It’s easy and fast
Trello uses a simple card-and-list format. Type something and press return. That’s a map. Type something else. Another card. Drag cards from one column to another to set up lists.
To set up your board, add a few cards and a few columns. Within 60 seconds, you’ll have a simple Trello board ready to go.
It works equally well on the web or desktop, or on mobile apps that are free and well designed.
Examples of lists on a Trello board include:
- Do, do and done
- Today, tomorrow and this week
- Project partners Moe, Larry and Curly
- Small, medium and large goals for next month
- Section A, B and C of a reporting project
Add to your plate quickly
It’s easy to attach things to any card. I like to add relevant documents, images or checklists.
After you add an image to a card, it appears as the thumbnail of the card when you look at the full board.
Use checklists on the back of a card to break down a project step into smaller chunks.
Collaborate with someone or a team
You can assign cards to a collaborator. Or use a board for a team project. This ensures transparency in teamwork and makes it clear who is doing what. To make decisions, you can let people vote cards they prefer.
I mostly use Trello privately. But it’s easy to publish a board. Just like you can publish a Google Doc, you can make a Trello board public in the same way.
You can even add others to your board to collect public input. Here is for example a public Wonder Tools idea board I made for you to check out. Add ideas for future topics on newsletter posts to get a taste of Trello.
Give your board a boost with useful features
“Powerups” are small apps that connect Trello to other services. You can link your Trello board to:
- flaccid to automatically update a particular channel about project changes.
- Google Drive to link documents to cards or to automatically turn your board into a Google Slide deck.
- Giphy to easily search and add gifs to any map.
You can also print a board and link to or embed individual cards.
Connect your board to your calendar and email
- Add start or end dates to cards. This allows you to sort your board by what needs to be done soon. You can also add labels to cards to filter boards by subject.
- Add a calendar view to see cards organized by date.
- Email things to your board. Each board has its own email address so you can add it from your inbox.
- When you send an email to your Trello board, the subject line becomes the title of the card and the body of the email becomes the card description. You can also add attachments.
Start with a template to make organizing even easier
Choose from hundreds free template boards. Choose a category, such as productivity, remote work, project management, marketing, or education.
Copy and use these free templates:
Trello’s simplicity means it lacks some of the features available in more complex tools. For example, it is not designed for writing or editing large blocks of text or hosting conversation threads. Other project management tools such as: base camp and Clickare better equipped for this.
I’ve been using Trello for free for a long time. You do not need a paid subscription for most daily applications. But if the simple Kanban column view is not enough for you and you like to view your projects with timeline, map or dashboard views, be prepared to Pay.
Notable newcomers: Monday and Click are two new, popular project management tools. Both are more complex than Trello. They have advanced features that can be useful if you want to use one project tool for all aspects of your work and you have projects with multiple moving parts and collaborators.
Classic choices: asana and base camp are among the most popular project management tools. I’ve experimented with both. air table is another classic, and I love organizing information, but I don’t find it intuitive for project tracking. I found it easier to involve others in Trello projects because the interface is so simple. But if Trello’s views are too limited for you, or if you want to try something different, these are worth a try.
Do it yourself: Concept and code both are flexible tools that are great if you want your project planning space to contain a mix of text, images, schedule tables, embeds, and other material. Read more about these options in Earlier messages On Concept and code.
Trello is like your comfy jeans. It functions. Because it’s simple, you can focus more on the actual work and spend less time figuring out complex software.
Getting Started with Trello
I’d love to hear how you use Trello, or why you love a different tool/approach to organizing your projects.
This article was republished with permission from Wonder Tools, a newsletter that helps you discover the most useful sites and apps. register here.
- 1 It’s easy and fast
- 2 Add to your plate quickly
- 3 Collaborate with someone or a team
- 4 Create a public board to share widely
- 5 Give your board a boost with useful features
- 6 Connect your board to your calendar and email
- 7 Start with a template to make organizing even easier
- 8 Limits
- 9 alternatives
- 10 Getting Started with Trello