Whether you’re starting a new project, managing a team or just trying to get your life in order, this post may just be for you.
I’m a big advocate for spilling your brains to gain clarity.
Mind mapping, note taking, list making all allow for a clear, committed and organised mind.
I don’t believe in being romantic about it, just get shit down and work on organising it after.
What is Trello? In simple terms, Trello is a project management tool.
However, it’s so much more than that. It’s a tool that makes organisation quick, fun and super efficient without the rigidity of competing tools.
Why am I kissing so much Trello ass?
To be honest with you, the tool excites me. If you don’t know me by now, you’ll soon find out that I get excited about the finer things in life:
Family, coffee, nature, the smell of freshly cut grass and, of course, processes and structure!
I felt it too much to hold my excitement inside when one of you guys out there could be experiencing the same joy as me over this! (you’re probably not that sad but I like to think I’m not alone)
So, what’s so great about Trello?
For me, Trello’s biggest selling point boils down to one thing, simplicity.
The UI, options and process of creating lists and cards makes Trello one of the cleanest project management tools available.
Whether you’re on the go or in the middle of a conference call, adding lists, cards, due dates and prioritising are SUPER simple.
Everything is laid out in a logical manner, with the flexibility to be able to group and manage lists however you feel fit.
Don’t however be fooled by the simple nature, this little bit of kit still packs a massive punch.
The feature set available allows for:
- Deadlines and due dates
- Attachments (including via Google Drive, Dropbox etc)
- Calendar views
- Labels and filtering
- Much more
Another rather tasty plus point, Trello is FREE. We all love a good bargain right? How’s that for a bargain?
You can create an unlimited amount of boards, lists and cards under their free plan which will be more than sufficient for many.
If you want to utilise some ‘punchier’ features or larger file attachment sizes you’ll have to bump up to a paid plan, but starting at $9.99/mo it’s hardly going to break the bank.
A Trello Primer
I won’t spend too much time on this as if I’m perfectly honest, you’ll see how easy it is if you take it for a spin.
Trello is structured with 3 fundamental items; Boards, Lists and Cards.
Your Board is your top level container that houses the lists and cards. This could be the name of your project, company or similar.
Lists are containers that store your individual cards. Lists are a way of blocking and organising each task or to-do in a clean format.
Cards are your individual tasks that sit within your lists and are the goto place for dumping any relevant information, discussion, attachments etc.
So in a use case:
Board – MyNewWebsite.com
Lists – Design, Development, Content, Infrastructure
Cards – Homepage [Design], Hosting [Infrastructure]
It’s honestly that simple! From there you can add labels, assign people, add due dates etc.
How am I using Trello?
Trello has been an absolute god send for me in many ways.
From launching this blog, working with clients at Landing Page Guys or managing the development process and feedback for pagesource, Trello has been by my side.
I use it for literally anything and everything I possibly can.
As it stands, some of my most active boards include:
Everything you see on this blog is part of a larger thought process that is funnelled through Trello.
My board is broken down into separate lists that include:
- Weekly action list – Priority items to be actioned in a given week
- Content schedule – The schedule of posts for the month with due dates set
- Content ideas – A large list of content ideas, each in an individual card for elaboration and brainstorming
- Operations – Anything that relates to the day to day or backend sits here, whether it be hosting, emails, SSL, plugins etc
- Interviews – A list of interviewees for the blog
- Icebox – Pages, sections or features that will be cool to implement but not essential
If I have even the smallest idea, no matter where I am, I drop it straight into Trello. Once I have some time to sit down and digest, I can log on and start expanding on the idea and organise however I wish, whether deciding to leave it in my Icebox or pull it forward to the weekly action list.
Trello has played a HUGE part in the development of pagesource, both in handling external feedback and feature requests, as well as liaising and providing structure and accountability for the internal development team.
We’ve been able to log and track:
- MVP essentials
- In development
- Deployed tasks
To name just a few uses.
Landing Page Guys Pipeline
I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again, I love processes. They open the doors to scale quickly and can be implemented for anything.
Over at the Landing Page Guys, we’re using Trello as a sales pipeline management tool.
The ability to create the separate lists means we can track our prospects from initial contact right through to project initiation, and any one that comes into our company can easily see what’s happening and what needs to be done.
We have the board flow setup with 9 different lists, in order:
- Leads – Any inbound leads are placed on this board
- Contact Made – Once contacted, the lead is moved here and a date set to follow up if no contact received
- Contact Received – Once we receive a reply they move to this board.
- Proposal Sent – As soon as a proposal is sent to the prospect the card is moved to this list along with relevant proposal and details
- Chased – If no reply is received within a given period following the proposal, the lead is chased and moved to the chased list
- Invoice Sent – Once they’ve approved the quote, they are invoiced and moved to the invoiced card (relevant invoice attached to the card)
- Closed – Once the invoice is paid and project initiated, they are moved to closed.
- No-go – Any leads that drop out during the process, whether it be through lack of contact, interest etc they are moved here.
- Follow up – This list is kept at the end for any prospects who have expressed interested but have an internal delay to which they need time. We place them here to chase at the end of the month.
With the above process, in any given month we can quickly and easily see the full sales pipeline, including how many leads have entered the pipeline, how many have becoming clients, how many dropped off etc so that we can clear KPIs to work with.
There’s also something even MORE exciting that we’ve done with the pipeline board. You’re about to seriously freak over this…
We’ve automated our inbound process so that any leads that are submitted through our website are logged straight into Trello!
I know right?
I’ve no doubt you’re chomping at the bit to know how but I’ll save that for another post, just keep Zapier in mind.
So how can you use Trello to get shit done?
There’s no end to what you can do with Trello as I’ve showcased above but in case you’re still curious, they’ve provided a little inspiration to get the juices flowing.
Get creative with what you’re doing on there, whether you’re trying to keep a track of your workouts, plan and write a book, gather project feedback, track a sales pipeline, organise a wedding, choose a baby name, build a house, you can spill everything there.
Use it to log your ideas or have one large centric board with a list for each of your projects, the possibilities are endless.
Let’s Get Busy
Give Trello a go, I’m sure you won’t regret it.
Share your thoughts and use cases below, I’d love to hear them!