Kintone is an all-in-one workflow management platform that allows users to create custom business applications for managing tasks, team data, and communication. This software works for sales and marketing teams, HR departments, IT and administration, and even healthcare organizations. With Kintone, create transparent workflow processes, so everyone knows the next steps and reaps the benefits of exceptional visibility into team members, tasks, and statuses.
Kintone Compared to the Best Workflow Management Software
While Kintone is a terrific tool for its high customizability and other benefits, there are quality alternatives to consider that may fit your needs better. We’ve tested dozens of tools and reviewed the best workflow management software in one post. These options include our Golden Eggs, the three tools we spotlight below for their versatility and excellence.
Hive is terrific workflow management software for remote teams, focusing heavily on communication, process management, and prioritization. Get started with Hive by requesting a demo or starting your free trial.
Kintone: The Good and the Bad
A sound workflow management system improves team communication, reduces errors, increases productivity, and eliminates redundant manual work. A quality software option’s features and capabilities can tell you whether it’s worth implementing for your organization. Like all software, Kintone has advantages and drawbacks; let’s dive into them.
What Kintone Is Good At
There are multiple things to like about Kintone, starting with its capability to let you build custom business applications without needing coding knowledge. The software also offers ready-to-use applications if you don’t want to build your own, provides comprehensive process management, and consolidates all team communication onto a unified platform.
No-code custom apps: The leading feature of Kintone is the ability to create business apps and custom workflows with no coding experience. The platform has a simple drag-and-drop builder that lets you add specific functionalities. Create the app from scratch by dragging and dropping the chosen fields onto a form, then configure the app settings to fit your use case. You can also create apps from a template or import from a spreadsheet.
Now, you can build in-platform elements supporting each individual, team, or department’s workflow. Track virtually any task, data set, or process. It’s a great solution for organizations with unique business processes looking for a bespoke solution.
Built-in application packs: Creating an app in Kintone is easy and straightforward. However, the platform also offers over 900 pre-made applications if you don’t want to get your hands dirty creating an app from scratch. Take a ready-made app from the Kintone library, then customize it to suit your needs. There are pre-built applications for just about any business function, including IT, research and development, and business trip reports. The apps also have permission settings with built-in user roles and user groups.
Consolidated communication: With Kintone, you’ll likely never need a separate communication platform. Get five built-in communication features, with each channel designed to solve a specific problem.
For example, you can create a virtual room called a Space for a specific team, department, or project. Each Space has an announcement panel where you can add text, links, images, and data points immediately visible when team members log in. Kintone lets you create up to 300 spaces. You can also create forum threads for ongoing discussions, use private chat for confidential communication, or post messages to a user’s personal, Facebook-style wall.
Custom process management: Set up custom statuses in Kintone to define progress for each task. You can also pre-set assignees so tasks transition to the appropriate person for each workflow stage. Finally, you can also set up conditional logic to automate certain workflow elements. For example, a user can submit a request, and the approver gets notified to move the request to the next stage, even when out of the office.
Do more with extensions: Kintone allows more control over your environment with numerous extensions to expand the software’s native capabilities. Quickly integrate with QuickBooks, GitHub, Google Maps, KrewDashboard, Formstack Documents, and many other third-party applications to enhance what you can do within Kintone. Furthermore, the software provides a powerful API to integrate custom extensions and plugins.
Generate periodic reports: Aggregate and organize data daily, hourly, monthly, or at predetermined intervals to build comprehensive reports in Kintone. You can also choose the regular information to check, such as department, task status, or due date. The software retains and aggregates the last 30 results, so you have some history to reference reports against at any time.
Kintone also provides various chart types to make your data more accessible to viewers. Create bar, column, area, pie, and table charts, and customize how you want the software to aggregate the data in these visualizations.
What Kintone Is Lacking
Kintone also has a few areas where it needs improvement or just doesn’t suit some types of users. These can be barriers to using the software effectively or, perhaps, deal breakers in terms of your initial decision to purchase an effective workflow management solution.
Steep learning curve: Kintone is a terrific workflow management software if you know how to use it. However, despite user-friendly tools like the no-code app builder, the platform has a steep learning curve overall. The software is especially difficult for those using workflow management software for the first time.
It will take some time for inexperienced teams to learn how best to create apps and workflows that improve your day-to-day and understand how changes in one part of the software can manifest elsewhere. On the plus side, Kintone offers in-app tutorials, an extensive knowledge base, and responsive customer support whenever your team feels lost or overwhelmed.
Outdated user interface (UI) design: The company does a terrific job creating software that delivers on its promises. However, the user interface isn’t as aesthetically pleasing as it could be, further steepening the learning curve. The platform looks dated, and the user experience could be more intuitive. For example, basic features like process management are tucked away in the task settings, not front-and-center within the interface.
Expensive: Kintone is slightly more expensive than most competitors in this category, starting at $120 per month for five users. Additionally, you pay for each additional user, with no bulk discounts available. Some competitors, like ProofHub, charge a flat rate for unlimited users.
Thus, Kintone can be particularly expensive for a large organization with hundreds of users. The pricing is also rigid—you cannot choose a cheaper plan with only the features you need to save a few bucks.
Kintone Options and Pricing
Kintone offers one product, which is its workflow management software. As a result, the pricing structure is straightforward. Most other software offers tiered packages, with the more expensive plans sporting more features and fewer usage limits. With Kintone, you get all of the software’s features by default.
Kintone Workflow Management Software
Kintone’s single pricing plan runs $24 per user per month. The only consideration to be mindful of is paying for a minimum of five users, meaning the lowest your monthly bill can be is $120 per month.
Although Kintone is slightly more expensive than most competitors, it does offer full access to the software’s features no matter what. You don’t need to constantly upgrade your subscription as your workflows become more complex and demanding, and you have everything you need at your fingertips when you purchase your subscription.
The software’s features cover the following:
- No-code application building
- Enhanced process management
- Collaboration suite
- Productivity enhancement suite
- Open API connectivity
- Unlimited custom views
Every user on your Kintone environment gets 5 GB of space. So, the total space available for your environment depends on the number of users. You can also purchase additional space if you exceed the limit.
Kintone also includes a mobile app in your subscription. It’s a terrific solution for managing workflows on the go. The app is available for iOS, Android, and mobile web browsers.
The mobile app supports most Kintone features and capabilities. For example, you can access the Kintone Portal to view announcements, check notifications, access spaces, and use the platform’s main navigation menu.
You get a similar UI to the desktop version with a few limitations. For example, you cannot display tables or attachment fields. Similarly, you cannot edit announcements, create apps, or create and join spaces.
Kintone is also secure, with multiple security features, including:
- Session lifetime settings
- Account lockout
- Secure password policy setup
- Data in motion & data at rest
Finally, you can take advantage of a 30-day free trial period if you’re unsure whether this software will do the trick for your organization. And organizations in certain fields—non-profits, educational institutions, and government agencies—may be eligible for discounted pricing.
Kintone In Summary
Kintone is a terrific workflow management solution for businesses spending too much time and money developing their own tools for managing the day-to-day. This platform lets you create custom apps for any department, including HR, sales, marketing, and business development. Furthermore, you can create custom workflows within your apps to support your business processes, no matter how unique.
However, Kintone may be too difficult or expensive to justify for your organization. In that case, try first returning to our Golden Eggs. These include the versatile ProofHub, the user-friendly Process Street, and the remote-team-optimized Hive.
If you want to examine more options than those three or just learn more about this entire category of software, dive into our full post on the best workflow management software and arm yourself with the knowledge you need to make the best purchasing decision for your business or organization.