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It appears that Trello is now forcing users to create teams in order to share a board. So if I want to share my personal board with my partner, we have to create a team. You only get 10 teams total so I guess Trello is putting the limitation on only being able to share 10 boards.  This is extremely frustrating and disappointing.  What would be the purpose of forcing a team? Does anyone know any workarounds? 

6 answers

I just submitted a ticket to try and get this answered. It's not at all working for my business to do it this way. Not sure why the switch. Have you figured out a workaround?

I have not and submitted a ticket. It is really annoying!

I'll happily share an answer if I get one soon!

Looks like you saw the messages below....not sure I get it yet but hoping it's not going to be a problem.

0 votes
Esme Crutchley Community Leader Jun 22, 2020

Hi @Katie Hewitt 

As far as I know there's a limit on 10 boards per free team, but I can't find anywhere where it says that there's a limit on the number of free teams you can have:

You only get 10 teams total so I guess Trello is putting the limitation on only being able to share 10 boards. 

Can you let me know where you found that information? I can't see it anywhere on the help site, or on the Personal vs Team Boards page

If you could let me know, that would be awesome

Esme :)

I am asking me the same thing. Website states you have 10 free team boards

So, does this mean I can only share 10 board for free (regardless which team) as I am forced to config them as team board if I want to add new members even if they are not part of the team?

Or is the limit of 10 free boards per team, of which I can create as much as I like?

Bottom line is: Can I share more that 10 boards with other people with a free plan?

"Can I share more that 10 boards with other people with a free plan?"

No.  The intent is that if you are collaborating on more than 10 boards, you would need to upgrade to Business Class. 

There are workarounds to this currently, but ultimately I would not rely on them into the future.

OK, this are sad new as this was possible in the past.

E.g. I work on several projects with several people but they almost never belong to the same team. In the past I could just add the required people to my private boards.

If this is no longer possible it is probably a deal breaker for me to use Trello (personal and professionally) as it forces me to buy functionality I don't require.

The philosophy behind the 10 board limit is the same as say Dropbox's storage limit.  There are extra features you get when you upgrade, but also the usage of the free version is not unlimited.   It sounds like the functionality you require (more than 10 boards) is part of our Business Class product.

Additionally, you don't need separate teams for the people you are working with.  I think the word Team is somewhat confusing (we are debating changing it) - think of it more as a folder or workspace for your boards.  So for example, your team would be "grossman's boards" and then you can add people individually to whatever boards you want - you do not have to add them as members of the team (which would just let them see the other boards).

@Michael Pryor I think the combination of multi-board guests with the inability to add additional members to personal boards is going to be a pretty big problem for a lot of people if you then start restricting the number of free teams as well, especially since Observers are counted as multi-board guests.

Picking up the Dropbox analogy for example: imagine if I were billed for sharing multiple folders in my account with the same person.

But then the actual functionality of teams is quite obscure, there is a pretty narrow set of use cases when having team members actually makes sense versus just having board members, so of course if you didn't have a multi-board guest model, every business class team would only have one team member.

It's quite the Gordion knot.

I think you'd be better off somehow getting to a more "normal" account, where I have people who are part of my "account" in much the same way as I have people in my G-Suite account.

For example, one reason I have people in my G-Suite account instead of just adding their free gmail accounts to my shared folders is because, as the owner of the account, I have control over any files they create and I can transfer ownership of those files when they leave. Another reason to do that is that if I have people on my team adding calendar events, I need to have them in my G-Suite account with a custom domain in order for those event invitations to come from a business email rather than a account (even though for email, I can just forward to a free gmail account). A slightly more obscure reason is that you can't delegate email inbox access to people outside of your domain.

So there's a really really clear delineation in G-Suite for when to start paying, but your costs are relatively stable. You can share your Google Drive folders with any number of outside collaborators, you can share calendars with people outside of your organisation and so on, without it having any impact on your billing.

What I'm seeing with the Trello model is that the combination of the removal of "shared personal" boards and the multi-board guest billing model will mean that people will be forced to nobble how they're using the product in order to avoid their bill sky rocketing, even when they have a core team of people on the team who they pay for.

I have some pretty specific ideas about how you could achieve this and how you could structure your accounts/teams so that the billing would make sense for more of your current userbase, I'd be happy to share them with you, I'm sure you know how to get in touch with me ;)

I totally agree with @Iain Dooley .

Charging for team members on a fixed team with multiple boards is totally fine and calculatable.

But charging for externals even if they are just watching or needed for one card/issue is ridiculous. This cuts functionality of Trello to be not usable if you want multiple external people to have access to your boards to participate.

That’s the thinking behind single board guests. If you are just working on one project with someone, you won’t get charged. 

We could probably add the ability to create a unique url that let anyone with the url view the board only (but not edit) which you could use to solve your use case. 

This is exactly what I mean. Charging for team member is totally fine. But charging for people who are not and should not be part of the team is ridiculous. This is exactly the opposite of what a service like Trello tries to solve, the fall back to alternative project management solutions (like email, *blarg*) for external sources.


Marketing team of 10 members -> 10 x charged -> OK.

Adding external people like sales, order processing, leader ship, product managers, external providers, ... which are probably on more that one board but only participate on single cards. - > 40+ times charged -> not OK.

Paying for a fixed team is absolutely understandable but to restrict the number of people to participate to one board is absolutely killing the idea of the service.

(Btw we can use 10 boards with team members for free but only 1 with an external person -> doesn't make sense at all).

0 votes

We are moving to a model where you can think of Teams as workspaces and all boards will be in a workspace. There are a lot of small changes we need to make (and some big ones) to get there but you can imagine the end state as all boards are in a workspace (and a workspace is essentially what we call a Team today). 

One of these changes is that you will be prompted to put your board into a Team if you are collaborating with other people. (It’s rolling out in stages)

But when you are just sharing the board with one person and use boards in lots of 1:1 partnerships, this seems unnecessary and also will create dozens of teams. Is there a way to go back to the previous version?

It won’t create dozens of teams. Just name your team Ashley’s Team. You can continue adding the people directly to the board (and not adding them to the team). You’ll just have one Team (or think of it as your workspace)

Thank you. I use individual boards for each of my client projects. To clarify, are you suggesting that I add each of those boards to "Ashley's Team" and then send each individual a custom invite from there?

Another question- if a board is on a "team" can all team members see it, or just the those who are invited to the board?

 It feels redundant to have a "workspace" when you are doing 1 on 1 work with someone. The Trello board IS the workspace. 

You get to decide. 

You can make it private and then only the people you add will see it. 

Or you can make it team visible and then the team members can see it. 

Thats a setting for the board. 

The board is akin to a project.  The workspace is the folder for your projects. That’s how most other apps use the term workspace.  

0 votes

To clarify, are you suggesting that I add each of those boards to "Ashley's Team" and then send each individual a custom invite from there?”

yes!  You can send them an invite link or just add them to the board - exactly the same way you did it last week. 

@Michael Pryor @Reading through and I am not sure this question is answered. 

Can u have logical groups of people  as free teams and have them use the same board?

This is for the purpose of on boarding and out boarding as a team. My initial thoughts are that when invited these people will be joining the board and not any  team. 

0 votes
Iain Dooley Community Leader Jun 22, 2020

@Ashley the likely upshot for you as someone who works with lots of clients 1:1 on boards, is that you will have to have a business class team with lots of single board guests and unlimited boards, and you will only have to pay for yourself.

The only time you would need to pay for your clients, is if they are members of more than one board, and this was raised by another user recently where she worked with multiple clients 1:1 but they used a new board each month. I suggested that if they each needed a permanent record of that board, then at the end of each month and before creating the next month's board, the client take a personal copy of the board, then she remove the client from last month's board and add them to next month's board.

If you're working on all these boards with another team member, however, such as a business partner or collaborator, then that member would either be a team member or a multi-board guest and would be billable also.

This is so ridiculously confusing and IMO really ruined the whole point of us using Trello... * BIG SIGH*

In all honesty, I feel like this is a way to upcharge everyone and it seems very opportunistic as people move more to a WFH workspace.  

Nevertheless, @Michael Pryor I have the same question as @Katie Hewitt . I also saw the post about the other member with lots of 1:1 board and your reply. I too have that same issue.

However I keep seeing where there is a fee for "Multi-Board Guests", but it is listed under "Business Class". Is it the same for Trello Gold??


Billing for Multi-Board Guests for Business Class Teams

For Business Class teams, users - whether team members or guests - that have access to multiple team boards are considered billable users. 


I don't believe the question we are asking is REALLY being answered. Its kind of ambiguous and unclear the way the features are being listed and how we can actually utilize then. Can you PLEASE CLARIFY!?!?!

Esme Crutchley Community Leader Jul 03, 2020

Hi @Kristi Oliver 

Welcome to the Community!

I'm going to do my best to answer a little bit of your question (as I understand it):

BC is per team, whereas Gold is individual.

If you upgrade a team to BC, you're paying to upgrade the whole team and will be charged for whoever is in the team. If you have 10 members of the team, the charge will be 10 times the £143.99 annually. If you only have 1 team member, then it will be £143.99 a year. If you have 100 boards in a Business Class Team and 100 people on only 1 board + you, it's still £143.99 a year because you're the only team member and there are no others on more than 1 board. (This increases when you add someone to more than 1 board).

Gold is a personal subscription. Only you can upgrade your account to Gold, and you can't upgrade anyone else's account to Gold, it has to be done by the individual. Gold doesn't have information on Multi-Board Guests, because it doesn't have such a thing. Gold is a personal plan and can only be initiated or cancelled by the individual. 

If you need to have another person on more than 1 board, a free team would enable you to have a team per client and add only that client to whichever boards in that team you wanted them to have access to. Yes, there's a limit to 10 boards, and I would strongly suggest you don't add the client to the team, add them to the individual boards, because any member of the whole team can upgrade it to BC, and that could be expensive.

Alternatively, if you're working with say 10 clients a month, you could have a free team per month, add the individual clients to just their board within this months team, then the following month, start a new team and start the new boards again (and have yourself as the only team member to prevent accidental upgrades). Of course, you can move boards around and make template boards to make this easier if you prefer. 

Does that make sense? Please come back to me/the Community if I haven't explained it properly.

Esme :)

Note that I am a Trello user, not staff or anything. I've had to work out what's going on the same as others, I'm just a customer.

@Esme Crutchley  So far so good up to “If you need to have another person...” where you start on team and client. If I want to stick to free plans throughout and I am the only admin ... the rest are Instructors and student can be added to boards but not the team. Will this be ok for free plans. Essentially the boards are personal private with students and Instructors added to board only. ... so I bit of confusing is what’s the difference for people added to board and people added to team in terms of what the can or cannot do. Only action I need is for student to move cards between two  list, read and access links, mark checklist completion. Commenting will be on another board. 

Esme Crutchley Community Leader Jul 03, 2020

Hi @SGi Admin 

Okey dokey!

If you have a free team, make sure you're the only person in the actual team - boards can be shared with anyone you want, but make sure you're the only one on the team.

Team Members on the free teams can upgrade the whole team, costing a lot. So you don't want that!

If you add them to the boards you want them to have access to, they'll be able to do things on the board, same as always, but won't be able to mess anything up or cost you an arm and a leg!

If you want an instructor and student to see board A in team 1 - add them to board A not the whole team. If you add them to the whole team, they have exactly the same rights as you, over the entire team:

For free teams (those that haven't upgraded to Business Class), all team members are equal, which means that everybody can invite other members to join the team, edit the Team profile and change some settings of this collaboration space you all share.

So, to avoid people upgrading the whole team to BC, or doing things you don't want them to be able to do at the team level - only have yourself on the team. Invite anyone you like to the boards but only have either just you, or trusted people in the overarching team.

Basically, it's exactly the same as when we were able to add people to our personal boards, you wouldn't have given them the log in for your account, you just invited them to the boards you wanted them to see. This is the same principle, add them to the boards you want. I have a free team for family - myself, Mother & Hubster - I don't want them to be able to have admin rights over the whole team (mainly because neither of them know what they're doing), so I removed them from the overarching team, but left them on each board. Now they can do everything they could before, but I don't need to worry about them clicking on anything that they should at the team level!

So yes, you're right, have yourself as the only admin on as many free teams as you think is necessary, then add individuals to the boards that you want them to see.

Does that make sense?

Esme :)

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Great. Thanks. 

NONE of this makes sense and I guess I need to start looking for another similar program. Such a shame really!

Hi Kristi,

I'm sorry it's so confusing and I take the blame for that. 

Essentially, if you are using Trello at scale (i.e. more than 10 boards) for work, we want you to be a Business Class customer.  

There are currently a lot of workarounds to that sentiment, but ultimately if you find a lot of value in Trello and you love it and you are using it to run your business and it provides your business value, we would like you to be a paying user.


I pay for Trello Gold and have no problem paying for anything of value. In fact I was just about to upgrade to Business Class until I saw all of the confusing terms and conditions. 

I am all for Trello making a profit... but this just seems very... I don't know... 

Yes, there is a lot of text in these answers :)

Business Class is the right product if you are working with other people.  Our Business Class product charges based on the number of people you are working with, but allows you to work on an unlimited number of projects with them.

There is however no charge for people you only work on one project (board) with.

If you work on more than one project (board) then they will be charged for.

That is the extent of single board guests and multi-board guests.

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