For this article we’ll take a break from the more technical things and instead focus on the wonderful organizational tool Trello. You can create a Trello account for free at trello.com. This article will serve as a brief introduction and showcase the main features, if after reading you’re intrigued I recommend signing up for an account and familiarizing yourself with it. I may write another article on some more advanced features. I've been working with this incredible tool for a couple months now and it has made my busy life that much more manageable.
First we’ll look at the home screen. This can be reached from anywhere by clicking the top bar that says “Trello”. Here you can see all of your “Boards” which can be used to separate different projects, or task types. I use different boards to keep track of learning/reading goals, blog ideas, class assignments, business tasks, and then I also have separate boards for large projects.
You can add a new board by clicking the plus button in the upper-right, selecting “New board” and then entering a name:
Once there, you’ll be presented with 3”lists”: “To Do”, “Doing”, and “Done”. These can be renamed to whatever you like by clicking on their names. You can also add other lists. I like the default 3 lists, because that’s typically the three phases while working on something, but when collaborating with clients with Trello sometimes I’ll use additional lists like “To Review” and “To Discuss”.
The main task-managing elements of Trello are called “Cards”, they can be added to these lists by simply clicking “Add a card…”. You can add multiple cards at once by hitting enter and starting another one. Each card can be moved from one list to the other simply by dragging it.
Now, this is where Trello really shines. Each card has a “back” that can store notes, images, and other pieces of information that makes collaborating and keeping track of information so much easier. In this screenshot you can see the back of an actual card where me and a designer are collaborating and keeping track on a site in development.
Not only does Trello allow you to communicate and keep track of individual tasks with the back of the card, but it provides an activity log and allows for ‘subscribing’ to lists so that you can receive alerts when items are added or updated:
Trello is feature-rich, especially if you pay for Gold access. This article just scratches the surface of all it has to offer, but hopefully it has provided some inspiration if you find yourself juggling a variety of tasks and projects. I can’t recommend this service enough. It has enabled me to stay on task as the amount and complexity of my projects have increased.