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Microsoft Planner vs. Trello: Which is Better?

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So, you’ve trimmed your list of potential project management tools to two options: Microsoft Planner and Trello. However, you are still not sure which to opt for.

You’ve done some research of your own, and you know that both are top project management tools. But you still just see no way one edges out the other, and this leaves a lingering question in your mind.

Microsoft Planner vs. Trello: which is better?

We know the inability to decide is exhausting, but we do not want that exhaustion for you. So, we compiled an article that compares Microsoft Planner and Trello side-by-side. We are sure that when done reading this piece, deciding which is better for your projects will be easier.

Computer monitor displaying digital planner on working station

Side-by-Side Comparison


Microsoft Planner integrates only with Microsoft 365. The good thing about this is that if you already use Microsoft 365, you won’t need separate login details.

Trello, on the other hand, has a public API, so it integrates with many tools. You can use Trello with Slack, Google Drive, MS Teams, Zendesk, Dropbox, Gmail, Google Calendar, and many more.

Our Verdict

Trello obviously offers more flexibility than Microsoft Planner when it comes to integration.

Project Management Features

Both Microsoft Planner and Trello have the usual project management features, including the following:

  • Due dates
  • Labels
  • Assignees
  • Descriptions
  • Comments
  • File management
  • Content cards
  • Task tracking
  • Checklists

However, while Microsoft Planner offers performance reports through the Planner Hub screen, Trello does not. Also, there is a size limit on the attachment you can upload in the Trello free version.

In the Trello free version, you do not get time tracking or a built-in calendar. You have to subscribe to their paid plans if you want these features. On the other hand, Microsoft Planner has a built-in calendar and time tracking.

Our Verdict

When it comes to project management features, Microsoft Planner edges Trello out narrowly. The Planner Hub is the main difference between the paid versions of both products.

Card Formatting

With Microsoft Planner, you can only have 1 checklist per task, and each one can have only 20 checkboxes. But with Trello, you can have multiple checklists per task, and the checkboxes do not have a limit of 20.

Comments in Microsoft Planner also have character limits, but there are no such character limits with Trello. This means that if you have to post a long comment on Microsoft Planner, you may have to divide it into multiple comments.

There is no automated way to move content between cards, tasks, plans, or buckets in Trello and Microsoft Planner. You have to copy and paste the content yourself.

Our Verdict

Trello offers better card formatting overall. Its comments and checklists do not have a limit like Microsoft Planner.

man updating online planner on her tablet


Both Microsoft Planner and Trello use a Kanban board interface. So, they are both similarly easy to work with. You can assign tasks to team members readily and monitor progress immediately. You also get to see due dates, descriptions, checklists, comments, conversation history, and attachments with just a click.

Microsoft Planner limits access to only members of the organization or team. In other words, if you are not a part of the team, you cannot access their Microsoft Planner dashboard. This is different with Trello; you can let outsiders into your board with Trello.

Also, you can tag users with the @tag command with Trello. But this feature is not available in Microsoft Planner.

Our Verdict

Trello edges Microsoft Planner out on the interface front. It has the @tagging feature. Also, it does not shut non-team users out.

Supported Platforms

Trello and Microsoft Planner are web-based cloud platforms. However, you can also use them on Android and iOS platforms.

Our Verdict

Trello and Microsoft Planner are on par when it comes to supported platforms.

Female entrepreneur checking planner on laptop and making calculation when working from home due to pandemic

Customer Support

Trello and Microsoft Planner provide robust learning support for their users. Both have videos on how to use them, and they also have detailed knowledge bases on their manufacturers’ websites.

Beyond those offerings, Trello’s overall customer support is more specific for the project management tool.

Our Verdict

Trello and Microsoft Planner are on par on the customer support front.


Both Microsoft Planner and Trello have pricing plans starting at around $5 per month. However, Microsoft Planner has the higher pricing plans overall.

Trello offers a free account, but Microsoft Planner doesn’t. However, both products offer free trials. If you intend to use the free trial of either product, you must enter your credit card.

Our Verdict

Overall, when it comes to pricing, Trello is the better option.

Differences Between Trello and Microsoft Planner

 TrelloMicrosoft Planner
IntegrationYou can integrate it with various tools, including Slack, Google Drive, and MS Teams.Integrates only with Microsoft 365.
Project Management FeaturesHas most of the usual project management features. However, you do not get performance reports. Also, you do not get time tracking or a built-in calendar with the free version, and you cannot upload attachments over 250 MB.Microsoft Planner offers performance reports through the Planner Hub screen. It also has most of the usual project management features.
Card FormattingComments and checklists are not limited in Trello.Microsoft Planner limits comments and checklists.
InterfaceHas the @tagging feature. Non-team members can access the board.Does not have the @tagging feature. Non-team members cannot access the board.
PricingTrello has a free version. The monthly subscription starts at $5 per user and peaks at $17.50 per user.Microsoft Planner does not have a free version. The monthly subscription starts at $5 per user and peaks at $57 per user.

Similarities Between Trello and Microsoft Planner

  • Their basic project management features are similar. They both have due dates, labels, assignees, comments, checklists, file management, and much more.
  • Both products do not have an automated way to transfer contents between cards.
  • Trello and Microsoft Planner use Kanban board styles.
  • You can use Microsoft Planner and Trello on the web. You can also use them on iOS and Android platforms.
  • Both products offer a free trial. Of course, you must fill in your credit card details for the free trial.

Final Take: Which Is Better?

The better choice between both products is down to your personal preferences. If you are looking for a project management tool with a lot of flexibility and a free version, Trello should be your pick.

But if you want an enterprise-ready tool that works seamlessly with Microsoft 365, choose Microsoft Planner.


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