Should I use Slack or Trello to manage a team?

When it comes to managing a team during a project, keeping track of all the moving pieces is integral to making sure everything runs smoothly. That means knowing who is heading up what task, how close they are to completion, and relevant due dates should be easy and accessible not only to the project manager but to all relevant team members.

Keeping track has never been easier when technology comes into play. There are a lot of popular project management tools that really do help keep everything in check. Two crowd favorites continue to be Slack and Trello. But which one is best to handle the job at hand?

Let’s take a look at the two and break down what these platforms can do and which is better positioned to help manage a team.

Slack

Strictly speaking, Slack isn’t a project management tool. Think of it as a collaboration platform that helps keep communication flowing between team members. That said, it can be used to serve a wide variety of project management needs if the teams are relatively small. 

Trello

Trello is meant to visually organize tasks, which, if you’ve ever managed a project, is super important to keeping up to speed with everything that’s happening at any given time. It’s a true workflow management system that helps users organize their tasks in Kanban boards and move them through processes.

What Project Managers Need to Know

Implementation

In either case, you are looking at an implementation time of minutes, not hours. Both implement almost immediately, with simple tutorials to get any project up and running quickly – even if you are starting from scratch.

Ease of Use

Both platforms are super easy to set up and start using. They’re designed to be extremely accessible to all users – not just technical wunderkinds. However, in terms of UI that is designed for project management purposes, Trello typically has more appeal.

Customization

Trello, with its simple Kanban board interface makes projects easier to navigate. However, Slack is much better for direct and fast communication. It also offers a wide variety of extensions to help users tweak it so that it can be customized into a project management app quite easily.

Integrations

As mentioned, Slack is an integration powerhouse, and, thanks to its open API system, is one of the most collaborative applications ever deployed to the cloud. Keep in mind, however, there are only a handful of integrations that make sense from a project management standpoint.

Trello, meanwhile, is now owned by Atlassian, home of Jira, a project management powerhouse. Since the acquisition, Atlassian has been tweaking the platform to extend its reach towards a variety of project management use cases.

Features and Add Ons

Trello now boats 300 add-ons. That’s impressive! Not to be outdone, Slack offers, quite literally, thousands. Once again, only a handful of those, including Trello itself, are focused specifically on project management.

With all that said, and with the knowledge that Slack and Trello can actually be integrated together, it seems the answer is clear: why now work with both platforms concurrently?

Trello and Slack: The New Power Couple

With Trello and Slack able to integrate with each other (either via Slack Power-Up in Trello or the Trello App for Slack), these two useful platforms become powerful allies. How you use them depends on which platform you prefer.

Trello’s Slack Power Up

This add-on lets project managers and their teams remind each other of upcoming due dates on cards. It also gives project managers the power to assign a board to a specific Slack channel, share cards with members via DMs, or link a card in Trello.

The Trello App for Slack

This app works similarly to Trello’s Slack Power-Up, except the roles are reversed. In Stack’s Power-Up, the user works in Trello to trigger actions within Slack. In the Trello App, a user works in Slack to trigger actions in Trello.

Users can do this via Slash Commands. A Slash Command is an action you take in Slack by simply typing /[command] in the messaging field of the app. Some common Slash Commands for project managers include:

/remind (to send reminders to yourself or your team)

/invite (to invite someone to a channel)

/dnd (to start or end a Do Not Disturb time)

/join (to join a channel)

/msg [#channel] (to send a message to a specific channel

etc.

Using the Slash COmmand /trello, users can create new cards straight from Slack. This add-on also allows users to:

  • attach conversations
  • subscribe to updates on a card
  • update due dates
  • join cards and boards.

Bringing it all together

While users new to either Trello or Slack (or both!) may feel overwhelmed at the prospect of bringing in two new platforms and tying them together, the easiest way to get over any anxiety is to play on both systems for a while. Each platform is designed to be intuitive and dead simple, so a new user won’t need to dedicate too much energy into wrapping their minds around the main functionality of each.

Are there integrations with other project management tools?

The short answer is YES. Many project management apps and platforms integrate with other popular organizational and communication tools like Trello and Slack.

For example, for organizations that use Asana to help manage projects, Trello has an integration to give you access to their Kanban boards from right in the platform.

Likewise, Slack is able to integrate with Jira, typically through a third-party integration tool, like Bitband. That way, users can follow instances and add information right from Slack (and vice versa).

At the end of the day, project managers have a lot of platforms at their disposal to help them manage even the most complex projects. Choosing a platform with the best layout – or the best integrations – will help you ensure you’re delivering on time every time.

Have questions about how we can help your team integrate Slack and Jira? Need help automating Jira processes? Or simply need help with custom fields in your Jira software? We’re here to help! Reach out today to find out how we can help you work smarter and faster.


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