Top 15 Kanban Tools for Productive Teams

Best kanban tools

Project managers need an amazing channel to keep track of all the tasks and monitor the progress of every team. Now, imagine that you receive a report addressing the issues in your team related to productivity and meeting deadlines along with the solution to these problems!

The Kanban tool is exactly what you just imagined. An all-in-one solution for project managers to march towards the success of their projects and teams.

With sticky notes and whiteboards getting outdated, some of the best Kanban tools have taken over team planning and management for faster and efficient overall project completion.

However, you will probably find a ton of Kanban tools online out there, which makes it difficult for you to choose the best solution. We have taken care of it by scouring the web and narrowing the list down to 15 tools, from which you can decide the best Kanban app for your project.

But before we jump to the list, let us first understand what Kanban is and how it is beneficial for your company and team.

What is Kanban?

With sticky notes and whiteboards getting outdated, 

Kanban is something that allows you to easily manage your work, especially as it goes through a process. It visualizes both the process, your workflow, and actual work passing through the defined process. The ultimate goal of the Kanban process is to identify the bottlenecks in your project and fix them to save cost and time.

kanban-project-management-with-boards-view

Fact Time: Often spelled as “Kamban,” the Japanese word Kanban translates to “Billboard,” which simply means ‘available capacity to work’. It is a concept related to Just-in-Time production (JIT), which tells you what to do, when to do, and how much to do.

The Kanban process was initially developed for Toyota automotive in Japan. It emerged with the physical cards moving down the Toyota production line. When the car moved during production, the corresponding card would move from one worker to another. This marked the beginning of each new task and helped managers to check productivity and optimize the process by re-assigning workers to meet the work requirements efficiently.

“The two pillars of the Toyota production system are just-in-time and automation with a human touch, or autonomation.” – David J. Anderson.

In a similar way, Kanban tools help the project managers and teams to fix bottlenecks by assigning high-priority tasks at the right time by utilizing the available resources. It is very helpful for team members as well to track tasks, and proceed towards project completion.

Core Kanban Method Practices

Many companies try Kanban board apps to see if there is an increase in productivity and quality, and a decrease in waste. For a successful implementation, there are six core Kanban method practices that need to be present.

1. Visualize the Workflow

To efficiently work with the Kanban process, you first need to visualize it. With an up-to-date Kanban board, you need to understand how to convert a request to a deliverable product. Then only will you be able to make the necessary changes in your workflow?

2. Limit Work in Progress

One of the most important functions of Kanban is to make sure that only a doable number of active tasks are in progress at a given time. Setting a limit on work-in-progress tasks ensures that all the team members work on finishing the current stage by quickly illuminating the problem areas and resolving them.

3. Manage Flow

When we say manage flow, it is not about managing the team members but about managing the tasks. The distribution and movement of work throughout the production process should be smooth and healthy. So, it is essential to monitor and track the performance metrics to find the average completion rate and then enhance your workflow.

4. Make Process Policies Explicit

Team managers can’t improve or manage something they don’t understand. That’s why it is important to first define the process clearly and should be shared with the team. Once everyone is familiar with the goals, they would be able to work and make decisions effectively.

5. Implement Feedback Loops

For teams looking to be more agile, a feedback loop is a crucial part in the longer run. This ensures that everyone related to the project is well aware and informed about what is going on in the team, and it enables knowledge sharing. Managers should conduct these feedback loops regularly to review the progress and tasks.

6. Improve Collaboratively

As soon as the teams are up and running on the Kanban tool, it is time to turn this into a collaboration tool for maximum throughput. Everyone should contribute to identifying various issues that need fixing and work together towards improvement.

Benefits of Using the Kanban System

Now that we know what Kanban is, let us check out how it benefits your company and projects. The benefits are different for project managers, team members, and the organization. Below are the top benefits of using the Kanban system.

1. Flexibility and Responsiveness

As the system is based on a just-in-time approach, this makes it flexible for Kanban to adapt to market changes. It is a responsive model in which extra work is added only after the currently assigned work is finished. So, project managers can deliver the products according to changing demands without disrupting the flow.

2. Visibility and Transparency

The visual representation of all the information is one of the most beneficial parts of Kanban. Goals, tasks, deadlines, progress, and risks, everything is in front of all the team members, which opens the door for seamless communication and collaboration to increase productivity.

3. Increased Output

Kanban limits the work in progress, which encourages the team as a whole to complete the work together. This avoids multitasking, leading to enhanced collaboration to get more work done faster. The output will increase, and team communication will be better.

4. Versatility

The tool is applicable universally and can be implemented in different teams in your company, from marketing to tech to HR and admin. The versatility makes it easier for team members to move across the functions in any project. For example, it gets simple to move a content marketing project from writing to design and graphics, or a website development project from construction to testing.

5. Constant Improvement and Delivery

Inputs from team members for improvements are necessary for maintaining quality, and this results in constant timely delivery. Kanban helps in increasing productivity and team focus, leading to improved deliverables. So, teams can find ways to improve their work and deliver beyond expectations.

Let’s now move on to the list of the top 15 Kanban software tools.

15 Best Kanban Tools List

1. ProProfs Project (Best for Overall Project Management)

Project kanban board

ProProfs Project is an easy-to-use online project management tool that helps project managers organize multiple projects on a single platform. The tool comes with the best Kanban board that gives a bird’s-eye view of all your project tasks. According to the unique workflow that managers follow, they can utilize multiple options based on different work environments.

The software aims to offer a delightful experience to users. From project planning to time tracking, prioritization of tasks to insightful reports and analytics, ProProfs Project is simply the perfect companion for all companies.

Kanban Features

  • Increased task visibility for better efficiency.
  • Support for multiple teams and workflow methodologies.
  • Responsive drag and drop features for ease of use.
  • Sync across all users to keep everyone on the same page.
  • Move and adjust the columns freely in the workflow.
  • Data filtering via multiple overlays.
  • Upload attachments of multiple extensions.

Pricing

  • Free – no charge freemium plan
  • Essentials – $3/user/month
  • Premium – $6/user/month

2. Trello (Best for Team Collaboration and Integration Options)

trello

Trello is an amazing collaboration tool and is a popular pick for users looking to implement the Kanban process. With an easy to use interface, everything in Trello starts with Kanban cards and lists. The to-do list format simplifies the task management for project managers. As the changes made by the team members get updated in real time, it eases the communication between the team.

Kanban Features

  • Create checklists with a progress meter.
  • Real-time synchronization from all users.
  • Email notifications.
  • Seamless organization with the help of tags, labels, and categories.
  • Reminders for deadlines.
  • Data filtering for refined results/reports.
  • Option to upload attachments.

Pricing

  • Free – $0/user
  • Business – $12.50/user/month
  • Enterprise – Starting from $17.50/user/month (more the users, less the price)

3. Monday (Best for Customization Features)

monday.com

Monday is more than a typical project management software, which is popular for a simple interface that clarifies the sequence of work. A great project planning tool with Kanban boards, tracking options, workflow automation options, and collaboration options, it is a smart choice for teams looking to execute projects in a collaborative visual environment.

Kanban Features

  • Easy task and resource management.
  • Options to upload attachments, add comments, and mention teammates.
  • Customizable task boards to adjust your methodology.
  • Gantt charts are available.
  • Timesheet tracking to assign the tasks and view progress.
  • Workflow automation options to automate certain processes.

Pricing

  • Basic – $10/user/month
  • Standard – $12/user/month
  • Pro – $20/user/month
  • Enterprise – Custom quotes on request.

4. Bitrix24 (Best for Project Planning)

Bitrix24 Kanban View

Bitrix24 is a project planning and management tool that is a combination of a CRM, conferencing tools, and task management. The interface offers a collaborative space for members to discuss tasks, share ideas, and view workflow for efficient project management. With virtual Kanban boards, Gantt charts, and a project calendar, users can customize the project workflow to visualize the progress.

Kanban Features

  • Project planning and road-mapping.
  • Time tracking and task management.
  • Multi-board views for different project tasks.
  • Milestone and dependency management.
  • Document management and collaboration.
  • Integration with social networks.

Pricing

  • Free – $0
  • Start+ – $24/month
  • CRM+ – $69/month
  • Project+ – $69/month
  • Standard – $99/month
  • Professional – $199/month

5. MeisterTask (Best for Automation Capabilities)

MeisterTask Kanban View

MeisterTask is an intuitive Kanban tool with a beautiful interface for the simple organization of tasks. Its Kanban board fits any workflow and can be customized as per the process and requirements. Teams can work together and easily communicate on a single platform. The best thing about MeisterTask is that while visualizing processes, it also automates them in different ways like creating recurring tasks, assigning tasks, notifying stakeholders, etc.

Kanban Features

  • Task management and time tracking tool.
  • Tools for efficient collaboration.
  • Supports Scrum, which is useful for agile teams.
  • Integrated with popular tools like GitHub, Slack, Harvest, etc.
  • Add predefined checklists using automation.
  • Insights based on various statistics and reports.

Pricing

  • Basic – $0
  • Pro – $4.19/user/month
  • Business – $10.39/user/month
  • Enterprise – Custom quotes on request.

6. Taskworld (Best for Sharing Ideas Collaboratively)

Taskworld Kanban View

Taskworld is an efficient Kanban tool designed for real-world scenarios. A simple to manage Kanban board that converts your cards to a line of text, so that project managers and team members can visualize many tasks at once. Deadlines, time tracked, pending tasks, and other information that users add will be visible in the card’s checklist. However, there need to be some improvements in the iOS versions of this tool.

Kanban Features

  • Track tasks, time, share ideas and measure performance.
  • Supports Scrum for agile project management.
  • Milestone and dependency tracking.
  • Tags and labels to organize the boards.
  • Customizable reminders and due dates.
  • Drag and drop upload feature for attachments.

Pricing

  • Professional – $13/user/month
  • Business – $30/user/month
  • Enterprise – Custom quotes on request.

7. Kanbanize (Best for Agile Project Management)

Kanbanize

Kanbanize is the best Kanban software for agile project management that helps visualize tasks, track project progress, and optimize workflows to increase productivity. The main aim of Kanbanize is to bring simplicity and efficiency to the way you work. Tasks and the progress of the project are displayed in real-time to remove the traditional process of sending updates and project reports.

Kanban Features

  • Divide the workflow into multiple Kanban boards for easy visualization of all tasks.
  • Create different workflows for cross-functional teams.
  • Track cross-team dependencies using card links.
  • Easy planning with an agile approach using timeline view.
  • Integrate other systems and apps to bring more agility.
  • Customizable features to fit your requirements.

Pricing

Annual Plan – $149/15 users/month

8. Productboard (Best for Product Management)

Productboard

Productboard is a Kanban product management tool designed to get the right products to market faster. It is helpful for product managers in understanding what users need and what needs to be prioritized to effectively build a product. Productboard aligns the whole team in the development cycle according to your roadmap.

Kanban Features

  • Sync roadmaps with development teams.
  • Connect customer feedback to features.
  • Dependency tracking options.
  • Project planning and KPI monitoring.
  • Connect strategic objectives to feature prioritization.
  • Communicate product updates to customers easily.

Pricing

  • Essentials – $25/user/month
  • Pro – $60/user/month
  • Scale – $120/user/month
  • Enterprise – Custom quotes on request.

9. Kanban One (Best for Recording Activities and Team Collaboration)

Kanban One

Kanban One works on the basic principles of the Kanban process by offering an interface to visualize all project-related activities on a virtual board, on any device, at any time. It records the activities, helps you in organizing them graphically, and tracks them to calculate analytics and optimize your workflow. 

Kanban Features

  • Task management and time tracking abilities.
  • Collaboration tools to share ideas and communicate with teams.
  • Cards can be classified according to the service classification.
  • Record activities related to work and personal life as well.
  • In-depth analytics and reports generation for enhanced approach.
  • Key performance indicators monitoring.

Pricing

  • Free – $0
  • Pay As You Go – $2.50/user/month

10. Kanban Tool (Best for Reporting Features)

Kanban Tool

Kanban Tool is an online Kanban board that aims to increase team performance with a visual project management tool. It offers a perfect overview of your current work status and provides seamless team collaboration and communication. Stakeholders can share tasks, information, comments in real-time from anywhere, anytime.

Kanban Features

  • Visual management to analyze and improve processes.
  • Real-time easy collaboration.
  • Kanban analytics and metrics to identify and eliminate bottlenecks.
  • Cumulative flow diagram to improve project performance.
  • Effective, fast, and widely customizable.

Pricing

  • Free – $0
  • Team – $5/user/month
  • Enterprise – $9/user/month

11.  Asana (Best for Workflow Management)

Asana Kanban

Asana is a great tool for workflow management, offering a flexible, fast, and modern design for all companies. The Kanban board features provide the teams an amazing way to visualize and manage projects. The required work, on-going work, and deadlines are all organized/classified, making it easier for all users to manage work.

Kanban Features

  • Move projects through various stages of the lifecycle with in-depth visuals.
  • Streamline work requests.
  • Automation features to simplify workflows.
  • New timeline view to easily track task dependencies.
  • Various integrations available with your favorite apps.
  • Workload management to equally distribute tasks.

Pricing

  • Basic – $0
  • Premium – $13.49/user/month
  • Business – $24.99/user/month
  • Enterprise – Custom quotes on request.

12. LeanKit (Best for Lean Project Management)

LeanKit Kanban Boards

LeanKit is explicitly designed for lean project management. It lets you optimize the business flow by applying lean management principles to work, resulting in smarter and faster delivery. The process and work visualization, online Kanban boards, WIP limits, and team collaboration across the whole organization makes it possible for project managers to plan and execute work.

Kanban Features

  • Consolidated view of work priority and project status in parallel tabs.
  • Visually communicate and address issues in specific tasks to identify the risks.
  • Powerful analytics and reporting to help you and your team improve continuously.
  • Integrate critical enterprise applications to accelerate delivery.
  • Out-of-the-box Kanban board templates with customizations.
  • Targeted notifications to receive important updates over email.

Pricing

  • Single Plan – $20/user/month

13. KanbanFlow (Best for Simple Interface and Customizable Boards)

KanbanFlow

KanbanFlow is another lean project management software, equipped with a set of unique tools to boost your personal or team productivity. The Kanban board in this software is different from others and provides an excellent overview of your current work situation. It keeps a complete track of the time each task takes, offering you the opportunity to identify bottlenecks and fix these.

Kanban Features

  • Customize card colors and divide boards into sections.
  • Smart time tracking and time spent reports.
  • Options to create recurring tasks.
  • Horizontal swim lanes for a better overview of tasks.
  • Real-time collaboration anytime, anywhere.
  • Drag and drop file attachments ability.
  • Different ways to integrate other systems.

Pricing

  • Free – $0
  • Premium – $5/user/month

14. Zoho Projects (Best for Switching Views)

Zoho Projects Kanban View

Zoho Projects is an efficient Kanban project management and collaboration tool, offering flexibility and customizations to suit the needs of all project managers, including agile teams. Being a part of Zoho’s environment lets you connect your projects to their other services as well, like Zoho CRM, Zoho Books, and Zoho’s finance suite.

Kanban Features

  • Kanban cards can be sorted based on priority, status, completion percentage, etc.
  • Customizable dashboard as per user’s preferences.
  • Nest items on the Kanban board beneath each other.
  • Zoho’s Analytics integration to generate 50+ reports and charts. 
  • Gantt charts to provide you an overview of the complete project.
  • Convert projects into templates to reuse all previously developed timelines later.

Pricing

  • Free – $0
  • Premium – $5/user/month
  • Enterprise – $10/user/month

15. Jira (Best for Software Development)

Jira Kanban Boards

Jira is a well known agile project management tool that uses the basic Kanban board setup. It is majorly used for managing bug tracking and issue tracking by coders and software developers. Although various project management features have been added to Jira to simplify the usage, it still remains complicated for many project managers and normal users.

Kanban Features

  • Customizable workflows that fit your project.
  • Out-of-the-box workflow templates to automate the tasks.
  • Users can create multiple Kanban boards to track tasks.
  • Email notifications to stay updated.
  • Backlog tools to re-apply old fixes to new bugs.
  • Huge support for integrations with 3000+ apps.

Pricing

  • Free – $0
  • Standard – $7/user/month
  • Premium – $14/user/month
  • Enterprise – Custom quotes on request.

Quick Comparision of Best Kanban Software

Pricing (Starting/month/user) Storage (per user) Time Tracking Team Collaboration Dependency Tracking Project Reporting 24/7 Support iOS/Android Apps
ProProfs Project $0 Unlimited Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes
Trello $0 Limited Yes (With integration) Yes Yes (With integration) Yes (With integration) No Yes
Monday $10 Unlimited Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes
Bitrix24 $0 5 GB Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes
MeisterTask $0 Limited Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes
Taskworld $13 100 GB Yes Yes Yes Yes No Yes
Kanbanize $179 (15 users) Unlimited Yes Yes Yes Yes No Yes
Productboard $25 Unlimited Yes (With integration) Yes No Yes Yes No
Kanban One $0 Unlimited No Yes No Yes No No
Kanban Tool $0 Limited Yes Yes Yes Yes No Yes
Asana $0 Unlimited Yes (With integration) Yes Yes Yes No Yes
LeanKit $20 Unlimited Yes (With integration) Yes Yes Yes No Yes
KanbanFlow $0 Unlimited Yes Yes Yes Yes No No
Zoho Projects $0 Limited Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes
Jira $0 2 GB (Free plan) Yes Yes Yes (With integration) Yes No Yes

All the above-mentioned Kanban apps are worthy and have outstanding features to manage projects using the Kanban process. But, here comes the final question yet again: Which one is the best Kanban tool for you?

To be honest, according to your business and project needs, your choice might differ. But, as mentioned earlier, ProProfs Project is the best overall Kanban project management tool as it fits the requirements of all individuals and businesses looking to manage their team and projects with efficiency at affordable prices. Apply the Kanban methodology right away, and it will surely be an ultimate productivity booster!

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About the author

David is a Project Management expert. He has been published in Jeffbullas.com, Hr.com, and eLearningIndustry. As a project planning and execution expert at ProProfs, he has offered a unique outlook on improving workflows and team efficiency.Connect with David for more engaging conversations on Twiiter, LinkedIn, and Facebook.

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