man holding kanban card with benchstock items attached
PHOTO: Karen Abeyasekere

Kanban (Japanese for "Billboard") is a project management methodology loved by startups and enterprises. Pioneered by the car manufacturer Toyota back in the 1940s, Kanban-style project management works by using sticky-notes or cards (whether digital or physical) on a board. Traditionally, the cards are moved between three lists; to-do, in progress and complete. More lists can be thrown into the fray to manage projects on a granular level, essentially, the board gives all stakeholders a simple, visual overview of all relevant projects or tasks.

Unlike Agile and Scrum, Kanban is less structured, and doesn't necessitate a set timeframe for tasks or projects to be completed. Instead, Kanban lists tasks in order of priority on a Kanban Board, allowing stakeholders to collaborate and move them through their tailored workflow. Typically, this ends up in three columns; to-do, in-progress, and complete."

We’ve previously discussed how Kanban fares against contemporary project management methodologies like Agile and SCRUM, so today we'll focus on 13 of the most notable Kanban tools for 2019, according to data from Capterra, which uses user reviews as the primary ranking factor.

1. JIRA

Developed by Atlassian, Jira is a project management and bug tracking platform geared towards software developers leveraging a blend of Kanban and Agile project management methodology. Jira users can work with an out-of-the-box workflow, or create a bespoke workflow that suits the team’s needs, and their customer’s demands.

Pricing: Starting from $10 per month

Free Trial: Available

Support: Online support, 24/7, live reps

Related Article: Agile vs Scrum vs Kanban Weighing the Differences

2. Kanban Tool

As the name suggests, Kanban Tool takes a no-nonsense approach to project management. The platform focuses on workflow optimization and real-time team collaboration. Available on-premises or via the cloud, Kanban Tool offers up a visually minimalist user interface to encourage efficiency and shorten learning curves.

Pricing: Starting from $5 per month per user

Free Trial: Available

Support: During business hours

3. Monday.com

If you’re looking for a quirky project management tool Monday.com is worth checking out. The application offers a calendar view, chart view, file view, map view, timeline view, and of course, a Kanban view of your tasks, milestones and projects. Tasks and projects are color coordinated to help bring some method to your madness.

Pricing: Starting from $5 per month

Free Trial: Available

Support: Webinars, video tutorials, email, phone 

Related Article: Agile vs DevOps: What's the Difference?

4. Aha!

Aha! Is used by more than 5,000 companies worldwide. The product comes in two flavors, one geared towards software development teams and one geared towards marketing teams. The availability of integrations is a large part of the Aha! offering, with over 30 integrations ready out-of-the-box for Jira, Salesforce, Github and more.

Pricing: Starting from $59 per month

Free Trial: Free trial available

Support: Documentation, webinars, live online support

5. Accelo

Accelo is an operations automation system geared towards agencies, service providers and the teams within them. Its project management arm boasts Kanban UI, time tracking, Gantt charts, user collaboration and more.

Pricing: Starting from $16 per month, per user

Free Trial: Free trial available

Support: Online (during business hours)

6. Kanbanize

Kanbanize has a focus on letting large teams segment their projects at a granular level and still see them all at a glance when needed. This portfolio Kanban approach essentially nests Kanban boards within other boards.

Pricing: $99 per month

Free Trial: Free trial available

Support: Online (during business hours)

7. Kanbanchi for G-Suite

Looking for a Google-integrated Kanban project management tool? Kanbanchi might be it. The Google Chrome add-on boasts project management, task management, collaboration, Kanban board views, Gantt chart views and time tracking. And of course, collaboration with all your company’s G-Suite members is made easy.

Pricing: $7.95 per month per user

Free Trial: Free trial available

Support: Online (during business hours)

8. GoodDay

GoodDay is a work management platform that gives large organizations high-level planning tools and interfaces. Analytics data is abundant, and the GoodDay interface is also designed to be displayed on large screens in office environments so employees can track progress and to-do lists at a glance.

Pricing: $5 per month per user

Free Trial: Free trial available

Support: 24/7 live support

9. Agilefant

Agilefant is project management methodology agnostic, meaning that it supports agile methods like Kanban and Scrum, helps you implement SAFe or LESS, but also “bends to support traditional approaches” like waterfall project management. Agilefant is available as an open source download, or via the cloud.

Pricing: $5 per user per month

Free Trial: Free trial available

Support: Online (during business hours)

10. SwiftKanban

SwiftKanban can support various business or technology processes and work types. Users can build their own workflows with multiple swim lanes and specific hierarchies. Portfolio Kanban features also allow for multiboard management, the product is available in both SaaS and on-premises versions.

Pricing: $7 per month per user

Free Trial: Free trial available

Support: 24/7 live support

11. ScrumDesk

As its name suggests, ScrumDesk is built with Scrum project management in mind, although Kanban views are supported. The product also boasts retrospective project management diagnostic support to help organizations find inefficiencies or issues.

Pricing: $18 per month per user

Free Trial: Free trial available

Support: Online (during business hours)

12. VivifyScrum

VivifyScrum is a SaaS with Scrum and Kanban collaboration boards, invoicing tools, time management tools, reports and free Scrum project management training included.

Pricing: $8 per month per user

Free Trial: Free trial available

Support: Online (during business hours)

13. ProWorkflow

ProWorkFlow offers an all-in-one dashboard view of your projects, Kanban views, timesheets, a built-in CRM, mobile applications and an API to ease integrations and data sharing between applications.

Pricing: $10 per month per user

Free Trial: Free trial available

Support: 24/7 live support

What's your go-to Kanban project management tool? Share your favorite software in the comments below!