Trello is a web-based organization tool that is essentially digital to do lists. But also, it is so much more than that! Trello has so many tools that can help you automate your to do list and organize the chaos in your brain.
Think of them as actual boards to which you would pin your real life to do lists. You can have as many boards as you would like. You can also have one board with many different lists. I have three boards, work, home, and Seldom Speechless. Each of my boards has five to ten lists. Having different boards is helpful when you are trying to time block. In my planner I block out time for work, home, or Seldom Speechless and then I complete tasks on the board I assigned to that time slot.
Once you have created a board, or multiple, you can add lists to the board. The lists help you organize your tasks by category, which is helpful for batch working, or targeting tasks that go together.
Work List Examples:
- Referrals & Screenings
- Evergreen Checklists
The task items added to each list are called cards.
- Assign another person to complete the task (yay delegation!)
- Add checklists to breakdown the tasks (you can save checklists to quickly add them for similar tasks!)
- Assign a due date
- Add attachments
- Add a cover photo
- Activate power-ups (I like the card repeater power up, so you can set recurring tasks to be automatically added to your lists, like medicaid billing, progress reports, etc.)
- Add comments or notes for later
You can save checklists to quickly add them to new task cards in the future. I save all of my recurring checklists to a list at the end of my board (pictured below).
Recurring Checklist Examples:
- Current Caseload
- Beginning of the Year
- End of the Year
When you make a new task card, you can click checklist and select the one you need to quickly assign sub-tasks to the card.
In list view, you can quickly see how much progress you have made on each of your tasks. You can see in the image to the left that I have completed 0 of 17 items for A. Smith’s Evaluation, but I have completed 4 of 8 items for the Beginning of the School Year Prep.
There are many different power-ups. You can add one power-up to each of your boards on the free version of Trello. In my opinion, the best power-up is the card repeater. It automatically duplicates tasks cards depending the frequency you set (daily, weekly, monthly, yearly options).
I also like to use the calendar power-up, which lets you visualize all of your task cards displayed on a calendar by due date.
Rules are the reason that I upgraded to the paid version of Trello. With the Business Class membership you can add unlimited automation commands, which frees up so much space in my brain (#wortheverypenny).
The free version only allows you to have one rule, but you can have unlimited boards, cards, checklists, and one power-up (like the card repeater OR the calendar view).
You can add automation commands or rules under the “Butler.” The Butler automatically proposed rules based on patterns that you exhibit, which is helpful when you are getting started with Trello. Under the Butler, you can add general rules or rules by card, board, calendar, or due date. I will show you examples of rules that I have set for my Trello.
Trello uses a rule builder that requires you to set a trigger and outline the actions you want to occur whenever the trigger occurs.
Examples of Rules You Can Set:
- Automatically create a progress report task card one month prior to the end of term with caseload checklist and a due date of the end of term.
- Automatically add evaluation checklist to any card added to the evaluation list and move the card to priority task list 30 days before it is due.
- Automatically add referral checklist to any card added to the referral task list and set a due date in 21 days.
I have included a list of specific rules with the exact wording I use on my Trello board in the Freebie Library, if you are looking to get started! Or send me an email at firstname.lastname@example.org! Trello helps me stay organized and I would love for it to help you too!
Trello is not beautiful. I can forgive its lack of aesthetics for its awesome functionality. Did I mention they have a mobile app, so you can use it on the go?! However, with the paid version you can change the background image of your boards, which makes it a little prettier. There is also a work around for adding images to the top cover card of each list (available in free version).
Check out the Trello pricing guide here. The free version really does have a lot of great features! I used it and enjoyed the free membership for many years before upgrading.
Thanks for reading!