My organization has early access to Microsoft Planner through our Office365 account, and I’ve been able to evaluate it compared to what we currently use: Trello. Spoiler alert: This post is fairly critical of Planner — in a Planner vs Trello head-to-head, trello wins hands down.
1. Broken Comments
The first thing I tried in Microsoft Planner was to leave a comment on a card. It broke. Bad first experience.
2. No Markdown support anywhere
Markdown syntax is not supported in comments, descriptions, or checklists.
3. Only 1 person can be assigned to a card
A key feature of Trello for my team is that multiple people can be assigned to a card at any given time. This fits our workflow. Forcing a 1-card-1-person relationship arbitrarily enforces a workflow on users.
4. Bugs in other browsers
Microsoft Planner doesn’t seem to play nice in Safari. It is compatible with IE/Edge… perhaps that is what it was developed for as well.
5. Cannot Edit Comments
Once comments are posted in Microsoft Planner, it is impossible to edit them.
6. No Card Numbers
There are no visible card numbers in planner. While they are also hidden in Trello, there are multiple plugins and options to surface them to the user.
7. No plugins or extensions
While this is technically not a failure of Microsoft Planner, community support does matter. Trello has thousands of community developed extensions that enhance and customize the interface to make it perfectly suited for a given team.
8. Character Limit in Checklists
Don’t plan on being verbose in your checklists in Microsoft Planner — there is a 100 character limit per item.
9. No 3rd Party Integrations
An important part of my Trello workflow is integration with Slack. Trello has 100’s of integrations with other services. Microsoft Planner is still new to the game, and there are no integrations yet.
10. Access tied only to Office365
I have personal and family trello boards, as well as work related boards, all linked together under the same account. The only access point a user can have with Microsoft Planner is with your organizations Office365 — meaning that vendors or contractors which aren’t part of your organization are out of the loop.
11. Limited Labels
Microsoft Planner seems to have a hard limit of 6 labels for a board. This is a pretty small set, and totally unusable if — like my team — you support dozens of applications.
12. Moving Cards Between Boards
It is impossible in Microsoft Planner to move cards between boards or projects. This is an essential function of Trello which allows us to move items between different teams boards, if the ownership of projects change, or cards are escalated to different groups.
13. Archiving Completed Tasks
In Microsoft Planner, “completed” cards are hidden, but still listed in each section. There is no “archive” section where you can move completed tasks to remove them from your board.
14. Board Customization
There doesn’t seem to be a way in Microsoft Planner to customize the board in any way, such as background colors or other branding.
15. Multiple Checklists
Trello allows you to have multiple checklists per card, breaking up tasks into groups. Microsoft Planner only has one checklist per card