Being a lover of tech, trying new apps is exciting and bring out the geek in me. Every once in a while I’ll introduce and review a new app that I’ve recently played around with.
Recently I wrote a case study about a client who, I believe is fair to say, was overwhelmed. She called me to her house in late May and requested I document her ‘brain dump’.
Once her brain had been thoroughly dumped, I took my notes and brought them into a really fun and user-friendly project management app: Trello.
The client and I collaborated in Trello and after a month she had streamlined workflows, improved communication within her team, met deadlines and found a much clearer direction for the future of her company. Managing projects in Trello helped her take responsibility, step into being more assertive, offered an exploration on what she suspected she should do and own it, and made her feel confident in her decisions.
Here is the simple formula for taking what’s in your brain to tasks being prioritized, feeling more organized, having a visual plan to follow and also to stay accountable to.
Step 1: Do a brain dump – either on paper or into a digital document
Step 2: Discern the projects in Trello
In Trello, the user creates boards to represent each project.
Step 3: Make lists within each board (project)
We used the default lists provided in Trello: ‘To do’, ‘Doing’, and ‘Done’.
Step 4: Make every task from your brain dump a to-do
In Trello, the user creates cards to represent each to-do. Cards can be moved up and down within it’s list to prioritize.
Step 5: Assign due dates and assign tasks to team members
Step 6: For focus, view the to-do cards by board or by due date
I think the thing I love about Trello the most is that its just so darn user-friendly. It takes a matter of minutes to begin getting organized and seeing immediate results.
I only found a couple of drawbacks – such as the absence of team member direct messaging from within Trello, or seeing due dates across all boards on one sole calendar, but there are workarounds. This 3rd party app works perfectly for fixing the calendar issue. And what I found as a handy workaround for DM’ing in Trello was to connect it to Hip Chat via Zapier. (Zapier is a great piece of ‘middleware’ that makes a connection between two apps to automate time-consuming tasks. Check it out to integrate your Trello with Gmail, Evernote, DM apps – or others.)
There are also limitations regarding storage allowance (attachments, photos, videos etc.) But there are also many cool features that the pros outweigh the cons ie: having the ability to create a new board via emailing your Trello account – and more. Plus Trello integrates with Evernote and Google, also has an iPhone app, and is responsive to any screen size – imagine looking at your project on the wall!
All in all, I personally think Trello is a super way to ‘dump the brain’ and combat overwhelm. And it doesn’t always necessarily have to be for small business owners; it’s so user-friendly that anyone can use it for travel planning, domestic chores, budgeting — the possibilities are endless. Give Trello a whirl for your next project or to-do list, and see for yourself how easy it is to get organized!