As the resident Trello* fanboy amongst my friends I recently put together an email explaining a couple of ways that I get the most out of Trello.
I call these “Trello Workflows”.
In the interests of “sharing the knowledge” I’m converting that email into a blog post.
* Disclaimer: I get a month of free Trello Gold if you sign up using that link above.
The workflow for day to day stuff
The first of these workflows is for tracking day to day tasks.
The initial idea is explained in part 2 of this post by Ryan Carson.
Before you do anything, take 19 minutes and organize your todos for the day. I wake up at 4:54am every day, grab a coffee and open up my personal Trello Board and prioritize. Limiting this to 19 minutes keeps you focused and ensures you don’t spend all your time prioritizing instead of doing.
Please note that you don’t need to get up at 4:54am to do this.
I discovered this system from Leo Babauta of Zen Habits who has a few things to say about it too.
I’ve reworked this system a little and “made it my own” but the basic ideas are the same.
Changing it to suit you is quite important. I don’t like to have lots of non-critical cards in my Later list so I eventually created a “Rainy Day/Ongoing” list where I could put all of the tasks that are non-essential but that I’d still like to get around to one day.
I’ve been following that system for about 18 months and it’s amazing the amount of stuff I manage to get sorted now.
I no longer have to worry about forgetting to do things – I just make sure I track them on the board.
The only thing I have to remember to do is a quick daily review and then to have the discipline to add cards to it whenever new tasks roll in.
The other nice thing is that if you set a due date on a card and add yourself as a member Trello will email you a reminder when it’s due.
I’ve set up a template Trello board based on this that you can clone and start using.
The workflow for Big Goals
The second workflow is for managing the big goals.
You know, learn Spanish, climb Mount Everest, the kind of stuff that takes months or even years to accomplish.
Again, there’s an excellent blog post explaining it all.
Some people call them “dreams”. Some call it a bucket list. I call them big, gray, looming rocks. No matter what you call them, we all have them: the things we want to do and experience before we die. Making your own bucket list gives you some perspective on your life and what you want out of it. But writing bucket lists and creating vision boards around them can only do much. Emptying that bucket calls for action.
The basic principle is to break down each task into smaller and smaller chunks until you’re left with 2-3 small things to do in a given week.
For example, one of my goals is to speak Spanish fluently (I’ll get around to climbing Mount Everest next year), my tasks for this week are to complete the next two stages of an online course I’ve signed up to.
Each of those steps is probably only 20 minutes work so I’ve committed to spend less than an hour a week on it.
This means that I’m not going to overload myself and burn out which then means that I have a better chance of achieving my goal.
I’ve only been doing this latter one for a few weeks but I’ve already felt the benefits.
I’ve found that I am making time to do these tasks whereas in previous weeks I would just completely forget about them.
I’ve set up a template Trello board based on this one as well.