Trello vs. KanbanFlow vs. Pivotal Tracker vs. Asana vs. Basecamp


In this post, I am going to talk about various project management tools, and give my completely biased opinions on them.


I like Trello because of it’s simplicity. It is free. It is easy to create lists and cards. This is what I use to manage all of my personal projects and my freelance projects. It is so intuitive that it doesn’t take more than a minute to explain to a client how to use it. File attachments are also free.


I like KanbanFlow for planning out my week. I got the idea from this article. It has a pomodoro timer, but I don’t use it because I’ve found it to be buggy. Still, I estimate tasks by the hour and color code them. One of the nice things is that all of the boards fit onto the screen, making it responsive. This is nice so that you don’t have to scroll left and right to see all of your lists. You can also collapse lists.

Pivotal Tracker

I used Pivotal Tracker during my time at a startup. It’s not free. It has a lot of “Agile” features like point estimation, velocity, etc. It can sometimes be confusing because it will group task items into either current or backlog depending on your average velocity. Pivotal has a lot of features that could potentially be useful if you strictly followed their way of doing things. As soon as you stray from the pivotal way, it becomes like another kanban tool. If that is the case, you might as well use a free one.

[Update 3/5/2015: Just finished reading Scrum: Doing Twice the Work in Half the Time. Now that I look back, Pivotal Tracker follows the Scrum process exactly. You’ll get the most value from this tool if you know and follow the scrum process closely.]


This one I have the least experience with. I used it for a couple weeks at the startup, but ended up switching back to Pivotal. This is more of a traditional “to-do list” style app. The UI resembles old school Windows applications. It has a lot of features. There are so many buttons and widgets that it actually gives me some anxiety to use this tool.


I’ve never actually used this tool for a real project. I’ve only played around with it. It has the document to-do list style. It has a bunch of features like a calendar. It’s not free. Other than that, I don’t have much of an opinion here, since I haven’t really used it.


These days, I only use Trello or KanbanFlow. Trello because it’s free, simple, and free file attachments. KanbanFlow because it is free and because of responsive UI, more visible color code, and collapsible lists.