Plan: A Task Management Alternative To Trello

I’ve been a big fan of Trello for a long time, singing its praises to my friends and colleagues and writing about it on a couple of occasions. It does have some shortcomings, but I’ve mostly found ways around these, such as Butler for automation and Planyway for calendar scheduling.

While happy with the results I’ve achieved, I still feel that I’m trying to use Trello as something that it’s not, a task scheduler. I think that Trello is much better suited to projects and development, more creative duties, not routine reporting and maintenance.

In the last few months I have ventured beyond the comfortable bosom of Trello into the wild world of task management and scheduling options. I’ve seen ads for Monday.com probably thousands of times, and have tried out Asana, Redbooth and Bitrix24 to name a few. There have been others, but none of them have been as easy to use as Trello.

That is until I stumbled across Plan.

Plan has a very easy interface to do what I’ve wanted to do with Trello for a long time, lists within lists within lists. Some Trello fans might argue that Boards should be viewed as the top level of lists in Trello, but as you can’t always see the Board list, I have to disagree there.

The other reason I’m liking Plan over Trello is the checklist format. Everything behaves as a checklist so rather than moving tasks between lists to mark their progress, you just check them off. For recurring lists I’m already using Process Street, but for ad-hoc tasks and projects Plan is a bit more flexible and accessible. It also provides an alternate Kanban board view so you can see all your projects as lists, similar to how you would view cards in Trello.

The next thing I like about Plan is that scheduling is built right in as a main feature. I can drag tasks onto a mini calendar view of the current day and allocate the amount of time the task should take right there, as easy as using Planyway. There are also a bunch of different calendar views, daily, weekly and monthly.

Then comes the part that really draws me away from Trello, the Dashboard.

In Plan, the Dashboard is a workspace with three lists; To Do, Doing and Done. I started with this format in Trello, as many others have before and after me, so it was pleasing to see the set-up in Plan. The thing that makes this different from Trello is that your tasks are automatically added to these lists when you schedule them tasks for the time period being shown (day, week, month), which is something I struggled with when using Trello. Tasks with due dates show up in the To Do list, tasks I’ve dragged onto the calendar show up in Doing and anything I’ve ticked off will show in the Done list.

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So far, so good. I’m not saying Trello isn’t capable of all this and more, but these features are built right into Plan and work without any extensions or custom automation like I needed with Trello. Over the next couple of weeks I’m going to move more of my work across into Plan and Process Street and see how it goes, although I’m quite optimistic from the early results I’ve had already.

Maybe I’m just excited about finally finding a simple tool with the scheduling features I want, but I think that between Process Street and Plan, I might not need Trello for much longer. It’s almost a shame because Trello really got me out of some hard times when I had much more work than I knew how to handle, but I’m growing in my task organisation and project planning journey and there is no point holding yourself back for the sake of familiarity.

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