Are you facing challenges in managing and visualizing various tasks within your project to stay updated? If you have a large team working from multiple locations, it is pretty challenging to track the progress of each team member.
In such circumstances, you require a platform that checks the latest updates on the project and how efficiently team members achieve their goals. One of the widely used platforms for managing and visualizing projects is a Kanban board.
Kanban is a workflow management approach that helps you define, manage, and improve services that offer professional work. It assists you in visualizing your work, maximizing productivity, and improving consistently.
In this article, we will introduce you to some handpicked top ten Kanban board tools. But before we dive deep, we shall discuss what exactly a Kanban Board is, its core principles, benefits, features, and components.
So, without any further discussion, let us get started.
What is a Kanban Board?
The term ‘Kanban’ is a Japanese word that means the “visual board” or a “sign” that has been in the market since the 1950s. It was developed and first employed by Toyota Production System (TPS). They used it as a scheduling system for their ‘just-in-time’ manufacturing, introduced in the late 1940s.
Kanban is incredibly beneficial for several teams, as it helps them balance and achieve their goals along with their team members. Every work is organized in columns on the Kanban board, where each column represents a particular activity. It also contains cards where you can create your tasks. All columns collectively form a workflow of your project. Also, you can move these cards through various columns on the board.
Simple Kanban boards have three columns, namely ‘waiting,’ ‘in progress,’ and ‘completed’ or ‘to-do,’ ‘doing,’ and ‘done.’ On the other hand, complex boards offer the flexibility to subdivide the in-progress column into multiple columns, helping the teams visualize the complete workflow.
Benefits of Kanban
Below are some significant benefits of using the Kanban method:
Using Kanban will help you to get a detailed insight into your team’s work and progress.
The Kanban Method will help in increasing clarity, especially for the members working remotely. Also, the managers will quickly get the visibility of the working of everyone’s work.
Being flexible and based on continuous improvement, Kanban will allow the teams to be dynamic over time.
It will also help in improving the delivery success rate of the projects and enhance team collaboration.
It ensures continuous improvement while reducing bottlenecks.
Main components of the Kanban Board
The Kanban board has various components, such as card, column, swimlanes, and WIP Limits, that help the teams visualize the workflow easily. Below are the different components of the Kanban board explained:
Kanban Cards: These cards help in the visual representation of tasks to be done. Each card represents useful information about a job and its status, such as deadline, assignee, description, etc.
Kanban Columns: They represent the different stages of your workflow, and the cards will move through the workflow until they reach their completed stage.
Work-in-Progress Limits: This component will restrict the number of tasks done in the different stages of your workflow. Setting the WIP will allow you to focus only on current tasks strictly.
Kanban Swimlanes: These horizontal lanes help you separate different activities and teams for more clarity.
Features of Kanban Board
Below are the essential features that every Kanban board will have.
Customized workflow: The Kanban board will help customize the workflow by dividing various tasks across different columns. By just viewing the board, you will get a better and clear view of your current work. You can even customize the columns as per your project requirement.
Subtasks: It enables users to create subtasks for the tasks that will easily track and check them off directly on the Kanban board.
Filter: You can apply filters to get specific details about the project.
Recurring tasks: If you are working on a regular task daily, it will notify you about the task and create a new copy of it as it is being completed.
File attachments: You can add files, documents, and spreadsheets from the local system or any drive.
Search: It lets you find the specific task irrespective of the number of tasks present on the board. The search bar will let you enter the task name, description, subtasks, label, and other details.
Go mobile: You can access the Kanban board from mobile, as there is a mobile web app for it.
We have mentioned some handpicked popular and commonly used Kanban tools that will ease your team’s management process and achieve daily goals efficiently and effortlessly. You can opt for any of the below-mentioned kanban tools for your project management that will meet your specific requirements.
monday.com is one of the most popular Kanban tools for managing your teams effectively and efficiently. Being a flexible platform, it helps managers keep track of the activities and progress of team members. It provides the visibility of the complete workflows and ensures that they move in the right direction to achieve the goals.
You can import all your data into these digital workflows using monday.com kanban view. This tool lets you set essential timelines, task progress, and project dependencies to complete the tasks on time.
You can set it up in no time as it comes with ready-to-use templates that will make your work easy. Also, you can create customized templates as per your project requirements.
It allows you to manage the team communication and workflows in one place to push the product forward faster.
You can automate the repetitive tasks and focus majorly on the crucial ones.
It allows you to automatically import all the data from various tools so that the entire team can work in one place.
This tool represents complex data in a simple visual form, helping in the decision-making process.
It allows collaboration across teams that will sync the changes in real time.
Plans start at $8 per month per user. You can go for its customizable enterprise plan by connecting to customer support.
Smartsheet is a cloud-based work management platform that offers a robust Kanban view. With its help, project managers can seamlessly visualize and collaborate on organizational workflows.
Now, create shareable, cloud-based Kanban boards in a jiffy using this software. It has an intuitive Kanban view offers better flexibility, security, and automation than traditional Kanban tools.
Project managers from any department and industry can use this real-time Kanban boards for work management, workflow automation, and better processes. They can also involve the team members using Kanban boards for better product roadmap creation, project planning, workflow management, work requests, and goal tracking.
When managing your work according to your preferences, Smartsheet offers other flexible views for data display, such as grid, Gantt, and calendar views. The software also provides reports and dashboards that you can fully customize to accumulate key information across projects.
It not only lets you track the tasks but also allows you to automate workflows and notifications, which are essential for engagement and better collaboration. The solution is HIPAA, GDPR, and SOC2 compliant and contains enterprise admin features for provisioning, scaling, and managing.
Wondering how Samrtsheet works as a Kanban tool? Opt for its 30-day free trial and see for yourself. If you like it, you can choose any subscription plan, starting at $7/user/month.
nTask helps to streamline project planning, task dependencies, resource management, and product deliverables. After its development, various changes have been made to incorporate the modern-day requirements for specific projects. The recent nTask tool is based on the current Agile methodologies.
With nTask, you will get various feature sets dedicated to different working environments, making it easier for project managers to manage their teams and workflows efficiently. It has an exclusive kanban board system that enhances performance even for deadline-oriented tasks.
The robust task management features of nTask enable you to create and assign tasks to different team members.
It allows various teams to synergize their communications on multiple tasks within the workspace.
You can customize the status for your projects, reflecting the changing stages of the tasks by adding details such as set status color, adding status columns, personalizing workflows, and others.
You can avail of its pre-built templates for streamlining the tasks without any issue. Also, you can make necessary changes to these templates.
You can upload documents of various types and prioritize the tasks based on criticality.
You can get the basic plan for free, offering features such as unlimited tasks, timesheets, issue tracking, followed by premium and enterprise plans with additional features.
ClickUp is a robust Kanban board tool that meets the project management requirements of small through enterprise-level organizations. It offers more than 15 different views, enabling us to tackle the work from any angle.
This tool has separated the board view from the status columns to get a clear picture of where you are within the workflow concerning each task. You can also minimize the clicks by grouping and sorting the board view for getting details such as assignees, due dates, and others.
You can quickly identify the columns requiring your instant attention if you enable the WIP(work in progress) limit. This tool has made it easier to create a new task, change filtering options, adjust due dates, and set priorities, and all in one place.
It allows you to group columns by status, assignee, and other details you want.
You can check the status of your project progress and how far your team is from achieving its goals.
It supports the drag and drop of tasks into any status and enables us to change their priority as per their progress.
You can use its multitask toolbar for bulk updating the tasks and saving your time.
Its efficient sorting and filtering options help you to stay on track and updated.
You can quickly check for the capacity with the WIP limits in place and spot potential bottlenecks, if any.
With ClickUp “free forever” plan, you will get unlimited tasks, five spaces, unlimited custom views, 100MB of file storage. Paid plans start at $5 per user.
Asana is yet another extensively used Kanban board tool. It is a robust and easy-to-use tool for any workflow and any team. It is a Software-as-a-Service (SaaS) that enables you to manage multiple projects and multiple tasks in one place. You can customize the workflows on the Kanban board as per the project requirements. Also, it provides real-time updates of the progress and changes being made across the team.
With this tool, you can easily organize work from a small task to a big task for specifying what the team needs to do and how to do it.
The Work, Project, and Task Management feature enables you to streamline projects and their corresponding tasks since you can define due dates, rules, dependencies, add attachments, etc., making it easier to understand each task.
You can organize and assign tasks so that the team will instantly know what they have to do next, what work is on priority, and other details.
It allows you to manage the dependent, overlapping, and unscheduled tasks and create a suitable plan as per your team availability.
You can automate the repetitive tasks so that you can focus on the critical tasks.
It comes with more than 200 integrations allowing your team to bring everything required for communication, coordinating work, and others.
It has a free plan with limited features. Premium plans start at $10.00 per user per month.
Trello is one of the most commonly used tools based on the kanban framework, among all Kanban board tools. It helps the entire team simplify the task management process by adopting the basic kanban board’s typical to-do list format. The team will share the board with the team members and different users for accessible communication with this tool.
Every different project will have a different board, and each task of a project will have a separate card. It offers you a single place for organizing tasks, managing projects, and building team spirit. There are more than 1,000,000 teams that are using Trello for their team management.
It allows you to customize and expand your work as the teamwork grows.
It comes with intuitive features that will enable the team to set up and customize workflows quickly.
There are lists and cards that serve as building blocks for organizing the work, and you can even add a power-up for fine-tuning the specific task.
Some other features of Trello are easy drag-and-drop editing, easy upload from local devices, Dropbox, and Google Drive, mobile-friendly views, information backup, etc.
The free plans are available for teams or individuals that are looking to organize everything. Paid plans start at $5 per user per month.
Design better agile sessions and bring teams together with Miro’s Kanban templates collection. Strategize to reach your organization’s goals with an Action Plan template or keep your team’s progress in check using a Roadmap. Save time and effort when planning your agile rituals.
Miro is a collaborative online whiteboard with over 1,000 templates including mind maps, Kanban boards, Gantt charts, product wireframes, research boards, and flowcharts. The customizability is limitless and so the user is able to create a lot of things using Miro’s intuitive templates. Miro is trusted by 45+ million users worldwide and has a free plan that lasts forever. Monthly subscriptions start from $8 per month.
Projectmanager is another popular project management tool that manages work using drag-and-drop kanban cards. You can use this online kanban tool even for personal work or creating shared boards for your entire team.
With this kanban tool, you get complete transparency into the production cycle. You can track the projects just by looking at real-time online dashboards. It uses charts to display data, and project managers and team members understand and leverage this data.
You can get a clear picture of your project’s different stages for maximum efficiency. It has a traditional kanban view listing the “to-do” things and done. You can even create task cards that will represent your work.
It is capable of catching bottlenecks before they create critical situations.
You can get detailed insights into your project’s work as it moves through the production, allowing you to have complete control over the project workflow.
It allows you to add various documents and images to multiple tasks and collaborate with the team members using comments.
It enables you to tag the team members that will notify them about any new task.
The starter plan is free for the individuals and the teams who want to plan, track, and organize tasks. Paid plans start at $14 per user per month.
Breeze provides the easiest way to stay on track with all your projects. You can organize, plan, and track the progress of your project work across various teams. It lets you set priority for your tasks and focus on the critical tasks first to improve productivity.
More than 6000 companies across the globe, such as Disney, RedHat, Mozilla, and others, use and trust this tool. This tool does not have a free plan.
With this tool, you can split your task into subtasks and ensure that each subtask is completed successfully. The tracking of these subtasks is even easier.
You can see all your tasks on the master board, making it easier to prioritize the tasks.
It allows you to create a group of your tasks per project and due dates to get a clear view.
You will get a detailed timeline for all your projects, along with the highlighted deadlines.
You can generate a report highlighting the critical metrics that you want to know.
It allows you to automate tasks in your workflow with the help of focus native integrations and Zapier.
The freelancer plan is available at $49 per month, which is suitable for consultants, and a maximum of 5 users can use it. A 14-day trial plan lets you evaluate if this product is ideal for you.
Kanbanize is capable of increasing the productivity of the team by 300 percent, which is unbelievable. Kanbanize is a powerful tool for managing projects & portfolios. This platform offers you a wide range of features that will help plan, organize, and track your project’s work and progress.
You can leverage its powerful analytics module, and it allows you to automate various processes with the help of its business rules engine. This software is highly flexible, providing support for almost any use-case, and integrating most valuable digital tools such as Power BI, Microsoft Teams, etc.
It provides you with a single platform for planning, breaking down, and executing the team projects.
It helps in developing transparency among team members by visualizing and planning team projects. Also, it allows you to split down more significant tasks into smaller tasks for easy management.
You can save your time by getting the status from the status reporting directly.
It enhances collaboration among team members and the stakeholders by providing visibility to work done.
This tool comes with the most extensive set of flow analytics that is powered by ActionableAgile.
It has an annual plan that is available for 15 users starting at $99 per month.
KanbanFlow is yet an extensively used tool for project management, and it is specifically designed for tracking the time taken to complete a specific task. Also, this tool allows you to create lists and cards and customize them by dividing them into various sections to manage tasks and workflows efficiently.
KanbanFlow allows you to customize your workflow by customizing the columns as per your preference.
It has made the management of big and distributed teams easier by allowing them to collaborate on a single platform, sharing their tasks’ daily progress.
It allows you to put WIP limits on the columns to avoid bottlenecks. This will help the team members to complete the current tasks rather than focus on creating new jobs.
You can split up more significant tasks into subtasks for easy tracking of the progress of the projects.
It provides you with swimlanes to better understand the tasks by splitting your board into different teams, products, and business areas.
KanbanFlow automates repetitive tasks, ensuring that the team members will focus on the most significant tasks.
It allows you to filter the data or the tasks based on various criteria for better data visualization.
It supports uploading files, documents, and other docs.
Finally, it lets you search the tasks based on their names, descriptions, labels, and other criteria.
The free plan is available with no user and time limit. The premium plan is available at $5 per user per month, offering a 14 days trial.
The Kanban board has made managing projects and teams more accessible, even in a large organization where management seems challenging. Kanban tools offer flexibility, enhance productivity and efficiency, allow every team member to focus on tasks, and focus on continuous delivery.
This article highlights some handpicked and extensively used Kanban board tools to ensure effective team management. The top hierarchy has found these tools helpful in managing tasks and workflows efficiently to handle a big team and track their progress. We recommend you pick the best tool depending upon your size of team and project workflow.
Sameeksha is a freelance content writer for more than half and a year. She has a hunger to explore and learn new things. She possesses a bachelor’s degree in Computer Science.