T is for Trello

T is for Trello

Discovering Trello In July 2015 changed how I get my to dos done.

While Trello offers a variety of services for teams using their product, I'm focusing this post on how I love using Trello as just me.

Single User.

Loving Taco, the Trello husky mascot. With iOS 10, Trello created Taco stickers for use in iMessage. My personal favorite is the reading Taco.

What lead me to Trello?

Prior to experimenting with various productivity apps, I used Post-It Notes.

I would write one task per Post-It Note and stick them to my bathroom mirror. As I accomplished different actions, I would crumple the note.

Even in my teacher plan book, I would use the smaller rectangle Post-Its to write down activities, objectives, and lesson ideas. Again, one idea per Post-It so I could easily re-arrange the order of anything I was planning.

With various life changes, I decided to explore different people's ideas about how to be more productive. Read more about my journey: Creating a Productivity Plan of Action: Something Involving More than Caffeine.

I read Todd Henry's The Accidental Creative and David Allen's Getting Things Done. Both books offered solid ideas that I incorporated into my life to get more done.

And by get more done, I do mean getting the mundane tasks out of the way so I can spend time doing things I really want to be doing. Without getting fired for not doing the mundane.

What's so great about Trello?

1. For a single user who's okay with some limitations, the app is free.

Normally, I'm not a fan of free tech. Free does not inspire confidence in product reliability. Often I wonder how long a company may exist. And when you're the free user, does customer service really care about your user experience or data?

However, for almost two years, I've been using Trello and the program has consistently been reliable. You can pay for the business class if you want to use more of the Power Up features. I've debated upgrading to their paid program for $9.99/month, but I don't see me using any of the other current Power Ups.

2. Lists and Cards move easily!

Most of the time, I'm using Trello on my iPad or iPhone. I just push down on a List or Card and drag it where I want it.

Dragging and dropping individual tasks makes it easy for me to prioritize what must get done today and what I can move to other lists for pending tasks.

Within each card, there are a variety of other features:

  • Add descriptions, including links.
  • Create a check list to a card to keep track of multiple smaller steps necessary to get that one task accomplished.
  • Categorize cards with color-coded labels.
  • Move cards to another board.
  • Duplicate cards.
  • Archive or delete cards.
  • Since I chose the Power Up "Calendar" I can assign due dates to cards and push them out to iCal.

3. Trello works really well with the Getting Things Done system.

Even though David Allen's book was entirely too repetitive, I did like how Allen laid out his five steps:

  • Capture
  • Clarify
  • Organize
  • Reflect
  • Engage

For capturing my thoughts, ideas, inspirations, projects, and to dos, I have multiple Trello Boards and Lists.

I'm going to be reflecting on my Trello system this summer, but for right now, my "Personal" board gets used the most.

Within my Personal Board, I have 14 different themed lists. Here are a few:

  • Today
  • Pending: Next Steps...
  • Summer Break
  • Pending: Mundane Eventually...
  • Cleaning & Decluttering Projects
  • Pending: Dream Projects
  • Stimuli
  • Gift Ideas

Most everything I think of gets dumped into "Pending: Next Steps" until I have time to organize where I should really place the task. And then moving the card with the one task to another list is just a simple drag and drop.


To learn more about the nuts and bolts of how Trello works, see Managing More Tasks with Trello and Four More Quality Features that have me Obsessed with Trello.

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