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Digital Skills Blog

Introduction to Trello

10th February 2016

A new year always means a new start and here in the office we have made a decision to try to become paperless in a lot of the ways we work.

For me, and many of us, it is lists that use up the paper. Scribbled lists in piles all over the desk, different subjects and different levels of urgency. There is so much variety in the work we all do here, that it would make it so much easier if we could separate all the subjects and levels of importance.

In my personal life I am also trying to become more organised, with both myself and my husband working full time, two kids to consider and everything that goes along with running a household, things have gotten very lax over the last year with regards to keeping everything in order.

So I had to explore what apps I could use which not only got me organised within my work life, but made it easy for my personal and family life also. And that’s when I stumbled across Trello. I had a very brief introduction to it last year but couldn’t figure out how it worked and no-one was around to show me so I gave up. This time, I sat down, watched a few tutorials and within no time at all I had at least half a dozen lists produced!

Trello is a cloud based app which you can access through your mobile or computer. It is easy and free to sign up, and within minutes you can create your own boards which will then help to get you organised. You can have your own account or you can share accounts with colleagues or (in my case) family members, so everyone can contribute and see what is going on, and what needs to be done. The concept is very simple indeed, and you can add more and more aspects to make it as detailed and productive as you like.

Firstly, after signing up you create a board. Within the board you create lists. And within the lists you create cards. You can change the order of the lists within the board, and you can change the order of the cards within the lists – you can also move cards to different lists. For example, if you have ‘doing’ and ‘done’ lists, you can move the ‘hoover lounge’ from doing to done, and give yourself a big pat on the back!

You can have as many boards as you like, and you can change the titles of them should you need to. Think about lots of pieces of paper on your desk with your different projects on, and adding notes to each one, and that is what your boards are. I currently have a board about what blogs I have to write, another board about a presentation I need to research, a board about my meals I am cooking this week, and another general work one with all my ‘to do’ lists within it.

It is kept structured and in order, and I can look at it at home on my mobile or at my desk at work. As soon as something is altered on one device it is automatically changed on all others, and you can log into your account wherever you are.

You can also add images and links to your cards. For example I add blog links which will help me with my work research, and I use pinterest links for recipe ideas for my meal planning.

Once you have got used to the basics of Trello, you can start assigning check lists to your cards, and tick them off once they are done. Coloured labels can also be added to different cards and lists, which can let you know whereabouts you are within your lists. These labels can also have titles assigned to them if you need to organise them further.

After inviting others to use your board, you can also assign them tasks to do within your lists. This is great if you are using Trello within a business capacity, as you can delegate different tasks to different members of staff, and once they have completed that task and ticked it off you can see automatically that it has been done.

I still haven’t explored all the aspects of Trello but despite that I am already finding it so easy to use, it has really changed the way I approach my day and is making my home life run a lot smoother!

Trello has a great help centre with different how to’s and free webinars that you can log into which give you so much further information.