Four More Quality Features That Have Me Further Obsessed With Trello
As I was reading The Accidental Creative by Todd Henry, I kept making notes about how I could implement pieces of his Creative Rhythm plan into Trello. And that's when I knew...really knew...that Trello was truly my new go-to system for task management.
And as I was adapting my boards, lists, and cards, I realized that there were four more cool features that Trello had that I forgot to include in my overview of Trello last week. And while I haven't used two of the features often, I know I will be.
1. You can send emails to each board, which will create a card on the list you designate. You can even choose your preference for the card to be placed at the top or the bottom of that list.
At this point I don't have a need to create tasks from my personal email, but I could see where that would be handy for school. The Email-to-board settings are found under the Menu in the top right, the same drop down menu where the Power Ups are located.
I chose to create a new list under my School board, which I creatively named Email Tasks. Then I had Trello email me the address for this board. I can forward that email to my school email address and add it to my contacts.
Whenever I open an email at school that requires action on my part, but not immediate action, I can send that email to my Trello School board, Email Tasks list, and Trello will use the subject line to create a new card. If I have labels I'd like to use, I just need to remember to use hashtags in my subject line for Trello to convert the hashtag to one of my labels.
Why do I love this feature so much?
Email is a major time suck! Todd Henry refers to electronic distractions as the Ping. And I know I'm guilty of heading the ping's calling.
Oh, I'm standing in line, let me check email. Waiting for a friend to join me for lunch? Let's see what new pins are in my Pinterest feed. Break time during my workshop? What's happening on Twitter?
His point is that when I head the call of the Ping, I prevent myself from being present. I disrupt my focus. When I was teaching in Denver, I got pretty good at checking email each morning and then thirty minutes after school was out. I'd like to continue that habit to enhance my focus not just when I'm teaching, but also during my lunch and my planning period. To be successful with this goal, I need to ensure that any actions I should be taking make it onto my task list for school. By emailing that task to my Trello board for school, I can work on the task without opening email, which could hold any number of other distractions.
2. There are several keyboard shortcuts, which can be accessed from your boards by pressing the question mark.
The screenshot above is just a partial list, but I will admit that I don't use many shortcuts. I attribute my keyboarding and mouse dependency to my Digital Immigrant status. But if I find a truly handy shortcut then I will remember it.
For Trello, the "d" key is super helpful.
If I hover over one of my cards and hit "d", the option Change Due Date pops up. I've done quite a bit of brain exporting recently. So I will go to one of my lists and just create card after card after card. If one or two of those cards have due dates that I know, using this shortcut makes it quicker for me to include the due date without having to flip to the card's back. Just pop in the due date and continue brain export.
One thing to note is that these shortcuts are not available on the mobile apps. People have requested shortcuts for the iPad app, so I'm crossing my fingers.
3. You can add URLs to cards either through drag and drop or copy and paste. The aesthetic for each process looks different.
If I have two separate windows open for Safari, then I can drag a URL from one window onto one of my Trello cards. The front of the card! This action creates an attachment with information from the URL and the option to open the link in a new tab.
This process is super quick!
Plus I have the option to change the board cover to whatever I will easily recognize. If I'm looking to make a card stand out, then attaching the URL through this easy drag and drop is the way to go.
If I don't want a bunch of images attached to a card, then I can drag and drop the URL onto a card's back. This still attaches the URL with the option to open the link in a new tab, but it cuts the visual clutter. I dragged this URL to the back of my reminder card for the theater date for Star Wars: The Force Awakens.
And finally, if I'm working in multiple tabs in the same Safari window, then I can copy a URL and paste it onto the back of a card. I do have to open the Description box and paste the URL there. So more steps. This process creates a simple URL that still opens the link in a new tab.
4. You can drag and drop cards on the Trello calendar to change their due date. Easy! Easy! Easy!
In my overview of Trello, I was so excited about Trello pushing due dates from my board's cards to my iCal that I completely forgot to mention the calendar feature within the browser version of Trello.
Here's a screenshot of my Editorial Calendar as it appears on the Trello calendar. I can drag and drop any of these cards and Trello will automatically adjust the due date. And that due date adjustment will be pushed out to my iCal. (I haven't timed how often the calendars sync and refresh, but I haven't noticed any significant lag yet.) This process is so quick, it makes me wish iCal could make it an option.
Still loving my Trello! And now I need to create a few more lists that The Accidental Creative inspired me to implement.
Are you using Trello? What are your favorite features? Please share in the comments.