How to Use Trello to Organize Your Business
Trello is a powerful web-based task management tool that is completely free to use. Find out how you can use this amazing productivity tool to help your rapidly expanding business.
What Is Trello?
I use Trello to organize my day and for organizing my editorial calendar. The basic layout of Trello is a web page that contains lists laid out horizontally across the web page so you can get a quick overview of the project you’re working on. You can sign-up here: Trello
You can then create a board by clicking on the + icon next to your name:
You can create as many boards as you like and invite people to join the boards to help you collaborate on a project. You can do this by clicking on “Add Members” in the menu on the right hand side of the board:
You will see a dashboard that is made up of three elements,the board, lists, and cards:
Think of it as a corkboard with post-its stuck on it. The board is the representation of the overall project . The lists are the various stages of the project, for example if you run a blog, you could have three lists “Researching”, “Writing”, and “Published”. The cards are the “To-do” items, or tasks, that need to be completed, for example you could have under the “Researching” list a card that says “Researching Trello Blog topic”.
You can add color coded labels to these cards:
Trello Company Overview Board
While Trello is a great way to organize your workflows, this amazing tool can also help you with your rapidly expanding company.
One of the pain points of rapidly expanding companies is maintaining a clear view on different department tasks and how they fit into the overall company picture.
A Company Overview Board can help alleviate this pain point by creating a birds-eye view of the entire company, company priorities and the projects different departments are working on. The idea is that anyone in the company can view the various projects that other departments are working on, so everyone can keep up to speed with what is going on. They can also offer to provide assistance or feedback to their colleagues.
This first list on the board is “Teams.” This first card on the list is a “How to use this Board card” – this is helpful to ensure that all members of the team understand how the board works, and also helps with new employee onboarding.
In this list, there is a card for each department, as you can see here;
Each member of that department is on that team card. It’s a good idea to have a department lead, usually the department manager, in charge of updating the card with team updates each week.
Priorities is the next list on the board. This list is a broad list outlining company priorities. Each card in this list reflects one of the priorities of the company, and there are often multiple projects related to these priorities. Each priority card has a project owner assigned to the card and can also have links to related Trello boards and Slack channels.
The Projects list is similar to the Priorities list. Each project is related in some way back to a company priority on the list. It is basically the projects that are being worked on to achieve company priorities. If there are multiple people working on a project, one person is the designated project owner, and it is their job to update the card with the progress or roadblocks of the week.
When priorities are met or projects are completed they are dragged and dropped into the “Done” list.
You can also integrate Trello with the chat app Slack, so when activity occurs on the board everyone will be able to view it in the company chat. For instance, I wrote on the “Website Analytics” card
and this update was sent to our Slack channel;
You can activate this integration at the Slack Apps page. Trello Integration for Slack.
Handy Trello Board Powerups
You can also use the “Card Aging Powerup” to keep track of projects that haven’t been worked on for awhile. You can find the Card Aging Powerup in the “Power up” menu on the right of your Trello page:
This Trello power up visibly “ages” cards that haven’t been worked on for 1, 2 or 4 weeks.
If you assign Due Dates to your Trello cards,
you can also use the Trello calendar powerup and view on a calendar when tasks are due:
This is a great way to keep an eye on deadlines and when upcoming projects are due.
Each department has labels and you can filter these labels to see what each department is working on:
It’s an easy way to find the cards most relevant to you.
As you might have noticed, the Company Overview Board starts with the bigger picture on the left and narrows down to smaller projects to the right.
Want to see how Trello measures up against Microsoft Planner and Asana? Check out our guest blog post Microsoft Planner vs Trello vs Asana: Small Business Project Collaboration Apps Compared.
That’s it for today. If you need more inspiration check out Trello’s “Trello Resources Board”.