About a week ago I was looking for a solution to manage a number of projects. Originally I was looking for a slick to-do list app. Right now iOS reminders and Siri are doing a fine job. I stumbled across Trello. I’d heard about it a while back but never really bothered. However this time I thought I would give it a shot. I love it, it is probably the most simple yet powerful little tool I’ve ever used in getting things done or planned out.
Just today the Agency I work out has already adopted it for various initiatives. I’ve implemented it with my social media team for all our client work, which has helped me remove status docs and status meetings. (I have a personal vendetta against meetings – more on that in another post) So I thought I would take the time to list ten reasons why I love Trello and why you will as well.
Before you go through the list. Check out this intro :
Now here’s 10 Reasons why I love Trello
- Easily adopted and setup. In one move, an email sign-up, I was good to go. I started adding boards for my various projects and then lists within them. I then invited the people involved into the board and we were running.
- Its going to get rid of email. As much as meetings, I hate emails. Especially when the person emailing you sits across from you. By adding To Do’s and assigning them. Users can add comments, attachments. None of those crappy long emails and trying to find attachments. (add Dropbox functionality and you’re onto a winner)
- I now have control. I am currently juggling an app build, two game builds, a new training course I’m building, a consultancy and my day job. By breaking these up into their dedicated boards I can see what’s what and know in a glance what needs to get done or who’s working on what
- Production is increased. By breaking a task into even smaller pieces and completing those pieces then moving them into the ‘completed’ column you see results. you see progress being made. It’s actually become an addiction to move things from other columns into the ‘completed’ column. Even more so, if your team has tasks delegated to them, their initials appear in a large icon. It generates a healthy competition within the team to make sure all your tasks are moving over to completed
- Adding images and icons to tasks. Making the project more visual gives it an even better look. Not some boring text looking list, but visually rich. Just looks good. (If you upgrade to gold you can add stickers and change backgrounds)
- The apps, on the way into work I simply pull out my iPhone or iPad and the exact same list is there. Plan my day, maybe complete a task or two and its done. Then when I get into the office everyone on the team knows whats happening and what needs to get done.
- The calendar upgrade. When adding a task you can add a deadline. (I’d recommend you try that for most of the tasks you add) then if you opt to turn on the calender functionality, you click it and can view whats due for the week of month. Quickly
- Commentary, click on a task and all the conversations and attachments are there. Maybe a team-mate needs help with something or wants to add a note or some thoughts. It’s all there.
- The update timeline. Think of this a your teams own personal twitter feed or Facebook wall. No need to update it. Every action you take, from adding, to assigning, to completing is recorded automatically. The team and yourself can see the progress being made in real-time. Imagine a tight deadline and you just see things getting ticked off.
- Its free. Yep completely free. Theres is an option to upgrade, but the free version does what you need.
On top of all these there are a number of add-ons, for example Harvest has created a plugin to manage your time. When you drag a task into an ‘In progress’ column, the add-on will start timing it. That way no more trying to remember time worked. Auto input into your Harvest spreadsheets. (nothing for paprika of course… yeah pretty much up there with meetings and emails)
I’m going to start incorporating it into content planning now as well. Use it to add research and data insights, then move things into columns like Research, optimise, schedule, high performer, etc
I’ve been doing some work with other teams in other countries too and am starting to introduce Trello to them. Especially if you’re working with a team on Elance. You can now have every part of your project broken down, assigned and know where it’s at.
I’m using Trello in other ways too. For blogging, whenever I have a topic I would like to write about now I add it to Trello. When I want to research that topic, I drag the task to “Researching” Then move to “Writing” Then to “Proof read” Then to “Complete” Then to “Published” I did that with this post. The Same goes for my Tutorial site. I have a list of what I want to cover “Curriculum”, each one moves to research, then to riting, then to filming, then to edit, then to complete.
I like visual tools, tools that help you see progress. They motivate you, help you get to that end goal. Trello does just that. Try it. You’ll love it.