8 Best Kanban Tools to Boost Productivity

8 Best Kanban Tools to Boost Productivity

These Kanban apps help you manage projects without the chaos.

If your project is too complex for a to-do list but doesn't need a full project management app, you need a Kanban app.

I've used Kanban apps for various projects: as a blog manager for content calendars, as a marketing head for team management, and as a freelancer for handling projects and clients. I even used a Kanban board to plan a bachelorette party. Kanban works for everything.

While Trello is a favorite, many great Kanban apps have unique strengths. I tested many Kanban tools to find the best ones. Here are the eight best based on my experience.

Boosting Workflow Efficiency with Kanban Board Tools

These articles will explain Kanban and why it's popular. But if you need a brief summary, I can give it here.

Every Kanban board app has three main features: boards, lists, and cards.

Kanban boards are digital workspaces. They show the big picture of your project, whether you're building a car, managing a content plan, or organizing a bachelorette party.

Kanban lists are workflows within your board. Basic lists might be “To do,” “Doing,” and “Done,” but they work best when they reflect your actual production stages. For example, an editorial calendar might have lists like “With editor,” “Scheduled,” and “Published.”

Kanban cards represent tasks in your lists. In Kanban apps, cards move through lists along the production line, typically from left to right, until completed.

What You Need In A Kanban Tool?

First, let me make something clear: many project management apps include Kanban, but they are not true Kanban tools.

If you already use a project management app with Kanban and you like it, switching to a dedicated Kanban tool might not be necessary. Most project management apps are too complex if you only need Kanban.

While researching for this article, I tested many project management apps and found this to be true.

That's why all the apps in this guide are specifically designed for Kanban. If you need more features, check out our lists of the best free project management apps or the best Trello alternatives.

While testing apps, I considered the following:

  • Affordability: I focused on apps that are accessible to most people. They either have a strong free plan or affordable paid plans 
  • Customization: Teams and projects vary, so I included apps that can be tailored to different needs. 
  • Integrations: A Kanban app needs to work with other tools you use to boost productivity. 
  • Ease of use: Many Kanban apps are complex and suited for software engineering and product development. I chose simpler apps that are easy for all industries and teams to use. 
  • AI automation: Though AI in Kanban is new, I looked at how some apps use machine learning to improve workflow.

I signed up for each app and created a board for each workspace. I added multiple cards and task lists to each board to compare them. I set deadlines for tasks and monitored email notifications over two weeks. After testing, I found eight apps that I think are the best Kanban software.

8 Best Kanban Tools to Boost Productivity

Kanban Software Highlights: The Best Options

Software Best for Stand-out feature Pricing
Kanbanchi Kanban within Google Workspace Tight integration with Google apps No free plan; Premium plan is $16.99/month/user
Microsoft Planner Kanban within Microsoft Teams Deep integration with Microsoft Free for all Microsoft 365 users on Business plans
KanbanFlow Simplicity Built-in Pomodoro timer Free for unlimited boards and users; $5/month/user Premium plan
Kanban Tool Built-in time tracking and managing client projects Great analytics Free for 2 boards and users; from 6€/month/user Team plan
Workstreams.ai Kanban within Slack Task chat for every card that lives right inside Slack Free plan for unlimited tasks and users; $9.99/month/user Pro plan
Taskworld Adding tasks to multiple Kanban projects at once Shrink cards down to a single line of text Free for up to 15 users; from $15/month/user Pro plan
MeisterTask Keeping teams laser-focused on tasks Clean interface despite added project management features Free for unlimited members and up to 3 board projects
Businessmap Managing enterprise-level projects Highly customizable and flexible workflows From $179/month with a minimum of 15 users