This wonderful tool is designed to help organize projects that involve more than just one person. It exists on a web page that looks deceptively simple, but has tons of power for organizing and coordinating every task that needs to be done. Like most web-based tools, your free account is the starting point, but with Trello, the free level gives plenty of power for just about anything you can imagine! I won’t describe in detail how it works – I include a short video that gives an overview below. My focus here is to describe how and why I use it, despite the fact that there is a bit of overlap with the other organizing tools I use.
There are two features that make Trello close to indispensible for me – the ability to lay everything out in a “dining room table” style so that I can see a visual overview of all the pieces, and the ability to share this “picture” of the project with others who are working on the same project. You organize the project on a “Board” and on each Board you develop lists in any way that best works for your project. For example, you might have a list for new ideas, tasks that are in progress, tasks coming up next, and tasks you have completed. Every list has a card for each task, and when you click on the card, you see details that re on the “back” of the card Everyone on the team working on the project can add cards, comment on cards, attach files to cards, even start a new list. On my teams we set due dates and reminders for specific tasks, so that everyone on the team can keep track of who is doing what.
The “dining room table” perspective is particularly important for my journal. Even though for the ANS board I am the main person who uses it, other people who are involved with the journal have access to the board so that someone besides just me can see instantly a “picture” of what is happening and how it is all laid out. I have a list to keep general information and resources, and a list for each issue – current and coming up in the future. The issue lists have cards for each tasks that is required to bring the issue from conception to completion, along with the due dates for each task. I do use my to-do list in tandem with the Trello lists, which may seem a bit of unneccessary duplication, but each perspective of the tasks required for managing and editing the journal serve a unique purpose, and with Trello other people have a “window” into the journal processes – a very important feature in case there were to be a time when (goddess forbid) I am incapacitated.
So if you want to learn more, here is a webpage the Trello folks provide as introduction. And a brief YouTube video. There are many YouTube “Trello” videos, each with a somewhat different “take” on ways you can use this powerful tool!