Pen and paper are all well and good—seriously, I love me some analog tools—but sometimes a project just grows beyond what you can accomplish by writing it all out. Yeah, making some handwritten notes can be a good way to help organize your thoughts, but how do you share your progress with a client in real time from across the world?
Pen and paper aren’t going to get that job done. Even a carrier pigeon would struggle with a task of that magnitude (not to mention it would take forever with that poor bird).
I’m so glad I found Trello to do this hard work for me. I’m more productive than ever when using this service. There are many ways it’s helped me, but here’s what I consider my top three.
I can organize my life in a visual way
Trello uses a Kanban style of project organization and management. What this translates to is cards that are collected in lists that are stored in boards. What it looks like is this:
Here I’m using a Trello board to keep track of all my past and future blog posts on Dandy Cat Design. I’ve got them organized by possible blog ideas, a list of upcoming posts, and running lists of past posts organized by blog category.
One of the great things about Trello is how completely unrestricted it is. I’m using a board for my blog posts, but in another board I’m tracking the tasks I need to accomplish to help revamp my business marketing. I’ve also got another board full of tasks to focus on in the far future. You can even use a Trello board to keep track of ideas for, say, your upcoming wedding or kitchen remodel.
Suffice it to say, if you can dream it up and need to keep track of it, then you can make a Trello board for it.
I can reuse template boards
If you run the type of business or have the type of project that calls for repeated use of the same task cards, then making a template Trello board is exactly what you need.
In this board I’ve created all the cards I need to complete a website design project, filled those cards with all the information they could ever need, and stuck them in their appropriate lists.
When I was designing websites regularly, this board was invaluable for me. If you gave me the choice between making every dang one of those cards for every new website or just duplicating this board whenever I needed it, well, the answer is clearly the second one.
It takes a bit of time to set up a template board, but when you’ve finished it you’ll wonder how you ever survived without one.
I can collaborate with other people on a project
Trello is great for solo projects, but it works wonders for teams of people. You can create a “Team” that has access to all the boards within that team group or even invite one or more people to collaborate on a private board.
I use this shared board feature whenever I’m working on a project with someone else. We can both add cards, move them around, and even send messages to the other person about anything.
This is where the real time collaboration part comes in. If I were to move a task card, say one called “Create a sequence for the blog/general sign up forms” from our “Working On” list to our “Done” list, then that change will be reflected on the other person’s account immediately.
No waiting, no texting about an update, and no messiness. What I see on my computer is what the other person sees on theirs. It really just works.
Trello has been transformative for my personal and business organization. Dandy Cat Design has thrived since I started using it.
I won’t say that I make active use of every single feature they offer, because there are so many of them, but I love what I do need to use. Trello is great for projects and teams of any size. Seriously, one person or a thousand people, Trello is there to organize your life and make any project easier to manage.
Get more done, cats.
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