Tools of my trade: Trello


Source: Everyday People

Source: Everyday People

The thought of missing something for a client keeps me awake at night. I need a reliable system for managing my tasks but I don’t want to spend most of my day maintaining the system! So I was really excited to discover Trello a while ago. I’ve been using Trello in a more committed way lately and I’m finding it really suits my needs.

Why use Trello?

Trello is a web and app based system for organising projects in a simple way. You can use Trello as a sole user but it has fantastic capability for teams to work collaboratively.

How I use Trello

I have a free account which provides all of the functionality I need, although you can upgrade to a paid for subscription. I use Trello to manage all of my client work:

  1. Each client has their own board
  2. Each board is made up of the projects/pieces of work I’m working on for the client
  3. Each project is broken down into actions using one card for each action (this is important to keep things clear)

This creates a dashboard so I can see at a glance what I’m working on. The very simple layout is unfussy and it’s easy to move items around using drag and drop. See the example below (for confidentiality reasons I can’t share my actual boards):

Trello screenshot

Example of a typical client board

Advantages of Trello

  • I can access Trello on my laptop, phone and tablet so I can easily access my workload
  • Colour coding helps to draw attention to items and categorise tasks
  • I love a checklist and you can insert these simply
  • You can add deadlines
  • Powerful collaboration tool
  • It’s free and there are no adverts

Downsides of Trello

  • You need to commitment to the system – as with any system it’s only as reliable as the information you give it.
  • Lists run vertically so you need to scroll a lot if you have more than five lists. There’s a danger you could miss something on the end.
  • Some functions are awkward to use. For example it’s possible to link Trello with your Outlook calendar but this is fairly complex.

Overall Trello surpasses other systems due to its simple layout and many features. I’m also sleeping much better knowing my client work is in one place and under control! Give it a go for yourself.

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