Tech Tip: Trello, a powerful organising tool

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trello-logo-blueDo you need to get more organised? We’ve recently come across “Trello”. A tool that makes organising and collaboration on projects fun and easy. It’s a web-based tool that uses boards and a lot of visual labels to organise projects, from the simplest to most complex projects.

Trello uses a Kanban approach to help its users organise pretty much any project, whether work-related or personal. Kanban (pronounced “kahn-bahn”) is a system that has information on different “cards” and then organises them on a “board”. It’s like sticky notes for modern day visual thinkers.

Here’s how it works:

1. You need to sign up for free account.

2. As soon as you’ve verified your account, you can start working on projects by creating a new board. When creating a new board, you need to supply the title of the project, the organisation or the team members who will collaborate on the project, and choose to make the project private or public. When you choose to make it public, the project or board will be visible to anyone with the link and will show up in search engines like Google. However, only people added to the board can edit it.

trello - new board detailstrello - new org details

3. Start working on your board by adding lists that detail your workflow. Each list may contain “cards” in it. The card represents a task where you can include a variety of information.

4. To add information to the card, click on the card to open the back of the card (also referred to as “card back”). You may change the title to make it more informative, add descriptions, include sub-tasks, add members so you can assign tasks, indicate a deadline, attach a file or link, add comments, stickers, and more. You can also add labels to your card to add visual information for quick reference.

trello - back card          trello - back card attach doc

trello - back card graphics

5. When a member is added to a board/task, they will receive a notification both within Trello and by email. @ mention a member in a comment and they will receive a notification.

trello - sample members final

6. To ensure you’re on top of the project, you can click the Subscribe button. You will then receive notifications for any actions done on the card.

More things you can do within Trello:

  • TrelloYou can drag and drop cards from one list to another as a project progresses. For example, as soon as you’ve accomplished a task, you can drag that card from say your “To Do” list to your “Done” list.
  • You can filter your board by labels.
  • Labels can be colour coded, or they can be tagged keywords on a card.
  • You can add a checklist in a card to detail sub-tasks.
  • If you enable the Calendar power-up (under the sidebar menu > Power-Ups), you can even see all your cards that have due dates attached to them in a monthly or weekly calendar view and use the iCalendar URL (under Power-Ups > Calendar > Settings) to sync your cards to your external calendar.
  • Members of a board can create new cards by email. Each member has a unique email address associated with their board that will let them create new cards on that board.
  • Instead of deleting cards and lists, they are archived so that they can easily be referenced or returned to your board at any point in the future.
  • A list may also be used as a repository for ideas, documents and resources.
  • Members can download the app to their mobile devices so they can get notifications wherever they are.

Trello lets you visualise all your projects and tasks so you can stay on top of things all the time. It’s easy to learn and you don’t need to be creative to appreciate this tool. You can add as many boards as you need and as many people as you want with your free account. But if you need more advanced features, you can upgrade to Trello Gold or Trello Business Class.