Using Trello to Organize Your Business

Well, I started writing this post about Trello partly to get myself back into the organizing zone… and then I was sucked into all the inspirational boards, and I learned so much! Can’t wait to share a few things with you 🙂

I love Trello because it works just like my brain. When I was at my day job, I had post it notes and lists all over the place with my tasks/ processes. Trello makes all of that digital: everything is now in one place, and you don’t have to worry about what happens when your post-it loses its stickiness and falls off your computer screen (what? you’re not familiar with this feeling?)

Using Trello to organize your personal life and business

How Trello works….

Let’s do a quick overview of the platform (program? software?) before getting into the inspiration!
Ready to dive right in? Click this link to join Trello (using this link will give me an extra month of Trello Gold!)

  • Boards
    When you sign in, you’ll be prompted to make a board. These are usually specific clients, projects, or goals. Kind of like a big whiteboard or cork board you would have in your office.
  • Lists
    Inside the board, you’ll have the lists. The simplest structure would be starting with a board and creating lists: “To Do, “Doing,” “Done” for the project.
  • Cards
    The fun really gets started with CARDS! So each card represents an individual task, and you can assign due dates, labels, team members, and more!

    • Due Dates
      Fairly self-explanatory… you can set due dates for each card. Then if you use the calendar power-up (the free version of Trello allows one free power-up per board), you can see when each item is due. Great for an editorial calendar – more on that later
    • Team Members
      Add team members from inside or outside your company by inviting them via email! Then you assign them to a card, comment @ them, and just generally share ideas in a cleaner format than email. We do this all the time at Cafe Pierrot, and we love that no one needs to hunt through their inbox (and it keeps everyone accountable). However, you do need to tag them if you want them to see an update. No one will see your new card if you don’t assign it to them or tag them with @.
    • Labels
      I’ll admit that I don’t use these too much, but a lot of people do and have great success. You can color code the card with a label. The Trello team uses it to assign tasks to a certain department, and I saw another blog that used it to color code her goals by quarter.

Below is an example of a board I use for projects around the house. I tagged my husband on the board:) Each list represents a room, and the cards show the tasks to complete for each room. Currently, I’m working off of the dining room table, and I really don’t like it (as you can tell).

How to Use Trello to organize your home and business

[button link=”” type=”big” color=”purple” newwindow=”yes”] Sign up for Trello here[/button]

How to use Trello for your business…

If you type “Trello” into pinterest, you will find a million results. These are a few of my favorites (and some that I think are the best). Click here for even more inspiration from Spring Cleaning to Research Projects

  • Personal vs. Team Boards
    • When you first sign up for Trello, you’ll have personal boards that are only visible to you (and anyone you add to a specific board). No one can see these boards unless you add them. And even then, they’ll only see the one board.
    • At the bottom of the page, you’ll see “Create a new team…” Here, you’ll make a team and invite team members via email. Team members can view all the boards if given access. You don’t NEED to add team members to make a team. I have a team page for my business, so my business boards don’t mix in with my personal ones.
    • Even for team boards, you can invite a person outside of the team to view just a single board. That way, you can invite a client to see the board related to your project, but they won’t see all the boards your team is working on for other clients.
  • Goal Boards
  • Business Plan
    • I love this idea for a Business Road Map. So much cleaner and easier than a large document with your business plan. I just made a board following this template, and I can’t wait to get started filling it out.
  • Client Work
    • I also stole this freelance client board for my own business. Brittany provides an example of the onboarding process (before the first day, your first week of work, etc), but you should definitely download her board for managing clients. It brings them through the to do list, in progress, completed, and even has a list for all their reference documents
  • Organizing Events/ Holidays
    • We use a Holiday board at the Cafe to remember new products we want to create for each holiday. Another board organizes the upcoming events/ fundraisers we participate in to help plan our booth and make lists of products we need. We assign each card/ task to a team member, and it keeps us accountable.
  • Editorial Calendar
    • This editorial calendar board works well for my business. I run five blogs currently, so I like to see at a glance what post is coming up and the tasks left to complete each post.
    • Make each post its own card, assign a label (maybe for you it would be by category, but I use it just for the actual blog I’m posting on), use the due date to schedule on the calendar, and use the inside of the card to outline or list ideas for the post.
  • Sales Funnel
    • This Sales Funnel board helps you track of the companies you’ve reached out to, who has replied, who to follow-up with, and who said yes or no.
  • Weekly / Monthly Scheduling
    • Allie’s Weekly and Monthly Schedule inspired me so much! My life would be a little easier if I follow a routine, so I modified her example. The weekly board shows my typical daily schedule (wake up at 6, go to the gym at 11, eat lunch at 1, teach violin lessons at 3, etc), because I tend to procrastinate A LOT. Her idea to assign a theme to each week looks interesting, as well, but I haven’t incorporated that yet.

A few tips…

  • If you’re working with a team, include a card for each board explaining “How to Use This Board”
  • Make sure you tag your team member if you want them to see something
    • they won’t get a notification if you just add a card, you need to assign it to them or tag them in a comment; I mentioned this before, but people seem to forget all  the time (and then wonder why I didn’t respond to something they posted)
  • View all the cards assigned to you
    • Go to your profile and click the “Cards” tab. This is super helpful if your team has a million boards and cards, and you can’t remember which ones belong to you or what’s due next 🙂
      Viewing all the Trello cards assigned to you in profile view

Trello also has a business version that I have NOT used, but sounds amazing! I do have Gold, but you don’t need it to take advantage of everything mentioned in this post!

Here’s another button to sign up. If you use this link I get another month of Trello Gold 🙂 But it’s still free for you!

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