“We need milk, eggs, and orange juice on our next grocery trip.”
“I’ve got to remember to rotate the tires on the car.”
“I need to remember to pick up that wedding gift.”
Most of us have to-do’s like this bouncing around in our heads as we try to remember them. These to-do’s often don’t get
organized in some fashion until we are at wit’s end. Then, they finally get done and triumphantly crossed-off the list…nothing is more satisfying! Here we see that the key to staying organized is a tool to manage these thoughts such as sticky notes, a list on the refrigerator, or a dry erase board.
What is Trello?
The folks at Fog Creek Software created an app called Trello that is the perfect app to help you get organized. Using Trello is simple, fun, and powerful. The free organization app supports iOS, Android, Windows 8, or a browser.
Trello’s organization method resembles sticky notes, but Trello calls them cards. You first define each card with a title of the thought you wish to organize. These cards can then be arranged underneath columns that you define. For instance, my wife and I use Trello to manage our grocery list. We have a column called “Inventory” (stuff we have) and “Pick-up” (stuff we need).
Then, one of us goes to the grocery store and buys each item in the Pick-up column and slides the card back to inventory as the item is put into the grocery cart. Wonderful!
Colors, Checklists, and more
The genius of Trello is both its simplicity and flexibility. Each card has optional fields on the back of it. You can see the back of the card by clicking it. You can define a description, upload attachment, assign the card to someone, set a due date, color code the card, or insert a checklist.
My wife and I use some of these options with our grocery shopping list. For instance, we utilize the color coding feature to color code each grocery list item by department (produce, deli, canned goods, etc.) to eliminate backtracking at the store. I also have a card called “Portabella Mushroom Burger” that contains a checklist of all of the ingredients to make it.
What really makes Trello shine is how you can use it with other people. Each “board”, or list, can be shared with anyone. Then they can work with you on your board in real-time including leaving comments, adding cards, or sliding them around.
My workplace recently had a brainstorming session, and each employee brought their own device. Some brought laptops, others tablets, and some smart phones. We connected a computer to a projector and shared the Trello board with each employee. Then, each employee could make changes using their own device, and we all saw changes appear instantly on the projector as well as on our devices. An employee could be working on assigning the cards, another could be prioritizing, and another color coding by the task’s difficulty. It was one of our most productive brainstorming sessions!
Download Trello using the links below. It’s free, dead simple, and provides a fun way to get organized.
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