What do you do when you have tons of post-its stuck everywhere and notebooks brimming and scraps of paper with notes all over the place? What happens when you are at wit’s end and need a little calm to overshadow the chaos? Where do you turn for a little productivity?
Here’s the thing… I signed up for Trello months ago and never took the time to figure it out. As long as I’m pulling my hair out from productivity anxiety, I figured, what could it hurt to learn yet another thing that I will not use? Note to self – don’t challenge self unless you are prepared to suffer the consequences.
So, I blocked off a few hours, logged into Trello, clicked around, looked at all the board ideas, and got to work.
My previous routine… writing out a lengthy to-do list of everything that needed to be done and then separate the whole list into days, weeks, and months. Further separating that into computer, website, writing, editorial calendar, blog ideas, outlines, etc. I spent so much time writing it out, then organizing it, then typing it out. That is until something needed to be added. And the first of every month it was back to the drawing board.
Can you tell I’m a total visual person? Everything has to be written down and organized. However, I was spending way too much time trying to organize everything and not enough time actual doing the work.
Now it’s a little bit different. It did take me longer than a few hours to get it all figured out but trust me, it was so worth it. And quite possibly, this will help you out in your productivity slump.
This is a sample of some of the boards that I started. I use the ‘Master To-Do’ and ‘Blog Ideas’ on a daily basis. Many people use Trello to keep up with their business and personal needs.
For example, the ‘Client Onboarding-Example’ board is to remind me of the questions to ask each of my clients. If I relied on my brain, or gathered notes, whenever I got a new gig, I’m sure to forget something. Your clients do not want to be emailed every day with a question that you forgot the day before.
You know exactly what you want to communicate because it is all listed on the cards within the board. All you would have to do is copy the card and rename it to your client’s name. All the information is in one place so there is no room to forget an important tidbit.
You can create any type of board you need. Go through the samples that Trello provides and get a feel what would suit you.
Batching Made Easy
My master to do list is my most used, most important board. It is where I can batch all the work that I need to do. As you can see, each list is specific to where I need to be working. If I am going to be working on my website, all I have to do is check out the cards under the list.
Here is a sample of some cards. You can set a due date and when they are complete just left click and drag over to the ‘Completed’ list. And don’t forget to mark it complete by clicking the card open and checking the box.
From Idea to Done
Now my second favorite board… blog ideas!
This one was a combination of several other board examples plus a few editorial ideas from lists of things I need to-do when I am writing content for myself or someone else. It has been tweaked more than once to make sure that every step is included. We don’t want to forget a step that could cost us readers. Oh no!
The process includes every step from idea to publish. Again, all I have to do is make a copy of the card and rename it with the title of the blog. I love the part where I get to cross things off of the list. It gives me a chance to see the progress. In the comments section I can put the links that I am using for the piece so everything is together.
And the coolest part of the card is that once I hit the publish button, or send it off to the blog editor, all I have to do is left click the card and drag it over to the ‘Published’ list.
When I have an article with a due date I just add that to it. I add the calendar power-up and before the day starts I can pull up the calendar and see at a glance what is coming due in the future.
Now, some of my boards are, for the most part, empty. I saw them in other places and felt I may be able to use it, or something like it, in the near future.
One of the best tips I received, and I truly wish I could remember where I read it so I could mention them and thank them for the best advice received thus far… Set your main Trello board as your home page. This means, simply, you can see your board as soon as you power up the computer. Your ‘things to-do’ is right there in your face.
So, now you have absolutely NO excuse to be unproductive. Trello has freed up so much more time since I no longer have to spend valuable minutes and hours listing everything out. I can type faster than I can write. Now I can spend more time writing (being productive)!
Need help with Trello? Ask me anything about being more productive and I’ll see how I can help!