In Trello Essential Training you will learn how to get more done using Trello, the popular productivity tool from Atlassian. Follow along with me and I’ll show you everything you need to know to make the most of Trello. I’ll explain how to use Trello to organize your own work or to manage larger projects in collaboration with your team. Discover how to create, filter, link, and archive cards and boards, and extend Trello with Power-Ups, browser extensions, and cloud services such as Google Drive and Dropbox. Plus, learn how to apply your preferred project management style—Getting Things Done®, Kanban, scrum and agile, or Gantt—to Trello and use the Trello mobile app for iOS and Android.
Trello Essential Training Learning objectives
· Navigating boards, lists, and cards
· Managing settings, permissions, and notifications
· Assigning due dates
· Moving and copying cards
· Sharing cards
· Linking cards and boards together
· Searching and filtering
· Using Power-Ups and extensions for Trello
· Automating Trello actions
· Using Trello for agile and scrum workflows
· Using the Trello mobile app
What is Trello?
In today’s productivity obsessed and app driven world, it is easy to get overwhelmed by the endless options available when it comes to organizing your life, making your various to-do lists, and getting things done. And sometimes that overwhelm can lead to stress, anxiety, and getting nothing done at all because you just don’t know where to start or which tool is right for your needs.
I want to help you prioritize the most important things that you would like to accomplish in your life by introducing you to my favourite productivity tool on the planet, Trello, so you can stop working harder and start working smarter.
By the time you have completed this article, not only will you have confidence using both the basic, as well as the more advanced features in Trello, but you will also understand how to organize Trello so it works specifically for you.
Ready to get things done? Let’s do this!
Before we dive right into learning about all of the amazing features that Trello offers when it comes to project management and organization, I first want to address a very common question that I get over, and over, and over. Is all of Trello free? And if not, what’s free and what do I need to pay for?
To be honest, this is a constantly moving target, so rather than breaking down all of your options in excruciating detail, I invite you to visit the Trello homepage to learn more about all of the features that it offers.
As we scan down, you’ll see that it talks about how you can work with teams, it gives you built-in workflow automations with butler.
The next logical place that you will probably go to better understand free versus paid is going to be the pricing page.
So when we click on the pricing page, it’s going to walk you through everything that’s available to you free, forever, and the Business Class, as well as Enterprise users.
And you can see that this breaks down in a multitude of various ways, whether it’s the number of boards, the number of cards, lists, attachments, team boards, the number of power ups per board, custom fields, calendar views, map views, app integrations, automations, I could go on, and on, and on.
Trello.com/pricing hopefully will answer all of your questions. However, I’m going to show you a secret backdoor way to maybe get some of the features you’re looking for for a lower price.
This is something that Trello has hidden recently that’s still available to you, and it’s a middle ground option that’s called Trello Gold.
So if we click on this tab, you can see that right now I’m at the URL trello.com/en, for English, /gold, and Trello Gold is in between the free version and the Business Class option, and this is the option that I used for years until I finally did upgrade to business class.
You can see that it’s a lower price per month per user, and as you scan through, once again, it’s going to tell you about all of the various features that are available to free members versus Trello Gold members, and again, it’s not going to be as robust as Business Class, but you’re still going to be able to get more stuff done and organize better, more efficiently, and more effectively if you decide that you want to upgrade to Trello Gold, but you don’t want to upgrade to Trello Business Class quite yet.
So now that we’ve taken a quick tour of the different options available depending on your project management needs, as well as your budget, you should be able to research any features that are vital to your workflow and determine whether they are included in the free plan, Business Class, Enterprise, or the lesser-known Trello Gold.
The Basic Features of Trello Boards and Cards
- Navigating the Trello home page and creating your first board
Welcome to the beginning of your Trello journey. If you’re unfamiliar with Trello but you’re ready to give it a try, I want to remind you that Trello is a free, web-based application, and the only requirement to use it is a working internet connection.
While they do offer a free desktop version as well, for the majority of this course, I will demonstrate everything with the web-based version, which you can use with browsers like Google Chrome, Safari, or Firefox.
You can also access Trello via a free mobile app as well, and I’m going to demonstrate some of the basic differences between desktop and mobile later in this course. To get started with Trello, all you need is an email address to set up your account.
Once you’ve completed the registration process and you’ve confirmed your email, Trello will then guide you through a quick visual tutorial of how it works. So let’s go ahead first by naming our first board.
Let’s just call this Sample Board #1. And now it’s going to ask the names of various lists. Let’s just use what they have here for now.
Now let’s say we want to do sample Card 1, Card 2, and Card 3. And we’re not going to worry about the details right now. So we’re just going to move forward, and we are ready to get started.
So let’s go ahead and keep building our first board. Once you’ve completed that brief tutorial, Trello is going to take you right into your very first board. But I want to take a step back for a second, and I want to show you how the home page works and how to navigate it.
So what I’m going to do is go up here to the Home button. I can also go to the Trello button as well. So let’s click on Home. So very quickly, without going too in depth on the home page, what you’re going to see is a listing of all of your boards.
So you’ll see that right now, all we have is our Sample Board #1. This is a link to the home page that’s going to gather all of your various boards, comments, notifications, tasks, to-do lists. Once you’ve got a lot of action going on, this is where you’re going to see all of it for all your various boards.
As you create teams, the teams will be under here. You can create links to your favorite boards here. But what I want to direct you to now are the templates. If you’re looking at Trello and you’re thinking, “I don’t really know what to do with it or how to apply it to my own needs,” there are tons and tons of templates to get you started. So whether it’s business, design, education, engineering, marketing, project management, remote work, or other, there are plenty of board templates in Trello to get you started immediately. So now that you better understand how the Trello home page is organized and you know how to create your very first board, that’s it! You’re ready to start using Trello.
- Navigating boards, lists, and cards
Assuming you have at least one sample board ready to go, it is time to learn how to navigate your Trello board as well as add lists and cards. If you can create a board, a list, and a card, the sky is literally the limit with what you can accomplish with Trello.
So first, let’s go over the basic Trello board interface. First of all, here in the upper left, we have the home page, of course. Secondly, is the board navigation button. So as you create more boards as well as more teams, this is where all of them are going to be available in one pull down menu.
You also have the option right here to create a new board. You also have this option over here, to create a new board and also create a team or create a business team. Right here of course, is going to be the search function that is going to help you search through all of your cards on this board. Right here is a general information tab if you want to learn more about how to get the most of Trello.
This is going to be notifications. So in a way, this is kind of like your email inbox. Where you get notifications on due dates on various cards, or comments or conversations that happen in various cards, lists, or boards. And then this finally, is the last area of the board header, where you can modify anything that has to do with your account.
So everything here, is not at the board level, it is at the profile and the account level. Now the most important settings that I want you to understand. On each individual board, are going to be where you have assigned this board and right now because it’s brand new, it belongs to my personal boards. If you had teams enabled and you created multiple teams, you’d be able to select in this pull down menu, which team this board belongs to.
And perhaps the most important setting, that I want you pay attention to is the visibility setting. The default is that all boards are going to be set to private. But you can see I can also set this to the team level which means that even if a member is not assigned to this board, if they are apart of your team, they can see see everything on this board. We have the organization level.
And then the most important one to understand is public. If you have a board set to public, that means anybody that has a link to a card, list, or board, can see it with no privacy whatsoever. And as you can see right here, that includes Google which makes them searchable.
So be very, very careful about which visibility setting you choose based on your privacy needs. And lastly, this is where you can see all of the members that are assigned to your board. So right now, it’s just me. And this is where you would invite various people to your boards. Either people that are existing on your team or you can use the email address of anybody that you would like to invite to Trello and have access to this board.
So now what I want to do, is better understand how do we manage our lists and our cards. So we have our three existing lists here from the basic Trello tutorial. I’m just going to rename these for now to list number one, by clicking on the name here. List number two. And list number three. And as you can see, it’s very simple. If I want to add another list, I just click in this area. Add another list. List number four and let’s just go for an even five list.
As you continue to add more, you will continue adding them from left to right. If you’re in the process of thinking, well I really would like a list between these two, there is no add list in between so you would just add it here. And if you wanted to, you would just drag that list and reorder it.
So now, you have a customizable list order. For now, I’m just going to go ahead and we’re going to archive this list so we can get it out of the way. And we have our five main lists set up. And now you can see that we have our cards. So to add another card, it’s as simple as clicking the add a card button.
Let’s say we want card four. And it will immediately ask us to add another one so let’s add card five. We can do this under any of our lists. And add another card as we see fit. So there you go. You now know everything necessary to build your first Trello board with multiple lists and multiple cards. It is literally that simple. While it may only take a few minutes to get started, it is going to take you a lifetime however, to master Trello. As there are so many infinite uses and customizations.
- Managing board settings and permissions
Whether you decide to work with a single Trello board, or many of them, maybe even across many teams, you’ll want to better understand how to navigate your various board settings so you can customize each board to suit you and your team’s most important needs. Everything you need to know about your individual board settings are going to be here, in the upper right, under show menu. So to be very clear, what we are looking at right now are individual board settings. So in all the things that we’re going to talk about in this lesson, none of them are going to apply to other boards. So if you want to make a change to this board, it’s going to go here, it will not apply to other boards either in your general account, or in specific teams. I’m not going to go into any of these in great detail, but let’s just do a general overview of what your various board customization options are. First of all, you can add a description to your board here, you have the option to change your background, this is an alternate place to search your cards in addition too right over here. You have the option to add various stickers, so if you wanted to add a sticker to a specific card for whatever reason, this is the place to do that, and you also have the option to start creating automations with a program called butler, which is built right into Trello. You also have a ton of customization options that will be available in the power ups here, and right here, you can get a sense of what all the recent activity is on this specific board, and you can click here to see all activity. Now let’s go to the more menu. Inside the more menu, you have the ability to customize the color and names of all of the various labels, as they apply to only this specific board. This is where you’re going to find any items that have been archived on this board, and you can see both cards and lists. Here you can modify your email to board settings, so if you wanted to email some information and have it become a card, this is where all of the information is available to do so. This will give you the ability to watch a specific board and receive notifications of all activity on the board. You can copy this board, you can also print and export certain information. You can close this board entirely, which is non-destructive, meaning that you can reverse this and you can open a board back up again, and then you can also link to this board, and it will tell you right here what your privacy settings are for this specific board, which you can also modify once again right here. So because we are in private, it says only board members can see and edit this board, in both places. The last settings that I want to direct you towards are these individual settings right here, where you have the ability to assign a different team for this board, you have the option to either enable or disable your card cover images, and you also have the ability to modify who can make commenting permissions, as well as adding and removing permissions. So we have members, we can disable, and on other various tiers of Trello, whether it’s Trello Gold, Business, or Enterprise, you’ll have all these various commenting permissions available to you. So now with a better understanding of where to access each board’s individual settings, you can now customize, modify, and personalize Trello as you see fit.
- Managing members, labels, and checklists
All right. It is time to dig into the many different options and customizations that are available inside individual Trello cards. There are so many different features available that it would be impossible to cover all of them in a single lesson, so in this lesson I will demonstrate the first three key features, adding members, creating and adding labels, and creating checklists. So we’re going to go into our card number one and you’ll see these first three items are available in the top right, members, labels, checklists, so if I wanted to add a member it’s as simple as clicking the members button and you’ll see that all of the members of your board are going to be listed here by default. You can also search for members that might be in your team, or you can search people by email, and again if you want to have the names show up here, you would just go in here and invite people to your board first, so let’s go back to card number one and for now I’m just going to add myself as a board member, and what this means is that I am now automatically watching this card so all activity, all communications, all changes are going to send me notifications, which I am going to see up in my notifications window. You can also see that my profile icon is now attached to the outside of this card and the watch icon is right here. So I go back into this card and the next step is I would like to be able to sort and organize my various cards by colored labels, so I go to the labels button and you’ll see that I have these six default colors already assigned and if I wanted to add more, I can click on create a new label, and I have up to 10 options available and the no color option can be useful if you want to be able to sort and filter by invisible labels that you can’t actually see, and that’s a really important point to understand about labels and how powerful they can be in Trello. What you can do is sort and filter by these various colors, so you want to think to yourself, what is going to be the most important way that I can sort and filter on this board? That’s how you are going to want to name them, so for now we’re going to make it very simple. I’m just going to click on here and call this label one and save. Label two and save, and label three and save, and if I want to be able to assign this to the card, it’s as simple as clicking each of them. I can also go in here and I can add and remove right from the label area here, so I’m going to turn all these off, and then if I wanted to reassign them from outside the card, I click on the edit menu, edit labels and I have my options here, so let’s just go ahead and add the green label, and if I close out of this menu you’ll see that now that label is attached to the outside of the card. So now, I’m going to go back into my card and I want to show you how to create checklists because this is one of the most powerful features of Trello is creating an infinite number of checklists and to do list items, so let’s create our first checklist. I’m going to call this checklist number one. We’re going to add it and we’re going to add item one, item two, and item three, so here’s what’s so powerful about this. What it’s going to do is first of all, show our progress. So as I begin to click all of these off and complete these tasks, we are at 33%, 67%, and wait for it, that’s right, 100% and our checklist is complete. If I close this you can see that it now gives me a green tag for all of our checklist items completed. Let’s go back into our card. Let’s say that this has 50, 100 or even more items and that we really don’t want it to be cluttered. We can hide those completed items, but if we wanted to add a new item, let’s say item four, it’s going to show us only the incomplete items, and it’s going to update to the progress report. Now, let’s add our second checklist, checklist number two and you’ll see this is now contained within the same card and I want to do item one, item two, and item three for this checklist, but now let’s say I realize, you now what? I think what would make more sense is I have so many repeatable processes and tasks in checklist number one, I don’t want to copy and paste all of these individually, so let me delete this checklist. I’m going to confirm it here and what I want to do is I want to copy this, so I’m going to say checklist two is going to copy from checklist number one, and immediately I have a repeatable process from one checklist to the next. Another really cool feature about Trello checklists is the ability for each individual item to assign a due date and assign a member, so let’s go ahead and let’s assign an individual due date, oh man. Unfortunately, to be able to use these two power ups in your checklist, you are going to have to upgrade to business class. Whether it is adding a due date or a member to an individual checklist item, you are unfortunately going to have to upgrade. Neither of these features are available in the free Trello plan. Now that you better understand the first three key features in an individual Trello card, you are ready to add your own team members, assign various labels, and create checklists to track and organize your various tasks and projects.
- Adding due dates, attachments, and card covers
Let’s dig into a few more of the key features that are available inside individual Trello cards, that are absolutely vital to keeping your board and your cards organized, due dates, attachments and card covers. Let’s go ahead and step into card number one. And here we are due dates, attachments, and covers. Let’s step into the due date. And let’s see what options are available on an individual card. First of all, we can assign the due date manually right here and we can assign anytime we’d like. We also have the option to choose using this calendar. So for now, let’s go ahead and assign this any week. And we can also set a reminder for this due date which can either reset to none or all of these other various reminder options. And if you do set a reminder that is going to show up as a notification in your notifications window. So for now, we will leave it at none. And I’m going to save this due date but before I do, I want to bring to your attention that if you enable the calendar power up, or also one of my favorite power Planning way, you have the option to visually see your calendar with these cards on that calendar. I’m not, however, going to go into detail in this specific lesson about how those power ups function. So for now, let’s just go ahead and let’s save this due date. And you’ll see that it now appears on the card with both the date and the time. And on the outside of the card, the date appears. So let’s go ahead and open this up again. And let’s see what happens if we make the due date tomorrow. If I change it tomorrow and save it now you can see that it tells me that it’s due soon. And it gives me a yellow tag. So I know that it’s coming up. Now let’s see what happens if this due date is overdue. So we’re going to set it for today. We’re going to save it once again. And oh no, all of a sudden it has gone red. And it’s reminding us that this is overdue. And we also have a red tag on the outside of our card. So this is a great visual way to keep track of what is going to be doing in the future what is due soon and what is now overdue. So for now, let’s go ahead and let’s remove this due date. Let’s look a little bit deeper into how attachments work. So we click on the attachment button. And you’ll see that I have all of these various options to attach documents, images and or hyperlinks, I can either choose to do so from my local computer. If I use Trello. For example, I could attach a card. So let’s do a search for card to. So now I have an attachment and a link between these two cards, which is great. Another option is that I can attach from my cloud based servers, Google Drive, Dropbox box and OneDrive as examples. But I want to make one thing very, very clear. This is a very common question about how attachments work. If you attach anything to a card via the manual attachment area right here, it is not going to be a live editable document. Meaning if you attach a Word document, an Excel spreadsheet, or even anything from one of your cloud based servers, this item only exists on your Trello card and if it changes if it is saved again, if is revised something Else, it is not going to update on this card. If you want live links to live documents, you have to add those via the various power ups for Google Drive, Dropbox, or whatever. And I’m not going to cover how to do that in this specific lesson. Just be aware that if you use the attachment feature, those items are only going to live here and are not live documents. You also have the option here to attach a hyperlink to any various website, which makes a Trello card a great way to save bookmarks. The last thing that I want to draw your attention towards in this lesson are covers. These are great for giving your board a really cool look or feel or also just helping you organize it better visually. So if we click on cover, it’s going to say you don’t have any covers. So let’s add one. So let’s look through here and let’s see what we can find in the nature category. You know what this tree picture this seems like it would be really nice and let’s say that this card is about trees. So I click it and now I have this card cover For trees, if I decide that I want to remove it, I can go ahead and I can remove it here. If I wanted to add another option, let’s say I want to look into organization, and I want to have post its, now I have a post it as my cover. But now what if I wanted a custom image for my cover that I wanted to use specifically to tell me more information about how I’m using this card? Here’s an example of how I like to use card covers. Let’s say that I wanted to use the LinkedIn logo as a header to one of my cards to remind me that this card has LinkedIn login information. So what I would do is find the Image and Image Search, I would right click, I would copy the image address. I go back to my individual card. I’m going to remove this cover. I’m going to go to attachments. I want to attach the link. But watch what happens. Now I have the image down here and I can now make this my custom card cover. This is a great way to organize your variables Cards based on whatever information makes the most sense for your specific workflow. Let’s just go ahead and we will remove this real quick. We’re also going to go ahead and remove this card attachment. And lastly, we’re going to remove this card image altogether by deleting it. And there you go. Now that you better understand these key features inside individual Trello cards, you are well on your way to assigning due dates and organizing your schedule, managing documents, images and attachments, and giving your cards and your board a unique look and ease of navigation with your card covers.
- Creating and formatting card descriptions
One important, yet very powerful feature that is often overlooked inside every individual Trello card is the description field. At first glance, this might look like a simple text box. But, when we dig a little deeper, you’ll discover that there are a lot of options to better organize, format, and communicate information inside an individual card, whether that’s for yourself, or for all of your team members. So, here we are inside the description section. And, the first assumption would be that we just type in here, so type a description here. We go ahead and we hit save, and now we have information. And, this in and of itself, is useful, but we can go a lot further with organizing and formatting this information. So, let’s click the edit button. Let’s go back inside here, and I want to direct you to the formatting help button. I’m going to click here, and now, all of a sudden, it’s going to give you several suggestions for using a format that’s called Markdown. Markdown is not something super complicated, like HTML or CSS, it’s a very simple way of adding very specific characters to get specific outcomes. I’m not going to go into all that Markdown has to offer, as there are so many different options here. And, if you wanted to see the complete syntax for Markdown, you can click on this link, and you can learn how to format your text in Trello to your heart’s content. There are tons of different options for formatting using Markdown. In this lesson, I want to direct you to my favorite formatting options that I like to use to better organize and format the description of my Trello cards. So, the first thing that I like to do is separate sections by headers, and the way to do that is by using the pound sign. So, I can do, header one, I can do header two, and I can do header three, by using the pound sign, once, twice, or three times. Another option that I like to use is adding horizontal lines to create different sections, and all I have to do to create a horizontal line is create multiple dashes. Next would be bold. To make something bold, I’m just going to add two asterisks in front, and two asterisks at the end. Now, if I want to do italics, I just do three. One, two, three, one, two, three. The next one would be a bulleted list, so let’s say, bullet one, bullet two, bullet three. And, lastly would be hyperlinks. If I were to just add a hyperlink in here, it will show that hyperlink verbatim. However, if I wanted to use a hyperlink as a description, and say, for example, this is a hyperlink, I can’t select it. I can’t highlight this and say add hyperlink. But, what I can do, I can put this in brackets, and then I can add my URL in parentheses. Http://website.com. And, for now, this looks kind of like gibberish. But, let’s see what happens when we hit the save button. Now, all of a sudden, we have all of these different, various formatting options. We have large headers, medium headers, smaller headers, full horizontal line to break up larger sections. I’ve created bold, I’ve created italics. I now have bullets, and you’ll see that now, the actual URL is missing, but this has become hyperlinked text. So, if I click on this is a hyperlink, it’s going to take me to website.com. What do you know? It works. So, once again, very briefly, if I go in to edit this, these are my favorite Markdown formats to organize any specific description in a Trello card, and if you want to go even deeper down this rabbit hole, simply click formatting help, look at some of the options that they have here, or click complete syntax to get everything that’s possible using the Markdown format. So now, with a basic understanding of the Markdown format, and how a Trello card description works, you have a ton of customization options to format your information, so you can communicate cleanly and effectively.
- Moving and copying cards
In order for you to become truly effective using Trello, it is important to understand how to organize, move, and copy your various cards either inside a board or between boards. Luckily this process in Trello is incredibly simple. Here’s how it works. No doubt you’re already familiar with the fact that you can simply click on a card and you can drag it within a list, to another list, to another one, another one, and another one. Simple enough as shifting around index cards on a whiteboard. However, let’s say that you have a whole bunch of lists, maybe 20, maybe 30. You don’t want to have to dig through and continually drag this all the way across the screen. There’s got to be an easier way to do it, right? Or what if I wanted to take this card and put it on a different board, I physically can’t drag it from this list to another board. So what do I do? Now let’s talk about the move function. There’s two different ways to do this. The first is going to be via the edit menu in the card, and we go to move. The other option is directly inside the card, under the actions menu, under move. And they’re both going to look identical. So if I click the move button, first of all, it’s going to suggest places I might want to send this. To any of the lists on my board. You can see I also have the option to choose any list on my board. So let’s say for now I’ll move it to list five. And it’s going to ask me for the position. And because there are no cards in there, it means it’s going to go to position one. If I had 50 cards on this list, I could put this anywhere between card number one and card number 50. So for now, let’s just go ahead and move this over to number five. Great. Now what I want to do is actually move this to an entirely different board. So first we’ll return this card to its original position. We’ll this time use the edit menu. We’ll go to move. Once again, it’s going to suggest different lists. But I actually want to put this on a different board. So I select my destination as sample board number two. And again, it’s going to ask me which list and which position. So as I move it, you’ll see that it is now disappeared from this board, and it is now magically appeared in list number one on sample board number two. It is really that simple. Now let’s go back to sample board number one. And let’s say that I wanted to move multiple cards. So let’s say all of these have to go to board number two. All I would need to do is go to the three dot menu, move all cards in this list. And once again, I can choose which list that I wanted to send these to. But now let’s say I wanted to move all of these to a different board. I don’t see this option. Ugh. So this is one of things about Trello, got to be honest, kind of bugs me. If I wanted to move all these cards individually onto another board, I would have to go through one by one by one. And there’s no way you’re going to do this if you have a lot of cards. So what you do instead, is you’re just going to want to move your entire list. So I want to move this list to sample board number two. It’s going to keep the same list name. I move it. It now disappears from this board. And it is now magically appeared on sample board number two. So if you have a lot of cards that you want to move, if it doesn’t make sense to do it in your existing list, my suggestion is to take all of those cards, put them in a new list, and move the entire list over to your sample board. So let’s go ahead and move this back to our original board. Going to go back to sample board number one. Return to our board. So now the last question is well, what if I wanted to copy a card? Once again, you’re going to go either to the edit menu or you’re going to go to the actions, and you can see you have the copy function. So you can change the name of your new cards. So let’s call this card number two copy. We can choose to send it anywhere, just like the move function. So for now we’ll leave it on sample board number one. And again, we can choose any list that we want this to belong to. So we’ll keep it right where it is. We will create this card. And you’ll see that I now have card two copy. Where this comes in very handy is if you have a lot of checklists, a lot of processes or documents that you want to copy from one card to the next, all of that information will also transfer over. However I do want to caution you that if you’re going to do this repeatedly and you’re thinking of using this card as a template, there is a template function that I’m not going to demonstrate in this lesson. It is going to be a much better fit if you find that you will need to copy a card over and over and over. Now that you understand how to move and copy your Trello cards, on not only the same board but also between boards, you now have the basic skills and tools to better organize and optimize your entire Trello card and board workflow.
- Communication, notifications, and watching
In this lesson, I’ll demonstrate the basics of communicating with your team members, managing your notifications and understanding how the Watch feature works for lists, cards and boards, so you and your team members never miss an important update again, because the real power of Trello is its ability to allow you to manage distributed teams remotely. And it doesn’t matter if they were across town or across the world. So let’s start by communicating inside a card. So I’m going to open this card right here, and because I am a member, I am automatically watching this card, which means that any activity that happens on this card is going to send me a notification in my notifications window. So I’m going to converse with my producer, Hillary and say, Hillary, I have a question about item three on this checklist, please advise. I’m going to go ahead and I’m going to hit Save. Time goes by, haven’t heard anything wondering what’s going on, where did Hillary go? Aha, it’s not her fault, it’s mine. The problem is that if Hillary is going to see all conversations on this specific card, that means she needs to be added to this card as a member. So I can go up to Add to Card and I can add her as a member. And this means that all future communication will reach her directly and how she manages her notifications is up to her. It might be just a Trello notification and she might get an email notification from Trello. For now, I’m going to leave her off as a member. Let’s say that I don’t want to bother Hillary with all of the going on in this specific card, but I want to get her thoughts on this one item. What I can do is I can just mention her. So I use the @ sign I put in Hillary, it’s going to bring up all of the members that are in this board or on my team. And now I can say, Hillary, I have a question about item three on this checklist. Please advise. Now when I hit save whether or not she is a member of this board, whether or not she’s a member of this card or whether or not she is watching this card, she is going to get a notification regardless. So at this point after she sends me a response, I’m thinking to myself, you know what? I just want her to be a part of whatever’s happening on this card, so I will add her as a to this card just like that. Now she will also be watching it and receive all future notifications in her notification inbox. You will see that she’s now attached to the outside of the card as well. So I can see all profile pictures or I can see initials in this case and know who is assigned to which cards. So at this point, I know that I am watching this card and Hillary is watching this card. Let’s say that I’m not the team leader of this board, but I do want to receive notifications as it pertains to not just individual cards, but now an entire list. What I can do is go up to my three dot menu and I can say that I want to watch this entire list. So I click on Watch. And now you’ll see that once again, the Watch icon comes up for list number one. What this means is any notifications, any communication, any documents that are attached, anything that has changed, I will now receive a notification in my inbox. All right, what if I am a team leader of an entire board or what if I’m not the team leader of an entire board, but I should also be notified of all activity, all communications, all notifications. What I want to do at this point is go to, Show Menu, go to the More button and I want to click Watch. And when I click on here, you’ll notice that up here now I am watching this entire board. Where are you want to be careful with setting, watching for an entire board is your going to start receiving a ton of notifications, if you have a large team and you have a large amount of activity, which means this is going to be a never ending stream of document, attachments and comments and all of the changes that are happening. I highly advise against this, unless you were in a position where you really need to see, monitor and act on all of the various things that are happening on a specific board. So while we’re on the subject of receiving way too many notifications, how do we manage these? I will be honest and I will say that when we go to the notifications tab, this is an area where Trello could still use some work, it doesn’t work as efficiently as an email inbox. So the options that you have right now are simply to either allow or disabled desktop notifications and to be perfectly frank, I turn off all desktop notifications 100% of the time, because they are detrimental to your creative flow and your focus. So this can either be allowed or disabled, or you can change your notification email frequency. So if I were to click on this, I can either periodically get emails sent to me about activities that are happening, that I am watching on Trello cards, lists and boards. I can get instant email notifications, which once again is going to be detrimental to your focus, your attention and your creativity. My default option is going to be never. So basically what I do is I manage all of my notifications in the notification box and I eliminate email from the equation altogether. Hopefully at this point, you understand the basics of how to begin communicating with your team in side individual cards, across multiple cards, or even across all of these various boards, if necessary. You can now see the power, that Trello possesses to keep your communication streamlined, efficient and if you play your cards right, you might even be able to keep yourself out of your dreaded email inbox.
- Archiving cards, lists, and boards
Inevitably, you’ll get to a point where you have a lot of completed tasks that are creating clutter, and you’re going to want to clean up your boards. Trello offers a very useful and simple feature that’s called archiving. In addition to archiving individual cards, you can also archive lists, as well as close entire boards once you’re done with them. And the best part is that nothing is permanently deleted and everything can be restored if necessary or if you made a mistake. So first, let’s start with our individual cards. Let’s go ahead and open up our main Card number one here. And you’re going to find the Archive function is under Actions. You’ll also find that if you go to the Edit menu, you also have Archive available here. From inside the Card, let’s look at what happens. When I click Archive, does a menu come up? It doesn’t. Oh, archiving is instant. It doesn’t even offer you a prompt, so this is something that happens instantly and it’s very easy to make the mistake of archiving accidentally. So, let’s learn how to un-archive this Well first of all, it’s a simple as going through and you can say that this card is archived. All right, well do I want to delete it altogether? Okay, now it’s asking me if I actually want to get rid of this. And you know what, I don’t because I made a mistake. So I’m going to close this and instead, where it said Archive before, I simply want to send it back to the Board. So now I’ve sent it back to the board, and it’s like nothing ever happened. Another way that you can archive cards very quickly is by using the hotkey C, as in cat. So if I wanted to go through and archive these, I just hover over them, click the C key, and now I’ve eliminated all my cards. Oh, hold on a second. I actually didn’t want to do that. All right, how do I un-archive them cause I can’t just go inside the card and click Send to Board. Here’s how you can un-archive a mistakenly archived card. If you go to Show Menu for that specific board, and you click Archived Items, you’ll see that all of them are right here. So what I can do is simply click the Send to Board feature from here. So Send to Board, Board, Board, Board, and Board. And there we go. Not only does it put them back on the board, it puts them back in the exact same list, in the exact same order, completely non-destructive. You can pick up right where you left off. What if you have a whole bunch of cards and you don’t want to go through and individually archive them? Let’s say that you want to archive an entire List. Well what does that look like? Once again, you’re just going to go up to the three dot menu for your list, and it says you can either Archive All Cards in the List. So let’s say that instead of just two, we have 50, and we want to do all of them at once. Just click Archive All Cards. And it’s going to ask me if I want to do that, and I do, I want to Archive All. And my lists remain intact. Let’s undo that very quickly. You’ll see that once again, Send to Board, Send to Board. Completely non-destructive. But what if instead of just the cards, now I want to get rid of the whole list? So let’s say I only want these two lists. And these are just creating clutter. So it’s very simple. Three dot menu, Archive This List, Archive This List, and Archive this List. But, eh, you know what, I change my mind. I think I want List number three back. Go to Show Menu, and you’ll see that here, I’m in the Archived Items. All I have to do is switch to Lists, and now it shows me all the lists that I have archived. So for now, let’s just send List number three back to the board. Once again, going to say it, non-destructive. We have done no damage whatsoever by archiving and de-archiving both our cards and our lists. So the next most logical question is I know how to archive all of my individual cards, and I now understand how to archive an entire list, but what if I’m done with a project and I want to get rid of my entire board, how do I archive the board? If I go to Show Menu, I don’t see anything about archiving here, but oh, I see this is Close Board. To be honest, I think this should be called Archive Board because it’s the exact same function. It’s just different nomenclature. So I’m going to click Close Board. And it’s going to ask me if I indeed want to do this. So I’m going to close it, and now it’s gone. However, you can see that if I want to I can reopen the board from right here. I can also go under the Boards menu at any time. And I can see my closed boards, and I can choose to reopen it. Or I can permanently delete a board. And I’m going to be honest, I see no use for doing so unless there are privacy and security concerns and you have sensitive information that you don’t want anybody to have access to. In any other circumstance, I believe, it’s easy enough to just archive or close a board and always have it available to reopen later. So for now, we’re not going to permanently delete anything. And in fact, I want to reopen Sample Board number one, so let’s do that now. Once again, it’s like nothing happened. We’re right back where we started. So as you can see, with Trello’s fantastic archiving and closed feature, it is easy to keep your workspace clean and organized so you and your team never have to worry about clutter again
- Trello card sharing options
A cool, lesser-known feature inside Trello cards that can be incredibly useful when communicating and sharing information between your team members, or with outside collaborators or clients is the share function. Here’s what you can do with it and how it works. From right inside our card, we go to the right, under the actions menu, and we will see the share button. Let’s click it and see what options we have available to us. The first of which, is we can print individual cards. When I go ahead and click print, here is what the card is going to look like. I’m going to be perfectly honest, this isn’t terribly printer-friendly, I’ve yet to find a use case where I actually want to print something out on paper, but if you wanted to create a digital PDF, or print out a card for whatever reason, this is where you have the option to do so. So I’m going to cancel. The next option under share is that I can export this card in JSON format. So let’s go ahead and see what that looks like. Whoa, going to be honest, no idea what any of this means, I have never used this function, but if you’re looking at this right now and you’re saying, “I know exactly what this is “and how to use it,” congratulations, you have the ability to export in JSON format. The next option is to link to this card, and there are a whole lot of options available with this one link. I’m not going to go into every single one in this specific lesson, but I want you to be very aware of the fact that think link to this card is based on the privacy settings of your individual board. So right now it’s telling us that only board members can see and edit this board, which means that if I were to send this link to somebody that was not a member of this board, or was not a member of the team, all they’re going to see is an error message. And the way to change that is, once again, to go up to your privacy and visibility settings and change it either to the team level, the organization level, or the public level. If I go back to the share card once again, the next option available in the share function is that I can actually take this Trello card and I can embed it using HTML, on any website. Where could this be useful? The sky is literally the limit. It could be your own personal website, it could be an internal team website, a forum, the point is, that using this simple HTML code, this card can be embedded anywhere. Just once again, make sure that you’re conscious of the privacy settings and whether or not you’re putting this on a site where you want people to be able to see it. Another incredible useful feature is that you have the ability to create an email address for this specific card. Why would that be useful? I don’t recommend you use this for internal team members, because that is going to get incredibly messy. However, if you were to share this specific email address with an outside collaborator or an outside client, they would be able to send a message to this email address, and it would show up as activity and comments in this card. Why would you want to do that? My feeling is the best use for this is if you have a collaborator or a client that you really don’t want to be able to see all of your other cards or your board, but you would like them involved in the conversations and the information contained within one specific card, that’s when the email for this card function can be incredibly useful. So as you can see, to reiterate one more time, emails sent to this address will appear as a comment by you, or by that person, on this card. Now that you better understand how to use the share function, whether you’re using it internally, or outside your team with your entire company, with other collaborators, or with clients, there should be no limit to how you communicate with your Trello cards.
More Advanced features of Trello Boards and Cards
- Managing Teams boards, members, and settings
Beyond all of the amazing features that Trello offers individuals or small groups, there’s a whole world of opportunity available to further organize, collaborate, and get things done more effectively using Trello teams. Many of the features are not going to be available to those that are using the free option, meaning that upgrading to business class or enterprise might be your best option if you want to get the most out of teams, but there’s still a lot that you can do with teams even at the free level. So let’s see how it works to create a team, organize boards for that team, add members, and manage basic settings. So as you can see, we are at the board homepage. And right now we can see our recently viewed boards, and our personal boards. What we want to do now is create a brand new team. And as you can see, it’s right over here in the left hand side, we are going to create a team. So let’s call this our tutorial team. The team type can be one of these many options. And to be honest, this is probably more useful to Trello for information gathering than it is to you. But you’re going to notice that whatever you choose is going to give you a multitude of options for creating templates, based on your team types. So for now, let’s just do education. And if you’d like to give your team a description, you can do that here as well. But as you can see, it’s optional. So we’re going to click continue. Now, it’s going to ask for team members. Now one quick side note. If you’re thinking to yourself, you need to add yourself as a member. You are going to be a member by default. So for example, if I try to add myself, I can see my own personal login here, but the login that I have for this course, it’s saying that I have already joined. So what I want to do instead is I would like to invite my team member Hilary. So here we go. She’s popped up. I’m going to invite her to the team. And now you can see, we have a new team page where it says our team name. We can edit the team profile. We can change the type any time, the short name. We can add a website description, and we can also add a logo. So you’ll notice that based on your team type option, you’re going to get different templates. We can just go ahead and close this for now. Also, if you want to learn more about what options you will have when upgrading, you can go ahead and click here, and you’re going to see all the various things, as well as clicking learn more. Again, not going to go into that for the sake of this lesson. What I want to do is very quickly create three new team boards, so you better understand how Trello organizes teams. So let’s create a new board. We’re going to call this team board number one. You can see it’s part of tutorial team. And if I wanted to change it to no team, I can do it. If you have multiple teams, you can also do it in here as well. So we’ll leave it where it is. We’re going to create the first board, and all of a sudden I’ve lost my homepage. So how do I go back there? And how do I add another board? Aha, I want to go up to the team button, and I can either change the team that this board belongs to, or I can go back to viewing my team page. So let’s view team page. Let’s create a second board, team board number two, we’ll make this one orange. Again, part of my tutorial team, create board. And now I want to go back to the team page, and I want to create my third team board, team board number three, we’ll make this one red, again it’s part of this team. And right here, I want to point out this time that you can either make this team visible, or you can make it private meaning that even if it is on your team, if there are certain members that you don’t want to have access to this specific board, perhaps for privacy reasons, you can change the privacy levels, when you create your board, for now I’m going to keep it at the team level. We’ll create our third board. And now I’m going to go back to the team page one last time. And as you can see, we are now here on our main homepage for the team. And as a free member, you’ve got seven remaining boards that you can create. So there’s a lot of latitude being able to create 10 entire boards. Next step let’s very quickly look at the members option, and you can see that I’m already added, my producer, Hilary, she is already added. You have the ability to invite additional team members right here. You can also invite guests. This is going to be the page with all of your settings. And frankly, the vast majority are only going to be available to you and customizable to you, if you upgrade to either business class or enterprise. Here’s a place where you can quickly change your team visibility, and you can also link this to Slack, which I highly recommend for better, and more streamlined communication. And then once again, here’s another tab to walk you through all of the various options. If you do decide to subscribe to business class, or to enterprise to get the most out of teams, but if you’re an individual or a small team that is using the free option, let me show you why I love using teams. If we go back to the boards option, you will now see that the teams are broken up separately, so I can close and open tutorial teams, and my personal board separately. So in a way, teams are kind of like folders for your boards, which is a highly requested feature that Trello does not currently have. Teams is the best way to create folders, and organize your many boards. So if I go back to the homepage, you will see that just by using teams. I have my personal boards and this tutorial team separate. So for some reason you just want folders. You just want to organize your boards separately, even if you’re by yourself and you have no other members, using teams as the best way to do so. Now I hope that you have a better understanding of how to use teams to customize Trello, to fit your specific needs, whether you’re managing Trello for yourself. And you want to use teams simply as an organizational strategy, or if you plan to upgrade to business class, or even the enterprise levels to manage real life teams, or entire organizations.
- Creating and using Trello card templates
Trello is a fantastic tool for managing cards, lists, checklists, members, and so much more. But where Trello becomes really fun, fascinating, and powerful, if you are a productivity nerd like me, is the ability to create complex processes, and systems that you can repeat over and over with minimal effort. This is where you can become really effective with your use of Trello, and I’d like to show you how using the templates function, so you can become infinitely more productive in a very short period of time. So let’s assume that you have a process that you’re going to complete multiple times over, and over, and over on a regular basis. You don’t want to continually add that information to one card after another, after another, after another. So let’s create a process template instead. We’re going to start with a brand new card, we’re just going to call it, Process Template. We’re going to open this card, and I’m going to add some basic information for my team, so they understand what this is about. So it’s just going to have a header, a little bit more information, some bullet points, and I want to let them know that there’s a spec sheet that goes along with this process if they have further questions, or they need to look up further details. So, what that means is, I probably should attach that spec sheet. So let’s go ahead and let’s attach that sheet. And there we go. We now have our spec sheet, where in this case, just for the tutorial, it is about microphone placement. Now the next most logical step would probably be adding the actual process to this card, and I’m assuming that’s going to be using a checklist. So let’s put a couple of checklists in here, and we’re going to call this, Process Number One, and I’m going to assign this one to myself, and we’re just going to call it, step one, step two, step three, step four, and step five. This is something I need to do every single time I go through this specific process. Now, what I want to do is, I’m going to add another process in here, and let’s assign this to my team member, Hillary, and for her, she’s also going to have these five steps, and for the sake of ease, I’m going to copy this. I’m going to paste it, and you’ll see that it’s going to create five separate checklist items. So logically, the next thing I probably want to do if this process is for the two of us, is I want to attach both of us as members. So I will add to card, myself and my producer, Hillary, and now we are on as members. And the last step, if you find that it’s going to be useful for your organizational workflow, is to add specific labels. So I’m going to go click on the Label button, and let’s just say that it’s going to require the yellow, and the orange labels every time this process is going to begin. So now I have members attached, I have labels, I have processed information, I have the necessary documentation, I have the member assignments, and I have the various steps. So now all I have to do is turn this into a template, which is super, super simple. I simply click the, Make Template button, pretty obvious. Click, Make Template, and instantly this has become a template card. So what does that mean? What that means is, it’s now going to be labeled as a template. So anytime that I create a new card, and I can do this several different ways, I can either go to the card itself, Create a Card From Template, and it’s going to ask me how much of this information I want transferred to my new card. So let’s call this, Process One, cause it’s no longer the template, and it’s asking me, do I want to keep all the checklists, the labels, the members, and the attachments, and which list should it belong to? So for now, we’re going to keep all this information as is, we’re going to create the card, and you’ll see that we now have an identical card to our template, with the members attached, the labels, the header, the document, and all of the steps. So now the next question is, what if I don’t want anybody to be able to modify this template? Let’s say that I want this hidden over here on list number one, and I only want it to come up on list number three, but I don’t want all of my members to have the option, or the ability to edit this. What I can do is go into my template, and I can say, “Hide from lists,” and now it’s still available as a template, but it’s not available for viewing, or for editing. So wait a second, if I can still create a template card out of it, but I have to create the template card button on the card, that doesn’t make a whole lot of sense. Aha! So what you want to do is use, the Create From Template button, which is located at the bottom of every single Trello list. So when I Create From Template, we can still see the process, I can click on that one, I can change all the same information as I just did, and create a brand new card. So let’s just call this, Process Two, and now I can create this card. And if I want to edit the template, I can go to the, Create From Template, and click the, Edit Templates, button. And now I have the ability to go back into this hidden template card. If that’s not cool, I don’t know what is. So now that you better understand how to harness the true power, of not only Trello cards, but also Trello card templates, you have an infinite ability to create repeatable processes for whatever best suits your workflow needs, without ever having to manually recreate Trello cards ever again.
- Linking Trello cards and boards together
If you want to flow through your various cards and Trello boards like a true Productivity Ninja, it is necessary to understand how to link your various cards and boards together. This may not seem like a very useful feature if you only have a few cards to work with on a single board, but once you start to build multiple boards with hundreds or even thousands of cards, or you have multiple teams working together, this feature is absolutely vital, and it can save you hours of time, otherwise spent searching for unsorted, or unlinked information. Step one is understanding how card linking works, and where to get your card information. We’re going to go ahead, and we’re going to open up our first card here, card number one. And there’s a couple of places that you can use this card information to link it anywhere that you need to, the first of which would be under the share button. And we have a link to this Trello card right here. So I’m going to copy this to my clipboard. The other option that you have, and I want to dissuade you from using this one, but you can also use this URL, and this can be the length you add. However, the reason you don’t want to do that, when you change the name of your card, you also change the name of your URL, which means that if you link using this, and you change the name, now your link is broken. So I always recommend to use this link right here. So how does this actually work? First let me show you how to link this to another card. So there are a few different ways to do this. One way to do it is adding the URL into the description. Watch what happens when I hit the save button. Now this becomes a link directly to this card so I can click on here, and now it brings me directly into the card without having to close the card, click on the card, open the card, this is just going to give me direct links between each of them. Another way to do this, especially if you’re interested in this being part of your communication workflow is you can say, hi Hillary, I have a question about this card. And instead of having to send them to it, I can just give them a link. And once again, it shows up as a Trello card directly in the activity. Another place this is very useful is in a checklist. So let’s say that you have a multistep process, and you want to link to information about that step. For example, what I like to do is I like to link to tutorial cards or tutorial videos, and put that directly in my checklist item. So if I create a checklist, I can paste that card hyperlink here. And once again, it’s a link to a card. The last way to do this is I can go as an attachment, click in Trello, and I can search through all of my cards and boards. And when I do it this way it now becomes a Trello attachment and the really cool thing about using it this way is when I connect the cards, now I can relate to both cards simultaneously. So I go into card one, it has an attachment to card two. I can go two, to one, to two, to one, to two, to one. And I think you get the point, but that’s a really cool feature to now have relationships between all of these various cards. And now we’re going to see how we can even do the same thing with boards. So where do you find the information for your specific board so you can share it? You want to go up to show menu, go to the more button. And this is the link to the Trello board. And guess what? This functions exactly the same way as your card links. So if I want to go back into card one, I could put information about this board here, save it, now I have a link to a board, which probably doesn’t make a whole lot of sense if we’re in the same board, but if you have multiple boards, this becomes very useful. I can go under attachments. I can attach that link right here without even having to click the Trello button, attach it, and now it becomes an entire board. I can do the same thing in my checklist, and link to this board. So just as I did with the card link, once again, in the activity field, I can do the same thing with the link to an entire board. Now that you know how to link your various cards, and boards together, your cards and boards are going to take on an almost infinite level of complexity, but also simplicity. This is going to allow you to always link dependent cards together, and never lose track of your information. So you are now one step closer to becoming a true Trello Ninja.
- Searching and filtering boards and cards
If there is one function that if you commit to memory will give you the most bang for your buck in Trello, it is filtering. In this lesson, I want to show you how powerful the filtering function can be in a practical project management setting. Once you understand how the filtering process works, you can create the most complex boards imaginable and still find exactly what you need within a few simple keystrokes. So, at the most basic level, filtering is just going to be using the search function. One of the things that I want you to better understand about the search function is when you use this search function at the top of the header, it is going to search all of your boards. So, let’s start with a very simple search. Let’s just look for sample board number two. I’m going to put in sample board and see what comes up. Oh, there you go. I can find either of these boards pretty simple. If I go back to my searches, you can see that I can also refine my search with operators like the member name, the label name, whether or not it’s archived, if it has attachments. There’s going to be a whole lot more. If you click the Learn More button, you’ll get all the information you need about how you can do more advanced searches. So, let’s just go ahead and try this. Let’s put in first name Hilary, and it’s going to show me all the cards that are assigned to my producer, Hilary White, and once again, this is going to be across multiple boards. So, this is going to be useful if you’re looking for things on more than one board or you’re looking for the name of a board specifically. And another way to find the name of a specific board is to click here and just find your boards by name. Simple enough. So what? We haven’t gotten to the cool part of the filtering process yet. What I want to show you is going to be under Show Menu, and Search Cards. This is where things get really powerful, where you can search by specific labels, you can search by members, and you can search by different combinations of due dates, labels, members, whatnot, and more. I think it’s really important for you to se this in action, so I’m going to show you the live Trello board that I’m using to shoot the exact course that you are watching right now. Very meta, I know. So, I’m going to go up to Boards, go to Trello Essential Training, and you’re going to see a card is representing an individual lesson, and I have different stages of all of these. These are lessons that are still in progress. I haven’t gotten to these yet. These first few chapters are ones that I have shot. Perhaps they’re awaiting review, perhaps they’ve been improved, or perhaps they require attention. This is the way that I like to assign my labels. The point being there are a lot of cards on this board and I want to narrow it down. So the first thing that I want to do is a search where I can find out everything that is assigned to me that is labeled as IN THE CAN, meaning that it’s shot and I don’t have to worry about whether or not it’s awaiting review. So I go to Show Menu, Search Cards, this is going to be anything that’s labeled green and anything that has my name on it, and almost instantly these are the only cards that require my focus and attention. If I want to eliminate the search and start over, I go up to my search results, I click the X button. All of the cards come back. Let’s do another one. Let’s do a search for every card that requires my immediate attention that has me attached to it. So once again I go to Search Cards, I want REQUIRES ATTENTION, I click on my name and there it is. Only one card of all of the cards on this board, this is the only one that I need to focus on right now. Let’s go ahead and clear that out and let’s do one more. Now let’s say that I’m my team member Hilary and I want to find out all of the videos that she needs to review. Show Menu, AWAITING REVIEW, Hilary. And there it is, simple as that. Lastly, what I want to do is I want to search every card that has to do with a specific search term. So let’s go ahead and let’s close this out and let’s say that I only want to see cards that specifically have the word Power-Up in the title. So I’m going to do Show Menu once again, I want to go to the search, and I want to add Power-Up, close that out, and these are all of the lessons that have the name Power-Up in the title. Once again, let’s close that out, go back to the main page. And you can now see how simple the filtering feature is to use. So as you continue to build and organize your boards, your cards, your team members, your labels, and otherwise, always ask yourself if the way your naming everything is going to be easy to find using the filter function, as this is one of the most powerful, useful, and most used features by Trello power users.
- Forwarding messages to boards and creating cards
One of the many great things about Trello is that, if used properly, it can help you drastically reduce the amount of team communication that you do via email, and it can even reduce email from outside your team as well. Inevitably, you are going to work with outside clients, vendors, and other collaborators who have no interest whatsoever in adopting your Trello workflow. The key to organizing your communication with outside parties or with key members that are not in Trello is forwarding pertinent information directly from your email inbox to your Trello boards and cards. How does it work? First step is going up to Show Menu, going to More, and Email To Board Settings. And it’s as simple as copy/pasting this email address and sending it. However, here’s a few things that I want you to better understand. This is only associated to this board. Meaning, this email address will send information to Sample Board #1. You’re going to have to repeat this process and have separate email addresses for all of your boards. Secondly, if you decide that you no longer want somebody to have access to this board via this email address you can always generate a new email address, and if you want a record of this you can always email it to yourself. So what happens when you email something to your board? Well first of all, your card is going to appear in whichever list you choose. For now we’ll keep it with the default of List #1, and we’ll say position at the top so we don’t lose sight of the fact that this is something that needs to be processed. Now to be clear, you’re not going to be able to customize and say this email is better for List #2 or maybe this email is best for List #3. You only get to choose one list, and I highly suggest that perhaps one of your lists on your board is called Inbox. Once the card lands into that list, then you can prioritize and you can sort it accordingly. So let’s go ahead and send ourselves something. I’m going to copy this address. I’m going to go into my email program of choice, compose a new message. I’m going to paste this email, and I’m going to say, “Here is a white paper document “on microphone settings.” So, “Hi Zack, Attached is a document “regarding proper microphone placement. “Thanks, Zack.” All right, so now we have the message that’s ready to go to our Trello board. The title of the Trello card is going to be your subject line. And now I want to attach the document. So I’m going to find that microphone placement PDF. I’m going to open it, it’s going to be attached, and we are going to send along this email and we’re going to jump into Sample Board #1. Insert Jeopardy theme here, and within a few second we now have a brand new Trello card. And what’s really cool is not only is the subject line of your email now the title of your Trello card, that attached document is now a PDF attached directly to this card, which means that as long as you don’t need to go back and forth and communicate further, you’ve gotten this out of your email inbox and onto the proper Trello board. One quick pro tip that I want to share with you is that with each of your email addresses from your Email to Board settings I suggest putting that into your contacts and naming it with both Trello and the name of your board. That way any time you want to send something to a Trello board, all you have to type into the address field is the word “Trello” and it will instantly give you a list all of your various Trello boards and the associated email addresses. These simple steps alone can help you drastically reduce email usage for sure, but if you wanted to take this communication workflow even further your next step would be asking other members of your larger organization, your outside clients, and your vendors to watch this course and then bring them onto your Trello team. Wink wink, nudge nudge.
- Changing your board background image
In this lesson, I’m going to show you how to quickly change the background image of your Trello boards. While changing the background image may seem like a trivial, and maybe even just a cosmetic feature, I find this feature incredibly useful to organize your boards and your teams. Let’s face it, the standard background images provided, they’re kind of flat and boring. But more importantly, when all boards look the same, it’s pretty easy to make mistakes, as you might think you’re on a different board than you actually are. Now, I want you to please note that uploading custom backgrounds is not a feature that’s available to free members. It is only available to gold members and above. Now let’s see how it works. So we’re here on sample board number one and we want to go up to Show Menu and Change Background is right here. So I click on Change Background and I have a couple of options. The first are, I have all of these amazing colors to choose from, all nine of them. Okay, so maybe this is going to be a little bit boring. However, I have a whole bevy of photos that I can choose from that are provided by the website Unsplash. And as you scan through here, you’re going to think, “Oh yeah, these are nice.” But well, there really aren’t that many of them or things that suit my needs. So what if I were to do a search? Let’s say that I want to search things that have to do with an office. Oh, look, there are all these options. So let’s say that, for now, this is going to be my background image. All right, that looks pretty cool. But then later on, I change my mind and I just want to change it to this one. Fantastic. Super, super simple. So you have all of these various options that you can search by. So let’s say that I wanted a picture of a dog. Fantastic, all right. Let’s add dogs as the background. Eh, you know what? I’m more a cat person, got to say. And here are plenty of cat pictures. Now, what if you wanted to add a picture of your own cat or your corporate logo or branding? Once again, as I mentioned, this custom option, if you were going to do it, you would press on the plus button here and you would upload either an image from your computer, or you could enter a URL of that image on Google and it would automatically add it here, but once again, that is only available to Trello Gold members, Business Class members, and Enterprise members. But once again, it really is as simple as going to Menu, Change Background, choosing a background color, choosing a photo, thanks to Unsplash, or if you have the access, pressing the custom button and adding it right here, or just pressing the custom button and uploading your own image. So let’s go ahead and get this back to our default for now. Once you’ve changed your background image, you’re going to make it a lot easier for both you and your team to instantly see and feel the difference between various boards. Or as I often do, you can use the exact same background images if your boards are multiple boards for the same project. However you choose to do it, changing background images is a great way to further keep your boards clean and organized.
- Trello keyboard shortcuts
If you’re interested in becoming more efficient with your use of Trello, and you prefer to get more done in less time, there is no quicker way to make that happen than to memorize and master Trello keyboard shortcuts. But before I walk you through some of the most common keyboard shortcuts that I recommend, and that I use all day every day, I first would like to direct you to the shortcut glossary. So from any board, all you have to do is go up to your profile settings, and you’ll see the shortcuts menu right here. And you’ll see very quickly that there are a lot of keyboard shortcuts. I am not going to demonstrate all of them in this lesson, but I do want to show you my top seven for very quickly navigating finding information in Trello and taking action. So I’m going to close the full keyboard shortcuts glossary. And the first one that I want to demonstrate to you which is probably my favorite, most often used and also the most powerful would be the filtering feature. So if I wanted to search either here, or I wanted to go to show menu and I want to go to search cards. That’s kind of a pain in the butt. But what if I were working with all these cards and I very quickly wanted to filter and only see things that were labeled with green, I’m going to hit the F key, it’s going to bring up the filter, immediately, I can click on the label, and I’m done. That’s simple, so once again, I click the F key, it immediately brings up the search cards function in which I can search by label, members, due dates, or variations in between each of these. So F key is my number one hotkey function. The next one would be M for adding or changing members. So as I hover over any individual card, rather than having to go to Edit, change members, I want to be faster than that. So I’m going to click M and I immediately see the names I can add, I can delete, I can go through here almost instantly by just hovering over a specific card and using the M key. Along the same lines as I’m hovering over other cards, I can click the L key and this is going to give me the label list. So I hover over this I can add and remove labels at will, once again L. What’s even cooler is that instead of using the L key, once I memorize the order of the labels, these are numbers. So this is one, two, three, four, five, six and so on. So if I instantly wanted all of these to be a Green Label 1-1-1-1-1-1-1-1 done. Oh, you know what, changed my mind. I can very quickly remove all of them without having to go one by one by one. Same thing with the number two. Same thing with the number three, the number four and so on. It is that simple to add and remove labels using the number keys. The next hotkey that I like to use very often would be D for due dates. So once again, I hover over an individual card, rather than having to click go to change due date. Nope, I just want to hover, D change, D change, D change, D change that simple. And if I want to remove it, same thing, Hover over the card, D key, D key, D key and the D key. The next one that I want to talk about which frankly, I don’t use that often, but I make mistakes with this often, and it’s good to know that this is a hotkey that can cause a lot of errors if you’re not careful about it. And that is the C key. And what happens when you press the C key over a card, instantly archives it and removes it from your board. So if you were ever navigating through all of your various cards, and all of a sudden you realize, oh my god, this really important card is missing, what happened? Most likely you didn’t realize that you pressed the C key. So once again very quickly, I’m going to go to more. I want to go to archived items. And here is what I just accidentally archived using the C key, send it back to board. Everything is non-destructive, no harm, no foul. We’re back where we were before. The last two that I really really liked that are very helpful are if I want to quickly assign myself self as a member to a card. Yes, as I just mentioned, I can click the M key and I can select my name here. But if I wanted to add myself even quicker, I can use the spacebar. So once again, it’s all about whatever I’m hovering over spacebar, spacebar space, space, space, space, space, space space, that simple. I can also remove myself just as quickly. Now, you’re not going to be able to do this with other members, but you can do it for yourself. The last hotkey that I want to show you is Q. And what Q does is instantly filters your board, so you can only see the cards on which you are assigned as a member. So right now, since I just removed myself from all of these cards, when I press Q, whoa, everything disappears. If I were to eliminate the search, and I put myself on to just the white paper document, and now I hit the Q button again, this is an incredibly useful feature to instantly focus on only the things that you need to care about and eliminate all of the other noise. And that’s all of them. Now that you know my favorite hotkeys and Trello shortcuts, I invite you to scan through the entire shortcuts glossary to identify the hotkeys that are going to make your life easier and thus transform you into a Trello power user, and maybe even one day a Trello ninja.
Trello Power-ups and Chrome Extensions
- Introduction to Trello Power-Ups
Trello has an amazing set of standard features. But if you are ready to take your use of Trello to a completely new level, it is time to become familiar with Power-Ups. Trello Power-Ups are constantly changing and updating. So even if the feature that you are looking for isn’t available today, check back periodically as there are always new options from both Trello, as well as many third-party developers. In fact, there are so many options that it would take me multiple courses just to show you how all of these Power-Ups work. So for the sake of this lesson, I’m going to demonstrate how to find the Power-Ups, sort through the various options, install a single Power-Up, verify that it’s installed, and also disable it if necessary. One quick thing I want to note before we dive right in is that if you’re using a free account, you only have the ability to enable one Power-Up on any given board. If you want to enable multiple Power-Ups, you’re going to have to upgrade to one of the paid pricing tiers. What we’re looking at right now is the main dashboard for the Power-Ups. And the first question might be how did I get here? So let me show you how I got here. There’s two ways. The first of which, if I close the menu, I go to Show Menu, I go to Power-Ups and we are right back where we started. The other way to get to this menu if you are inside a card is to go under the Power-Ups menu and as you enable various Power-Ups, they’re also going to be listed here. But for now, let’s go to Get Power-Ups. And here we are, we’re back at the dashboard. So how does this work? Well, as you can see, under the Featured Power-Ups alone, there are plenty of amazing options and these are just the tip of the iceberg. We have Analytics & Reporting, Automation, Board Utilities. The list goes on and on and on. So based on your specific use cases and needs, I would say just start by looking through all the various options that are listed here. What you can also do is search by a Power-Up type. So here’s an example of how we would use the Search function if we didn’t know exactly where to find something. Let’s say that you saw the template lesson and then you said, “Wow, I would love to go “to another level with my template cards. “Is there anything in here that has to do with templates?” So I type in the word template and several options come up. The one that I specifically want to direct you to is called Processes for Trello, which is a whole another level for templates. I’m not going to explain how this specific Power-Up works in this lesson. What I want you to better understand is how to enable any Power-Up, as well as where to find its functionality. So for now, all we’re going to do is click the Add button and I want to confirm and add right here. Now so what I do want to direct you to is this message where it tells you that this board has reached its Power-Up limit. If you want more than one Power-Up per board, you are unfortunately going to need to upgrade to either Trello Gold, Business Class or Enterprise and you can do so by clicking the Upgrade button here. What I want you to better understand is where to find the settings for your plugin. So when I close this window, you will see that, number one, in a specific card, you might see the Power-Up available under here. I’m going to get to that a little bit later but for now there’s nothing listed here. However, aha, now we have a new button in the upper right. One of two places you’re always going to look for your settings. You’re going to look for them here or you can also go to the settings under Power-Ups here. So if I were to click on this, I can view the Power-Up, I can also authorize it, I can disable it. And when I go here, it’s going to be the same thing where I’m going to have to go through the process of authorizing first, then I can start playing with all of the settings. The important thing once again is simply understanding that you’re going to find your settings either here or here, or for some specific plugins you’re also going to find your settings inside the card itself. So let’s go ahead very quickly and let’s just disable this Power-Up. So I’m going to click Disable. And now let’s do a search for Google Drive. Let’s add this one. And once again they have let us know that we have reached our Power-Up limit. Google Drive is listed here. And there’s a Google Drive button up here. However, for specific Power-Ups that are card related, you will now see that this Power-Up is listed under here. And once again, not going to demonstrate how Google Drive works in this specific lesson, I just want you to understand you’re going to find your Power-Up features either in your card here or in the header here. So now let’s go back to our Menu, we’re going to select Google Drive, we’re going to disable this. And let’s go back to our Power-Up menu right here. So as you can see, the options are virtually endless. So my recommendation is just to spend 10 to 15 minutes going through all of these various menus and reading through all the descriptions to see which Power-Ups can help you take your specific project management workflow to another level.
- The Trello Calendar Power-Up with calendar integration
In my opinion, one of the most basic, but also most useful Trello power-ups is the calendar power up. Due dates on your various Trello cards, yeah, they’re useful, sure, but wouldn’t they be a lot more useful if you could visualize those dates on a calendar? And wouldn’t it be even better if your Trello calendar were visible alongside all of your other calendars? Well luckily all of this is possible and more with Trello with a few caveats that I will discuss in a minute. So here we are at the power up menu and as a quick refresher, we’re going to go to show menu, where our power ups right here and I’m going to do a quick search for the calendar power up and we are going to add the power up here and as a quick reminder, if you are not using one of the paid tiers, you’re only going to have one power up per board, which is going to be fine for the sake of this lesson. So let’s come to our main board and let’s see how the calendar power up actually works. The first step is understanding that to manage your calendar power up, you’re going to use this new button that shows up in your board header. So we click on calendar and gives us what it promised. We’ve got a calendar and we can look at it in month view and we can look at it and week view and you’ll see that there are also a few other settings here that we will talk about in a second. So this is great, but what do I actually do with it? Let’s close the calendar and let me show you the power of this specific power up. Right now, we have these ten tasks that are very simply organized between to do, doing and done. What I want to do is I want to add a due date to these first three and then I’m going to add additional due dates to all 10 of these. So for the sake of time, what I’m not going to do for each card is click on the edit button and change due date and choose the due date because that’s going to take too long. So I’m going to use the D hotkey and just for these first three cards, I want to assign due dates. So I’m going to click the D button and let’s make this one Wednesday the 20th. Let’s make it I guess, 3:30 p.m. So we save that, so now task two. I wanted to do the due dates, we want to make this faster, the 20th, so that was a 20th. To make this the 21st. And then let’s make this one the 22nd. Okay, so that didn’t take that long, but wouldn’t it be nice if that were a little bit faster and more importantly, if I had a hundred cards on my board right now, can I even really visualize with all of these due dates look like together? Am I sure that I have an over scheduled myself and put too many different tasks into the same time lock? Well, that’s where the calendar power up becomes very handy. When I click on the calendar power up, you will see that already the due dates have been visualized on the calendar. But one thing that’s really cool is if I were to take these and move them, very simply just like that, it is automatically updated all three of the due dates. So that’s a great start. So now, how can I take all of these and very quickly get them on to my calendar and move them around without manually going one by one by one? Let me show you a really fast trick to get all of these on your visual calendar as quickly as possible. Don’t even worry about the dates and times. All we need to do is Click D, save. D, save, D save and so on and so forth. And so on and so forth. Now, when we go back to the calendar, all we need to do is see this repository of everything with the same due date and just start to take it and organize it and put it wherever we need to where it’s much easier to visualize than just those blocks and it probably makes the most sense to just line them up for the sake of this lesson. One task per day for the next 10 days, easy enough. I no longer need to go through every single card one by one and manually assign a due date. I just need to put any due date on it, get it on the calendar and start moving things around and you’ll notice that in addition to month view, I also have a week view, so I can visualize how many tasks I have placed into a certain day. So this is all a great start, but wouldn’t it be a whole lot easier rather than having to manually look at this calendar in Trello? Would it be great to just see it with all of your other calendars together? Well, let me show you how you can extract this calendar and get it into any of your other calendar systems. And for the sake of this lesson, we’re going to demonstrate using Google. So what I want to do is go up to the gear icon. So as you can see, Trello provides a URL, an I calendar feed. So for any program that accepts a calendar URL, you can sync it with that program. So we’ll go up to Google. What I want to do is go to other calendars. I want to go from URL. I’m going to paste the information that I just copied from my Trello board and add the calendar. We’re going to go back and you’ll see that automatically this all updates accordingly. So now if I have a whole bunch of calendars, a whole bunch of tasks, a whole bunch of appointments, I can now compare in visualize those calendars versus my new Trello calendar. There is however one thing that I want to make you aware of. If I were to go back to my sample board, let’s close this and go back to month view and I’m just going to take all of these and I’m going to move them on to the next week and I go here and I refresh. Well, what the heck? I thought this was supposed to all show up down here. All right, so there’s one thing to note that when integrating your Trello board and your Google calendar, they’re not going to update automatically. Meaning that these changes are not going to be real time. At least as of the time this movie was recorded, the update time is approximately once per day, but this is ultimately dependent on how frequently your third-party application pings the Trello servers. Meaning are you using Google? Are using Outlook? Are you using Apple? If you require a much speedier calendar option, I suggest that you dig into the plenty way calendar power up instead, which is how I personally manage all of my Trello boards with all of my many calendars.
- The Planyway Calendar Power-Up
The number one, most vital power-up to my Trello workflow is the Planyway Calendar Power-Up. To be perfectly honest if Planyway didn’t exist I would probably spend 12 hours a day walking in circles, looking for my pants. If you are just getting started with time and calendar management in Trello, the default calendar power-up, it’s a pretty good start. But if you want to take calendar management to a completely new level, Planyway is the way. Keep in mind that in order to access the full feature set, there is a small monthly fee that you pay to a third-party developer, but in my opinion, that fee is totally worth it. So let’s get started by enabling Planyway. We are here in the Power-Ups dashboard. Once again, as a quick reminder, Show Menu, Power-Ups and here we are. So let’s go ahead and do a search for Planyway. We are going to click the add button. They’re going to give us a little bit of information here. We are going to click Add, and once again, you’ll see that we’ve reached our one power-up limit. If you want to upgrade, you click the button right here and they provide a whole bunch of introductory information that gives you a quick tutorial on all of the various features that Planyway has to offer. Going to be honest, I could teach an entire course on just how to integrate Trello with Planyway. For the sake of this lesson, I just want to walk you through the very basics to get you started. Let’s close out our menus here and now you’ll see we have this new button in our board header, which says Planyway Planner. So let’s see what happens. We click on the Planyway Planner button and it says welcome, but hold on a second, I’m confused. Didn’t I already add this as a power-up? Because this is a third-party power-up, you’re going to have to enable it once again and make sure to authenticate it. So we click enable on Trello and it’s not only going to be for this board, this authentication is across your entire Trello account and as we’ll see, they want access to all of your personal boards, as well as all of your team boards. We are going to click Allow. You will only have to do this once, not for every single board. And you’ll see that we have a view that’s relatively similar to the calendar function, but the number of features available to you are virtually limitless. So again, not going to go through all of the various features, but the first of which is you can do various views, Whether it’s Day view, Week, Month view. You also have Gantt charts. We have Member Lanes, we have Board Lanes, List Lanes, all kinds of different options. You can also go up to the View Settings and you can choose a template that best suits your project management needs between Monthly, Weekly. You can see the other options here that I just talked about as well. And then you can click the Settings. There are multiple settings right here, and one of the really cool features is the ability to filter your cards by members, by labels and also by various lists. So for example, if you have a whole bunch of noise and you only want to see what people are doing, you have the option to filter just by a specific list. So here is where Planyway becomes really powerful. With the Calendar Power-Up, what we have to do is we have to go to our cards, manually assign the due dates, and then those due dates are visually assigned to the basic Calendar Power-Up. We don’t have to do that in Planyway. In Planyway, we can click and drag right from our various lists onto our calendar. So let’s go back to Month view for a second. And if we wanted to, we can move all these around, just like this, similar to the Calendar Power-Up. Not a problem. So we’re going to go back to Week view and you will see that now these are represented not just as days, but they’re actually represented in various one-hour time blocks. And I have the ability to make them longer or shorter as my needs see fit. And on top of it, if I had new cards or I wanted to reassign the cards, I can take all of my various Trello cards that are listed down here and I can drag them right onto my board. I don’t have to manually assign them in my lists and then visually see them all of the time, blocking and organization can happen right here in this one main area without ever having to reset back to the cards themselves on the default board. So going back to the templates here for just one second to close this out, as you can see the Planyway Calendar Power-Up, it’s essentially the Ferrari of calendar options in Trello, and we’ve barely scratched the surface of the many options and customizations that it provides you. As I mentioned, I could build a whole course on this. In my opinion, the time and the energy that Planyway saves both me and my team is well worth the small monthly investment for both the Trello upgrade, as well as the additional fee that goes to the developers of the Planyway app.
- Syncing Planyway to Google Calendar
– The Planyway calender Power-Up is the number one tool that I have in my arsenal that allows me to synchronize all of my Trello cards with my Trello calendar, so I can then transform my calendar into my to-do list. And using Planyway on any individual Trello board is a fantastic start, but in order to truly get the most out of this third party plugin, the most important step is integrating the two-way sync option, as well as syncing all of your Trello boards and all of your miscellaneous calendars with your other apps, whether it’s Google, Apple or Outlook, just to name a few. So how does all of this work? Right now we’re looking at our Trello board in Planyway. We’re looking at sample board number one. Then we have all of these various tasks assigned to time blocks. So now the question is, do I have any conflicts? Well, I’m not sure. So what I want to do is first see if I have any conflicts with other boards. The last thing I want to do is have to toggle back and forth between various windows, various tabs. So let’s just integrate a board. So let’s click on the board button here, and I want to integrate sample board number two into my Planyway calendar. Whoa, hold on a second. I already see a conflict. It looks like I have task one scheduled at 10:00 AM, but darn it, I also scheduled task A. Well I’m certainly going to have to fix that overlap. So let’s go into week view. Let’s take a look at that task. And, all right. So this is simple enough. It looks like all I need to do is maybe schedule task A after, and look at that! I can move around these time blocks, even though the deadline in task A is technically assigned to sample board number two and we are in sample board number one. So it looks like these boards are in sync and I’m able to schedule and coordinate between them. So this is a good step, but now what do I do about all of my outside calendars? The next step is synchronizing with my main Google calendar. So let’s go ahead and add that next. So I’m going to click add calendars to add an external calendar, and I have two options. I can either directly connect to my Google calendar or I can do it by URL. Now one thing I want to make very clear is that doing it by URL is going to be a one-way integration only, which means that what you can see in your Planyway calendar is read only, and it cannot be modified. But if I do it by the Google calendar, let’s connect here, I of course will need to authorize this calendar account and give Planyway access to it. So I’m going to click allow. Oh my God, I am so glad I did this because I have even more conflicts! I have all of these appointments scheduled at the exact same time as all these tasks. Well that’s not very efficient. So what I should probably do is move all of these to 9:00 AM instead of 10:00 AM. And that’s great here, but is that doing anything to my actual Google calendar? Well, let’s take a look. Oh look at that! Without me even having to refresh the first three have already gone through. Let’s just go ahead and refresh all of them and let’s see. Oh look at that! The Planyway board has a two-way integration with my Google calendar, and now it has moved all of my time blocks so I don’t have to go back and forth between Google and Planyway and any other apps that I might be trying to coordinate. All of it will happen right in Planyway. But then the next question is, well, if I already have my Google calendar here, why would I want to sync with Google? Aren’t I already doing that? Well now there’s one further layer to all of this that’s going to give you a lot more power and flexibility with your time management. So if I sync with Google, once again I am going to connect with Google. Going to authorize it, going to allow it. And now I’m going to have a whole bunch of various options. The first of which is it’s asking me do I want to sync with Google all of the cards on this board or only the cards that are assigned to me. In this case because this is my own personal board and I don’t have team members, I want to be able to see all cards. I can set event calendars by default or the same as the Trello label. For now it’ll be by default. And perhaps my favorite feature is that I can have a card, once it is synced, when it is completed no longer sync, or I can add a check mark to the event name which I find very useful because my calendar is my to do list, and I love to check off things that are complete. So let’s add a check to event name and show events as either busy or free. For now we will select busy. Let’s sync and let’s see what happens. Fantastic! Planyway success. Google sync has started, but nothing looks any different. I don’t understand what that did. Let’s go back to my Google calendar. Let’s refresh one more time. And here is where the magic happens. You now have full two-way sync access to every single one of your Trello cards on every single one of your Trello boards. So if you need to start managing and moving time blocks and you don’t even have Trello open but you were in Google calendar, you can manage all of your Trello boards right in your Google calendar. So let’s go back to our sample board and let’s just refresh this real quick. Go back to our Planyway calendar. And we can see that everything has been updated per my Google calendar so I did not have to go back and forth. And once again I see that I have a conflict. So maybe what I can do is either decide this is going to be my master calendar dashboard, or if I want this to continue to be my master calendar dashboard, I’m going to want to sync sample board number one and sample board number two, using the same steps that I just showed you here. So let’s move this here. And now, with all three of these boards/calendars coordinated in one place, I can make sure that I have no conflicts. I hope now you can see the infinite power that Planyway has to help you better manage your time across all of your various Trello cards, boards and third-party calendars. One side note that I would like to quickly mention regarding calendar integration and syncing is that no matter how many calendars you might have, you only have the same 24 hours a day inside the same seven days a week. So my advice is to pick one central place to become what I call your calendar dashboard. That could be either one master Trello board, or one master calendar in your app of choice, where everything is synced in the same place.
- The Card Repeater Power-Up for recurring tasks
A question that I’m often asked by Trello enthusiasts, and members of my optimizer community, is what if I want to create a Trello card for recurring tasks? Or for establishing regular habits? How do I do that? As is the case with just about any feature you can imagine, there’s a Trello Power-Up for that. And in fact, there are several. So let’s dive into how to install and use the Card Repeater Power-Up as well as a couple other cool habit-related Power-Ups. So we’re here once again in the Power-Ups dashboard. So as a brief refresher, to get here, show Menu, Power-Ups, and here we are. So the one that I want to direct you to is called the Card Repeater Power-Up. We’re going to go ahead and we are going to add this. This is indeed a Trello Power-Up, it’s not from a third party. Once again, yes, we know, we can only upgrade one Power-Up per board, again, if you want more, click the Upgrade button. Here we see the Card Repeater is active, so how does it work? Well, let’s view the Power-Up. Oh, well, we’re already here, so all right. So then I guess it’s just going to give me a bunch of basic information about how it works, that’s great, and it says I can remove personal settings and disable. All right, so how do I actually use it? Oh, you know what? I bet it’s at the card level, and here it is. Under Power-Ups, we now have the Repeat option. So here’s how this works. Let’s say that task number one is not something that you are going to finish and just complete and be done with. This is something you are going to do on a recurring basis. So if we click the repeat button, now we have the option to repeat this weekly, monthly, or yearly. We can repeat it at a specific time, so it has a specific due date, and we can choose which days we want it to repeat. So let’s say that we want this to happen every Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday, and Friday, and we want it to continue happening in the DOING list, and we want the position to be the top, fantastic. So it’s giving me a brief summary. I will see this card repeat on May 8th, 2020 at 12 p.m., and it’s also telling me if this card is deleted or moved to another board, it is going to stop repeating the card. However, you can move it between lists. So let’s save it, and let’s see if there’s anything different. Oh, look. Beside the due date, it’s now telling me the next time that this card is going to pop up, and there’s also this little Card Repeater icon. So what’s going to happen is that as soon as this due date comes up, we’re going to have another card there, and it’s going to keep popping up over and over and over, until you go back to the repeat, and you say remove, and now this repeat is gone. And it’s that simple. Whatever your task or repeatable behavior might be, use the repeat function here under Power-Ups, and you are going to get where you need to get. The other couple of Power-Ups that I want to show you very quickly, if I put in the word habit, there is something called the Habit Tracker by UpgradeYourBrain, as well as the Streak habit tracker, both of which are more robust versions of having Card Repeaters. So very quickly, let me just disable this, and I want to show you how the Habit Tracker works. So I’m going to go ahead and add this, this is indeed a third party plugin, so this is going to give you a little bit more information about how it works. Very quickly, without going into too much detail, let’s just go ahead and add a new card, and call it habit 1. We’re going to click on here, go under Power-Ups, Repeat habit. We’re going to authorize this, because again, it is a third party habit, but it looks like it’s essentially the same thing, so let’s find out what’s different. We’re going to say Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday, Friday, 6:00 a.m., we want it to go on the list TO DO, we want it to be at the top. So far this all seems relatively similar. So let’s save it. So what’s the difference? Oh, wait a second. There’s another button up here called Habit Tracker, and I can select this list TO DO. Whoa, okay, now we’ve got ourselves a Habit Tracker, ’cause this is going to provide an entire chart of all of these repeatable cards for all these repeatable actions. So if you want to do a simple card, and you’d like it to repeat on a regular interval, then you’re probably going to use, once again, the Card Repeater Power-Up. So if you just put in Card Repeater, this is going to be the simplest option. If you want to use a more robust habit tracker, Habit Tracker is great, and Streak is also another great option. At this point, I invite you to choose the repeatable card integration Power-Up that best suits your needs, set up those repeating cards, and get things done consistently.
- The Custom Fields Power-Up and adding multiple due dates
If you want to assign due dates to your cards or better yet use your calendar to organize and assign those due dates for you. Trello makes all of that easy between its default functions as well as additional Power-ups like the calendar Power-Up and Planyway. But what if you want to assign multiple due dates to a single card? Or you have custom information unique to your workflow or your team’s way of assigning projects that you also want to assign to an individual card. That is where the custom fields Power-Up becomes incredibly useful. Let’s see how it works. Once again we go up to show menu, we go to Power-Ups and for this lesson, we are looking for custom fields. So we click the add button. Once again we are reminded, we’ve reached our Power-Up limit if you need more than one click the upgrade button. So now we go to custom fields. Well let’s view the Power-Up and we’re back where we started in the Power-Up’s window. So if you need more information about how this plugin works and the functionality it provides all that information is here and I’m also of course going to demonstrate it for you now. So we go to custom fields and now we want to edit our Power-Up settings. So it’s going to say this board doesn’t have any fields yet, so guess what? To get started we’re going to click the new field button. So you’ll see the options that we have for custom fields are checkboxes, dates, dropdown menus, just like the one that you’re looking at now, numbers and text. So let’s just go ahead and create one of each. So we’re going to create a check box, we’re going to call this checkbox and you have the option to either show this field on the front of your card, or you can make it invisible. So we’re going to show all of these options and we create it. Now we want to create another new field, which is going to be a date field. So for now I’m just going to call this date going to create that, another new field we’re going to call dropdown and as you guessed it we’re going to name it dropdown. But now we have our dropdown options so we have dropdown one, dropdown two and dropdown three. We’re going to create this option, now we’re going to create another new field, which will be a number which we’re going to name you guessed it number. We’re going to create that one more new field is going to be a text field. So we’re going to name this. You guessed it text we’re going to create that. And now we have one of each custom fields format. But what if I wanted to add another version of something that’s already up here? Can I create duplicates? So if I create a new field and I want to make a new checkbox, we’re going to call this checkbox oh wait it said a field with that name and type already exists. But if I add a two or any different name and create it you will see that I have an infinite number of possibilities for variations in names for all of these custom fields. Let’s go ahead and close this and see how this works in the real world. So I don’t see anything it doesn’t look any different. So how does this actually work? If I go into a card? Aha this is the magic of custom fields where you can see all of the various information right here. So as we start to modify this, if I click on the checkbox you will see this becomes visualized on the outside of your Trello card. Now let’s add a due date. Let’s say we’re going to make it this date. We’re going to save, we want to dropdown. We want dropdown number three. We’re going to add a number to the front of this card and we want to add some sample text. And you know what? We’re just going to go ahead and check both boxes. So we have all this information filled out we close the card and walaa all of that has been visualized on the outside of your card. So now the magic question is great how do I have multiple due dates? If I go back into the card and I assign a default due dates to the Trello card let’s say we assign it as the 13th and I save it. Now you’ll see that the primary Trello card due date is in the upper left, but the secondary due date is below it. And if we were to go ahead and check this off, yes the card is complete, but we always have the secondary due date. And if we were to modify this and change it to something else and save it, you’ll see it has no bearing on the default date, but it will update on the outside of the card. So as I mentioned previously this is a far from perfect solution if you want to visually track many multiple due dates and various stages of your project with a calendar, but it is a good start. If you want to get even more granular and specific with multiple due dates, then your best options are either to create multiple cards with multiple due dates or you can also upgrade to a paid account and you can assign due dates to specific items in a checklist.
- Integrating cloud service Power-Ups: Google Drive, Dropbox, and more
A common question that I get about Trello is, what’s the difference when I attach an item via the default option instead of using a power up? Why should I pay for the upgrade if I don’t have to? In this lesson, I’m going to show you how to use several different cloud-based options, like Dropbox, Box, OneDrive, and Google Drive. But we’re going to use the power up function instead, and more importantly, I’m going to explain why you would choose this option, as opposed to just attaching using the default option. So here we are in the power ups dashboard, and we’re going to go down to file management, and you’ll see the options available as of recording this lesson are Box, Dropbox, Google Drive, and OneDrive. I’m unfamiliar with these various options, but for the four most popular cloud-based servers we have OneDrive, Dropbox, Box, and Google Drive. For the sake of this lesson, let’s choose Google Drive. So I’m going to add this as a power up. You’ll see that it has now added it. If I wanted to add more and I needed to upgrade, this again would be how to do so. I can verify under enable that we have Google Drive set. So now we’re going to go to settings, we want to edit our power up settings, and the first thing it’s going to ask us to do is link our Google Drive account, so let’s go ahead and do that now. So of course, we want Trello to access our Google account, no problem, that’s why we are here. I’m going to click the allow button. And there we go, we are now enabled. So I’m going to close the power up dashboard, we’re going to go into an individual card, and we now have the Google Drive power up. So this essentially works the same as the attachment feature, and it also says Google Drive, so what’s the difference? Well let’s click on the default attachment option and go to Google Drive. It’s going to give us our file selection, so let’s go into Trello essential training, going to go into our scripts, we’re going to go into chapter three, and we will select the script for this lesson. All right, so this has been attached, what’s the big deal? Let’s go ahead and do this the exact same way, and you’ll see that first of all, when I click create and attach, I can actually make a document, drawing, slide sheet, or folder, directly from this card, and put it right in our Google Drive. But for the sake of this lesson, let’s first attach a file. And we’re going to go back into Trello essential training, scripts, chapter three, and cloud services. Well I don’t get it, these look identical. But here’s the difference, the one that we attach via the default option is not a live link to our Google Drive. We have essentially just attached a self-contained document which means that if it gets changed or modified, that will not update in the card. However, the one that we have attached via the Google Drive power up is going to be live updated based on any revisions that you make in the cloud. The other main difference is that with a Google Drive power up, you can also attach an entire live folder. So let’s say that I wanted to go into Trello essential training, and I wanted to attach the folder that contains my scripts for this entire course, I can do so, and this is going to live update based on all of the content that I have in this folder. So this is a very useful and organized way to be able to access any information that you need on the cloud quickly, as it pertains to whatever the project is on your various boards. And just as a reminder, the way that this Google Drive power up works is essentially going to be the same for Dropbox, Box, and OneDrive as well. If cloud-based workflows are an essential part of your team and your collaboration workflow, Trello is a fantastic way to keep everything organized, linked, and updated. It’s really that simple, doesn’t matter if you use Google Drive, Dropbox, or other cloud-based services.
- Automating Trello actions with Butler
If priority number one for you is becoming a Trello ninja, the quickest path to getting there is learning how to automate repeatable actions to either reduce or eliminate as many tasks from your workflow as possible. And one of the best ways to do so with Trello is to become familiar with Butler. Butler is another one of those power ups that I could frankly teach an entire course about so you get the most out of it. But for the sake of this lesson, I’m simply going to point you in the right direction so you understand how to use it, so you can then experiment for yourself. Also be aware that the majority of Butler’s functionality is only going to be available to those that have business class or above. First of all, where do we find Butler? Well the first presumption is we’d go up to show menu, go to power ups, and we search for Butler. Bummer! There are no search results for Butler. Well why is that? I thought it was a power up. Well Butler is actually core functionality that doesn’t count against your power ups, which is great. So Butler is right here above the power ups, and if I close the menu, the same button is right here. So let’s go ahead and let’s click Butler and see how it works. Butler is essentially the same as if then. So if you’ve ever used IFTTT or Zapier, you’re basically saying, if this happens, then I would like this to happen on an automated basis. So there are a whole bunch of automation tips that are already in here based on previous card activity, so Butler is monitoring the way you use your boards, and it’s going to give you suggestions on how to improve your workflow. You also have the option to create rules, and again, this is in the if then format. You can create customized buttons on your individual cards, and it gives you suggestions for how to do so here, you can do the same for customized board buttons, you can also create customized commands on your calendar. Unfortunately this one is only available for paid accounts, and the same can be said for due date commands, which once again, only available for those that have paid accounts. So let’s set up a simple Butler rule which you can do even with a free account. We’re going to create a rule, and first we need a trigger. This is the if of the if then statement. So we’re going to add a trigger, and you can see various options for moving cards, making card changes, having to do with due dates, checklists, card content, as well as fields. So we’re going to do a card change. What I want to do is that when the green label is added to a card by me, if that happens, then the action is, I would like to move my card to the top of the done list. This is probably the most common function that I use with Butler, because my green label on all of my boards equals complete. When something’s done, I want to get it out of the way, remove the clutter, get this thing on the done list, and get it out of the way. So I’m going to add this. So if when the green label is added to a card by me, then the action is to move the card to the top of the list done. We want to save this rule, and you’ll see that now the rule is here. I want you to see enabled on board. What this means is that this rule is now going to be available on every single board in your account, so you can enable or disable it on a board level. So this is a really cool way to create automations across all of your boards without having to make them over, and over, and over. So let’s see how this actually works. All I have to do is go to any of my cards, so let’s say that I’m working or doing task number one, I’m going to hover over the card, I’m going to use the one button as my hotkey, add my green label, hands off, and it automatically moves it. You’re thinking, so what? I could just do this, what’s the big deal? Let’s say that you have a lot of tasks that you want to move at once, like this. Once again, hands off the wheel, and that’s it, I did nothing. It’s pretty cool, right? So as I mentioned, I could spend hours teaching you how to get the most out of everything that Butler has to offer. But at this point, I hope you at least understand how to find Butler, as well as how to dive in and see all of the various features that this cool add-on can do to one day transform you into a bonafide Trello ninja.
- The Trello Chrome extension
By now I don’t think that it’s any secret that I’m pretty OCD when it comes to project management and while I think that Trello has done an amazing job integrating as much functionality as possible into their default app. Not to mention all of the various power ups that have come along in the last few years but there are still a couple of added extensions that are going to make your life much easier especially if you use Trello in Google Chrome like I chose to and my number one favorite go to Chrome extension is the basic but very useful Trello extension which by the way is free. So here we are in the Chrome webstore and I’m just going to go under search extensions and put in Trello Chrome and it’s going to be this first one that pops up right here You will see there are other options. I’m not going to go into any of these in his lesson but I want to go to the default Trello extension. I want to click add to Chrome and of course we’ll have to confirm that I want to add this extension so I shall. So what does this mean. Oh wait, we’re not done yet. Oh we still have to set up our Trello account. Of course we need to authorize this extension with Trello. So I’m going to set up the Trello account. This is going to say hey we want access to all of your board information. There are six boards here. The three boards on your team. We are going to click allow and there it is we’re all set. So what functionality is now available to us. Well let me show you my two favorite things that we can do. The first of which is we can now use our chrome address bar as a search function directly in Trello, even if Trello is not open. Only thing necessary is that you’re logged into Trello. So I’m going to go to the address bar and I’m going to simply type the letter T and then I’m going to type in Tab and now we are searching directly inside Trello. So let’s say that I want to find my sample board one. Sample board didn’t even have to finish typing and it automatically found it. So I click on sample board and it’s going to take us directly to this board in Trello. So now let’s say I want to do a new search so I’m going to open a new tab and I hit the T button and I hit tab once again. Sample board number two takes us directly to sample board number two. So now the question is if I were to open a new tab, can I search for a card? Let’s find out. T tab and we want to look for task number 10 and where does it take us? To task number 10 search in Trello. There’s the card bam done. It is as simple as that. Now this might not seem necessary with the volume of boards and cards that we have now but I can assure you that this will save you can save you a tremendous amount of aggravation once you have a multitude words and cards. The other feature about the Trello Chrome extension that I love is the ability to clip websites. So what does this mean? So let’s go ahead and open up a new tab. Let’s go to the LinkedIn learning library and let’s say that in the future we want to learn even more about Trello so let’s do a search for, oh great, Trello video post. What does that mean? We go ahead and we search for Trello video. Oh look at that there’s another Trello course on LinkedIn learning about how to use Trello, specifically in the post production field. So I’m going to click on this. This all sounds great but I don’t really have time for this right now but I don’t want to forget it. I don’t want to just bury it in a bunch of bookmarks. I want to put it on my Trello board, very meta I know. So I’m going to click my Trello Chrome extension and it’s going to ask me where I would like to put this. So I can choose to put it on any of my personal or team boards. For now we’ll put it on sample board number one. Who asked me which list I can enter any card title or description I like and the most important thing is, I would like to attach this page which is automatically going to add the title of the page as the title of card so I click add and now I will have a link that will take me directly to my new Trello card and you’ll see that what we have is the open graph image. The open graph information from that webpage, the featured image of that webpage and most importantly, and an attachment of link that will take me directly to the actual page. So when I close the card, here it is directly in my to do list and there it is. Now that you are familiar with my favorite Trello Chrome extension I encourage you to not only install this one but also do some research of your own because anytime there’s something you want to accomplish in Trello. Even if the feature isn’t available in the standard app, there’s a good chance you’re going to discover another great plug in similar to the one that I just demonstrated.
- The Pro For Trello Chrome extension
By now it’s certainly no secret that I’m pretty OCD when it comes to project management. And once again, while I think Trello has done an amazing job integrating as much functionality as possible into their default app, as well as with all their various power-ups, there are still a couple of added extensions that are going to make your life that much easier. Specifically, if you use Trello in Google Chrome, as I choose to do. And my number one most frequently used Chrome extension that is literally built as Trello on steroids is the Pro for Trello plugin, which is 100% free. And here’s how to find it. We are here in the Chrome web store. I’m going to do a search for Pro for Trello and as promised, it is indeed Trello on steroids. I’m going to add this to Chrome. I’m going to confirm that I want to add this extension and we’re in, that’s it. Pro for Trello is installed. One very important thing that I want you to understand about Pro for Trello, is that you can enable it in all of the settings for all of your boards, universally. These are your global settings. Or you can do it for individual boards. This is one of the very many cool features about Pro for Trello. Now let’s see how it works. We’re going to close this tab, close the web store. We’re going to jump right into our Trello board and we’re going to look for our probe. Okay, so the button’s not up here. It must be in one of our cards, right? Nope, no power up here. All right. Well, where is Pro for Trello? Of course, under show menu power. Oh, nope, it’s not here either. Aha. This is one thing that you want to understand about Pro for Trello, because it is a Chrome extension, you’re not going to find it in the usual places. We’re going to refresh this page and you’ll see that Pro for Trello has become a footer menu. So what you might not be able to see because of the image, I’m going to move this up a little bit, is in the lower right, is going to be the Pro for Trello button, which includes all of your settings. So we’re going to click on this button here and you can see, we have both global settings and board settings. For the sake of this lesson, let’s jump into the board settings. And it says this board is improved with global Pro for Trello settings. So we want to customize the board settings and let’s see what some of our options are. We have card tweaks, which means that we can now recognize categories and have bold headers on our descriptions. We have hashtags, custom tags, time entries, price entries. We have various levels of priority. We can add point values. We can render simple markup. We can also display card numbers. We can display full-sized labels but to be honest, this is now a default feature in Trello so you don’t really need this one anymore. You can also beautify your card description, but if you know how to use markdown, this probably isn’t necessary. And you also have various board tweaks, some of which are showing all of your lists stats, which means that you’ll see here, we have a checklist with four out of five items, another checklist with three out of three items. Pro for Trello does the math and tells you, you have seven out eight items complete, you have a three and a five point value. It adds that up for your entire list. And this tells you that you have two cards. You can also do progress bars for all of your lists stats in a specific list. And you have a compact board, which means that if you have a lot of cards and very little screen real estate, this is a great way to clean up your board and get it as compact as possible. My three favorites that I enable on all boards are having a compact board, being able to recognize priority and being able to recognize categories. So let’s see what this looks like in action. We’re going to go ahead and we’re going to confirm these changes, so our board refreshes. And you’ll notice that immediately, all of my cards got a whole lot tighter, which means that my board now becomes smaller, which is fantastic. So what I want to do is I would like to add a category to this. So what I’m going to do is just type in the word category one, and then I’m going to add the pipe symbol. And you’ll notice that when I close out of this, I now have a bold category header. Now what I want to do is the same thing here, category two, pipe symbol. So I’m going to go ahead and I’m going to refresh the board, which is something that unfortunately you have to do with Pro for Trello a lot. I go under category and now I can sift by these specific category names. So I’m going to default back to any cards so we can see all of them. The next thing that I want to do is priorities. So this would be a low priority, which means that I’m going to give it one exclamation point. We’re going to give this two exclamation points and we’re going to give this one, three exclamation points. And you can see now this reflects various levels of priority. The last bonus feature that I would like to highlight that is not part of the board or global settings. And frankly, this makes Pro for Trello worth the price of admission alone. This should be a default feature in Trello. It’s not. Anybody listening from Trello, please make this a default feature. I have the ability to hide my lists. This right here is a Trello game changer. I’m going to turn all of these back on. This is functionality, once again, that should just be part of Trello, but until it is, Pro for Trello is going to be your answer if you want to show or hide individual lists. So you can focus on the things that matter and eliminate all of the noise that doesn’t matter. So now that you are familiar with my most frequently used Chrome extension in Trello, I encourage you to not only install Pro for Trello immediately, but also do some research of your own. Anytime there’s something that you want to accomplish, even if the feature is not available in the standard Trello app, there’s a really good chance that you’re going to discover another great similar plugin to this one
Bonus Tips for Project Managers
Trello and the Kanban method
In this lesson, I would like to demonstrate very briefly how you can create a simple Kanban Board using Trello. As you can see, there are a multitude of resources on LinkedIn Learning, so you can learn this method in depth, which obviously I can’t do in this lesson. Of all the productivity methods and systems available today, Trello was made for Kanban. For a super brief overview, Kanban is a visual system of mapping your tasks based on a visual workflow that goes from left to right. The reason this specific system is so successful is because it will limit your work in progress and it will improve the overall flow of your tasks. Originally devised by Toyota as a way to streamline production using the lean production method, it has since been drastically simplified. Let me show you how quickly and easily you can set up a basic Kanban Board with Trello. We’re going to go ahead and close this and go to a brand new, fresh Kanban Board and we begin with the most basic three lists. We have to do, doing, and done. If you’ve gone through earlier portions of this course, none of this is probably a surprise. This is as simple as it gets. If we wanted to create tasks, so if we were to create task one, task two, task three, task four, and task five, it really is as simple as saying I’m going to do task one. I am now doing task one and task one is now complete, and so on and so on and so forth and so forth. It’s that simple. However, I’m going to go a little bit more in depth into some of my preferences for creating a basic Kanban Board, so I’m going to reset these, and I’m going to show you a few additional lists that I find incredibly helpful. Those additional lists would be on deck, on hold, and from here if there are other things that make sense for your workflow you would add those. One example is I prefer to have an inbox. This is a little bit more GTD and less Kanban, but I want to have a place to process my ideas, so I want to have an inbox, so naturally from here, if we’re talking about Kanban, we want our information to flow from the left to the right, so if you’re a football fan, you’re going from one end zone to the other end zone. So if we’re going to do task number one, we have it in our to do list. We’re doing it and we’re done. Oh, hold on a second. Well this doesn’t make a whole lot of sense. I’m not even close to the end. Ah, all right. We probably need to rearrange our lists. So where does it make the most sense to have on deck? Well, most likely you’re going to want that before doing. On hold, well if we haven’t done it yet or it’s on the to do list would it go here or, you know what? I think on hold actually makes the most sense ’cause you’ve already started doing it, but something specific has stopped it from going from doing to done, therefore it’s on hold. Perhaps you have a card that has multiple check list items and perhaps there’s a checklist that requires the attention of another member of your team. That’s a reason it could be on hold, and the inbox, well, it doesn’t really make a whole lot of sense that that’s after done, so we are actually going to put the inbox in the beginning, so the way that this would look when we start is we’re brainstorming the five tasks that we think need to get done on this board and from here, once again, the entire goal of this board is simply to get everything from one end of the field to the other end of the field. That’s all there is to it, so task one. We are going to, oh, once again, I keep moving the on deck in the wrong place. On deck doesn’t go before doing, but wait, hold on a second. What is on deck doing here? That doesn’t make a whole lot of sense. If I really want this to be all about information flow, well, yeah, it should be before doing, but I guess it also needs to be before to do, right? Well, wait, I’m not sure. For some people, on deck is going to make sense after to do. For some people it’s actually going to make more sense to do it this way. The short answer is there is no right answer. If it were me, I prefer to have my to do list here and on deck right before doing. For others, they like it the other way, so I don’t really believe there’s a right answer here. It’s as simple as saying this is on my to do list. All right, I’m getting ready to do this next. I’m now actively doing this. This is my one thing. I’m ready to call it done, but oh, I’m going to need a quick final approval on this one task. Fantastic, I got approval and we are done, and the great thing about this is you can visualize where all of your various tasks sit on your board because once again you want to get everything from one side to the other, so eventually when everything has been completed properly, this is going to be the resolution for your Kanban Board. So as you can see, Trello is a fantastic tool for the visual Kanban method of project management. This is my preferred system of choice for tracking projects from start to finish, but if you prefer other methods such as GTD, Scrum, or Gantt, Trello is versatile enough to handle almost any workflow or project management style.
An introduction to Trello and Getting Things Done® (GTD®)
If you are unfamiliar with GTD, it stands for Getting Things Done. And it is one of the most popular productivity systems out there. Originally developed by David Allen, and as a side note, you can listen to my extensive podcast interview with David by visiting optimizeyourself.me/episode04, the GTD system is designed to help you eliminate overwhelm and clarify your next actions. If you would like to go deeper into this system, David has an entire course available to walk you through his five step process. And I also demonstrate my use of GTD in my course Post Production Productivity. For the sake of the next two lessons, I will assume you already have basic knowledge of how GTD works and we’re going to apply it specifically to Trello. This lesson will cover the first steps capturing, clarifying and organizing. So here we are at our fresh brand new Trello board right here and the first step of GTD is to capture. So what does that mean? We need an inbox. Once we have the inbox, we’re going to create the following lists. We have our someday maybe list, we have waiting this week on deck which alternatively, I will often call tomorrow, active, which can also be today, and you could also call this doing if you are more akin to the Kanban method, and then we have done. The one additional list you could also add in here that again is similar to Kanban would be on hold. And if you were to do that and we are working from left to right, we would want on hold between active and done. So we are going to go back to the beginning of the process. Similarly to the Kanban method, we want to try and go from the left side to the right side. So ideally, everything lives in our done list. It means that we have engaged with it and we have gotten it done. So what I want to do now is capture a whole series of tasks and we want to put them in the inbox. So for the sake of not spending a whole lot of time going through and creating a to do list from scratch, I’m just going to copy from the to do list that I have right here, I’m going to paste it as one card, and when I click Add Card, it’s going to ask me to create 10. So I create my 10 cards. And now I have 10 different tasks on the board. So the next step is I need to clarify what here is a project, what is the single action. Or is there something on here that honestly isn’t even really actionable, and I can either remove from the list entirely, or maybe it’s reference material that I would put somewhere else. For the sake of this lesson, let’s assume that we are trying to figure out if this is a project or a single action, and as quick review, anything that takes more than one action is considered a project. So for now, I’m going to look through all these and I’m going to think, yeah, I see a couple of single actions, but most of these are projects, so well wait a second, I don’t see projects here. All I see are the states between getting them started and finishing them. So I’m going to show you a couple of different methods for organizing your cards into various projects. The first of which, which is my preferred method, would be creating a new list. So I’m actually going to create two lists, project one and project two. And because I want to go from left to right, project one is going to go right after my inbox, project two is going to go right next to it. So as I go through and clarify everything in here, task one, definitely project one, task two, definitely project two. This one goes here. This one, I don’t know, it’s really isn’t a project. This is pretty simple. I’m going to leave this in the inbox for the moment. Going to organize these accordingly and where I think they belong. And yeah, so I think everything here is project one, everything here is project two. And these are all what I believe, at least at the moment, to be single actions. So this is one way to organize all of your projects. Another way is using the category function that you have in my favorite Chrome extension Pro4Trello. All you would have to do is go before the task and add a prefix. So let’s say project one, we add the pipe function and a space. And now what will happen is when we close this, we have this as a prefix, but right now it’s not functioning properly, so we go to our board settings, we want to customize our board settings. And I want to make sure that we recognize categories. I’m going to confirm this and when this page refreshes, now I have a project name here that is a prefix for all of my cards. So let’s say that I wanted to go in and do the same thing here. I wanted to do the same thing on this card. And of course, we’re going to do to this one ’cause we recognize this as part of project one. So we can either leave them all here and we have a list and we have all these various prefixes. This is actually my preference. You can also just have one giant repository of a whole bunch of tasks. And then you can sort by category and say, I only would like to see project one. And you can see that I have a little bit of naming issue. So if I were to go back in here and fix that very, very quickly, you’ll see that what happens is I’m able to sort by all of my cards that have to do with project one. So if you had project one, two, three, four and five all on one list, you can still use the category function to sort these. But my preference is just to have the project prefix, so I can sort across projects at any point in time across the board, but also have a bucket where I can keep all the tasks that has to do with this one project. So now what do I do with these? I don’t want these in my inbox anymore. I want my inbox empty and I want to start getting things done. Well, what that means is I need one additional lists that I’m going to call single actions. So I put single actions over here before projects, and I’m going to dump all of those in here. So now I have captured the information, I have clarified whether it’s a project or a single action, and now I’ve organized it between various different projects and my single actions. As you can see, Trello is perfectly capable of handling a very robust Getting Things Done workflow. In part two of this GTD tutorial, I will briefly demonstrate how to work through the remaining steps of GTD including how to assign context to all these, how to go through the review process and then most importantly, how to engage and get things done.
Trello and GTD®: Organize, reflect, and engage
In part one of using Trello for GTD, I helped you organize your board and your various lists, so you could capture tasks, and you could break them down between single actions and projects. And now I would like to further organize apply contexts as well as go through the review process. So ultimately, you can engage with your tasks and get things done. So as we can see, we start with our list where we’ve taken ten tasks, we have our single actions, PROJECT 1, and PROJECT 2. At this point, the next step most likely is assigning contexts. So we can be more specific for how we want to organize each of these actions. Because at this moment, we could just transfer them over to the Kanban portion of our board and figure out where they belong. But I like to dig in a little bit deeper. So the best way to do GTD in assigned contexts, I believe, is using Labels. So what I want to do is assign some very common labels based on common contexts. So I’m going to go into the Label menu. And we’re just going to start creating Labels. So our common context is going to be ERRANDS, we’re going to save that one another one is AROUND THE HOUSE, we’re going to save this one. Another common one could be things you have to do, it’s your COMPUTER. And then I want to take a little bit deeper beyond just the location. And I want to think about the level of energy that might be required to do this task. I’m going to assign a HIGH ENERGY context. And I’m also going to conversely assign a LOW ENERGY context. The last context that I want to assign to help me further breakdown my single actions, which is another part of the clarify process in GTD is the 2-minute task. Now the hope is that after going through capturing in your inbox that you most likely have already done your two-minute tasks because frankly, to organize each one of them, could take you two minutes in and of itself but let’s assume that at least one or two of your single actions or even something for a project is a two-minute task. So let’s start assigning some Labels to provide context. So I’m just going to go and say Task 10 you know what, “This one is a two-minute task.” And again, I’m using the L key, that’s my hotkey for adding a label. And going through PROJECT 1 and PROJECT 2. And these seem like they’re going to take a little bit longer. But Task number 7 and PROJECT 2 this is also a two-minute task. Now I want to go through the rest of these and I want to assign further contexts. So Task 4, this is an errand. Actually, this thing in Project 2, this is also an errand. So I might be able to batch these together and get them done at the same time. For once I’m talking about PROJECT 2. This is something I need to be my computer for this one. Frankly, everything on this list is going to require me to be at my computer. So I might as well label all these with the computer context and we’ve got one left here. And this is a pretty deep creative task where I think I’m going to need a lot of HIGH ENERGY. And actually, along those lines, I have a couple of tasks here that I need to be at my computer. But I realized this one, I kind of don’t need a lot of creative energy. So I’m going to assign a second context, which is LOW ENERGGY. And I can actually do the same thing for this one. So here’s where this is incredibly useful. If I want to look at this board and not necessarily worry about saying, I’m only going to work on project one or I’m only going to work on project two or do single actions. What if I asked a better question? And I said, “I’m going to do all of my tasks that will take two minutes or less.” So I simply filter my board by clicking the F key. I click on the 2-MINUTES context or the Label. And now I can see that Task 10 and Tasks 7 can both be done in two minutes or less. So what am I going to do? Well, I’m just going to put these on deck because I can get these done as soon as I’m done reviewing my board, organizing and clarifying. So I’m going to turn off my filter. Now I’m down eight tasks. And the next question is, what do I want to tackle next? Well, it seems to me that given the time of day, right now, I’m really super fired up. And that means I have a lot of creative energy. So the single action, maybe I’m going to do this now. I’m just going to make this active. So now we’re down to seven tasks. And I see I’ve got a lot of stuff that needs to be done at the computer. So those are things that well, I’m probably not going to be at my computer until tomorrow. So I’m going to take all of these here. And I’m going to move them over here. And I’m now going to take this one because also this requires me being at the computer. But wait a second, if I wanted to reorganize this, I don’t know where this belongs. And this is one of the reasons that I like to not only have the list name of a project but I also add it as a prefix. So I want to do is I want to add PROJECT 2 and now I know that if I want to reprocess these and put them back in these buckets, I know where they belong. But this week, I want to do all the stuff that requires me to be at my computer, I can probably do these two together because they both have the Label LOW ENERGY, which means that I only have two tasks left that have not been organized. So what I’m thinking is, I don’t really know, you what? I’ve only got 2-MINUTE tasks, I might as well just run my errands at the same time. So now I have all of these processed and I have an idea of when it is that I’m going to get them done. I’ve reviewed my board. And this is the process by the way that I probably go through at least once a week when I want to look at everything for the entire week. And I also will do this on a daily basis. Generally the last thing I do in the evenings to make sure that when I wake up the next morning, I know what needs to get done the next day. And then at this point, we’re just going to start getting things done. It’s that simple. So once again, we’re moving all the pieces one step at a time. With the goal of eventually having everything in the done pile, and that’s it, we have now gotten some stuff done. So as you can see, once again Trello is perfectly capable of handling a very robust getting things done workflow and it is my number one tool of choice for this exact purpose because it has unlimited potential to sort individual tasks, multiple small projects on a single board or the alternative is you can even process much larger projects with unlimited multiple Trello boards.
Trello and agile or scrum
In this lesson, I will briefly demonstrate, how you can organize a Trello board, using the Scrum Agile method. And then I’ll show you my favorite free power-up for taking your Scrum board to the next level beyond trows default features. To be clear, I’m not diving into how either Agile or Scrum work, I’m going to make the assumption that you already have basic knowledge of these systems. And you’re just looking for the shortcut, to implement that knowledge with Trello. If you’re unfamiliar with these project management systems, but you want to learn more, there are plenty of great resources in the online course library. So in this lesson, let’s simply talk about how to track progress, time and story points. We’re going to go ahead and jump to our brand new Agile Scrum Trello board. And by default, Trello is great tracking progress Kanban style. So we have our five lists that represent our backlog, things that we are about to do, things we are doing, things that are done and of course in the middle, if you need a quality check, we have our quality check here just to make sure that everything looks good. You might also have additional lists that make the most sense for your team or your workflow. This is probably the most basic that you’re going to start with. Beyond that, if you want to start tracking time, or you want to start tracking story points, my favorite option is going to be the free Chrome extension pro for Trello. So we already have it installed, and we see the pro for Trello button here in the lower right hand corner. So I’m going to click on that, and I want to go to my board settings. So yes, I would like to customize my board settings. And for the sake of this lesson, the three pieces of information that are the most important are going to be number one, recognizing time entries, and you can see the nomenclature used here in the raw card and what the finished card will look like. The second thing that we’ll want to talk about is recognizing points and again, here is the raw card versus what the finished card will render as and then the third option is going to be showing list stats. So these are the three most basic functions, that are going to help you are going to hit the check mark, we’re going to refresh the board with these new settings and you can see immediately per list, we now have aggregate information for all of our cards. As a quick example, you’ll see that task one has five checklist items, test 10 also has five checklist items, both of them have not begun. And you’ll see that we have zero out of 10 items. And if I were to go in here and just check one of them off, it is now going to aggregate all of my checklists right up here, one out of 10. The great thing is the pro for Trello will also do the same for your time entries and your point entries. So here’s how that works. I will go into the card for task one. And in the title, I’m going to put curly brackets, let’s say that this is going to take us one hour or whatever unit makes the most sense for you. I’m going to close with curly brackets hit return, and instead of the information being in the title, it has now become a time entry. And if I were to do the same thing for task number two, let’s give this one three. So three plus one is, wait for it, it’s coming. I promise it will update and there it is four. So what it’s going to do is add up all of your various time entries. And if I were to drag task number one into the to do list, this now becomes three. And if you give it a second to go through and calculate this is now going to become one. So the idea here is, we can track our time entries all the way across our various lists and track our progress. Now what if we want to assign story points? Same deal, except instead of curly brackets, we’re going to use the pipe function. So let’s say the task two is relatively simple, we’re going to assign it one story point, hit return, and you’ll see now we have this point value here, and the point value will update here. And if I were to do the same thing with task number three, let’s first give it a time value of four, give it a story value of 10. This is a big one. I’m going to close this one out and you can see we have a time value for story value of 10. And momentarily all of this information will update as well. Now of course, the most important things that we’re missing here are going to be the aggregate information for your entire sprint, but also your burndown chart. Unfortunately, you’re not going to find any of that functionality in free extensions. However, very briefly, if I go to the power-ups menu, and I put in Scrum, you will see that, Trello provides, a whole series of power-ups to take your agile Scrum workflow to the next level. Most of these are paid power-ups. I’m not going to go into any of them in detail, but you’ll see that, there are a whole host of options available to you. So as you can see, Trello is indeed a great tool for the Agile method and your Scrum Master and it offers a ton of flexibility and versatility. Whether you choose, to try out the free option demonstrated here or you’d like to go to the next level, with Trello, Scrum and Agile power-up options.
Trello and Gantt
In this lesson I will briefly demonstrate how you can create a simple Trello board and turn it into a Gantt chart, using Trello Power-Ups. To briefly reiterate, this lesson will not demonstrate in any way, shape or form how the Gantt system works. There are other fantastic options available that do so in the course library. At this point, I will assume you are already familiar with the Gantt system; you would just like to know how to implement it using Trello. So, let’s go ahead to our first Gantt board here, it’s a very, very simple board, with three simple lists. To Do, Doing, and Done, and I have also laid out 10 simple task cards. I have assigned myself as a member to a few of them. I have also assigned my partner Hilary to a couple as well, and you’ll see that I’ve assigned some basic due dates. So, you’ll see right here, I have Planyway up. The reason that Planyway is enabled is that this also has Gantt capabilities. So lets see what this would look like in Planyway. So, here we are in what I generally use Planyway for the most, which is going to be Week view. But the nice thing about Planyway is it also offers a Gantt chart option. So if I were to click Gantt Chart, you will see that I now have the ability to span across my days, as opposed to just having individual time blocks. And this is a great start for working with Gantt, and it has a couple of other features here and there, but to be honest, Planyway would not be my number one option, if I wanted to use a Power-Up with Trello to create Gantt charts. The only reason I would use it is if I’m already paying for Planyway, and I don’t want to pay for another Power-Up. So what I want to do is disable Planyway, so we’re going to go to the menu, I want to disable the Planyway Power-Up. We’re going to open the Power-Ups menu and do a search for Gantt, and TeamGantt is going to be the option that I demo here. If you’re interested in learning more about any of these others, you’re more than welcome to do so at your leisure. But as you can see, with 100,000 plus users, TeamGantt is the most popular option. So we’re going to add TeamGantt to our board. Once again, they remind us that we have reached our Power-Up limit. If you’d like to use more, you can always upgrade. So we’re going to close both of these menus, and you can see that in place of Planyway it now says Get started with TeamGantt. So let’s get started! The first thing we’re going to need to do is authorize our account. So you’ll have to enter all of your personal information here. And once you’ve entered your information, you are now authenticated, and we can now see what things look like in TeamGantt. So we click on View in TeamGantt. And you will see that I have My First TeamGantt Project. So, if I were to click on this, and we view in Gantt chart, well, what does that give us? You’ll see that what we have here is not our Trello task cards. What we actually have here is a template tutorial project in TeamGantt. So if you actually want to be able to assign this to your own board, what you would do is close out of here, go into View TeamGantt settings, and you want to sync this with a specific project, so you’re saying, this board should be synced with My First Team Project, we click Save, we close out of here, we want to view in Gantt chart, and they’re still not there, fantastic! So, as you can see, I have enabled it, and I’ve synced it, but nothing is showing up! What’s going on this time? All right, there’s one more step. We have to go into our cards individually, and we have to use the TeamGantt Power-Up, and we’ll need to individually assign them. So we can either add the card to an existing project, or add the card to a new project, and we’re going to add it to our existing one. Which is of course My First TeamGantt Project. And you’ll see what happens is now we have this entire dashboard of information available to us. It has dependencies, we now have start and end dates, we have percentage of completion, and if we wanted to view this directly in TeamGantt, this is what it looks like, which is also the same as if I were to go back to the board, View in TeamGantt, and it’s going to bring us the same Gantt chart, and obviously my preference would be that I don’t want a separate tab, especially because it has all of the noise here. What I would love is to just have this chart in the same place as my Trello board, which, as you can see, it is! So now I have my task assigned here, and all I would have to do is just choose any of these, so let’s just choose the one with members assigned, so, TeamGantt, Add to Existing Project, and we’re going to do this two more times. And we’ll do it to this last one here, so all of the cards with members assigned, they’re now going to be thrown onto the TeamGantt board. We want to view this in TeamGantt on our Gantt chart. And now you’ll see we have these tasks are ready to go. And if I wanted to filter by anything, whether it be members, whether it be dates, I can filter by all these various options, you can assign colors as well. You can hide everything that is completed. And now you have the option, if I wanted to, say that my start date for Task 1 is here, and I wanted to drag it across, I can do that here, I can do that with, let’s see, Task 2 is going to go here, Task 3 is going to go here. It is so simple to be able to create this and visualize it, using this Gantt chart here. And again, I’m not going to go into the nuances and details of how the Gantt system works. You’ll see that just to briefly close, we have the list view as well. We also have a calendar view. So, as you can see, if the Gantt system is your preferred method of project management, that Trello has all of the features, bells and whistles necessary to transfer your existing Gantt setup into the Trello ecosphere, to keep everything in the same place as all of your various other Trello boards.
Trello for Mobile
Navigating the Trello mobile app
In addition to all of the amazing features that Trello offers via both the desktop app, as well as via a web browser, you also have the ability to manage and monitor Trello activity via their mobile app. But I’m going to be perfectly honest, I’m not a big fan of the mobile app, I think it has a long ways to go to function just as well as using it via desktop. Why? Because the most powerful thing about Trello is being able to visualize a multitude of cards and lists on a board, no different than you would an actual wall, and you can’t fit an entire wall in your pocket, there just isn’t enough screen real estate. But that having been said, I would like to help you better understand the basic Trello interface via mobile so you can navigate some of the more common features. As we’re looking at here, we are at the boards page, which is the lower left tab. Going to tell ya, I actually use this as my homepage. When I go to the homepage, I don’t really use this, it’s just a bunch of random cards, maybe this works for some people, I feel this is cluttered, and I can’t really follow this, so boards, this is my homepage. Another tab where I’d like to draw your attention is the accounts tab, and as you would imagine, this is where you can do a lot of your account management and information. So as I go through, you can see that there are various options here, and this is, of course, obviously where you would log out as well, and you can access all of your various teams. Then, of course, there is the notifications tab, and what I like about the notifications tab is that it actually organizes and breaks down your notifications by all of them, by notifications specifically that have to do with you, as well as only comments. And you know what? You can’t even do this on the desktop app, so this is actually a feature that I really, really like about mobile, not to mention that there are also a lot of other features that you can manage specifically for your notifications, so essentially your mobile device can be your Trello inbox that you can carry everywhere, because it manages these notifications better than the desktop app. So if I were to go back to the boards, you’ll see that I have this button in the upper right hand corner where I can create a card, I can create a board, and it’s going to be just some of the basic information. It isn’t nearly as robust as it is on the desktop. And if I were to go into a board, if we were to go to sample board number one, you see what I’m talkin’ about? I can’t really visualize my entire board when I have to swipe from one list to the next. I just find this counterproductive to the entire reason that Trello exists. Here’s what it looks like inside of a card. You’re going to have a lot of the same basic functionality where you can add due dates, labels, members, checklists, and another thing that you’ll notice here is that we have all of the functionality of the custom fields power up. I do want to warn you in no uncertain terms, the vast majority of Trello power ups simply do not function either as well, or at all, in the Trello mobile app. So be very, very wary of the Trello power ups and thinking, “Oh, it’s great, “I can do all of this remotely via my iOS app “or via Android.” Not going to happen. Most of the Trello power ups only function via desktop. So as you can see, yeah it’s convenient to have Trello available in your back pocket, specifically if you want to manage communication, notifications, or you want to make super quick updates to your boards or your cards. But don’t ask me to spend large amounts of time managing my projects exclusively in the mobile app unless I have no other choice.
The most common uses for the mobile app vs. desktop
As I’ve mentioned, I’m not a huge fan of the Trello mobile app. Here’s the I know coming from a Trello ninja. But I simply find it difficult doing project management with so little screen real estate to work with. There are however, several use cases where I find the Trello mobile app incredibly useful, sometimes even more so than the desktop app. And I would like to briefly demonstrate those uses now. Frankly, my number one use for the Trello mobile app is navigating notifications. If I go to the Notifications tab, what I love about Trello that I cannot do in the desktop app is I can break down and organize my notifications either by comments, by things that have to do with me personally, or by all notifications. But the even deeper level that I can go with the mobile app that I cannot do on desktop, and if anybody works for Trello and you’re listening to this, please add this functionality on the desktop. If I go to the gear settings wheel, I have so many different granular options for how long I would like to manage the notifications that I either want to receive, or more importantly, the notifications that I do not want to receive. Desktop, it’s all or nothing, you either get all of them or you don’t get anything. And in the mobile app, you can manage your notifications on a much more granular level, which I love. Another thing that I love specifically about the mobile app, is that you can actually swipe directly from one of your notifications right into the board. So as you see if I go to this top one, where it says Zach was added to this board, meal planning and recipes, all I have to do is swipe left. And I’m immediately brought to that board. Which brings me to the next reason that I use the Trello mobile app via desktop. And frankly, it may not have a lot to do with project management. And maybe you can find an application in your setting, but it’s fantastic for checklists. So if you want to use Trello to manage all of your to do lists and all of your checklists, however, you don’t want to go back to pen and paper. Well, I’m going to show you one of my favorite uses which is just cooking a meal. So here we are with one of my weekend meals that I like to meal prep, chicken Patty with broccolini and sweet potato wedges. Good stuff. I click on this. And you’ll see that I have all of my information right here, I can link right to the tab that I need with the information on the website. But what I love about it is just having a checklist by my side, I can go one by one by one as I’m adding the ingredients. And of course, if this were a to do list for any other projects, you can do the same thing, it doesn’t have to involve cooking. But I can go one step at a time, had this checklist in front of me my phone right by my side on the counter. And then of course I can do the same with the cooking process. So any repeatable processes where you’d love to have a to do list by your side, but you don’t want to have a giant tablet or you clearly don’t want to bring your desktop computer to a mobile location. One of my favorite uses of the Trello mobile app is just managing to do lists and checklists. And the last feature that I love about the Trello app that once again, we’d love to Have this on desktop and we still don’t. If I go back to the Account tab, you will see this new option where it says switch accounts. What this means is that I can be logged in to the Trello mobile app under different email accounts and fast switch between them. This isn’t about managing multiple teams or managing multiple boards. It’s actual multiple Trello accounts. So if there are specific use cases where you have more than one Trello login, you don’t have to constantly log out and log back in. It has fast user switching. Once again, if anybody’s listening to this that works for Trello, why is this not on the desktop app? This would be so incredibly useful. So as you can see, it is convenient to have Trello available in your back pocket specifically for managing communication, notifications or making quick updates to boards or cards or to fast switch between your various users. But once again, please don’t ask me to spend the majority of my time managing any of my projects via mobile Unless I have no other choice because I simply don’t have the screen real estate that I need to be productive.
Congratulations. If you have successfully completed this course, you can now consider yourself a Trello Ninja. I hope you enjoyed the lessons and you are excited about building more efficient workflows that help you work smarter and not harder, and ultimately save your sanity in the process. I know I’ve already said it in the course, but there are so many different ways to use Trello in any workflow. The possibilities are virtually endless. I have simply shown you the methods that work for me, but you should always feel free to experiment with and improve upon the things that you have learned in this article. Thank you so much for investing your time, your energy, and your attention with me. Now, go get some stuff done using Trello.