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Jira vs. Trello: which is best for your needs?

DJ Waldow 5 min read
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Jira is short for “Gorjira,” the Japanese word for Godzilla. Godzilla is the nickname developers at Atlassian created for Bugzilla, its original internal bug-tracking tool.

Trello is derived from the word trellis, a structure typically used to support trees and plants… and the code name for a project started by software company Fog Creek in the early 2010s.
Today, when you hear the words “Jira” and “Trello” in the business context, people are most likely referring to two of the project management tools under the Atlassian family of products.


What is Jira?

Jira is mostly used for issue tracking and project management. According to Atlassian, “Jira Software is built for every member of your software team to plan, track, and release great software.”

What is Trello?

Trello, on the other hand, is a Kanban-style (“kanban boards”), project management tool. According to Atlassian, “Trello’s boards, lists, and cards enable teams to organize and prioritize projects in a fun, flexible, and rewarding way.”

How are Jira and Trello different? 

Jira and Trello are both owned by Atlassian and they are both project management tools. That’s pretty much where the similarities end.

Both Jira and Trello offer cloud-based hosting options. For those looking for an on-premise option, Jira offers both a server and data-center solution.

As of October 2020 …


  • Both Jira and Trello have free versions as well as paid options. Generally, the more you pay the more users and features you are granted.
  • Jira’s pricing is “always free” for up to 10 users and increases to $7/user/month for Standard, $14/user/month for Premium, and “talk to a sales rep” pricing for Enterprise
  • Trello’s pricing has a free plan and increases to $9.99/user/month for Business Class and $17.50/user/month for Enterprise

Integrations: combining (or connecting) software “parts” into one system to form an “integrated system”

  • Trello’s list of 3rd party integrations (or “power-ups”) is close to 200. They also have “power-ups,” which are column additions to their boards.
  • Jira boasts “thousands of apps and integrations” in the Atlassian Marketplace, including a Trello integration.
  • Note: also has both a Jira integration and a Trello integration making it the “go-to” place for all things work!

What audiences do Trello and Jira serve?

Technically, both Jira and Trello can be used by any sized organization and any sized team. However, Jira typically trends towards larger teams and companies while Trello is used by smaller teams and companies.

Jira was originally designed for software teams and is mostly used by software engineers and developers. Trello, on the other hand, positions its product to a more broad, general user base — not just software teams.

Additionally, onboarding and adoption time is often shorter with Trello compared to Jira.

Are there alternatives to Jira and Trello? 

There are several alternatives to Jira and Trello, and we (surprise surprise) use!

Our solution empowers teams to “do more than day-to-day task management.” With, users can collaborate on multiple projects while keeping every team member focused on their individual and overall team goals.

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What are customer review sites saying? 

There are many reputable software review sites available. For this section, we will look at two of the more well-known: G2 and TrustRadius.

G2 (formerly G2 Crowd)

According to its about page, G2 “is the world’s largest tech marketplace where businesses can discover, review, and manage the technology they need to reach their potential.” The site boasts over 1 million reviews.

What reviewers are saying (note: to remain equitable, we sorted by “most helpful” reviews and choose the titles for the first two listed):

Jira: “Incredible Issue Management” and “The most cost-effective and flexible issue management system out there today.”

Trello: “Finest web-based collaboration and coordination tool” and “Finally a tool for collaborating with remote folks” “Perfect to cooperate and organize.” and “The perfect way to work easy and effective.”

Jira falls into the product management software category while Trello slides into the project management software category.

In the “Highest Rated” category …

  • Jira received a 95 out of 100 in G2’s Satisfaction Score for Product Management Software
  • Trello received a 100 out of 100 in G2’s Satisfaction Score for Product Management Software.
  • For comparison purposes, scored 98 out of 100 in G2’s Satisfaction Score for Project Management Software and 95 in Product Management Software.

In the “Easiest to Use” category which averages three usability categories — Ease of Admin, Ease of Use, and Meets Requirements …

  • Jira ranks 8.4 out of 10.0 for Product Management Software
  • Trello ranks 8.9 out of 10.0 for Project Management Software
  • For comparison purposes, ranks 9.1 out of 10.0 for Project Management Software and 9.2 out of 10.0 for Product Management Software

When it comes to customer reviews, out of a possible 5 stars …

  • Jira scores 4.2, based on nearly 4,000 reviews
  • Trello scores 4.3, based on over 10,000 reviews
  • For comparison purposes, earned 4.6 stars, based on over 1,000 reviews

An illustrated gavel

Jira vs. Trello: the “final verdict”

Both Jira and Trello are solid choices for project/product management solutions. Each one serves a slightly different audience (and company size), but you can’t go wrong with either option.

That being said, we’d be remiss to not toss into the consideration mix.

Related articles: Trello vs. Asana, Trello vs., Wrike vs. Trello, Trello vs. Notion, Trello vs. AirtableSmartsheet vs. Trello, Jira Work management

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The information provided in this article is accurate and up-to-date at the time of publication. Changes and updates in the business operations, policies, or any other relevant factors may occur after publication and we encourage readers to verify any information directly.
DJ is a freelance writer specializing in all things words. He's a father of 4 (including twins), husband to one, and an alum of the University of Michigan. DJ is a self-proclaimed giphy master and #HashtagAddict.
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