As busy people and bloggers we often find ourselves too busy. We take on so many tasks and feel the inevitable stress when these tasks overwhelm us. I often get complimented on my organisational skills and productivity, but I am no different and have often felt huge overwhelm at my to do list. Sometimes worrying that I will miss a vital component in all of the noise which surrounds my life.
It’s not only writing blog posts which needs organisation and our invested time. There are so many other tasks too, such as scheduling, taking images, dealing with brands, promotion, brain storming; the list is endless and often pretty stressful.
That was until I found, and fell in love, with Trello. I should also say that this post is not sponsored by Trello, I am sharing this post because I truly believe Trello can help you to organise and keep track of all the aspects of your life. Giving you a confidence that comes with knowing you have got it all covered and under control. I am going to cover a lot, but don’t fear it will all be useful stuff and you can always pin it and read it in parts if that works better for you. Let’s get going!
O.k. Aby, so you have my interest, what exactly is Trello?
Trello is a free app available online (and they have a great iOS app too, which seamlessly syncs to the online programme). Trello makes it easy for you to organize and manage projects, in a way that works for you.
It’s so flexible, you can set it up in so many different ways and create a system that you can use to literally run all aspects of your life. It has a calendar feature that you can use as an editorial calendar, and so many other features that I’m going to go through now.
Using an amazing system of boards, lists, cards, labels and checklists helps you keep everything in your life organized and at your finger tips. Utilising the card-based layout, you can create a card for every idea, blog posts, piece of a project, and so on. Within each of these cards, you can make notes, add links, colour code, assign them to other people, organize them into categories or lists, add in task lists and checklists, attach files. Literally endless possibilities.
Sometimes I find with systems such as this I can be really interested but unsure of how it would work for me and how I would set it up. Which is why at the end of this post I am giving you access to my boards, which you will quickly and easily be able to add to your FREE Trello account. Then you can give it a whirl, delete, amend and add in as you find you feet.
How it’s set up
As said the possibilities are boundless, but there are some basic mechanics, which I am going to go through. Here’s an example of what a board looks like:
Boards in Trello
A board can be anything that makes sense to you. A main category that you need to organise, within which you will have cards, lists etc. So as you can see the picture above shows my Weekly to do list board. Check out my other boards at the bottom of the post and steal them too! Anything you need to manage can be given a board.
Lists are the sub-categories that you add in to your boards and they contain your ‘cards’. The lists for my weekly todo list are;
- 1st week Jan (which will be retitled every week)
- Mon – Sunday (separate lists!)
9 lists in total.
For me, the first list I look at is the 1st week in Jan one (I will have got this information from my 2017 goals board, which you can have). Within this list are the cards for each task that I need to achieve during that week. You can see my 7 cards under the heading. From here I can drag and drop the cards onto a specific day or create a card which corresponds to the specific goal (maybe a sub task to help me achieve the main goal). For example it might not be possible just to get 15 subscribers on Monday, so I might want to create a couple of cards for tasks which will make this happen and drag them onto appropriate dates. I can also duplicate a card if I want it to appear in more than one list and with a couple of clicks the duplication will appear in another list. So an example of this would be maybe I have a post which I am editing (so would be in my editing list), but I also need to do a video for it so it would be great to have that card in my videos list.
Then I can look at Monday and add in tasks I know I have to do and repeat for the rest of the week. I can add in appointments too. Then if I need to move something to a different day I simply drag and drop it.
I’ve mentioned cards above, but this is what a card looks like when you click and open it. Don’t be overwhelmed by the options, you can use as much or a few as you want.
The main things you can do are;
- Colour code cards
- Assign them to team members (you can grant people access to particular boards)
- Add due dates (which then syncs to a handy calendar which I’ll show you later)
- Add a checklist
- Add links to sites
- Add images
- Add documents
- Add comments
This card is from one of the days in my weekly to do list board. It’s to remind me I have signed up to this webinar and I have popped the link to the webinar in there, so I can just click on it when it’s time. If there was a work book to go with it I could upload it to the card or maybe there was a question I thought of that I wanted to ask, I could pop it in there to remind myself.
Labels for cards
Labels are great if you are a visual person. The basic labels are coloured and you can customise further by adding text. So for example in my posts to write card I can see that all the green labeled posts are sponsored content and the yellow ones are my own.
Checklists within cards
These are such a useful feature. You can create checklists within any card, so for example you could have a checklist you need to go through before you publish a post or maybe a social media promotion one. Perhaps you have a Virtual assistant and need to lay down some processes they must follow. Maybe within your home you could use it with your partner. It might be that they are taking your child somewhere and they need to take certain equipment with them. Simply create a list and tag them in it, so they have all the information. So useful if plans change at the last minute.
I don’t think the calendar is very visible, but it is there when you know where to look. Click on your menu, select powers and add calendar. If you do this from a board which you have assigned dates on lots of cards, for example an editorial calendar, all these dates will auto populate the calendar.
With the free Trello account you can add a limited number of power-ups to each board. Anymore and you will have to upgrade to a paid account. However, you can still use great power-ups strategically on certain board to add even more functionality. You can integrate Twitter, Mail Chimp, Dropbox, Slack plus so many more.
So now you have an idea of the basic structure of Trello, let’s talk more about how you can get it to work for you.
Organise your to-do list
Having a to do list on Trello is fab, you can colour, code, drag and drop and move cards to different boards as well, which gives you lots of flexibility.
I have the WordPress Editorial Calendar plugin, but Trello helps me to organise myself through the process of writing the posts, not just when they are ready to go live. My editorial calendar is below and you can see how I have lists for ideas, then writing, add images, produce video, in progress, published. As posts go through the different stages I can simply drag them across and I know exactly what stage I am at with each at a glance. If I have the camera out I can look at the image list and see what shots I need or what videos I need to produce.
Manage a project
Trello is a fabulous collaboration tool. Whether you have a solo project or a team project you can manage it in Trello. Planning a wedding? Use Trello, assign tasks, keep track and give others access to the board so they can have their input too. You can have discussions via cards, ask for input and the team members will also get notified when they are assigned a task. You can manage any project using Trello; writing a book, planning a course, whatever you want to get achieved.
How do we remember our ideas? If we get inspiration from something how do we store it to make sure we can call upon it? You guessed it! Trello.
You could have a Inspiration board and within that have lists for Sites you love, posts which inspire you, specific post ideas, and so on. Then you can copy and paste lists, add screen grabs, whatever you want, all packaged up within cards, but so accessible to you (even when you’re out and about using the app).
When you are going through a project or even your year, you could add reflections and lessons to a list or even lists within a reflection board to make sure you don’t forget. As a blogger this can be useful when writing those end of year, round-up type posts.
Plan a promotion/launch
Trello can really come into its own when you use it to help plan and run a launch or promotion. There are so many component parts in projects like this, so having a system which means nothing is forgotten about is so helpful.
For example, you could label cards or lists “Pre-Launch,” “Launch Day,” or “Post-Launch,” assign tasks to people, set due dates, and add notes within each card to give details.
You can use lists and cards to create an epic storage system for all your passwords, affiliate links and anything else you need to copy and paste on a regular basis. Maybe even text for certain scripts, such as responses to emails or example bio etc.
Are you ready for Trello to become even more epic? Yes? O.k then..
You can also integrate the free programme Zapier into Trello to give you even more power. Zapier is a system, which lets you link certain programmes together. So how does it help me with Trello and organising my blog?
- I have set up an automation with Zapier, which means if I star an email in my gmail account, it automatically sets up a card in a certain list in Trello. For me, if I star an email it pops the link to that email in a card in my To Invoice list. BOOM! Then I remember to invoice when the post has been published and I even have the quick route to the email through the link, so I can check the details.
- I also have an automation using Zapier, which links any sites/articles I find and label as inspirational in Pocket get added into my Inspirational board, in separate cards. The cards would be linked back to the original article.
You can have 5 Zapier automations for free, anymore and you have to pay. I also use Zapier to link people signing up to my teachable site to my Convertkit email list, but that’s a whole other story!
Do you use Trello? Are you tempted to use it now?
If you fancy giving it a whirl you can access copies of my boards by signing up to my mailing list here – Then you will receive an email with the links to all my boards, which are;
- To do list
- Affiliate links
All you need to do it set up a free Trello account, then open the links individually, go to menu, click the more options section and copy board. Do this for each board you would like to have. They will then pop up in the board list under your boards (just change the names a little so you know which are yours. Then if you star the board it will always appear at the top. If you want to look at some other boards (which you can copy in the same way) check this out from Trello.
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