Have you been avoiding learning about Trello because it seems too complex and difficult to use? I did the same thing. I heard people constantly boast about Trello’s superb ability to help them manage projects. But I thought, “Nah, I already have all the apps I need.”
I created my Trello account earlier this year, but time and time again, I dismissed the idea of giving it a try. I was having a good ol’ time with Evernote. Why fix what’s not broken?
Something you may or may not know about me is that I’m a huge fan of Evernote. I’ve been using that green elephant for a couple of years now. It’s been my life-saving tool. I use Evernote to organize my chaotic life, track my business projects, and everything in between.
I finally decided to give Trello a chance when I started working on my next book project. Just imagine colorful sticky notes, index cards, and notebook paper all over a desk. That’s what my office looked like. That was the method I used to research and organize data.
This “method” triggered an enlightening thought too loud to ignore. Then I asked myself, “Isn’t this what Trello is all about? Projects, lists, cards? Maybe I should try it.” By pure magic, I remembered my password, logged in, and started managing my first big project digitally.
For the record, I still use Evernote as my main organization system. Evernote holds my ideas, to do lists, resources, tools etc. Trello comes into the scene when a project is ready to be birthed.
As you’ll see, Trello has a free flow structure which makes it more effective to manage complex projects. You have a bird’s eye view of all the moving parts. At a glance, you can see which steps in the project you’ve completed and which ones are still in the queue. This ensures that you’re always moving forward with your project.
Today I’m going to show you how I’m using Trello to manage my book project. However, the goal is to equip and inspire you. Then it’ll be up to you to take the concept behind Trello, customize it, and apply it to your life and business.
The groundwork is covered. Let’s dive into the exciting stuff.
Master Trello in 5 Steps
Step #1: Create Your Trello Account
(1) Visit www.Trello.com
(2) Fill out the quick form with your name, email, and password. Click the green button that says, “Create New Account.”
(3) Check your email. Click the green button that says, “Verify Address.”
That’s it. Easy right?
Step #2: Create Your First Trello Board
Once you’re done with the simple process of creating your account, you’ll be greeted with a Welcome Board to get you started.
What is a board?
Think of a board like a large project. This can be for your business, such as a book, website, social media, or a content calendar. It can also be a personal project, like a family vacation, reunion, or your yearly goals.
Let’s create one together. Click on the gray box to “Create New Board.” Right away, Trello will prompt you to name your board (aka your project). In this case, I’m going to teach you how to organize a book project. I’ll name it “Online Business Success,” and click “Create.”
Step #3: Your Trello Board Walkthrough
You’ll be greeted with a blank Trello board. Here’s where most people get stumped. You may find yourself asking, “How am I supposed to manage a project here?”
This part isn’t very intuitive. But I’m here to guide you. Get ready to have a blast planning your projects form here on out.
Before I show you how to add information to your board, let’s do a tour, shall we?
An Explanation of All the Features and Functions of Trello
As labeled in the graphic above:
- Click here for a list of all your boards. Jump to a different board if you’d like.
- Use keywords to search for cards within any list.
- This plus sign will allow you to create a new board or add new members to your current board via email.
- Click this “i” icon to learn about more impressive Trello features.
- Here you will find notifications.
- Menu. Navigate here to set standard settings like your avatar picture and change the royal blue background to something more appealing. In this menu you will also find one of Trello’s core features, powerups. They are an easy way to integrate other apps (like Evernote J) with Trello.
- Your board/project name.
- These columns are what Trello refers to as lists. Lists are like different parts of a big project. To create a list, label the first one and click save. Do the same for as many lists as you need.
- Below each list you’ll find, my favorite feature: cards. Think of them like index cards. They outline information for each list. To add a card, you must label your list first then click the prompt that says, “Add Card.” Add as many as you need.
Step #4: Let’s Get To Business
It’s time to add lists to our board. Create a list for each major part of your project. Let’s say this board was called, “Life Goals.” Your lists could read: health, writing, business, family, and finances.
But to continue with our example, I’ll quickly create five lists for this book project. Type in the title for the first list and click save. Continue with the rest of your lists. As you can see below, I labeled them Research, Introduction, Chapter 1, Chapter 2, and Conclusion.
Step #5: Add Cards to Your Lists
Once you have your lists in order, you can start adding cards to each one. Simply click the prompt that says “Add a Card.” Below, I added 3 cards to each list. These cards represent what I want to cover in that particular chapter.
3 Awesome Card Features You Should Know About
1) Remember I said cards are like index cards? Just like an index card, every Trello card has a “back” full of many neat options. To access it, click on any card once.
Then you will be greeted with many options. You can add a description, comment, a member, a color label, checklist, due date, or attach a file and/or link.
Furthermore, you can move or copy the card to a different list or board, subscribe to the card to be notified of changes by other members, or archive the card (this will remove it from your list and store it in the “extensive menu” in case you need it later).
2) Move cards (and lists) anywhere on the board with one click. Just click, drag, and drop to reorganize cards and lists instantly.
3) Hover over a card to reveal a pencil. Click on the pencil icon to access a quick menu. From this menu you can color code, move, archive, or edit a card faster.
You’re All Set to Get Your Trello On
Like Evernote and any other productivity tool, it takes time to set up and learn how to use, but it pays off dividends. If you put in the time to learn Trello, you’ll get back peace of mind and mental clarity.
You’ll have a place to record and organize your project ideas and to-dos instead of attempting to manage it all with sticky notes, scraps of paper, or worse, in your head.
I hope you’re pumped to start your next projects with Trello. Remember, this is just a guide. Be creative and customize it to fit your needs. You are only limited by your imagination.
If you need more inspiration, check out Trello’s large library of ready-made boards. They are sure to spark ideas and new ways to use Trello in your life and business.
Coming Up Next Week
How do Evernote and Trello compare? I’ll tell you all about it next week. I’ll explain exactly what each app is good for. I’ll also show you how I use each one to manage my life and business. In the end, you’ll to be well informed and ready to decide: Trello, Evernote, or (like me) both.