Top 10 Best Open Source Kanban Boards (Pros and Cons)

Top 10 Best Open Source Kanban Boards (Pros & Cons). Workflow management is an essential part of every project. In today’s world where the projects are demanding , the importance to select right tools for efficiently managing the project workflow is vital. Kanban boards are a popular online project collaboration tools for teams to process workflow of tasks. Kanban apps allow to visualize, organize and manage work in the best way. Thanks to Kanban boards is Kanban Project Management  you can focus on real important work. In this article, we will compare top 10 popular Kanban Boards that help the teams to organize their project management workflows.

What is Kanban board

A kanban board is a project management tool that visualizes a project’s progress. Usually kanban boards have cards that are moved across columns as tasks are finished. Kanban boards divides project into milestones and tasks, displaying accountability and transparency in a projects.

 Let’s jump right into the core subject of top 10 Best Open Source Kanban Boards (Pros & Cons).

Top 10 Best Open Source Kanban Boards

1. Kanboard

Kanboard is an open source project management tool that uses a Kanban board to implement Kanban. Kanban is a software development methodology for managing the products that work to deliver in real time and manage amount of work in progress. Kanboard uses SQLite and other SQL databases. Plugins by other authors add customization and expansion features, such as custom CSS themes. Kanban improves efficiency and eliminates time spent switching from one task to another. Kanban is also like a database for documents related to your tasks and projects which can be accessed whenever you need and whichever device. 

Kanboard Pros

  • Completely open source.
  • Kanban Cards, columns, swimlanes, commitment point and delivery point to organize your tasks. 
  • Easy to integrate with other systems because of its extensive API.
  • Increased Focus- Kanban shows you in organized way which takes you to pay attention to that leads to true productivity and eliminates errors.
  • Customizable Workflows.
  • Improved Transparency and organization skills.
  • Increased team communication and improved performance.
  • Alignment with company values.
  • Fairly good documentation.
  • Quite simple to set up, manage and upgrade.
  • Support for Windows and Linux.
  • Easy drag and drop interface.
  • Great for remote teams.
  • Immediate updates.
  • Share attachments
  • Self hosted solution.
  • Support for a wide range of extensions or plugins.

Kanboard Cons

  • A web server with PHP installed is required for initial setup and the source code must then be transferred.
  • Not great reporting feature.
  • Lacks visibility into the overview of several projects at a glance.
  • Some users have complained that User Interface is quite old fashioned.

2. OpenProject

OpenProject is a web based project management solution. This free and open source program is provided as a community edition and a paid Enterprise Edition under the GNU General Public License Version 3 (GPLv3).OpenProject is a project collaboration software to help businesses handle the entire project management lifecycle such as planning, issue tracking and cost reporting. Great visualization tool(bars, graphs and line charts).  It is hybrid project management that helps managers log time or costs for tasks and budgets. It utilizes two factor authentication and single sign on (SSO) to secure data.

OpenProject Pros

  • Pricing is tiered. 
  • Free for community users, while for corporate users offers reasonable pricing.
  • Time management, cost reporting and budgeting are all included.
  • Access Controls/Permissions.
  • Email Management.
  • Task Management.
  • Collaboration Tools.
  • Provides separate meetings sections to log them.
  • File Sharing.
  • Easy to create WBS and project timeline.
  • Easy to manage work items.

OpenProject Cons

  • Scheduling and resource management are complex.
  • Not so mobile friendly.
  • The integration of agile module with gantt chart does not work correctly.
  • Need more customization on functionalities.
  • Does not provide any baseline.

3. Wekan

Wekan is an open source kanban tool you may run locally or online. Wekan offers similar features to other Kanban apps, such as generating boards, lists, swimlanes and cards. Also dragging and dropping across lists, assigning users and labeling cards. Wekan’s built in regulations differentiate it from other kanban boards. Wekan lets you establish triggers when taking actions on cards, checklists and labels.

Wekan can be installed on Linux via Docker, on macOS and Windows.

Wekan Pros

  • Customizability and the ability to create new features.
  • Works with Trello and Kanban Boards.
  • Convenient sprint management.
  • Easy to use and clutter free.
  • Self-hosted.
  • Easy integration for applications built on Nodejs.
  • User friendly support.

Wekan Cons

  • No mobile support.
  • User interface is not aesthetically pleasing.
  • Limited features.
  • Difficult for non technical users.
  • No desktop notifications.

4. Trello

One of Atlassian’s many subsidiaries, Trello is an application that helps in list making with a Kanban style interface. t is a popular collaboration software for organizing your projects into Kanban boards. Trello is known for its simplicity and is suitable for personal use. Comes as free tool but can be upgraded for more features and security. Trello shows real time collaboration between team members and great for visualization. It is not recommended for medium to large businesses which require processing big projects.

Trello Pros

  • Simplistic Pricing Model.
  • Free Tier available for small teams.
  • User Friendly.
  • Easily integrated with other tools.
  • Easy to implement.
  • Enhances organization productivity.
  • Task management capabilities.
  • Easy to use Mobile interface.
  • Easy to use and accessible with simple navigation.

Trello Cons

  • Free Tier offers limited features.
  • Complicated and overrated pricing for paid versions.
  • Doesn’t allow modification in the attached file. 
  • For too many projects and cards, the board can become overwhelmingly cluttered.
  • No Gantt charts.
  • Difficulty in tracking subtasks.
  • No offline access.

5. Taiga

Next on the list of top 10 Best Open Source Kanban Boards (Pros & Cons) is Taiga, in line with Agile/Scrum/Kanban principles, Taiga is a project management and bug tracking application. Taiga has forms and fields that are well suited to these approaches. If you don’t like the “heavy” feel of Jira, Taiga is a good option.

Taiga Pros

  • Offers self hosted and also managed cloud solution.
  • Pricing is economical.
  • Provides role based permissions.
  • Supports knowledge base management.
  • Negative feedback management.
  • The dashboard can be easily customized.
  • Offers remote support.

Taiga Cons

  • Allows free usage only upto 15 users.
  • No Mobile application.
  • Complex data analytics.
  • Some users have complained regarding the sideways scrolling. 
  • Time tracking is an issue raised by some customers.
  • Limited Language support.
  • Generating reports can be complex.

6. Monday.com

Monday.com is a platform that operates in the cloud and enables users to develop their own project management and work management tools. The software generates a workspace based on your specific needs. A great tool for work automation. It is a table based work management tool with features such as: list based view, multiple views, attaching files.

Monday.com Pros

  • Offers Mobile support through the app.
  • Customizable Kanban Boards.
  • Automatic notification.
  • Timesheet tracking.
  • Sync across desktop and mobile devices
  • Provides Gantt charts.
  • 24X7 support.
  • Unlimited templates to start.
  • Easy customization.

Monday.com Cons

  • Some customers have reported poor customer service.
  • Free plan limited to 2 users only. Beyond that paid subscription is required.
  • UI is complex.
  • Only basic Kanban view, no advanced Kanban features.
  • No dependency view.
  • Sometimes difficulty in tracking the tasks activities.
  • Not so enhanced API integration with third party apps as per some customers.

7. Wrike

Wrike is a Citrix subsidiary that creates a project management tool with the same name. it helps teams to plan and track projects, work in real time and automate reports. Wrike’s is great for projects of a variety of sizes. It’s easy to set up customizable dashboards and automated processes.

Wrike Pros

Wrike Cons

  • It can be quite overwhelming for new users with a long learning curve.
  • Adding users and project management can be complex.
  • Cost
  • Collaboration tools need improvement.
  • Difficult to share projects externally.
  • Limited filter options
  • Limited mobile functionality.
  • Lacks advanced filters.
  • Some customers have also complained about its slowness.
  • The interface is not easy to navigate for the new users.
  • It provides limited customization for the UI.

8. Asana

Asana is another choice for our top 10 Best Open Source Kanban Boards(Pros & Cons). It is a platform for managing work that can be accessed via the web and mobile devices and is designed to assist teams in organizing, tracking and managing their work. Features are your work shows in: list view, calendar view, file sharing, reporting.  Asana’s web and mobile apps help teams collaborate on projects. Asana’s boards allow you to have an in depth visualization and allow you columns creation ( “new work”, “priority work”, “on hold” and “completed”). 

Asana Pros

  • Ease of Collaboration
  • Efficient task tracking and monitoring.
  • Customizable automation rules (in Business version only).
  • Simple Project tracking.
  • Recurring Task option.
  • Sync across devices.
  • Drag and drop functionality.
  • Easy integration with third party apps.
  • Asana is a visual task management tool.

Asana Cons

  • Lack of viewing options for multiple projects.
  • Not exportable in PDF or Excel formats.
  • Export format supported only json or CSV.
  • It can be overwhelming for small projects with so many features.
  • The steep learning curve for new users with so many features.
  • Assignment issue where multiple people cannot be assigned the same task.

9. Twake

Collaboration platform Twake is based on the Kanban project management system and has a modern design and feel You have the option of using it for free, paying for a subscription, or hosting it yourself.

Twake kanaban boards

Twake Pros

  • Allows direct editing of attached files on the platform.
  • WordPress integration.
  • Excellent support.
  • Provides chat feature for the teams.
  • Supports file Storage.
  • Team tasks and schedules can be synced via the team calendar.
  • Efficient Task Management.
  • Supports video calls and conferencing.
  • Allows team to collaborate in real-time on documents.
  • Great for Webinars.
  • GDPR Compliant.
  • Private and Secure.

Twake Cons

  • The Mobile app offers limited features as compared to the desktop version. 
  • The free offering is for upto 5 users.

10.Notion

Last one on our top 10 Best Open Source Kanban Boards (Pros & Cons) is Notion. It manages projects and takes notes. Notion helps employees manage deadlines, goals, and assignments for efficiency and productivity. Notion project management provides tools such as wikis, Kanban board, tables, lists, and calendars to customize workflows. It happens in real time collaboration that allows teams to communicate and share tasks.

Notion Pros

  • User friendly.
  • All in-one product offering a multitude of products under one product.
  • Shareable links.
  • Multiple views (gallery, list, etc.).
  • Clean and visual interface.
  • Notes and document management.
  • Offers an interface that has inbuilt customization and is clutter free.
  • Supports multiple platforms via web app and desktop applications for Windows, macOS, and Linux.
  • Wiki
  • Supports mobile platforms iOS and Android.

Notion Cons

  • Initial setup can be time  consuming.
  • Search and navigation are not not good enough.
  • Copy/paste and text editing are not efficient.
  • Changing grid shapes.
  • Needs more search function versatility.

Great work! We have learned top 10 Best Open Source Kanban Boards (Pros & Cons). 

Top 10 Best Open Source Kanban Boards (Pros & Cons) Conclusion

In this article we compared top 10 Kanban boards. Each product has its own pros and cons and these should not be neglected. Some offer limited features in the free account, while  some have very complex UI for a new user to learn, search and navigate. We also compared some Kanban boards which are offer self hosted solution. The self hosted solutions are ideal for the project and teams who want to control their own data and documents related to project management. Every product needs to be analyzed for the suitability of the project.  

All the solutions mentioned in this list are great for a specific users. You can find something for any purpose, company structure, or industry and enhance the Kanban application within your team. Choose the most versatile and adaptable solution for the size of your teams.

Avatar for Bhaskar Narayan Das
Bhaskar Narayan Das

Data analytics, Cloud development and software development are my passions. I have extensive knowledge in Java and the AWS platform. I am currently one of Cloud Infrastructure Services technical writers.

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