As a Virtual Assistant I always have a long lists of tasks to complete. Whether it’s for clients, my business or my life. The list is always ongoing and ever changing.
I recently posted an article about the Eisenhower Matrix Principle and how I go about prioritizing each task. Today I’m going to go over how I use Trello to stay on top of my tasks after determining their importance.
First though, here is a list of the many reasons I love Trello:
- It’s clean and simple
- Easy to learn
- Drag and Drop (everything!)
- Use colored tags to break up tasks visually
- Add due dates and checklists within tasks
- Upload documents, images, articles to reference or use later
- Choose a background image that is visually appealing
- Have separate boards if needed (I currently use 2 boards)
- Use Power Ups to add even more functionality to your board
- It integrates with A LOT of other online systems
- Their blog and tips are always super helpful
So….What is Trello?
Trello is an online productivity platform that allows you to create lists with tasks (on what they call cards). You can use the board solo or to collaborate. You can add descriptions, tags, due dates, comments, checklists, and more to each card.
How much does it cost?
Trello has a free forever plan! Depending on your level of need this plan can likely be all that you will ever need. As your team and or needs grow you can always upgrade to the Business or Enterprise plans.
5 Steps to get Trello working for You
Staring at a brand new blank board can be overwhelming and discouraging. It’s like staring at blank canvas- there is so much possibility and yet you may not know where to begin.
Here are some steps to help get started.
Step 1) Set your background photo
In the top right corner select “Show Menu” then select “Change Background.” You can select from solid color backgrounds or the photos provided. Find the one that you like best!
Step 2) Create your Lists.
If you’re following the Eisenhower Matrix (see my previous article on this method) than you can start by creating your first 5 lists: 1) Today’s Tasks, 2) Need to Schedule, 3) Next Few Days and 4) Want to Do and 5) Completed!. (these are suggested titles- you can call them whatever you want)
Step 3) Create your Cards
Create at least 1 card to go under each list you created in Step 1.
Must Get Done- Send Invoice
Schedule- Dentist Appointment
Next Few Days- Create Powerpoint Presentation
Want to Do- Watch new episode of X show
Completed- blank for now, but as you complete tasks you can move them to this column so you can still see everything you’ve completed 🙂
Step 4) Practice some of the features
- Drag a card from one list to another
- Add a comment
- Add a tag
- Create a checklist
- Set a due date
- Add an attachment (doc or image)
Step 5) Start brain dumping and prioritizing!
Now that you’re familiar with the setup and features you can start making out your lists and make Trello work for you.
As you work with Trello more you’ll be able to find your system and how the board works best for you. For example you could create a list called Grocery (Example #1 below) and add items as you run out. Or maybe Grocery Shopping is just a card in your schedule or next few days list with a checklist created within (Example #2 below).
Other lists ideas- Monthly or Quarterly Goals, Classes/Books you want to take/read, Inspirational Quotes, Places to Visit, Facebook Group Promotion Days, Blog Post Ideas, etc
If you want to really dive into all the different ways you can use our Trello board check out a blog post from a Trello employee on how he has his board set up. Or if you just want to learn more about the basics you can take the Trello Tour.
Just remember that the best system is the one you use! So if Trello isn’t right for you, that’s okay, just find what works for you.