Trello for Project Management

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Have you ever worked collaboratively with a team and struggled to keep track of tasks? I suggest you try Trello. According to their site - "Trello is a collaboration tool that organizes your projects into boards. In one glance, Trello tells you what's being worked on, who's working on what, and where something is in a process." I find it useful because it keeps everyone in the loop during the whole process – even if you’re in different offices, working at completely different times. Here’s a deeper look into Trello’s features.

Boards

Trello consists of project Boards that can feature cards organized by different lists. When you open a Board you’ll see a blank canvas.


One of the things I like best about Trello is its simple User Interface and User Experience. Trello does not bombard you with too many options and all you have to do is click around to create lists and cards.

Each board has an unlimited number of lists. In each list, you can create cards. Finally, in each card, you have the ability to add details, which includes:
  1. Description – Explains what the card is about; can be as long or short as you need
  2. Members – Add specific people to the card and they will be alerted of any changes
  3. Labels – Can be customized per project
  4. Checklist – Allows you to add to-do items and check them off
  5. Due dates – Enforces a date to finish the steps on the card
  6. Attachments – Can add attachments, such as screenshots or documents, to the card for better explanations
  7. Comments – Members can communicate through comments
  8. Activity – Documents all the activity that happens within the card, keeping everyone on the same page


Actions

There are five action buttons on each card.
  1. Move – allows you to move the card to a different board, different list, or a different position on the list
  2. Copy – allows you to copy the entire card, or specific pieces of the card to create a new card
  3. Subscribe – allows you to get updates on the card changes
  4. Archive – once everything on the card is completed, you can archive it
  5. Share – You can share a link to the card, print it, or email it to someone

User Interface

Like I mentioned earlier, the user experience is one of my favorite features of Trello. Most of the actions require only your mouse or the Enter key on the keyboard. When creating new lists or cards, start typing in one, hit Enter when done, and you can start a new one. You’re able to click and drag the cards from list to list. You can do the same when reordering checklist items. Opening and closing cards requires a quick click on or off the selected item.

If you want to quickly edit a card, hover over it until the pen icon appears, click on it.


The background greys out allowing you to make and save a couple quick changes. You can’t do everything here, but it’s a helpful addition.


Describing Trello’s UI is not nearly as fun as actually trying it, so I would encourage you to check it out on your own!

Board Menu and Notifications

Back out at the board view, you’ll find a menu on the right side. This is where you can:
  1. Add members – include people you want to collaborate with
  2. Change Background - Change the color of the board background, which is only for your view
  3. Filter cards – you have several options for filtering. The one I find most helpful is filtering the cards assigned to me
  4. Power-Ups – Gives you options to integrate other apps with Trello
  5. Stickers – Are similar to emojis – fun, but without much added benefit for team collaboration
  6. More – Options for settings, labels, see archived items, sharing, and closing the board
  7. Activity – shows all the activity that happened on the board from every member

Different Boards

Finally, on the left side of the screen is a button that says “Boards.” This is where you can flip between different project and personal boards, create new boards, and see old ones.


I’ve been using Trello for a couple years now and love it. If you’re looking for a better way to collaborate with a team give Trello a try.

10 comments:

  1. What a fantastic post!! Welcome to the blog Terri! I am wondering if you use other similar tools as well (like Google Keep, Tasks, Wunderlist...) or have you found Trello also meets those needs?

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    1. Thanks Amy :)
      I started using Google Keep after reading Karen's Quick Byte, but I was also using Trello. I think the two are very similar - too similar to use both.

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  2. Oh man. If you like Trello, let me tell you about a little Gmail Chrome extension I use called Sortd. LIFE CHANGING. Similar list type set up, and allows you to use Gmail as your To Do list with the ability to drag emails to different lists, relabel them, snooze, assign due dates, and make notes on individual emails. http://www.sortd.com/

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    1. Cool suggestion Emily. Looks like a great way to keep my inbox sorted. After reviewing it and watching a little demo, it doesn't look like you can share your sort'd lists as they are for personal use unlike Trello, Asana, and other project management tools. Is that true?

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    2. Emily, I haven't used Sortd mostly because I try to keep my inbox as close to zero as I can.

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    3. I've heard mixed reviews of Sortd! A couple people on the tech team tried it and it "ruined their life." But then others seem to really like it! Interesting!

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    4. Michael, I'm fairly sure you're correct - it's more for personal projects rather than group work.

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  3. Thanks for the post Terri. I have used Asana for managing some defined projects, and Wunderlist for person and basic to-dos. I am going to compare Trello and Asana along with a colleague to see how we may improve our communication and efficiency. And possibly add in Slack too for communication.

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    1. Let me know how your comparison goes! I'd be interested to see what you find.
      As for Slack - I love Slack! I'm using it with the web practitioners. We also use it in the IT Office. It helps reduce the number of emails coming in.

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  4. Terri--thanks to your article, Alison, Karen and I are using Trello for planning the upcoming online course on "DataViz in Powerpoint and Excel"! We'll report back!

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