Best Kanban Board Templates for Project Management

monday.com kanban boards

Based on our first-hand research, we believe monday.com’s Kanban board is the best on the project management market. It offers a deeply functional Kanban board that is easy to revert, has snazzy color coding, and allows you to add images into each Kanban card. The best part is that it’s free to access, so you can supercharge your project management without any hefty investments.

Most project management providers now offer Kanban boards and this isn’t surprising, considering how handy Kanban boards are when it comes to managing and completing tasks within a project. With so many choices out there, the tough bit comes when you’re sitting down and deciding whether you want to hit that subscription button. After all, you want to make sure you’ve found the right provider for your business.

To save you from a time-consuming Google scavenger hunt, we’ve done in-depth research into the top four Kanban board providers to give you the confidence to know you’ve found your dream Kanban board.

monday.com – Best Overall Kanban Board

Available with the free plan

When it comes to Kanban boards, monday.com dominates the league because of its wide-ranging functionality. It’s heavily customizable because it allows you to add images to each Kanban card, allowing you to visualize your project’s progress at a glance. This is a great visual shortcut to have when you’re managing complex projects.

You can also easily drag and drop columns and cards to reorganize your Kanban view, and create sub-items within cards to break down large tasks into bite-size ones. Probably the coolest part of all is that you can have a split view. This feature allows you to view your Kanban board and your main table view simultaneously, giving you extra insight into your project management progress.

The sad part to monday.com’s offering is that it isn’t the most collaborative when compared with others like Teamwork. Missing out on resource management, team instant messenger, and a project message board, it becomes clear that monday.com’s Kanban view is not the best choice for larger, collaborative teams.

monday.com's Kanban view set up with a Split View

ClickUp – Best For Easy Set Up

Available with the free plan

Another one of our Kanban favorites is ClickUp because it’s simple to set up and can easily melt into your project management needs. You can swiftly rearrange your columns and group them by status, assignee, priority, and more, which allows you to grasp where all stages of your project are at a glance. ClickUp also lets you make changes in bulk using the Bulk Action Toolbar, which saves you time when managing tasks.

Although monday.com is definitely better on the visual end of things because you can add many customized visuals, ClickUp is great if you want to switch to visualizing your project as a Kanban board in a single click. This means you won’t need to spend lengthy hours setting up all the minute details that will allow your Kanban board to reach its full organizational glory.

ClickUp's Board view

Wrike – Best For Customization

Available with the free plan

Although Kanban boards have become a nearly universal organizational template, they need to be customized to feel like they’re a natural extension of your project management modus operandi. From our research, we know Wrike is highly customizable, making it a great platform to use Kanban boards. With Wrike, you can limit the amount of work that can be parked at the ‘In Progress’ stage, create your own development workflow columns according to your project’s needs, and also use request forms to intake and auto-assign tasks. All of this gives you tons of visibility and allows you to coordinate your project according to your own rules and processes.

Even though Wrike doesn’t give you the savvy Split view that monday.com offers or ClickUp’s quick metamorphosis from main to board view, Wrike still does a great job of molding into whatever you need it to be after going through some basic customization. For instance, compared to the other providers, Wrike lets you combine multiple custom statuses into one column to keep a more detailed track of each individual workflow. Just keep in mind that creating custom statuses isn’t an option on Wrike’s Free plan.

Wrike's Kanban Board view

Teamwork – Best For Collaborative Teams

Available with the free plan

As you might’ve guessed from the name, Teamwork is a great platform to create Kanban boards that give you plenty of opportunity to unleash your collaborative side when you’re managing your project. The beauty of Teamwork’s Kanban board is with its Triggers, which is a feature that lets you skip the admin work and automatically reassign tasks, change due dates, and send notifications when tasks progress. This makes your collaborative workflow streamlined and easier to manage, making it a great fit for all sorts of teams.

However, no project management platform is without its faults. Teamwork Kanban boards take more time to set up than monday.com or ClickUp, which might eat away at the time you need to get on with your other project tasks. From our first-hand insights, we know that you need to set up the columns before adding each of your tasks under them. This sets Teamwork slightly apart from other platforms which already have preset columns ready to go.

Teamwork's Board view

Why Use A Kanban Board Template?

  • Workflow transparency: the customizable column workflows and cards allow you to visualize each task of your project, letting you identify gaps in productivity and inefficient use of resources. The visibility and aesthetically-pleasing layout also make Kanban boards a great organizational tool to share with stakeholders to keep them updated on your progress.
  • Efficiency boost: the Kanban method allows you to break down bigger tasks into smaller, compact cards that don’t have the big daunting threat of a fully-sized project. This allows your team members to be focused and, of course, to get Kanban card-sized doses of dopamine every time a task moves along the workflow columns.
  • Focus on continuous delivery: depending on your specific project management modus operandi, you might have one or many workflow columns. Regardless of your numbers, your team members are focused on moving tasks along, little by little, until they reach the finish line, letting them focus on continuously delivering at every stage. This makes your workflow manageable and visible, while also letting you promptly identify when productivity is slowing down and a chance to adapt accordingly.

Who Should Use A Kanban Board Template?

Kanban boards don’t discriminate. Regardless of your industry or business size, Kanban boards are extremely useful to streamline your project management mojo. Even though Kanban boards are usually associated with larger businesses and teams (because they’re so great at simplifying workflows), it’s the visibility and customization they give to your project management that also makes it great for smaller teams. Lots of providers, like monday.com, ClickUp, Wrike, and Teamwork, allow you to use Kanban boards on their free plan. This means that, if you’re not looking to make hefty investments, they’re still a viable project management tool for you.

However, if you’re looking to pair your Kanban board with lots of other shiny and deeply functional project management features, you might need to put down more money on the table to access a worthwhile subscription. If this is you, you probably have larger budgets or are a bigger business.

Verdict

Among the members in our Kanban board Hall of Fame, our favorite provider is monday.com. With its reversible tasks and actions, its intuitive color coding system, and its customizability that lets you add all the personality you want to your workflow, it’s a great option if you’re looking to jump on the Kanban board wagon.

However, if you’re still not convinced by all that monday.com offers, and prefer a provider that offers a quick and easy set up, we’d recommend taking a look at ClickUp. It’s quick and easy to set up – all you really need to do is click a button to switch to board view and start managing your tasks through the Kanban method.

If you’re still unsure about which provider to go for, feel free to take a look at our free comparison page. It’ll connect you with the suppliers that will fit your project’s needs and give you the confidence you need to click the ‘subscribe’ button.

FAQs

What is a Kanban board?
A Kanban board is a nifty organizational tool that project managers use to visualize their workflow. The basic components of a Kanban board are workflow columns. Each of these corresponds to a stage that a task is currently at: in progress, drafting, completed, etc. Each workflow column is then populated with Kanban cards, which contain information about a task, including its assigned team member and the task description. Each Kanban card is driven along all the columns until it reaches the ‘completed’ stage.
How do I make my own Kanban board?
All you need to make a Kanban board is project management software and a project to complete. Most project manager softwares will already have a Kanban board template that is ready to go, so you’ll just need to create Kanban cards, your own workflow columns, and assign tasks to your team members.
What is the Kanban methodology?
The Kanban methodology is a well-known workflow management method that lets organizations manage and improve their operation by visualizing all their tasks (and their individual progress) all at once. This helps organizations improve their efficiency.

Fernanda is a Mexican-born Expert Market writer, specializing in providing in-depth insights about business software to help businesses of all shapes and sizes thrive. From VoIP systems to project management software, she’s passionate about helping businesses find the tools and methods that will help give them an edge over their competitors. Fernanda has ample journalistic experience, having written for a multitude of online magazines about topics ranging from Latin American politics to cryptocurrency. When she’s not stringing sentences together about business solutions, she’s probably out there somewhere preaching about the superiority of Mexican food or perfecting her meticulously curated Spotify playlists.