Do you zone out when you see lines and lines of tasks in a to do list?
If you’re looking for a more intuitive way to organise your projects, Trello is the digital task manager for you.
What is Trello?
a FREE cross-platform, project management app.
ideal for creatives because of its user-friendly, drag-and-drop interface.
a system of visual lists - similar to Pinterest boards
a customisable overview of everything you have on your plate - enabling you to better prioritise your workflow.
web-based - so all your important data is stored online and available on any platform.
Trello - Pinterest-style To Do List
If you use Pinterest - and who doesn’t these days? - you’ll be right at home with Trello’s board system. It makes organising your creative projects almost as much fun as doing them!
The only thing you might find a tad confusing in Trello is how the different views are named.
Let’s sort it out!
The items in the top layer are called...
DON'T resemble the boards in Pinterest, so think instead of ‘Collections’.
Are unlimited in number.
Can be starred for quick access.
Function as a visual navigation menu for your different areas of focus.
Each BOARD (collection) contains an infinite number of...
DO resemble Pinterest boards or noticeboards.
Are arranged horizontally across the screen.
Can be moved by dragging and dropping.
Each LIST contains an unlimited number of...
Correspond to projects or tasks
Can have a cover image
images, PDF’s and hyperlinks
comments (useful for jotting down ideas that strike you when you look at your boards as well as team projects.)
The CARD front also shows:
'traffic light' due dates
total number of completed items in your checklists
Each CARD can be assigned to a particular team member if you are working on a group project.
Why Trello is Ideal for Getting Creative Things Done
Trello is Visual!
Trello is primarily a visually-organised structure. This makes it perfect for those of us working with visual media.
As I mentioned, you can add a cover image to each CARD - so its motivational as well as easily-identifiable. You can also add an unlimited number of other images within the CARD.
Physical and Intuitive - Drag and Drop in Trello
In Trello you can pick up and drag any CARD from one LIST to another. This makes it it a breeze to move a task you need to do right away to ‘Urgent’, from 'Ideas' to your current project, or however you've got your system set up.
The whole CARD will move, complete with images, checklists etc. You can also move CARDS from one BOARD (collection) to another.
Why Use a Digital Organisational Tool?
As creatives we’re attracted to everything new and shiny so we’re prone to take on more than we can achieve.
Trello gives us a visual and customisable overview of everything we have on our plate - enabling us to better prioritise our workflow.
Speed and Efficiency!
The great thing about Trello is that it goes everywhere with you. There are Trello apps for
Kindle Fire tablets
And the website is accessible in most mobile web browsers.
This means you can do your planning on the fly - making the most of those little pockets of spare time you have on the move. Or quickly add a new idea or task to your system as it occurs to you.
More Nifty Features in Trello
The more you dig into Trello, the more time-saving benefits you'll find:
Sophisticated search facility - makes finding anything really fast.
Create cards and comment via email - ideal for moving an email task into your project queue.
Integration with cloud services like IFTTT and Zapier - can be used, for example, to automatically populate your boards with recurring tasks.
Ok, So What's Trello's Downside?
Why would I choose Trello and not Asana, daPulse, Jira or Proofhub?
Certainly there are a number of apps that use similar board-style interfaces to Trello. You’ve probably heard of some of them such as Asana, daPulse, Jira or Proofhub.
But while some of these apps offer more sophisticated task-management features, and tend towards a cleaner, more corporate look, none of them offer the image cover-view which makes Trello so motivational and intuitive.
Beware the competition! Asana's fresh project calendar puts Trello's to shame
Trello Features I’m Waiting For
Much as I love, love, love Trello and use it all darn day, it’s Calendar Power Up (browser only) could definitely be funkier. Asana's gorgeous one makes me green with envy.
My Trello world would be perfect if I could see my target dates in a timeline view (like a Gantt chart). This would be SO helpful when working towards an exhibition or book launch date, for example.
For this to work, Trello would also need to introduce start dates as well as the existing end dates. Oh, and add a calendar view to the iPad app as it's currently only available in the browser. (C’mon devs!)
Add Some Zing into Your Creative Task Management With Trello
So whether you want to:
Gather and organise ideas for your next book, blog or painting series
Plan and market an art event (on your own or in a team)
Launch a new book or product
Trello is an intuitive, user-friendly and darn-right sexy tool for visualising all aspects of your creative project from the ideas stage through to promotion and beyond.