Trello vs Wrike: 2024 Comparison

Trello and Wrike 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

a. Trello

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.

Trello_Project_Structure

b. Wrike

Transform your workspace with the help of Wrike’s simple, user-friendly project hierarchy. 

Spaces > Folders > Projects > Tasks

  • Spaces: Spaces are hubs (or centralized repositories) for all information relevant to your team, departments, or clients.
  • Folders: Organizes projects, tasks, and subtasks within spaces. 
  • Projects: A group of tasks and subtasks that are part of a larger goal.
  • Tasks: Actionable items that help achieve the project’s objectives.

2. Views

a. Trello

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.

Trello_Views

b. Wrike

Wrike consists of Primary and Custom views. 

The types of Primary views are:

  • List: Displays tasks and other items in a list format, allowing for easy organization and management
  • Board: A Kanban-style workflow where you can organize cards (tasks) in a column. 
  • Table: Presents tasks and their details in a tabular format for easy data manipulation and analysis
  • Gantt chart: Visual representation of deadlines, schedules, and task dependencies.
  • Resources: Provides an overview of your team project allocation
  • Dashboards: Displays illustrative widgets that provide updates, like project progress and resource allocation for a specific space.
  • Analytics: Contains simple infographics and insights into active, overdue, and completed tasks.
  • Calendar: Gives a timeline view of work items to keep track of what needs to be worked on and when. 

You can further customize the List, Board, Gantt Chart, Files, and Table views.

3. Tasks & Subtasks

a. Trello

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 
  • Attachments
  • Labels 
  • Comments
  • Location
  • Custom Fields

You can also track and monitor task progress via a Checklist of smaller to-dos within the task.

Trello_Tasks_Subtasks

b. Wrike

A task in Wrike helps manage simple and complex projects by breaking them down into actionable items. You can further divide tasks into smaller action items called subtasks.

Tasks provide information on: 

  • Task descriptions
  • Assignees
  • Tags 
  • Due Dates and Time Estimates
  • Checklists
  • Attachments
  • Comments

4. Statuses

a. Trello

Move cards to specific lists that indicate the workflow stage they’re in. Customize these lists to suit your workflow.

Trello_Statuses

b. Wrike

Wrike offers five default statuses to help users track the progress of projects and tasks. These are:

  • New
  • In progress 
  • Completed
  • On hold
  • Canceled

You can also create custom statuses in Business and Enterprise plans.

5. Checklists

a. Trello

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.

b. Wrike

Use the checkbox button in the task description’s formatting panel to break your tasks into to-do lists or step-by-step instructions. 

You can even assign each checklist to different assignees for better task tracking.

6. Task Templates

a. Trello

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.

Trello_Task_Templates

b. Wrike

Except for collaborators, all users can easily create task templates in the template folder in their accounts. 

Just copy a task, rename it, and move it to the appropriate space, project, or folder to create a template. Each template can include details like:

  • Title
  • Description
  • Checklists
  • Tags
  • Assignees
  • Priority
  • Attachments
  • And more

7. Assignees

a. Trello

Assign a Card by going to the Members icon and selecting a member or multiple people from the dropdown.

b. Wrike

You can add assignees to tasks after clicking the +Add assignee button in the task panel.

8. Priorities

a. Trello

Use the custom fields functionality to add a Priority field to each Card.

b. Wrike

Leverage the Importance feature in Wrike to categorize your tasks as High, Normal, or Low Importance. All tasks are denoted Normal importance by default.

Alternatively, you can simply drag the most crucial tasks to the top of your list to prioritize them.

9. Automations

a. Trello

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

Trello_Automations

b. Wrike

Wrike features around 14 automation rules, and each rule can have up to 10 actions. 

For example, you can set a rule to automatically mark a task as ‘completed’ when it gets to the ‘published’ stage. 

These automation rules apply to both tasks and projects.

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

a. Trello

Trello lets you add and edit start dates, due dates, and due date reminders in a card.

b. Wrike

Simply add a deadline of a task in the subject field in square brackets: [yyyy-mm-dd].

Wrike also offers date rollups where it automatically sets a project due date after calculating all your subproject, task, and subtask deadlines.

2. Time Estimates

a. Trello

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.

b. Wrike

Create a duration-type custom field on the project/folder level to input the estimated time for a certain task.

Even better, use Wrike’s comprehensive reporting tools to compare the estimated and actual working time taken to complete tasks and projects to measure productivity.

3. Time Tracking

a. Trello

Trello doesn’t offer any native time-tracking features.

b. Wrike

Wrike offers two time tracking features to track your time and bill your work hours:

  • Track time manually on timesheets.
  • Record work hours automatically with Wrike’s task trackers.

C. Reporting

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

a. Trello

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.

b. Wrike

Use Wrike’s business goal-setting template to set clear objectives across an organization and ensure team alignment. The template allows users to organize company goals and OKRs into pre-built folders, projects, and tasks.

Milestones in Wrike are one-day tasks with no duration. They are perfect for marking major events in a project, such as the end of a project phase or the completion of a deliverable.

2. Dashboards

a. Trello

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.

Trello_Dashboards

b. Wrike

Create dashboards within Wrike spaces to monitor and manage workflows effortlessly. 

These dashboards contain widgets that show work items that meet the specific criteria. For example, you can view overdue projects or filter tasks by their status.

You can use both pre-built templates or create custom dashboards and widgets.

3. Gantt Charts

a. Trello

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

b. Wrike

Wrike’s Gantt charts allow you to visualize project plans, adjust deadlines, and communicate project details with your team. 

Some of its key features are:

  • Interactive timelines
  • Dependencies and milestones
  • Sharing options
  • Drag and drop functionality

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

a. Trello

Trello doesn’t let you create custom user groups with different permission levels.

b. Wrike

All Wrike accounts have a default user group called “My Team,” which includes all regular users of the account. When new regular users are added to the account, they are automatically included in this group. 

Additionally, you can create customized user groups or teams to share information and collaborate with specific teams or departments quickly.

2. Permission Levels

a. Trello

Set different permission levels for all team members. Choose who can comment, react, invite, or remove members on your Trello boards.

b. Wrike

Wrike offers access roles to control what users (or user groups) can do within a shared folder, project, or space. 

There are four types of access roles in Wrike: 

  • Full: Access, create, edit, and manage tasks, permission levels, projects, and folders.
  • Editor: Add projects as well as edit statuses, custom fields, guest approvals, reports, and more. 
  • Limited: Change task statuses, duplicate folders, add attachments, and more. They can’t create projects and tasks, edit dashboards, or access reports.
  • Read only: They can only view folders, projects, and tasks, as well as duplicate analytics boards.

3. Guest Users

a. Trello

Invite guest users to one or multiple Boards to view and edit Cards.

b. Wrike

In Wrike, guest users are called ‘Guest Reviewers’. 

Users with full access roles can invite guest reviewers and share files with them. This feature lets you collaborate with external stakeholders who don’t have a Wrike account. 

They can view, add comments, and approve the shared files.

E. Collaboration

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

a. Trello

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.

Trello_Comments_Threads_Tagging

b. Wrike

Any user with comment access in Wrike can add comments to tasks, projects, and folders. 

Plus, @mention your team members to talk to a specific person or user group.

2. File Management

a. Trello

Attach files to cards to offer more insight into the task.

Trello automatically makes it the Card cover if it’s an image file.

b. Wrike

Attach files to tasks, folders, and projects in Wrike and find them in the task description. 

Wrike supports various file formats, such as docs, images, website links, and more.

Moreover, Wrike’s Document Editor feature lets you edit popular file types (MS Office and Adobe files) directly within the platform.

3. Notifications

a. Trello

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.

Trello_Notifications

b. Wrike

Wrike provides a comprehensive notification system, available through both desktop and email. 

Additionally, it offers the flexibility to customize your email notifications according to your preferences. 

For instance, you can choose not to get notified when someone comments without @mentioning you.

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

Trello

  • 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

Wrike

  • Wrike Help Center: Guides and tutorials on Wrike features.
  • Community Discussions: Users can ask questions about features and their usage.
  • Wrike Blog: Covers a variety of topics related to project management, collaboration, and productivity.
  • Webinars: Live or on-demand videos.
  • Resources Library: Blogs and ebooks on Wrike features.
  • Customer support: Available in multiple languages 24/7 through chat, phone, and email.

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

Trello

  • Browser: Chrome, Safari, Firefox, Edge
  • Desktop: Mac, Windows
  • Mobile: iOS, Android

Wrike

  • Browser: Google Chrome, Mozilla Firefox, and Safari
  • Desktop: Windows and Mac
  • Mobile: Android and iOS

H. Pricing

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. 

Trello Pricing

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

Wrike Pricing

Wrike offers a 14-day trial period. Its pricing plans are:

  • Free: Web, desktop, and mobile apps, project & task management, AI content generation, and more.
  • Team ($9.80/user/month): 3-25 users, unlimited projects, AI risk prediction & work creation, and more.
  • Business ($24.80/user/month): 5-200 users, custom item types, guest approval, time tracking, and more.
  • Enterprise (price upon request): 5 to unlimited users, password policies, custom access roles, 10 GB storage per user, and more.
  • Pinnacle (price upon request): 5 to unlimited users, locked spaces, advanced reporting & BI, billable hours, and more.

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.

Trello Verdict

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.

Wrike Verdict

Wrike distinguishes itself in the field of project management through its powerful tools, including effective task management, accurate time tracking, and custom workflows.

Here are some more features that make Wrike special:

  • Dynamic automations
  • Custom workflows, dashboards, and reports.
  • Advanced reports and analytics
  • Business goal-setting templates
  • Document editor and file management
  • Security features (in higher-priced tiers)  

However, Wrike does come with a few drawbacks of its own.

Most of Wrike’s project management features are only available in its higher-priced tiers. For example, you can only access the time tracking feature in its Business plan. This can pose budgetary challenges for smaller teams. 

Additionally, the mobile app lacks some functionalities, such as the ability to create spaces or projects. This can be a drawback for users looking for flexibility across various devices. 

Yet, despite these hurdles, Wrike’s versatility extends to numerous applications, such as sales lead tracking, capacity planning, bug tracking, event management, and so much more. 

This makes it worth your investment and a game-changer for any team looking to streamline complex workflows and scale new heights.