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Microsoft Planner vs Trello (2021): Which Is the Better Task Management Tool?

Project collaboration tools such as Microsoft Planner and Trello make setting tasks and monitoring your progress easier. Boasting more than a million users, Trello has been in the game for much longer than Microsoft Planner and is the more well-known project management tool. However, Microsoft Planner has been growing its user base as well as more and more businesses using Office 365. To help you decide which tool is better for your business and your team, we compare their key features and why you should choose one over the other.

Microsoft Planner vs Trello Comparison Chart

ModelMicrosoft PlannerTrello
 
PriceCheck Price at Microsoft.comCheck Price at Trello.com
Pricing TiersAvailable with Microsoft Enterprise plans E3, E5 and F3Forever free, Business Class, Enterprise
Kanban BoardYesYes
Calendar ViewYesYes, on paid plans
Maximum File Attachment SizeUp to 150MB per fileUp to 250MB per file
Storage SizeUp to 1 TBUp to 250GB
AutomationYesYes
App IntegrationsMicrosoft Office Apps100+ integrations
PlatformWeb, Desktop AppsWeb, App

Pricing

Microsoft Planner is free with select Microsoft 365 subscriptions while Trello has a forever free plan

microsoft planner vs trello (2)
The pricing plans for Microsoft 365 (top) and Trello (bottom) as of 2020

Small and enterprise businesses alike consider the cost per user of project management and productivity tools because even though they may not seem like much, but it can quickly add up as your team grows bigger.

Only Trello offers a forever free plan which, although limited, still offers core features for task management and productivity. Microsoft’s Enterprise plans may seem expensive at a glance from the chart above, you can start using Microsoft Planner at $10 through the Microsoft 365 F3 plan. This puts the two project management tools at the same price range, but you’ll get more value for your money with Microsoft Planner as it’s bundled with other Microsoft 365 tools.

Once you move up Microsoft’s Enterprise plan tiers, Trello’s pricing becomes significantly more affordable. But that’s largely due to the fact that you’ll get access to a wide range of Office 365 Apps and tools, while Trello’s features are focused on project collaboration and task management.

Boards and Calendars

Both Microsoft Planner and Trello use Kanban boards for organizing tasks, but Planner offers more flexibility in terms of viewing options

Trello lets you add cards under each board and further customize each card

The Kanban boards of Microsoft Planner and Trello are similar: they let you set up boards and add different tasks on each board so you and your team can see them at a glance. One of our favorite features is their checklist that you can add to each card to make it easier to accomplish smaller tasks for bigger projects. Microsoft Planner wins in this regard as it lets you see the checklist directly from the board view, so you won’t need to click a card just to check the tasks.

In addition, you can assign a card to your team members and add a due date to each task. Their comments section lets you tag a particular member as well. Another organization feature that they both have is labeling. Similar to Post-It labels, these colored labels let you easily sort tasks and view them by their label as needed. Microsoft Planner’s Kanban board has a more seamless experience as it lets you see the specific team member/s assigned to each card right away, a functionality missing on Trello.

Microsoft Planner’s Kanban board (left) and colored labels (right)

Another key Microsoft Planner feature is its My Tasks view, which lets you and your team members see right away which of their individual tasks are still in progress, for review, and have been accomplished. With Trello, this is not possible.

Both project management tools have a calendar view so your team can quickly view the projects and tasks each month. This comes inbuilt on Microsoft Planner, but this functionality comes as a Power-Up on Trello. If you’re on a free Trello plan, you only get one Power-Up for each board you create.

File Attachments and Storage Size

Trello’s maximum file attachment size is larger than Microsoft Planner’s

Connect your Google Drive to Trello by using its Google Drive Power-Up

With file-sharing taking place day in and day out among team members, it’s essential to consider whether your project management tool can handle your attachment and storage size requirements. Microsoft Planner’s maximum file attachment capacity is only 150MB, a far cry from Trello’s 250MB. However, a way around this is through integrating Microsoft Planner to SharePoint, which then allows you to share files as large as 15GB.

Microsoft Planner comes with up to 1TB of storage through Microsoft OneDrive. Meanwhile, Trello’s maximum storage size is only 250GB. Having said that, you can simply connect Google Drive to your Trello board if you’re low on storage space. Google One offers different storage plans, including a storage size of up to 3TB a month.

Integrations and Platforms

Trello can be integrated with more popular third-party tools

A glimpse of Microsoft Planner’s automations (left) and Trello’s integrations through its Power-Up feature

As an app that comes with other Microsoft 365 tools, Microsoft Planner works seamlessly with other Office 365 tools. There’s absolutely no need to get another project management tool if you and your team already have a Microsoft 365 subscription that includes Planner.

While working within its ecosystem is a straightforward process, it’s another story if you want to integrate Microsoft Planner with other third-party solutions you have in place. Sure, you can use its API to connect them, but this is not as effortless as clicking a button on Trello’s Power-Ups.

Trello can easily be connected with analytics, CRM, and marketing tools if what you’re using is available on its Power-Ups repository. Twitter, MailChimp, Zoho, Calendar, and EverNote are among the tools that are available on Power-Up. Interestingly enough, you can even integrate Trello and its cards within Microsoft Planner through Microsoft Teams.

Verdict

Microsoft Planner has more robust project collaboration tools, but Trello remains an excellent option if you’re not subscribed to a Microsoft 365 plan

Microsoft Planner

Best for bigger teams that require more robust tools

Trello

Best for solopreneurs and businesses that don’t use Microsoft 365

Trello

Choosing Microsoft Planner is a no-brainer if you already have a subscription to the Microsoft 365’s Enterprise plans. It’s packed with collaboration and task management features that let you design a more streamlined process for you and your team. Its different viewing options also come in handy for monitoring the progress of different projects, tasks, and team members.

While Trello may not be as robust as Microsoft Planner, it’s by no means significantly inferior. Smaller teams will still find Trello an excellent project management tool that can help you and your team become more organized. Its Power-Ups and compatibility with other tools such as Google Drive and MailChimp are also reasons why companies choose Trello.

FAQs

๐Ÿ“Œ Is Microsoft Planner similar to Trello?

In the sense that they are both project management tools that use Kanban boards, yes they are similar. However, Microsoft Planner offers more robust tools and its interface is better than Trello’s overall.

๐Ÿ“Œ Did Microsoft buy Trello?

No, Trello was acquired by Australian company Atlassian Corporation back in 2017. However, Microsoft did partner with Trello and other companies to design Microsoft Teams.

๐Ÿ“Œ How much does Trello cost?

Trello has a forever free plan which offers its standard features. Its paid plan, which includes unlimited Power-Ups, starts at $9.99USD for every user.

๐Ÿ“Œ How much does Microsoft Planner cost?

It depends on the plan you choose, but Microsoft Planner is available on the Microsoft E1, E3, E5, and F3 plans. The Microsoft F3 plan is the most affordable option and costs $10USD per user at the time of writing.

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Rhodaline Escala-Phelps

Managing Editor and Team Leader at Compare Before Buying. Writer and researcher passionate about people, product comparisons, culture, and current events.