Trello VS SquidHub

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Since it launched in 2011, Trello (see our review) has been the byword of cheap (free!), effective project and task management. It has won users over with its silly attitude, “board view,” integrations, and cute husky dog mascot. Sure there were other apps with more features, sure there were other apps with better communication tools, but if you were trying to manage your projects without paying anything at all, Trello was your best and, in some ways, only bet. And to all observers, it seemed that Trello would continue to dominate that low-end edge of the project management market for the foreseeable future, catering not just to the project managers of the world, but also to the couples planning weddings, surprise birthday organizers, and graduation party masterminds.

Then along came SquidHub (see our review).

Like Trello, it has a cute mascot (it’s a squid, surprise surprise). Like Trello, it has an odd name. Like Trello, it is completely free.

But that is where the similarities end. Far from a mere Trello clone, SquidHub is a true contender, bringing a different set of skills to the table. That is what makes this comparison as interesting as it is: both apps try to solve the same basic problem and both of them present solutions in totally different ways. So let’s get down to the brass tacks and figure out which of the two is best for you.

The way I see it, both Trello and SquidHub exist to help you do three things: organize your work, communicate with team members, and provide a centralized location for relevant documents. With that in mind, let’s take a look at how both apps meet those needs. I will also be taking a look at the “x-factor” of personality since both Trello and SquidHub make an attempt to be loveable, cute, and a little bit silly.

Organization

Winner: Tie

The idea here is that you can visualize the tasks you need to complete in order for you to finish your project. Between the two choices, SquidHub takes a more traditional approach, providing a space to make a checklist. It is as simple as typing a new task name, hitting enter, and adding it to your list. From there you can drag-and-drop tasks to re-order them and enter background information. You can also assign tasks to team members and enter due-dates.

On the other side of the ring, Trello takes a very different tactic. Trello pioneered the “board view” that is currently sweeping the project management world. Taking inspiration from the tried-and-true project method of putting tasks on sticky-notes and moving them around until you are happy with the order and progression you have created. Trello replicates this system digitally and allows you to drag-and-drop your “tiles” around, reorganizing them as you see fit. You can assign tiles to team members and create due-dates.

The winner of this category really depends on your preferred organization style. If you like making lists and enjoy crossing items off those lists, then SquidHub is going to be your best bet. If you like a more visual method of organization, Trello is the one for you.

Communication

Winner: SquidHub

Communication is one of my personal priorities in project management, especially if you are working remotely. Most of my favorite project management programs have a dedicated chat feature built-in. This is one place where SquidHub really shines, featuring its own chat feature built-in to the dedicated UI. While there is no private message feature, the clear priority placed on team communication is admirable, if not impressive.

Trello doesn’t have a dedicated chat feature, unfortunately. It does have a comment feature with which you can leave your updates and communicate with team members on individual Trello tiles, but the effect is not dedicated communication. It is a more spread out, diffused kind of communication.

The edge here is clearly with SquidHub. Trello’s lack of dedicated chat makes that plain, but I think SquidHub would have taken the win here regardless as their chat is part of the main UI in the app. To be fair, though, if your intention is to get a personal organization app, this might not be a very high priority for you.

Document Storage

Winner: Trello

Finding relevant documents is vital to getting work done in most industries, and to help streamline the organization process, most project management apps provide a way for you to link important documents to the tasks they represent. SquidHub is no exception, with one of the three main UI panels devoted to this feature. Unfortunately, though, only Google Docs are supported at the moment, putting a pretty hard limit on what kind of work you can do.

On the other hand, Trello users can access documents from multiple places (there are integrations with Dropbox, Box, and OneDrive). Trello’s integration game is just generally better than SquidHub’s, though that can probably be explained mostly be SquidHub’s relative newness to the project management field.

I have to give this one to Trello; the versatility of the integrations they offer is nothing to be sneezed at. I assume SquidHub will add more integrations as time goes on, which may fix the imbalance, but as it stands now, Trello takes this round.

Personality

Winner: SquidHub

This one is a little subjective, to be honest, but I do have a line of reasoning to support my verdict. As I mentioned earlier, both Trello and Squidhub have cute mascots: Taco the Husky (Trello) and an animated squid (SquidHub). In SquidHub, the little caphalopod shows up unexpectedly, peeking out at you from behind the login button and in other places. Taco, on the other hand, is available as a sticker you can add to boards when you finish tasks. While I prefer dogs to distant relatives of the Kraken, I have to say that the animations in Squidhub are just incredibly charming, which leads me to give the personality edge to SquidHub.

And The Overall Win Goes To…SquidHub!

To be clear, I like both Trello and SquidHub very much. Each embodies a worldview that values simplicity and fun without impairing efficiency. Honestly, you would probably be satisfied using either of them.

Having said that, different people may find they prefer one over the other. If you are a visual person who likes to get their hands on their work, Trello might be the one for you. If, on the other hand, you love lists and have a passion for Google Docs, you may want to give SquidHub a try. Or, you could just sign up for both and see which one you prefer by testing them out for yourself.

Get Started With Trello

Get Started With SquidHub

Wesley Kriz

Wesley Kriz is a writer from the misty peaks of the Pacific Northwest, or as he prefers to call it, the Best Coast. He is willing to debate on almost any topic, but he is admittedly very stubborn, so beware. When not writing for Merchant Maverick, Wesley is likely thinking about Star Wars, or reading Lord of the Rings.
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