But as life has taught me, only bacon comes with no downsides. And there is one huge, elephant-in-the-room downside with Jira.
This is why looking for some free Jira alternatives is indeed a great idea for making your team more productive without the high costs. We’ve compared paid alternatives in the past, but now it’s time to focus only on the free ones.
But the next tier of $7 per user per month is far from a gradual increase. If you have 15 people, that’s $105 / month. And so on:
Then, there are several add-ons (like the Confluence collaboration add-on) for which you have to pay additionally as well:
So let’s make this direct … there have to be other solutions out there that are more affordable, or, better yet, free.
This is exactly what we’re about today! Here are the top 5 free Jira alternatives:
Free Jira alternatives
1. Trello (trello.com)
At the same time, it has some great built-in mechanisms that make the Trello model usable. For instance, there’s commenting, file uploading, drag-and-drop organization, and integrations with time-tracking and invoicing apps like Harvest.
Note: Keep in mind that Atlassian bought Trello, so it is owned by the same company as Jira. I haven’t seen any bad changes in terms of the interface, only a push to get users to pay for the premium version of Trello and integrate with Atlassian products.
- “Free Plan” – $0
- “Business Class” – $9.99 / user / month.
- “Enterprise” – $20.83 / user / month.
- Unlimited boards, lists, cards, members, checklists, attachments, etc.
- “Power-Ups” (add-ons). You get a couple for free, but to integrate Trello with outside tools (MailChimp, SurveyMonkey, Github, Slack, etc.) you need Trello Business Class.
- Basic integrations with Box, Drive, and Dropbox.
- File attachments from your computer or cloud storage services.
- Due dates and checklists.
- A calendar view.
- Email notifications and the ability to reply to a comment through email.
Is Trello right for you?
If you already have a system/methodology of work established, and you need a tool where you can implement that methodology and execute it effectively, Trello is a good way to go, and a good Jira alternative to consider. It’s incredibly flexible, really intuitive and easy to use. We like it for planning, tracking, and moving projects forward in a simple, effective manner. It’s also great for team collaboration.
2. Remember The Milk (www.rememberthemilk.com)
Remember The Milk is your friendly to-do list helper, I would say. I mean, it’s well suited to handle any professional matters you might have in your life, but it seems to me that it is more geared at making your everyday, personal life easier … helping you with things like shopping, picking up kids from school, and not missing that concert on Saturday.
Also, it has some great keyboard shortcuts, which makes working with the tool really quick. There are sub-tasks and lists of tasks, which can very well serve as a nice way to manage whole projects. And, last but not least, there’s drag-and-drop support.
- Free Plan – $0 – share your lists with 2 people.
- $39.99 / year – a lot of cool additional features like unlimited sharing, file attachments, and color tags.
- Web, desktop, and mobile apps.
- Built-in integration with Gmail, Google Calendar, Twitter, and Evernote.
- Adding tasks via email, Twitter, and Siri. There’s also a Smart Add feature that predicts what you’re typing and then breaks up all of your details after you only have to type them into one field.
- Delegate tasks to others.
- Share lists of tasks with other users (up to 2 users on the free plan).
- Sub-tasks and search operators (pro feature).
- Drag and drop support.
- Task coloring and priorities.
- Reminders that get texted, emailed, sent to the app, or through Twitter.
- Hundreds of themes to customize the app.
Is Remember The Milk right for you?
Remember The Milk is a great Jira alternative for small teams as well as individuals that like for their to-do and project management tool to be able to handle everything, from personal life to professional responsibilities. It’s a great, general to-do list tool. Many small teams might find it attractive, especially after upgrading to the fairly affordable Pro version.
3. Todoist (todoist.com)
There are apps available for nearly all devices, and they all seem to be very well-designed.
Furthermore, Todoist lets you organize the things you have going on into individual projects, but you also get a range of other useful features, from sub-tasks, sub-projects, recurring tasks, to reminders, comments, task collaboration, or even productivity tracking through nice “karma” scores.
- Free Plan – $0 – 80 active projects, 5 people per project.
- “Premium” – $3.00 / month – 300 active projects, 25 people per project.
- “Business” – $5.00 / user / month – 500 active projects, 50 people per project.
- Multiple apps available.
- Collaborate on shared tasks.
- Sub-projects, sub-tasks.
- Notes and file attachments (premium).
- Task priorities.
- Recurring due dates and task priorities.
- Automatic backups (premium)
- Team billing and member management (business)
- Log-in tracking (business)
Is Todoist right for you?
If you run your business and your projects in tune with GTD, this tool can be a great solution for you. Todoist gives you excellent task management features, good project management overall, and good teamwork mechanisms. Also, the Premium and Business plan upgrades are cheaper than Jira.
4. PivotalTracker (www.pivotaltracker.com)
What’s interesting is that PivotalTracker tries to avoid traditional timelines and instead automatically calculates how quickly you and your team works. This way, you have a more honest view of your team’s potential for future projects.
It’s also nice to see that PivotalTracker has a free plan for small teams, and that the premium plans are only monthly fees and not monthly fees per user.
- Free Plan – $0 – 3 collaborators, 2GB storage, 2 projects.
- Startup – $12.50 / mo – 5 collaborators, 5GB storage, 5 projects.
- Startup 2 – $29.17 / mo – 10 collaborators, 25GB storage, 10 projects.
- Pro 1 – $62.50 / mo – 15 collaborators, unlimited projects and storage.
- Pro 2 – $125.00 / mo – 25 collaborators, unlimited projects and storage.
- Pro 3 – $250.00 / mo – 50 collaborators, unlimited projects and storage.
- The pricing is set up for scalability, so you shouldn’t have to pay anything (or that much) as a small team, and you get upgraded to unlimited everything as you grow.
- Create teams, add outside viewers, and start tasks within projects.
- PivotalTracker skips timelines and automatically tells you when a project should be completed based on past performance.
- Arrange your projects side-by-side and move your tasks from one project to another.
- View beautiful visual graphs to see your team’s health and project efficiency.
- PivotalTracker provides some excellent integrations such as Zendesk, Slack, and GitHub.
Is PivotalTracker right for you?
PivotalTracker works wonders for those who want a more realistic planning and project management tool. It provides that classic Kanban board you would find in options like Trello and Jira, but helps to automate your workflow with more accurate predictions on when a project should be completed.
5. TeamClerk (www.teamclerk.com)
In TeamClerk, everything is organized into projects » and then each project has its project tasks. Plus, you also see your own tasks in a separate column, and there’s one more column that serves as a live-stream reporting section – keeping you up-to-date on the overall progress of the project and the tasks that are part of it.
- Free Plan – $0 – 1 team, 3 members.
- Small – $5.00 / mo – 2 teams, 15 members / team.
- Medium – $10.00 / mo – 5 teams, 20 members / team.
- Large – $15.00 / mo – 10 teams, 30 members / team.
- Work with unlimited projects and tasks, even in the free plan.
- Teams and members (you get to set up 1 team and 3 members on the free plan).
- Instantly view elapsed time and completed tasks.
- Check your team’s progress over time (nice progress graphs).
- Prioritize tasks and view how well your team members are performing on each task.
- TeamClerk is designed so that you should be able to train your entire staff in a day.
Is TeamClerk right for you?
TeamClerk is more of a project workflow management tool, rather than a place for you to describe your tasks meticulously, and figure out / brainstorm how to get them done. TeamClerk is something you come to when you already know what you want to do, and you just need a place to manage your team’s combined efforts. That said, it does have a place in the office for designers, developers, writers, and other professions looking for Jira alternatives.
The 5 free Jira alternatives listed here all have their pros and cons. But so does Jira itself. Quite frankly, there’s no one best tool out there that everybody should use. Like it usually does, it all comes down to your individual needs and your team’s needs.
At the end of the day, the tools presented here are free, so you have nothing to lose trying them all out, but just to make the choice easier for you, consider this:
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