, teams, high-level initiatives, clients, etc.
- Lists: A collection of tasks within a particular category under a Space.
- Folders: Optional ways to zip various Lists together so you can spot them easily.
- Tasks: Actionable deliverables that can be assigned to individuals or teams.
- Subtasks: Granular action items within each task with the option to create nested subtasks.
Track your workload in Trello by organizing it into:
Workspaces > Boards > Lists > Cards
- Workspaces: A container for all the Boards in your team. You can create multiple Workspaces to classify your work further.
- Boards: A simple Kanban board interface to view task progress within a Workplace.
- List: A series of tasks (Cards) at the same progress stage. For example, To-do List, Doing list, Done List, etc.
- Cards: The smallest component of the board with all the actionable aspects of the project.
ClickUp allows you to see your work with these 11 views:
- List: Displays all tasks in a Space, Folder, or List, with their crucial details, grouped by task status in a list-based format.
- Board: Visualize task progression based on status and shift tasks within your workflow by dragging and dropping on a Kanban-style board.
- Calendar: Your hub for planning, scheduling, and resource coordination in a calendar format. Sync with your Google Calendar and more.
- Team: View individual capacity, completed tasks, and Sprint points per person in a box format.
- Gantt: Use the Gantt view for project planning, time management, and deadline setting.
- Activity: See a list of activity updates and who did what within a Space, Folder, or List.
- Timeline: Prioritize, organize, and collaborate seamlessly on projects with an overview of task timelines.
- Workload: Visualize team capabilities and oversee resources.
- Mind maps: Create visualizations of workflows, hierarchies, and task Dependencies.
- Map: A clear visual of task locations, helpful if you have a remote team or clients in different areas.
- Table: Spreadsheet-style overviews of tasks with custom fields for details like task progress, attachments, priority, and more.
Trello provides seven project views, namely:
- Boards: View your tasks on a Kanban board. It’s the simplest way to go from idea to action, plan projects, and track tasks.
- Timeline: Stay on top of project timelines, sprints, and goals. It’s great for adjusting dates on the fly and spotting potential gaps.
- Calendar: Perfect for managing schedules or to-dos; plus, you can sync it with third-party calendars.
- Dashboard: Offers a bird’s-eye view of projects and processes, helping you manage workloads and spot bottlenecks before they start.
- Map: Ideal for location-based data. Great for tracking properties, planning events, or organizing fieldwork.
- Workspace: Manage work across multiple Boards. Create custom overviews for detailed tracking of both minor tasks and large projects.
- Table: See your work like a spreadsheet. Sort and filter to focus on what matters.
3. Tasks & Subtasks
Create Tasks to indicate minute, actionable aspects of the project.
Add rich detail to each Task with the help of:
- Task descriptions
- Due Dates and Time Estimates
Manage tasks, goals, or anything that needs to get done via cards on Board.
Your cards can hold a variety of useful information, like:
- Members who are responsible for the task
- Due dates
- Custom Fields
You can also track and monitor task progress via a Checklist of smaller to-dos within the task.
Develop Custom Statuses at Space, Folder, and List levels to indicate the team’s workflow. Default statuses include Active, Done, and Closed. You can add as many types of color-coded statuses as you want.
Move cards to specific lists that indicate the workflow stage they’re in. Customize these lists to suit your workflow.
Create a nested Checklist for to-do items within a Task. Assign Checklist items to multiple team members.
Add multiple checklists to a single card. @mention team members in checklist items to notify them.
You can also track checklist completion with the help of a progress bar at the top that shows the completion percentage.
Finally, turn checklist items into cards to move them to the main board.
6. Task Templates
Generate Task templates from live Tasks to suit your workflow and save time. Apply these templates to all Tasks in a List.
Each template can contain:
- Due dates
- Comment attachments
- Time Estimates
- Task statuses
- Start date
- Recurring settings
- Custom fields
- And more
Trello allows you to create a default Card Template. You can do this from a blank or new card, where you can:
- Format the description
- Add custom fields
- Copy over checklists, and more.
Assign Tasks, Comments, and Checklist items to individual team members, a group of people, or an entire team.
Assign a Card by going to the Members icon and selecting a member or multiple people from the dropdown.
Set tasks to Urgent, High, Normal, and Low Priority levels — visualized by different colored flags on each task.
Use the custom fields functionality to add a Priority field to each Card.
ClickUp natively offers 100+ Automation rules consisting of Triggers and Actions to automate repetitive Tasks. You can also create custom Automations and set up automatic Recurring Tasks.
Trello’s automation features include:
- Card and board buttons: Adds buttons to automate the next step in a workflow
- Rules: Set triggers to automate actions
- Scheduled automations: Set up recurring actions
- Due date automations: Trigger actions when a task reaches its due date
B. Time Management
Time is money for a reason.
The right software can be the difference between pinching pennies and raking in the big bucks.
Effective project management software offers effortless time management features to help you befriend the clock.
With the right one, expect to keep all your tasks running as scheduled and meet your deadlines with ease.
Features to look out for include:
- Due dates: Communicate expected delivery dates.
- Time estimates: Make capacity decisions based on how much time each task or project is expected to take.
- Time tracking: Measure productivity with accurate time consumption data for each team member.
1. Due Dates
Stay ahead of task and project deadlines by adding due dates.
You can add and edit due dates on tasks, subtasks, and entire lists.
Trello lets you add and edit start dates, due dates, and due date reminders in a card.
2. Time Estimates
You can add a time estimate for how long a task will or should take. However, the workspace owner or admin needs to enable the feature for you to use it.
Trello doesn’t have a dedicated time estimates feature. However, you can create a custom field to note a time estimate for working on a card.
3. Time Tracking
You can use ClickUp’s native time tracker to measure how long each task takes to plan timelines accurately.
You can also stop the timer to return to the task later and open a detailed log to see who tracked time for a task and when.
Trello doesn’t offer any native time-tracking features.
What you can’t measure, you can’t improve.
Reporting and analytics features can help you track real-time progress, monitor key metrics, and sniff out bottlenecks like a detective.
Armed with these insights, your team can stay ahead of the curve no matter the situation.
Expect better resource management, superior deadline compliance, and a more focused and decisive team.
Features to look out for include:
- Goals and milestones: Record targets for the whole team to see and work towards.
- Dashboards: Visualize data from all corners of the team into a user-friendly, interactive interface.
- Gantt charts: Keep your plans flexible with Gantt charts that allow you to adjust timelines based on changing resource availability and task completion ratio.
1. Goals & Milestones
Goals in ClickUp allow users to visualize and edit Goals and their targets alongside team metrics on Dashboards.
- See your Goals’ progress percentages, target numbers, owners, and last update details.
- Sort, filter, duplicate, refresh, and delete Goals.
- Control who has access to see your Goals.
Browse the Trello template library for templates to help you set and track goals. For example, you can clearly define project goals and track milestones with the OKR (objectives and key results) template.
ClickUp has a Dashboards Hub that allows you to quickly locate and access different Dashboards you’ve created or been invited to.
Create custom dashboards to:
- Track progress
- Time tracked
- Sprint performance,
- Custom, and more.
Customize them with charts, calculation fields, tables, and embedded external apps (E.g., Figma, YouTube, Google Sheets).
Trello keeps it simple and user-friendly, so its reporting mainly consists of the Dashboard View — a bird’s-eye perspective on your projects and how much work needs to be done.
You can add bar or pie charts in tiles that tabulate the number of cards (tasks) per list, due date, member, and label.
3. Gantt Charts
ClickUp’s Gantt charts let you:
- Create, delete, and edit Tasks and Subtasks on the timeline.
- Drag and drop to reschedule groups of Tasks.
- Sort tasks by Assignees, Dates, Priority, and more.
- Draw lines between Tasks to add and visualize Dependencies.
- See a progress percentage of completed Tasks compared to Tasks in the group.
- Select multiple Tasks and edit them simultaneously.
- Set color codes on your chart by Task Statuses, Priority, or List.
- Set Milestones and display them as diamonds on your chart.
Trello doesn’t have any native Gantt chart capabilities. However, it does offer a timeline view that provides a visual representation of project interconnections and deadlines.
It allows you to:
- Adjust start and end dates for issues
- View by day, week, month, or quarter
- Group by member, list, and label
- View unscheduled cards
D. User Management
Software, features, and other tech things aside, the real heroes of any project are your team members. So make sure to pick the kind of project management software that puts them front and center!
How do you do this?
Look for software that knows what different team members need and helps you deliver the right experience.
Features to look out for include:
- User groups: Create internal teams representing various departments, functions, or projects.
- Permission levels: Grant different access levels depending on the users’ information requirements and the company’s security concerns.
- Guest users: Invite team members from other companies/teams to collaborate with your team without compromising on confidential data.
1. User Groups
As a Workspace owner or admin, you can set up Teams that can include a select set of team members — including Guest users.
You can adjust their permission levels and share Folders, Lists, Tasks, Checklists, Dashboards, Goals, and Docs with the Team in one go.
Users can also @mention Teams in comments, assign them comments, or add them as watchers.
Trello doesn’t let you create custom user groups with different permission levels.
2. Permission Levels
Choose to give members access to View only, Comment, Edit, or Full access. Protect important information by making Spaces, Folders, Lists, and Tasks private.
Set different permission levels for all team members. Choose who can comment, react, invite, or remove members on your Trello boards.
3. Guest Users
Collaborate with external users by giving them Guest access and sharing only the most relevant information.
Invite guest users to one or multiple Boards to view and edit Cards.
In project management, collaboration and communication are like a ballroom dance — if everyone isn’t in sync, you’re just stepping on each other’s toes!
A project manager should encourage their team to be on the same page regarding everything happening on the project. This could involve regular meetings, periodic status updates, shared checklists, etc.
But things can get tricky when you add different team structures (remote, hybrid, distributed, etc.).
The trick is to balance ‘informing everyone’ with ‘over-communicating.’
The solution is to forge a shared space where the whole team can contribute without hampering individual productivity. Picking a suitable project management software is the first step toward achieving this goal.
Features to look for include:
- Comments: Simple ways to send feedback or discuss a task or project.
- Threads: Keep all relevant comments in a single thread.
- Tagging/@mention: Mention a team member on a task, in comments, or in any shared space to notify them.
- Sharing tasks: Share tasks with relevant team members for efficient collaboration.
- File management: Attach and store files, create and annotate documents, etc., for ready access to project documentation.
- Notifications: Customize how team members receive notifications.
1. Comments, Threads, & Tagging
Any ClickUp user (who has comment access to a particular task or item) can leave comments and create threads. Use rich text formatting, @mention to notify people, and react to comments with emojis.
Additionally, instantly turn comments into tasks by assigning them to team members.
Share links to comments to improve the discoverability of conversations.
Click any card to open the comments section and leave a comment. Add attachments in them and @mention team members to collaborate on tasks.
Edit your comments to keep them up to date with the latest information. Or delete them to avoid miscommunication.
Right-click the timestamp to get a share link. Share these comments with others to invite more people to view and comment on the cards.
2. File Management
Attach documents and images to tasks for better task collaboration.
Add Comments to images, PDFs, and videos. Turn your feedback into Assigned Comments for members to execute as Tasks.
Attach files to cards to offer more insight into the task.
Trello automatically makes it the Card cover if it’s an image file.
Stay organized with notifications grouped by nature — E.g., newly created Tasks, Task status changes, Tasks assigned to you, etc.
Never forget about any notifications. Respond to or Assign Comments, set reminders, copy comment URLs, and more, right from the notification tray.
Customize whether or not (and where) you receive notifications for specific actions.
Send and receive notifications for various actions such as adding cards, being mentioned on them, changing due dates, moving cards, and more.
Change how and when you receive these notifications.
F. Customer Support
Individual users in smaller teams often face a steep learning curve with most project management software.
In their case, having access to responsive support executives and a wealth of helpful resources can make a significant difference, turning a frustrating experience into a positive one.
However, customer support is just as crucial for larger teams.
Even if these teams initially received thorough onboarding and training, their needs and use cases tend to evolve over time. Continuous and adaptable customer support becomes essential to address these changing needs effectively.
With adequate customer support, you can:
- Derive maximum value from the app with the help of professional guidance whenever required
- Ensure your team is making full use of all the features you’re paying for
- Learn from case studies of other teams using the same software
- Expand your use cases with time
- Learn about the features your team uses the most and avoid spending on those you don’t need
- Solve minor issues on your end by going through help resources
- Get hands-on support when you get stuck
- Keep a record of all your complaints and feedback for the platform to aid future buying decisions
- Send feedback to the app’s developers so they can design the features you most desire
Features to look for include:
- Detailed knowledge bases and documentation to aid DIY solutions to common issues
- Case studies, templates, guides, and other resources
- Easy access to resources for all types of users — free or paid
- Async support executives to cover for the time difference
- Live agents who can respond via chat or phone
- Screenshots and recordings to display how the tool works
- Translations to resources in other languages, if needed
- ClickUp University: Interactive courses to improve productivity
- Demos: Quick videos on the basics of working on ClickUp
- Help Docs: Answers to questions about how the tool works
- Professional Services: Premium support and hands-on help from the Professional Services team
- Communities: A global community of other ClickUp users
- Customer support: 24/7 Live rep, Chat, Email, Help Desk, Phone
- Atlassian University: Product training and certification for Jira, Confluence, Trello, and more
- Atlassian Playbook: Free workshop resources to address common team challenges
- Atlassian Documentation: Help to administer Atlassian products
- Developer Resources: Build, deploy, and manage your apps while Atlassian takes care of security, computing, and storage
- Atlassian Community: Ask questions to product experts
- Atlassian Support: Resources for users and administrators
- Migration Program: Cloud migration support for all teams
- Enterprise Services: Support for enterprise teams
- Support: Email/Help Desk, Chat, 24/7 Live rep, Phone
G. Platforms Supported
Distributed and field teams might not always be armed with laptops or computers.
But that doesn’t mean productivity has to stop.
With a mobile-friendly project management tool, the workflow keeps humming along, turning those smartphones into mighty workflow tools.
More reason to look into this?
If your company follows a Bring Your Own Device (BYOD) approach, your team members need the freedom to switch between various devices.
With support for all types of apps, you can:
- Ensure uniform access irrespective of device type
- Save on the cost of buying the same types of devices for the whole team
- Give all team members a chance to log work from anywhere, anytime
Features to look for include:
- App support for the latest Mac, Windows, iOS, and Android versions.
- Maximum coverage for all key features across devices
- Browser: Firefox, Chrome (Desktop and Android), Safari, Microsoft Edge
- Desktop: Mac, Windows, Linux
- Mobile: iOS, Android
- Browser: Chrome, Safari, Firefox, Edge
- Desktop: Mac, Windows
- Mobile: iOS, Android
Whether you have deep pockets or shoestring budgets, there’s project management software out there for every kind of organization.
But the confusing combination of features and numbers on pricing pages can make it difficult to choose.
Here are some easy tips for starters.
If you plan on buying the software subscription for just yourself or a small team that’s not likely to grow rapidly anytime soon — stick to the free plan as long as possible. Or pick the cheapest monthly subscription possible. These should cover most of your feature requirements comfortably in most cases.
However, if you expect to hire rapidly and grow to a sizable number, go for a plan that grows with you — ideally with a per-user rate that doesn’t add up exponentially.
Finally, most software offers flexible enterprise plans that let you cherry-pick your favorite features into a custom package. If you’re part of such a team, it’s best to contact the sales team and get the best deal possible.
ClickUp has the following pricing plans:
- Free: Unlimited tasks and members, 100MB storage, four views
- Unlimited ($10/user/month): Everything in free plus unlimited storage, integrations, and dashboards
- Business ($19/user/month): Everything in Unlimited plus Google SSO, unlimited teams, advanced automations, dashboards, and time tracking.
- Enterprise (Contact sales for pricing): Everything In Business plus white labeling, enterprise API, and VIP support.
Trello’s four pricing plans are as follows:
- Free: Up to 10 boards, 250 workspace commands a month
- Standard ($6/user/month): Everything in Free plus unlimited board, 1,000 Workspace commands a month
- Premium ($12.50/user/month): Everything in Standard plus extra views, Unlimited Workspace command
- Enterprise ($17.50/user/month): Everything in Premium plus unlimited workspaces, public board management, SSO and user provisioning
I. Best Suited To
Picking the right project management tool is like finding the perfect pair of shoes. They must be a snug fit but also leave you some wiggle room to get comfortable!
In other words, the tool you pick must fit all your current needs and grow alongside your future requirements, too.
So make sure you’ve covered all bases in your research when picking project management software for your team.
One way to do this is to check what types of teams your choice serves best.
For instance, what works for a small software development team might not suit a large marketing agency.
When hunting for a PM solution, it’s vital to match the tool’s features and use cases with your team’s workflow. Tailor your search to find a tool with all the necessary features to manage your tasks and boost productivity.
ClickUp is a versatile tool most suitable for small to large teams.
The free plan is extensive and doesn’t limit the number of users, which is great for small businesses. Additionally, small teams can significantly expand the tool’s functionality for a very affordable $7/user/month.
The feature-rich tool offers over 15 ways to visualize work, making it suitable for agile teams and complex projects. But it’s also great for organizing text-based communication so your team can talk things through.
Also beneficial are its:
- Native Docs and whiteboards
- Goal setting features
- AI add-on
- Project templates
All in all, ClickUp is fairly balanced regarding user-friendliness and complexity, but there is still a learning curve for new users.
Moreover, if you’re the only person looking to use the tool, you could try looking for a simpler project management tool to avoid dealing with features you may not use.
Trello is an exceptionally user-friendly and intuitive PM tool. It focuses heavily on visualizing work, especially on Kanban boards (though other views are available in higher-paid tiers). And its customization features make your workspaces visually engaging to make work more fun.
These factors make Trello perfectly suited to PM beginners, startups, and SMEs with relatively simple processes and small teams.
It’s also great for personal productivity and project management — E.g., if you’re a freelancer or you’re planning a big party.
The tradeoff for simplicity is, of course, limited complexity. Trello isn’t the best choice if you want to manage big projects with lots of simultaneous tasks, team members, and moving parts.
For example, Trello’s commenting functionalities are quite linear and not well-suited to multiple conversation threads at once.
There are extensive options to expand the app’s functionality with account upgrades, integrations, and power-ups. However, these will also cost extra money and time.