Back in 2013 I wrote this post about Trello. Soon I saw my blog traffic surge to over 10,000 visitors a month and I had free Trello Gold for a long time… However, at some point, the blog lost importance for a time and I lost the post. Now it is recovered thanks to the Wayback Machine. Since I think I can get the original pictures back I’m going to post this now and add them later, otherwise, I would just make new ones.
I started using Trello sometime earlier this year as a way to help me get organized. I was working on several different things at the time and it has been a great help. Today I showed my co-worker and got some even better ideas on how to use it and he liked it enough to start using it for his work allowing some things in the company to flow more smoothly. It is just like having a well-rounded paperwork system, except everything is on the computer no papers to lose or get misplaced temporarily, all changes are tracked to the user, everyone is accountable, and the Trello system adapts nicely due to well-thought-out features and design.
I am going to attempt to show you one of the many possible ways to use Trello for your business. I have made a publicly viewable Board found here: mock-up-ello. First I will show you a few basic things, starting with creating a Board, think like quark-board or dry-erase board, the system will create a Board with 3 Lists; Todo, Doing, and Done.
Basic board of Trello
You can change the names on the lists or even add more lists until you have all that you need. I was just playing around here but you will see in the next pictures that it can be very helpful when you are trying to figure out how you want to be organized.
Adding lists to a Trello Board
The next obvious thing to do is add cards to your list(s) this is how you will be able to organize large projects into smaller ones. I made up the following like I was going to order parts for an InfoFlow channel changer modification. Here you can see that I need a few more items to complete the component.
Cards in the list on the Trello Board
Lets take a closer look at one of the Cards, capacitors seems like a good one to pick. Notice all the options you have for adding things. You can add pictures, PDFs, and more.
Editing the card on Trello
Specific to the way I am using this Trello Board I don’t want to move ordered items to a new row when I receive them instead it makes more sense for me to archive them so they do not clutter up the workspace, you will see in the next picture why this works for this Board.
Archiving a Card in Trello
In this next List Assemble (incorrectly spelled Assymble in the pictures) you can see that instead of allowing items to stick around after they have been ordered and received for specific projects I have made a check-list. As I get the items in I archive the Order Card such as Capacitors, and check it off my list.
Use of a check-list in a Card.
It is interesting to point out that although this method works it might be a sign of inefficiency on my part, but due to the flexible nature of Trello as a whole my inefficiency is minimized.
This last picture is of how easy it is to move Cards from one List to another based on their changing status, you can’t see my mouse here but I am click-holding and dragging.
Moving Card List to List
Trello is really flexible enough to be used for almost anything after you sign-up they have some sample boards and introductions that show you reading lists and other similar uses. I have my account for things like shopping lists, daily task, blog post lists, learning aid, project evaluation, and to divide large projects into smaller parts. Creating an account is so easy it is virtually painless (no pun intended).
Another great feature is one that I was not expecting right off is the time savings. I simply wanted to get organized so that I could get things done more efficiently, and I have found that stopping to think about the tasks at hand and spending the small amount of time to organize things up-front has saved far more time than it has costs.