This past December I shared a blog post about how I was getting ready to goal set for 2016, and the resources I was using to do so. One of the tools that made that list was TRELLO! I originally came across inspiration for how to use Trello in my business in this blog post by Katelyn James. (Her video was so helpful in giving me a visual for how to apply it to my own business!)
I had previously tried numerous online todo systems before- both free and paid- and had never found one that I enjoyed as much as this one. Last week, Kat from Dear Sweetheart Events hosted a free webinar on how she uses Trello, and I quickly realized that I now use Trello even more so than I did when I mentioned it last year, and that a blog post was in order! Watching Kat’s webinar reminded me how much I truly do depend on this tool, and how amazing it is, because I not only use it to organize tasks and projects in my businesses, but also in my personal life too! (Busy Moms- I am talking to YOU today too!)
My Favorite Things About Trello:
• It’s FREE! Seriously, you can have close to ALL the good features in the free plan!
• It syncs across ALL my mobile devices. This is why I also use it for personal running lists of items I need at the grocery store, or Target.
• It’s drag and drop. Trello is organized by Boards, Lists, and Cards. You can completely customize this to work in the best way for you. For me, I have one board for my photography business, with different lists including Urgent Todo’s, General Todo’s, Client workflow, etc. On each of those lists, you add cards, sort of like how you pin “pins” to a Pinterest Board. You can keep those cards simple, or they can be incredibly detailed with checklists, images, uploaded files, and even team communication! Cards can be easily copied, or moved or assigned to a different list or board. Want to be sure your husband picks up the right kind of eggs on his way home? Simply drag the grocery list over to his board and he will get a notification right on his phone!
• You can color code! I have certain colors set to represent Clients, The Fount Collective Blog Posts, Personal, The Fount Workshop, Urgent, and more. It’s a great way to locate something you need quickly, and adds even more organization for those of us who wear so many hats!
• This isn’t just a tool for business! Trello is SO useful for personal and home tasks that need organizing as well! From shopping lists, to your kid’s school responsibilities, home projects, and more- the possibilities are endless! I have a terrible habit of keeping a shopping list on a post-it in my kitchen, but I rarely remember to grab the paper list on my way to the grocery store or Target. (I am the queen of buying absolutely everything except the ONE thing I went to the store for! Trello is seriously helping me so much with this!) Having a running shopping list for different stores on my Personal Trello board means that I can quickly glance at my phone if I make an impromptu stop and make sure I pick up what I really need!
• The team communication. If you work with a team in any capacity- from home communication and using it with your spouse or family, to a creative team on a big project, to an intern or office staff- Trello is so easy to use with a team! It is my lifesaver platform for communication with my intern. I love it!
Here is an example Trello board for you to see a quick visual. I use Trello Gold so I can have a custom background image,which is $5 a month, or earned with referrals. The free plan comes with your choice of solid color background options, in addition to pre-loaded background images. I love having custom images as my background when possible, but the pre-loaded options are a great way to save a monthly expense!
Here is a list of just SOME of the things that I currently use Trello for:
• Urgent and General ToDo List Tracking
• Portrait Client Workflow
• Mentoring Session Workflow
• Blog Post Ideas & Brainstorming
• Email Newsletter Ideas, Brainstorming, & Planning
• Fount Workshop Planning- my whole Creative Team is involved!
• Communication with my Intern
• Fount Blog Post Planning
• Personal Shopping Lists
• Task Organization for my church team responsibilities
• Personal and Business Monthly Bill Pay Management & Tracking
Here is an example of what opening a card looks like. Sometimes my card is just a quick text, and sometimes a card is used to track a client’s workflow and I need to be more detailed and add a checklist. As I check steps off the checklist, you will see the completed bar move alongside the progress. This allows me a quick view to see which client is almost done, and which client is waiting on me to complete other tasks. I also use the checklist feature for different shopping lists on my Personal Board. I have a card for Target, My local Grocery Store, Amazon, etc and then I keep a running checklist of items I need to pick up there.
When you open a Trello card, you can add team members, color labels, due dates, upload files- I mean YOU GUYS. You can seriously use Trello for anything!
But what about my beautiful planner I just bought for 2016??
Personally I still love pen & paper, so what works really well for me, is using Trello as my main hub for all todo’s and projects, and then using my Day Designer Planner for a daily view. What works really well for me and my schedule is sitting down at the beginning of each week, and taking it one week at a time in my planner. I write in my schedule, any appointments or mentoring sessions from Google Calendar for the week ahead, and then I pull the Urgent Todo’s and Projects into different office hours of the week. I like this system because then I don’t lose anything- I know every task can be quickly added and safely stored in Trello on all my devices, but I still get that satisfaction of crossing off tasks with pen & paper, and being realistic with what I will really accomplish in a day by only assigning certain tasks to complete each day based on my schedule.
As with any new system, it does take some dedicated time to sit down and familiarize yourself with it, and decide what you want to use it for. For me, this is the slower time of year for me to set up systems to keep my sanity when my traveling gets crazy, and my calendar is much fuller. My default is keeping tasks and projects floating around in my head, but that’s the WORST thing I could do. It’s a quick red flag for me to know I haven’t been writing things down when I start to feel really stressed and easily overwhelmed. Knowing my project communication, daily todo tasks, and even grocery shopping and meal planning lists are safely accessible is a huge weight off my shoulders, and allows me the margin for the kind of intentional rest I blogged about yesterday!
I just love it! Are you using Trello? What are your favorite things about it??