Kanban software is one of the most popular tools used for task and project management. It is practical and extremely effective. And the benefits are enormous. Let’s dive into the world of kanban tools!
What Is Kanban Technique?
Developed in the 1940s in the Toyota factories, it’s gotten the name from the visual system of cards – “Kanban”. The system is called a “lean manufacturing system,” or a “Just-in-Time (JIT) system.” The main objective behind creating such a technique was and is to produce the vehicles efficiently in the shortest time possible and satisfy customer needs at the same time.
In other words, kanban is a technique for optimizing work while delivering the best results.
Nowadays, it is used by individuals and teams globally to visualize projects, the flow of work, and to make it more approachable. Usually, it is done with sticky notes and whiteboard (or Kanban board) either in a traditional or virtual form. Over the years, dozens of kanban tools emerged to provide users with customizable kanban cards and boards to facilitate their work.
What Is Kanban Process?
The Kanban process is an organized project planning and project management technique. It’s not complicated and helps to improve workflow, team collaboration, and optimize all processes.
The typical project with Kanban flow is done with one board separated into three columns:
- Requested (often referred to as backlog or to-do) – tasks that need to be done
- In-progress – assignments being performed
- Done – finished tasks
Such a board gives a quick insight into the status of work and allows for convenient task management and project planning. It also helps to eliminate delays and provides transparency.
The complicacy of the kanban workflow depends on the business, its size, and the number of employees but also the field it operates in. So kanban-like project management may look different for large manufacturing companies, small businesses, and individuals.
What Are The Benefits?
The use of Kanban software helps to structure workflow and follow every phase of the project. It is a great way of monitoring projects for threats, finding the weak spots, and opportunities. Some people use it as a task tracking system, whereas others prefer its project management functionalities.
Here are the top 5 benefits:
- Better workflow with clearly organized work
- Transparency with the ability to visualize the project’s lifecycle and overall progress
- Improved communication and collaboration
- Flexibility in reassigning work, scheduling, and reorganizing the project
- Ability to integrate the tool with other software for more effective work
Overall, kanban tools enable teams to shift priorities and focus on the most important aspects of a project.
What’s The Best Kanban Software?
There are many tools for kanban to choose from. Some are fancy collaboration tools, simple kanban boards, or robust project management software with time tracking features. They all differ with functionalities and are designed for various niches. Some kanban tools offer simple boards, others swim lanes, and some a combination of different tools.
Here, we present a list of the best and most popular Kanban software. Note, that according to an organization, team or project’s requirements, some tools may work better than others. Remember to choose the one that corresponds most to your business needs and model.
- Kanban Tool
- Toggl Plan
Best for: team collaboration and communication
If Trello and Slack had a baby it would be… HeySpace!
It’s an innovative task management software with chat features. It comprises of three elements accessible in one place – channels and team members, chat window, and tasks.
How it works: HeySpace uses Kanban board design to let you easily monitor and manage tasks and optimize the cycle time. Every task can be adjusted – you can change progress, add tags, files, description, set a due date, assign it to a team member, or comment on it.
You can access the Kanban board from the main view in the card lists or from the “board” window. That allows you to see the full work in progress in real-time, easily manage the workflow, and assign tasks to all team members from one place.
Moreover, if you are looking for a tool that would help you collaborate and communicate with your team more efficiently, HeySpace is the right choice. You not only have access to all tasks or projects but you can establish a unified communication channel in your organization.
- Free for up to 10 users
- Premium – $5 per user in Workspace
Best for: simple kanban project development with add-ons
Trello is the most popular kanban project management software. It has the most necessary features to visualize work.
How it works: It is a visual board for managing and planning tasks. Even though it has a simple design, it has many useful functionalities. You can create different boards for different teams, adjust cards’ settings, repeat them for recurring tasks, comment on tasks, and use many other fancy options. With all the templates, you can create as many Kanban boards as you want.
Trello has a wide list of power-ups that help to enhance workflow and team collaboration. You can test the full version for 14 days with the free trial. However, as for the freeware kanban board, Trello has everything you need to organize workflow.
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- Free version with limited features
- Business Class -$9.99
- Enterprise – $20.83 for larger businesses
3. Kanban Tool
Best for: real-time board updates for businesses
Kanban Tool is simple and advanced at the same time. It’s a fully-featured visual project management software. It was created for project managers and software development teams who need a professional Kanban tool to smoothly manage tasks and workflow with the Kanban method in mind.
How it works: This software has so many features that it would definitely take too long to enumerate them all. It’s a great task tracking software for teams of any size.
Thanks to the transparent board view you can easily and neatly visualize and organize projects. You can move tasks to different sections whenever they are finished or need additional action. Every card has settings so you can adjust them according to your needs.
You can fully customize boards, copy them, add colors, add links and everything you need to the task, communicate with team members, see all the data on projects in reports, and many more.
Additionally, if you have a team of 10 or more people and are seeking a self-hosted application, Kanban Tool offers an on-premise option.
Kanban Tool offers a free trial.
- Free with limited features for 2 users
- Team – €5 per month
- Enterprise – €9 per month
Best for: sharing work progress with clients and stakeholders
Smartsheet is a flexible tool for managing projects, perfect for organizations working with lean methodology.
How it works: Smartsheets is a cloud-based tool that helps to plan, manage, and oversee work in one hub. You can share your work with clients and stakeholders, review and collaborate, and eliminate manual repetitive tasks. Reports give you insight into organizational data, and thanks to the dashboard with a real-time view teams have centralized access to all information.
Smartsheet is advanced software with Kanban that helps to automate work processes and visualize the workflow with boards, kanban cards, or swim lanes. Also, you can customize the software and integrate it with a variety of enterprise apps to enhance work. It’s an extremely powerful tool for demanding users.
- Individual – $14 per month (billed annually)
- Business – $25 per user/month (billed annually)
- Enterprise – custom price
Check out our SmartSheet time tracking integration!
Best for: universal work administration with kanban board
How it works: Asana is one of the most popular project management platforms. In Asana, every employee has their own workspace with tasks assigned to them. Every task can be a part of a larger project with a set deadline and its own priority level. Also, the task can be divided into subtasks.
Thanks to built-in calendars and communication channels you can easily assign work to your team and exchange messages about the progress of the task.
When used as Kanban board software, Asana gives your employees insight into the company’s objectives. It helps to monitor a project in every phase and the full cycle time, and streamline the workflow. It’s an open-source of information for all users that helps to stay on track.
- Basic – free, available for teams of up to 15 people with basic features
- Premium – €13.49 per user/month
- Business – €30.49 per user/month
- Enterprise – custom pricing
Check out our Asana time tracking integration!
Best for: users of G Suite
Kanbanchi is a great task control tool for people or organizations which use G Suite. This tool integrates seamlessly with G Suite apps for seamless work.
How it works: Kanbanchi is a practical agile project management app with all the necessary features for efficient task management. You can build a transparent workflow and collaborate on tasks in real-time, plan projects on Gantt Chart, in Kanban view, monitor the work in progress, and measure performance thanks to reports.
Kanbanchi is a simple, intuitive project management solution that helps to measure productivity for teams of all sizes, and work in one, centralized platform.
Free trial available
- Starter – $7.95 per user/month (billed annually)
- Professional – $19.97 per user/month (billed annually)
- Enterprise – From $34.97 per user per month
- Custom pricing from 100 seats
Best for: users looking for advanced Kanban software
Kanbanize is a kanban software for agile project management. It’s a flexible solution perfect for professionals working in the field of software development, for project managers, and large teams than need to organize work, keep track of projects in the full cycle time, and optimize workflow.
How it works: With Kanbanize you can automate all existing processes, build dependencies and connections, track metrics in the analytics module, visualize all activities with kanban boards and kanban cards, and use powerful data to improve the project’s lifecycle.
Moreover, Kanbanize has a distinction between the management and team to maintain the hierarchy for focused work and clarity, to better track the progress of a project, and to have personalized workflows.
This Kanban software has many helpful, extensive features but is intuitive and easy to use.
Pricing starts from$119/ month
Best for: visualizing work in different ways
Monday is a tool that helps to visualize the workflow. It has a modern and intuitive design which makes it a user-friendly kanban software. It’s one of the best collaboration tools for non-demanding users.
How it works: Monday is a simple project management tool that helps to understand how everyone in your team works. You can visualize projects in different ways, either kanban boards, in a calendar, or other views. You can use it to plan, track projects and their status, and collaborate with team and clients in one place.
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- Basic – starts from $39/month for 5 users
- Standard – starts from $49/month for 5 users
- Pro – starts from $79/month for 5 users
- Enterprise – custom pricing
Best for: issue and bug tracking
Jira is one of the most popular agile project management software. It’s used for issue and project tracking among software development teams working in agile project management methodology.
How it works: Jira is built of three products – Jira Software, Jira Service Desk, and Jira Core, so people can work directly within a team and with other teams in one tool. This free project management software lets you create user stories and issues, plan and prioritize the most urgent sprints, and distribute assignments to different teams and people across the organization. You can customize project views in scrum and Kanban boards, see the big picture of projects with roadmaps, create user stories and issues, plan and prioritize the most urgent sprints, see work in progress, and distribute tasks to different teams and people.
Also, it’s possible to streamline and optimize work with automation rules to eliminate repetitive activities, so you can, for example, auto-assign issues or automate your releases for faster actions. Additionally, you can customize every issue – attach files, link issues or pages, create subtasks, add a child issue, and more.
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- A free plan of Jira is available for up to 10 users, includes 2GB storage, and community support
- Standard – $7 per user; for up to 5,000 users
- Premium – $14 per user; for up to 5,000 users
10. Toggl Plan
Best for: simple project management to visualize work
Toggl Plan is a simple, cloud-based software for managing projects. It was made by creators of Toggl. You can use it either for simple or for complex projects. It’s a simplistic solution that doesn’t come with complex features, hence, if you’re looking for an easy way to plan, prioritize work, and quickly manage team workflow, it’s the right choice.
How it works: In the Toggl’s Kanban view, you can arrange workflow with the drag-and-drop feature, comment and add mentions, custom colors, add checklists, and, upload files, set due dates and assignees. All to limit work so you can optimize the cycle time of projects.
If you already use the Toggl time tracker and enjoy its functionality, you will find Toggl Plan as its visually and functionally similar.
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Free trial available for 14 days
- Free per user/month for up to 5 users
- Premium – $9 per user/month
Best for: lightweight projects management with Kanban in agile methodology
Taiga is a great kanban platform for agile teams. It helps to organize, plan, and track work. It allows for team interaction with its flexible features.
How it works: The tool lets you divide work and plan the entire project in a simple way. It’s a lightweight solution for teams who need an intuitive app. The scrum functionality makes it possible to break product backlogs into manageable, executable chunks, and prioritize work in short time cycles.
Taiga is most suitable for IT, software development, and technical teams.
- Free for up to 3 users on a private project
- Premium – $5 per month/team member (when paid annually)
- Enterprise – custom pricing; in the cloud or self-managed
Best for: flexible collaboration
Samepage is a collaboration platform for teams. It helps to keep everything together in one place and replaces many apps. You can use it to communicate, share files, manage work, and cooperate on a project in one place in real-time.
How it works: As a Kanban app, Samepage offers a task board where you can manage all team assignments and add assignees, due dates, priority levels, recurrences, reminders, description details, and subtasks.
Additionally, video chat and online meetings make it possible to talk with other team members about the current state of assignments.
- Free for an unlimited number of users with limited functionalities
- Standard – $7.50 per user/month
- Pro – $8 per user/month
Best for: software development
Hygger is a handy Kanban tool for software development teams. This is a great spot between Trello and Jira as it offers outstanding features loved by tech and non-tech people. The tool is user-friendly and simple to use, but its powerful feature-set allows it to be put on a par with Jira.
How it works: Hygger provides digital Kanban boards with Swimlanes, work in progress (WIP) limits, and time tracking. You can manage multiple projects on your board, tracking everything in one place. Swimlanes allow splitting the board horizontally for easy categorizing of different tasks. With the help of WIP limits, you can define all roadblocks and inefficiencies in the work process.
The platform offers smart roadmaps for planning your goals, strategy, releases, and features. Additionally, Hygger lets you prioritize your backlog with the help of robust prioritization matrixes like Value-Effort, Value-Risk, or the Eisenhower matrix.
- Free trial available
- Standart – from $7 per user/monthly
- Enterprise – from $14 per user/monthly
12. ProProfs Project
Best for: improving project visibility
ProProfs Project is an easy-to-use Kanban board software that offers a bird’s eye view of all your project tasks and activities in one place. If you’re looking for a user-friendly tool with increased task visibility, ProProfs Project is your best bet.
How it works: The tool’s Kanban view provides easy visualization of the project’s life cycle. It allows you to track projects from start to finish in one quick glance.
You can customize columns and modules and move them effortlessly within the workflow to best suit your project’s existing needs. With this software, it’s easy to create tasks, allocate resources, and define deadlines for multiple projects within minutes. ProProfs Project offers an excellent way to keep your tasks organized and monitor their progress on the go. The task cards conveniently convey whether a specific task is ‘open’, ‘complete’, or ‘on hold’. As you move forward from one task to another, the progress bar reflects the same in real time.
Power-packed with features such as alerts/notifications and task comments, the tool enables better team collaboration and project transparency. Also, its drag and drop interface offers greater usability.
Free trial available for 15 days
Essentials – $2/user/month
Premium – $4/user/month
Kanban tools can optimize and automate work. It’s a fantastic way of project management that is extremely efficient. All you need to do is to choose the right kanban tool.
What do you think about kanban tools? Does this technique of project management work for you? Or maybe you have your own secret ways of using the kanban tool? Let us know, we’d love to hear from you!
✍ Last updated July 2020
2 thoughts on “Which Software With Kanban Board Is Worth Using?”
Great article! Now at work using Kanban apps is essential and it’s extremely heplful. In our company we use “Kanban Tool” and what makes it special out of the other apps is that is offers you daily reports about your work and time-tracking option. This information is important especially for companies to measure the results of work to implement improvents and increase the quality of work.
Kanbantool.com is definitely worth using, I agree with you! I like how easy it is to use. I find the tool very helpful.