GUEST POST from Kaylee White
If I were biased in favor of any business software, that software is Trello. It’s one of my favorite online tools. Offline, I’d have to say my bullet journal is my life, but I use Trello just as much, if not more. It’s a great software I’m able to update and keep track of on my computer and on the go. The best part? It’s free!
There’s a bit of hierarchy to Trello and how to use it. You can set up teams. Your business can be a team, your wedding can have a team, and then anything personal could be a team (you can have multiple teams). The next step is the board, which holds the information (you can have as many boards as you want). Within each board, you have lists—again, as many as you want. Once you have a list, you can start adding cards, which are task-related items. A card is what you write the information on. A quick recap: A card goes on a list, which is housed on a board, which can be added to a team or by itself.
Why use Trello?
I know it can feel like there are a million project management systems available—Asana, Todoist, and Wunderlist. After spending some time with pretty much all of them, I’m obsessed with Trello. I’m a visual person. I like being able to see where I am with a project, and Trello is perfect for someone like me. I’m able to move cards along a pipeline I set up.
For example, I have an editorial calendar board. My pipeline includes lists in this order: Blog ideas—>blog posts outlined—>blog posts written—>blog posts scheduled—>blog posts published—>and photo/graphics ideas. I write blog post ideas in the first list, then move each down the line as I get it outlined, written, scheduled, and published. I do the same with our personal bills and tasks in other boards.
The great thing about Trello is you can color coordinate boards. Figure out what colors make sense for you and your life. The colors I use are:
- Green for personal
- Blue for business
- Orange for my fiance
- Pink for our wedding
Coordinating tasks for each board are highlighted in my bullet journal with the same color. Everything on my Google Calendar also has the same coordinated colors. See how everything starts to line up and get connected? Start with getting your personal board set up. Add tasks, keep track of bills, and write down lists you need for your home and relationships.
If you’re getting married, setup boards to track sending thank you cards, your wedding day timeline, guest list and the seating chart, and a bridesmaid board. If you run a business, set up boards for clients, your editorial calendar, a launch board, and even a goal board.
Find Templates to Use
The easiest way to get started is to find templates to use (the experts on the Trello blog have created some amazing templates). If you’re looking for wedding boards, here are a couple. If you want help creating a goal board, here’s a blog post with a template you can copy.
I got a launch board and yearly planning board from Lupita Santana. She’s offering them to you after you sign up for her newsletter list. I’m on one of her boards almost every day! Do yourself a favor and go get a copy of any of the amazing boards she’s created. I created a template board for your business to help you get organized.
This is the hardest part. I don’t know how many notebooks, planners, tools, and software I’ve spent time setting up because I was sure it was finally going to get me to the place I knew I wanted to be. I am still not there, and it’s not because the notebooks and tools were bad. It’s not because they were wrong. It’s because I never used them after I set them up.
It’s all about how much effort and time you put into actually using the tool. It’s how you actually use it to improve your life and your business. Commit to using it everyday for a month. Even if it’s just you reviewing everything you’ve done or need to get done, open it every day. Any time you have an idea or a concept you’d like to explore further, add it to Trello. You won’t ever lose it and you’ll be able to come back to it.
Organize Your Life
Now you’ve set up your personal board and gotten some boards, it’s time to get your life organized. Turn on a timer for 15 minutes and brainstorm everything you need to do for your home. Any errands, home improvement projects you want to do, and things you need to remember (ie, changing the air filter on certain months) should all go into your master list for your personal board.
Once you have a good start on your personal board, switch to your business board. Brainstorm all tasks, contacts, and ideas you have around your business. Add them to the board and then interact with it on a daily basis. Use Trello as your ever-evolving to-do list and keep track of everything. Seriously, you’ll be amazed at the power follow up has in a business. I’ve advanced in ways I didn’t even know was possible, all because I was able to track where I was through Trello.
(Editor’s Note: Looking for a comprehensive guide to using Trello for your business? The awesome chicks at Think Creative Collective have a super affordable course called Trello for Business that will help you become a Trello pro. I’m not an affiiliate; I just think this course is an incredible value and wanted you to know about it!)
Kaylee White is the content strategist and creator for photographers and creative business owners, behind KayleeWrites.com. She’s pursued event planning, marketing strategy, blogging, and social media management in the past. She only seriously considered writing and helping entrepreneurs with their content strategies after her mom pointed out she was always writing! Kaylee is nuts about productivity and being organized, and uses planning hobby to help small biz owners plan their content, figure out what they’re going to produce in a year, and help them get it written. If you have any questions or are interested in working with her, email her at email@example.com.