Tuesday, 22 January 2019

Why I Love Trello


Trello is one of my favourite things in the whole entire world.

I have professed my love for Trello countless times to many people in my life, both professional and personal, and I have made a lot of converts along the way.

People are always apprehensive at first, seems like a lot of work, another thing to keep on top of, but all too soon they fall under the enchanting spell of Trello.

What Is It

Trello is an online project management tool. You create boards that are filled with lists and these lists that are filled with cards. In these cards you can add descriptions, write comments, create checklists, add labels, set due dates, add members and more. 

Trello will send you, and anyone else linked to the boards/lists/card’s notifications in the app or by email when things are changed or reminding you that a due date is coming up. 

It is synced up on all devices. I have mine downloaded on my laptop and my mobile. Any changes I make on one will automatically update on the other.

If you have lots of people you can create teams. At work we had a department team board that had all the client boards underneath it. On each board you can invite certain people to join. 

I use the free version, but there are paid versions available, mostly useful for company use. 

How I Used It at Work

I would not be able to make it through a work day without Trello.

Before I discovered this beauty, I would hand write down my to-do lists at the start of each week and then the start of each day. It was a manual process that was taking up too much of my limited time. Especially when my work day would evolve and change so much with ad hoc requests, so I’d be crossing out and scribbling away several times throughout the day. Too much.

So, I searched online and discovered Trello. My amazing, beautiful Trello. I feel like now might be the time to say that I am not being paid by Trello (I wish), I just really love this tool.

At work I would have a mixture of tasks I need to on the same days every week, projects that I would be working towards and ad hoc requests. Because of this I created two Trello boards. 

One for my routine tasks, which I called ‘Routine – date’. I created a template board that I could copy and rename at the start of each week. I didn’t want to add due dates/times to this every week because there were too many cards, so I used labels to tick off when something was done. Red = needed doing, green = completed and black = cancelled.

The second board would contain everything else I needed to do. The lists I’d have on there would be To Do (for all tasks coming up), To Do This Week (I’d move cards from the previous list to this at the start of the week), To Do Today (I’d move tasks from the previous list to this at the start of each day) and Completed (same as the other two, would move to here when completed). I’d use labels to mark something as high priority, then when I needed to move things around it was easier to see which tasks I could push back and which ones needed prioritising.

I also had a third board. At the end of each week I would move the completed list to my ‘Completed’ board. This came in handy when people were asking what dates things were completed, I’d have a reference point and look super on top of everything.

How I Use It In My Personal Life

It wasn’t until about mid-way through last year that I decided to bring Trello into my personal life too. I don’t know why it took so long, given that I’ve been using it at work for the past four years.

I now have a few Trello boards set up for my personal life.

My partner and I would have the weekly “what meals do you want to have” this week discussion (argument). And my mind would immediately go blank. So, I created a shared Trello board that has one list called ‘Meal Ideas’ and one list for ‘Meals This Week’. Then we just drag and drop from the former to the latter before we headed to the shops. 

We also used it when we moved houses. We had a list of jobs that needed doing and we would label up each card for who was in charge of it, then when it was done just moved it to the ‘Completed’ list.

I’ve also used it to plan my holidays. I would research fun things to do and places to eat and drink in wherever I was visiting, then add them to an ‘Activities’ list. Then I’d have a list for each day I was there and move the cards from the ‘Activities’ list to what day I wanted to do them on.

 Trello came in very helpful when I was planning my travelling. I had so many lists: things I needed to do beforehand (like Visas, injections, freelance, etc.), what I needed to pack, what I needed to buy, etc. 

Finally, I have one for my blog. This is the newest one I have made, and I am still playing around with the format. I currently have a list for ideas for posts. Then I have a ‘January’ and ‘February’ list, where I move cards from the ideas section or just add directly onto it. I then add due dates to each card (tip - you can sort cards in the list by due date). I also have a ‘Next Week’ list, for the posts I need to write up for the next week. Then a ‘January Completed’ list, for all my completed posts so far this month. 

Conclusion

Go get Trello!

I could not live without it. I find when I’ve got all of the things that I need to do floating around my head I can start to panic. When I have a place to write it all down, I instantly calm down. I can organise my time more efficiently and I am less likely to forget something. 


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