Thursday, 23 July 2015

May's review of Trello.com - list making and organisation heaven?

photo of trello app screen shotWhilst I could quite happily live my life never downloading a game for my phone, show me an app or website that promises to revolutionise the art of list making, or get Mack and me hyper-organised on the blogging front, and I'm in (as long as it's free, that is...)!

I have tried a few recently, with pretty much no success, either because a particular app just isn't very user friendly (and therefore makes my life more complicated, which is exactly the opposite of what I need it for) or it doesn't offer my anything more than the notes section that comes preloaded with most phones.

One, however, has lasted a bit longer and that is Trello.com. I can't recall where I first saw this mentioned but it was definitely on a beauty/lifestyle blog and I'm definitely very grateful to have read it...if it was your blog, thank you!

I think I am supposed to call this something clever like an 'online collaborative project management tool', and on that basis I suspect I only use about 2% of Trello's potential... but after all, I don't need it to help me plan world domination, I just need to keep on top of blogging tasks and some household bits and pieces (although, now I've had an idea...).

I love the simple visual interface of this app and the fact that you can colour code your lists. 

I also appreciate that it looks very similar in mobile/ app format as in the full desktop site mode. The app also seems to work well for both android and iOS users.

To use the system, you set up 'boards' for each subject you want to organise. I currently have boards set up for blog posts, blog admin, household DIY jobs and various holiday related topics. Within each board you can set out your list of tasks, them narrow each of these down further with a checklist of what exactly needs to be done to accomplish the task, copying the same checklist for each task if you want. You can also add due dates (and see these on a calendar, on the full site which I love - the more visual such a system is, the better for me) and add notes and attachments, such as website links and photos.
photo of trello board screenshot
As you go start each item within a board, you can move them across from the 'to do' card, to the 'doing' card and then into the 'done' card (and smile smugly as you do so). The system is easy to personalise so I have renamed those stages on my blog post cards to 'post ideas', 'currently writing', 'ready to publish' and 'published'.

photo of trello checklist screenshot
I am finding it really helpful to see how many post ideas Mack and I have still got stored up, which of those that we've started on still need photos taking, etc. I'm sure as I use it more and more my little system will get more sophisticated, but for now I'm happy with it.

As for the checklist shown above, I appreciate that it is very basic but I am a complete 'list person' and work really well when I have smaller tasks to tick off as I go.

Just beware that some of the features (such as copying over a checklist) are not available on the app, so it does pay to log in on a desktop system every now and then. A bit of a pain, but no real hardship. Once you're over there you can play with more customisation options and start putting cute 'stickers' on various lists. There are also more features if you pay for the upgrade to Trello Gold, but I'm planning to stick to the free version.

Trello also allows you to invite others to join so that you can share boards and assign tasks to them (watch out Mack - I can even set deadlines for you!).

Have you tried Trello? What do you find the most useful aspect?

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