Microsoft Planner vs Trello

Learn more about your options and pick the best tool for your team.

Unsure whether to choose Microsoft Planner or Trello? You've come to the right place.

If you are evaluating project management tools, you will likely find Planner and Trello on your shortlist. Both tools are highly popular and are used by thousands of organizations, teams, and individuals across the globe.

But which tool should you choose for your business? In this article, we will take a closer look at both Microsoft Planner and Trello and examine their strengths and weaknesses to help you make the right decision for your company.

Microsoft Planner and Trello compared

On the surface, Planner and Trello are quite similar. Both are online Kanban tools designed to streamline task and project management. Both belong to extensive product suites of Microsoft and Atlassian respectively. But they also have some fundamental differences that need to be kept in mind when making a decision.

Ultimately, it will all come down to your unique needs, preferences, and workflow, as there is no one-size-fits-all solution when it comes to productivity software. And if you're having trouble choosing between Trello and Microsoft Planner, keep in mind that they aren't your only options. There are many other excellent tools that may turn out to be an even better fit for your needs.

Microsoft Planner and Trello alternative

To make the most informed decision, let's first dive deeper into what Planner and Trello have to offer, taking into account their strengths, limitations, notable features, pricing, and user reviews. We will also have a look at other alternatives you may want to consider.

Microsoft Planner

Microsoft Planner compared to Trello

Planner is a relatively new app in the Microsoft ecosystem. Launched in 2016, Planner allows teams to create plans, assign tasks, share files, communicate and collaborate with other users, and receive progress updates. Like Trello, it offers various ways to visualize your data, including a Kanban board, a list, a Gantt chart, and more.

If your organization is already powered by other Microsoft products, choosing Planner over Trello may be a no-brainer. It seamlessly integrates with other Microsoft 365 products, allowing you to keep all your work in sync. Microsoft Planner is offered in the Office 365 Business Essentials Plan at $5 per user per month with an annual commitment.

However, if you prefer to base your decision on user reviews, Trello may be the more attractive option. Many users find Planner to be considerably more limited than Trello, citing the lack of such features as mentions in comments, recurring tasks, image preview, and so on. As is the case with most Microsoft products, many also feel that the interface of Planner is quite cumbersome and bloated.

Why you might prefer Microsoft Planner over Trello:

What users say about Microsoft Planner:

"We went back and forth on using Microsoft Planner since we already have Office 365, but our vendor is more familiar with Trello, so it was less of a disruption for our project. Planner is a great product, but Trello worked for my project. If I was doing an internal project, I might keep using Planner, especially if the number of boards or attachment size gets to be an issue."

Capterra review

"I recommend Trello over Microsoft Planner to colleagues. Planner is a bare-bones planner tool. The limitations made its use pointless. I didn't choose it, it came as part of the O365 E1 licenses that were adopted by the enterprise."

Capterra review


Trello compared to Microsoft Planner

Unlike Planner, Trello has been around for over 10 years. It was one of the first apps that popularized the Kanban approach to project management. In addition to its iconic Board view, in 2021, Trello added the new Timeline, Table, Calendar, Dashboard, and Map views.

Trello is certainly more popular than Microsoft Planner, largely thanks to its simplicity and intuitive interface. New users can get the hang of Trello in minutes, with no extensive training required.

Note that, while Trello offers integrations with Microsoft products, they are not nearly as robust as those of Planner.

Why you might prefer Trello over Microsoft Planner:

What users say about Trello:

"Trello is my go-to task and project management tool when I'm collaborating with outside parties. Trello is easy, intuitive, and free. I love how the cards are color-coded and how I can easily see what's been completed or not, and that it's so easy to organize things with those tags. However, I'm worried that they've been bought by Atlassian and worry they will weaken it or charge more for it."

Capterra review

"Microsoft options have a steep learning curve, unlike Trello. Trello helps keep our team organized, but I think there are better solutions out there. I wish the integrations with Office365 were more robust. We just chose Trello as a band-aid until we have time to invest in Office365 productivity products."

Capterra review

Looking for more tools similar to Trello? Check out this list of Trello alternatives.

Other alternatives

It should be mentioned that your options are not limited to just Trello and Microsoft Planner. There are many other great project management apps and Kanban tools that can serve you just as well.

Both Planner and Trello have accumulated hefty sets of features over the years, cluttering up their interfaces and making the apps sluggish. If you are looking for a more lightweight and fast solution, consider Nuclino. Minimal by design, Nuclino focuses on the ease-of-use, doing away with clunky menus and rarely-used options, and lowering the learning curve for new users.

Microsoft Planner vs Trello vs Nuclino

Like Trello and Planner, Nuclino allows you to drag and drop cards on your board to visualize your progress. A notable difference is that every card on your Kanban board is its own long-form document that can be collaborated on in real time. You can add notes, create to-do lists with due dates and reminders, embed files, and more, managing and simultaneously documenting your projects in one place.

Trello vs MicrosoftPlanner vs Nuclino

Comments and mentions allow you to exchange asynchronous feedback directly in Nuclino and preserve the context of every decision.

Collaborative alternative to MicrosoftPlanner and Trello

The board view is one of many ways you can visualize your work in Nuclino. Additional views, such as list, table, and graph, make Nuclino a great tool for a wide range of different use cases. You can use it to take notes, create internal documentation, build your internal knowledge base or team wiki, and more. It works like a collective brain, allowing you to bring all your team's work together in one place and collaborate without the chaos of files and folders, context switching, or silos.

Microsoft Planner vs Trello alternative Nuclino

Microsoft Planner vs Trello: So which is better?

Between Trello and Microsoft Planner, Trello seems to be the more popular choice among users. However, both tools have their own strengths and weaknesses. The main advantage of Planner is its close integration with other apps in the Microsoft ecosystem, making it a more inviting option to some teams. If your organization is not using Microsoft products, you may be better off with Trello.

On the other hand, if you like the idea of bringing your projects and documentation together in one place, Nuclino may also be a great option for you.

We hope this article has made your decision a little easier. At the end of the day, the only way to be sure you are making the right choice is to thoroughly evaluate each tool together with your team.

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