There are loads of project management software platforms that can do things that Jira can't. If your business needs team planning software that doesn't fit the Jira format (perfect is Jira can be for tech and development teams) then you have some great Jira alternatives to choose from:
- monday.com is the best Jira alternative for a simple layout with excellent customization
- Clickup is the best free Jira alternative, with a low cost paid plan that makes it an entire “work operating system”
- Backlog is the best Jira alternative to suit tech and development teams
Jira is a titan in the project management software world, but even titans can be defeated. Its tricky automation system and hard-to-navigate interface and terminology can mean that some people aren't particularly drawn toward Jira.
If you're one such person who finds that Jira just isn't for them, then have a look at eight competitors that we consider to defeat Jira in some way or another. They may not all trump Jira in every field, but each platform listed here will at least reign supreme in some regard.
Best Alternatives to Jira
There are loads of project management options out there, and they all have different advantages over Jira. While we won't cover them all, here are some of the major contenders for the project management crown.
monday – Best for Customization
monday is a prolific creator of multiple business-based software, one of which is their popular project management platform.
This platform comes with an easy to use automation builder, as well as many handy customisation options which users can implement to make their experience a lot easier. While monday isn't exactly packed with options, that can sometimes be preferable for people who don't want to be flooded with buttons and tools.
monday Pricing vs Jira Pricing
For monday's pricing, it has one free tier, three priced tiers, and a bespoke tier. While the bespoke plan's price varies based on what you include, the other plans cost $10 per user per month (Basic plan), $12 per user per month (Standard plan), and $20 per user per month (Pro plan).
When compared to Jira's pricing, with two paid plans costing $7 and $14 per user per month, these prices are slightly more expensive, putting monday at a bit of a disadvantage. It's only a difference of a couple of dollars, though, so you shouldn't make a call just based on that.
Is monday Better than Jira?
One of Jira's biggest failures is its tricky automation system, a problem which is entirely solved by monday. While Jira does come with a few features that monday doesn't have, like customer support options and burndown charts, overall monday does have the edge over Jira.
- Highly customizable platform
- A bit more affordable compared to other services
- Automation features save loads of time
- Missing more common project management features
- Limited third party integrations
- Higher tiers required for basic features
Backlog – Best for Tech/Dev Teams
Backlog is a fairly barebones project management software platform. It doesn't have any collaboration or data visualisation features, with the features it does have lending themselves toward software development teams, like turndown charts and issue logs.
Backlog Pricing vs Jira Pricing
Backlog has a free tier, three paid tiers, and a bespoke tier. These paid plans are the the Starter plan ($35 per month), Standard plan ($100 per month), and Premium plan ($175 per month). It's worth noting that these prices don't differ based on the amount of users, so a team of 3 and a team of 100 will be paying the same price.
It's hard comparing this to Jira's plans, as its worth will only be easy to calculate if you know how many team members you have. A team of 10 will get a lot out of Backlog's $35 per month plan, but the same team would be paying $70 per month on Jira's cheapest plan.
Is Backlog Better than Jira?
For most businesses, Backlog would not be better than Jira. However, if you're a tech or software development team that doesn't need things like data visualisation or collaboration resources, Backlog might be for you.
- Provides dedicated features specifically for agile project management
- Free plan available
- Uses a 'one price' pricing structure rather than charging per user
- Unintuitive interface
- Custom fields are restricted to Business and Enterprise plans
- Does not provide automated workflows
ClickUp – Best Free Option
ClickUp wins our prize for the best project management free plan. While most competitors offers free plans, ClickUp's unlimited users and integrations, coupled with their wide range of features that are often locked behind paid tiers (like time tracking and a team instant messenger) make this a free plan for the ages.
ClickUp Pricing vs Jira Pricing
Concerning ClickUp's pricing, while they have a good free plan, the paid plans are still worth mentioning. They have a bespoke plan, as well as two paid tiers. The Unlimited plan costs $9 per user per month, and the Business plan costs $19 per user per month.
Compared to Jira, these are a bit more expensive, but not deal-breakingly so. In any case, ClickUp's free tier is still the best value, and its paid options should really only be considered if you find yourself a bit cramped by the free plan's limits.
Is ClickUp Better than Jira?
It's quite close, as there are several cases where one will fail to offer a feature that the other includes. For example, Jira doesn't allow guest access while ClickUp does. But ClickUp fails to offer custom widget or chart builders on its lowest tiers, while Jira has them on every tier. The overall amount of features is pretty even, so it comes down to cost and what your business needs.
- Genuinely impressive free plan
- Competitive pricing options
- Very customizable
- Limited storage outside of Unlimited plan
- Better for small teams, few enterprise level features
- Customizability can be overwhelming to new users
Wrike – Best for Ease of Use
Wrike is a project management software that's mercifully easy to operate. It offers so many features in the realm of task management, like spreadsheet view, sub-tasks, milestones, and task dependencies, that making and tracking tasks is extremely easy and fluid.
Wrike Pricing vs Jira Pricing
When looking at Wrike's pricing, aside from the free and bespoke tiers, there are just two paid tiers. These are the Professional and Business tiers, priced at $9.80 per user per month and $24.80 per user per month respectively. However, you do need a minimum of five users on each plan, which can be a bit annoying for small teams.
These plans are steeper than Jira's $7 and $14 plans, especially when you factor in the five user minimum. Jira is an overall better value product when looking at price.
Is Wrike Better than Jira?
Wrike is around the same level as Jira, as they have around the same amount of shortcomings. Both aren't great at automation, and while Jira falls short on collaboration, Wrike offers great support for teams to communicate. On the flipside, Wrike's price is a bit steeper than Jira, putting them around the same level in the end.
- No-nonsense, robust feature catalog
- Lots of customizability
- Integrates with Slack, Google Hangouts, and Adobe Creative Cloud
- Not entirely easy to use
- Nothing special that you wouldn't find in other software
- Mobile options are limited
Smartsheet – Best for Excel Junkies
As the name Smartsheet might imply, this platform is great for anyone who relies on a lot of spreadsheets to operate their business, as its spreadsheet interface is flexible and powerful. If your business uses Excel or Google Sheets, this is a great option to integrate your data into a project management software.
Smartsheet Pricing vs Jira Pricing
There's no free plan on offer on Smartsheet's pricing, meaning that it's just the one bespoke tier and two paid plans. These plans are the Individual plan, costing $14 per month, and the Business plan, costing $25 per user per month.
These plans are a bit more expensive than Jira, and without the option for a free tier, it's easy to see that the value doesn't quite stack up, but they're by no means expensive.
Is Smartsheet Better than Jira?
You'd really only opt for Smartsheet if you were a sucker for spreadsheets. Jira trumps or ties Smartsheet in almost every other capacity, like data visualisation and customer support. The only way Smartsheet pulls ahead is in task management, due to its detailed spreadsheet features.
- Free Trial available
- Easy to use, even for beginners
- Familiar, spreadsheet-like interface
- Great for any sized company
- Some features have limited functionality
- Very few third party apps available
Trello – Best for Automation
One of Jira's weakest points is its automation, as while the options are there, the automation builder itself leaves a lot to be desired. That's why Trello, which has an intuitive automation builder that even offers suggestions based on user behavior, is a great substitute for those looking to automate a lot of their project management.
Trello Pricing vs Jira Pricing
Trello's pricing is made up of a free plan and two paid plans – the Business Class plan ($12.50 per user per month), and the Enterprise plan ($17.50 per user per month).
While these costs don't break the bank, Jira is one of the cheapest platforms out there, so they don't quite reach Jira's affordability. Compared to the rest of the market, however, these are definitely affordable prices.
Is Trello Better than Jira?
Trello is one of the most popular project management software platforms on the market, so it's definitely up to Jira's standard. Trello is also a better option for small teams and projects, as it's a lot more user friendly, and easier to get up and running.
Jira beats Trello in data visualisation resources, but everything else is pretty much neck and neck (apart from automation). So while it's tight, the average user might get more out of Jira.
- Intuitive, drag-and-drop interface
- Lots of add-ons available
- Free option available
- Very limited free option
- Too basic for larger teams
- Add-ons come at a price
Asana – Best for a Clean Interface
Sometimes, all you're looking for is a smooth ride with little to no obstacles getting in your way. Asana ticks this box, with one of the sleekest user interfaces on the market. This extends not just to its interface, as its automation, form, and chart builders are all very streamlined and intuitive.
Asana Pricing vs Jira Pricing
Outside of the free plan and the bespoke plan, Asana has two paid tiers. These are the Premium ($13.49 per user per month) and Business ($30.49 per user per month) tiers.
This is a lot more expensive than Jira, so Jira does have the edge on Asana, at least when it comes to cost.
Is Asana Better than Jira?
Asana is certainly a lot easier to use than Jira, but the cost can turn a lot of people away. Its features and builders are extremely useful and very robust, but comparing $13.49 to $7 makes the choice a lot easier, especially for small businesses.
- Free trial available
- Plenty of third party integrations
- Incredible clean and intuitive interface
- Free options available
- Most key features require Premium plan
- High prices for larger teams
- Limited customizability
Should You Choose Jira Anyway?
After all this, you might not feel particularly inclined toward any of these alternatives after all. And if that's the case, worry not! Jira is a big name in project management for a reason, so opting for them is still a good choice.
Jira can be split up into two products: Jira Software and Jira Work Management. For the sake of simplicity, we'll mainly be talking about Jira Software, as that is usually the product that people refer to when referencing Jira.
Jira is certainly on the lower end when it comes to price. Putting aside its free tier, its lowest tier is $7 per month, and the upper, non-bespoke tier is only $14 per month, making it one of the cheapest options on the market.
Where Jira shines is in its free plan, which is almost as robust as its paid plans, with the most significant differences coming in the form of limit increases. Manual tasks, like task reallocation and time-frame updates, can be completed very easily, saving you time.
As for downfalls, they're there, but they're not massive deal-breakers. For example, users can't give access to guests, the terminology can be a bit tricky, and the automation builder is more complex than others, but these can most be fixed with some good ol' determination.
- Very simple interface that's easy to use
- Lots of helpful integrations
- Scalable pricing structure - the more users you have, the more you save
- Missing more advanced project management features
- Integrations can be confusing
- Monthly rates are very expensive
Free Alternatives to Jira
If you're not looking to spend any money on your project management service, you're in luck! A vast majority of project management software platforms offer free tiers.
Being transparent, Jira's free tier is pretty solid. It has almost all the features of its lowest paid tier, with the only concession coming in the form of lower limits for things like users (10 users) and data storage (2GB).
However, if you're not a Jira fan on principle, there are still some other free plans worth consideration. Trello's free plan is particularly generous, offering unlimited users and data storage (though each file does have a limit of 10MB). Its features are less inclusive than in a paid plan, but it's still worth your consideration.
Another solid free plan is Asana, which offers unlimited projects, integrations, data storage (with a file limit of 100 MB), and 15 users. The only missing features are Asana's data visualisation options and some of their task management features.
However, our favourite free tier belongs to ClickUp. Unlimited users and integrations, 100MB of data storage, and almost all of the features included in the paid tiers. The only downside is that some of these features have limited uses (usually 100 uses), like Gantt charts and the data visualisation dashboard.
Verdict: The Best Jira Alternatives
In a broader perspective, however, the best Jira alternatives would have monday and Trello. monday's customization features mean that users can make it their own, and Trello's automation options allow for minimal manual usage for those who want to spend time away from the computer.
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