I’ve always been a rather old school pen and paper kinda gal when it came to my planner. And truthfully, I still use my paper planner every day. However, when I discovered Trello and all the amazing things that it can do, I was quite smitten.
If you don’t know, Trello is an unbelievable FREE tool that allows you to have everything all in one place, accessible on your desktop, tablet or phone.
There is only so much you can do on a paper planner, Trello, on the other hand, allows you to literally organize every area of your life. I organize everything from my meal planning to my daily routines to my blog editorial calendar all on Trello.
I can pull up my to-do list, appointments, meal plan, grocery list even the kids’ school projects can be organized on Trello.
Trello allows you to invite people to some or all of your boards so that you can give your family member access to your home boards and school projects while allowing you to keep those Birthday and Christmas lists private.
I am not an affiliate for Trello, I am just seriously in love with this tool. Trello does have a program that allows you to get a free month upgrade when someone signs up through a link they supply you with, which means if you sign up with this link, I will get a free month of Trello Gold, but hey when you sign up you can get your own referral link.
But because I am a true Trello fan, I want you to be able to get these same amazing benefits. So I am going to walk you through setting up and organizing your own Trello boards. You can also get the Trello Quick Start Guide by signing up below:
HOW TRELLO WORKS
But first, let’s go over a basic breakdown of how Trello works.
Boards, Lists, and Cards are the meat of Trello.
The main categories of your life, i.e., the big picture items are contained within boards. Boards are the starting point where everything happens.
Whether you are organizing your day to day life, goals, big projects such as a move, a school project or a birthday party this is where you start. You can honestly use boards for anything.
The Trello board is the place to organize your life in separate lists.
Within those boards you create lists, lists are all your subcategories.
For instance, I have my general weekly board, with a separate list for each day of the week.
On my home board, I have lists for each family member and general home tasks.
Think of Trello lists like the columns on your paper planner.
From these lists, you can create cards.
Cards are your action items. With cards, you can move them across boards and lists.
Cards have a front and back. In the photo above you are looking at the front of the card.
You access the back of the card by clicking on the card from your list.
On the back of each card you can assign it a color label, create a checklist for the task, set a due date, add a photo or file, you can even add links. Basically, any information you need to remember can be placed on a card. The cards can then be archived when you no longer need them.
If this sounds complicated, stay with me here, I promise it’s not. Trello is super user-friendly.
HOW I USE TRELLO TO PLAN
Now that you know the basics of how Trello works, let me give you a quick overview of how you can use it to simplify and organize your life.
Sunday evenings is when I like to plan out my week and look at any goals I am working on. I make a list of the essentials in my weekly board general to do’s and then drag and drop cards into the different days of the week, which is set up as lists. My Week is the board on which I store all my tasks. Literally, anything I need to handle for the week is here.
I then have separate boards that break down various categories of life.
Home Life Board
In this board includes lists for each family member, my cleaning schedule and family events. This allows me, (and my family) to see everyone’s schedule at a glance and assign various chores and tasks. Everyone can see who has what going on and what needs to be done.
My home life board includes lists for each family member, my cleaning schedule and family events. This allows me, (and my family) to see everyone’s schedule at a glance and assign various chores and tasks. Everyone can see who has what going on and what needs to be done.
I have a master list of favorite family meals. Each week I take the meals from my master list that I want to prepare that week and simply drag and drop them into the list of the week’s meals.
When I want to try out a new recipe, instead of having to go to Pinterest to find the recipe I can simply add the link to the recipe and have it at hand when I’m ready to prepare the meal.
I can also copy the ingredient list to my grocery list card so when I go to the store I can see exactly what I need.
This is a board that has been so super helpful to stay onto of those school projects. Your kids can list all due dates, create checklists, link to research, and attach photos.
You can monitor their progress and make sure they are staying on top of that big project. If it is a group project it’s a great way for the group to work together without trying to worry about everyone’s schedules. Everything the kids are working on is in one location.
I also have various boards set up for running the blog including an editorial calendar social media and general tasks I am working on.
Since Trello is totally free the easiest way to see whether Trello is for you is to jump on in and create an account and we will walk through setting it up together.
Okay, are you ready? Let’s get started!
If you haven’t set up a Trello account do that now, it’s free and so so easy. Log into Trello.com and click the Green sign-up button in the top right corner. You will be taken to a screen to create your Trello account.
Create Your First Board
After you set up your Trello account, your homepage will display your boards.
Now, you want to create your first board. To get rid of the Welcome Board that comes with Trello, open the board, in the upper right-hand corner click on Show Menu, click on Close Board. You can then permanently delete the board if you want, or click on Trello on the top of your screen to go back to your homepage.
To create your first board simply click on the create new board box, a new box will pop up and where you will type in what you would like to title your board and then click Create. That’s it you’ve created your first board.
From there you will see a menu on the left-hand side. This is where all the fun happens. To start you can change the background of your board by choosing either a different solid color or from the photos provided with Trello.
Create Your First List
Now that your board is set up, you will create your lists within that board. The arrows above, point to the lists on this board.
To create your first list, all you do is click the add list button and start typing the name of your list. How easy is that! You can add as many lists as you want within a board.
From there you can add cards (your action items) to each list.
Every card has a front and a back. The front is what you see when you’re looking at your board as a whole, and the back is what you see when you click on a card.
Each of the arrows points to the front of a card in each list.
This is the back of one of the cards.
You can give a description to the task that was on the front of the card and/or create a checklist of things that need to be done to complete that task.
This is also where you set due dates, add links assign color labels, or invite others to view the board.
Once the task is complete you can archive the card.
Adding a Due Date
I love that you can easily add due dates to the task cards. Simply click on the card and a menu will pop up.
From the menu set a date and time for when a card is “due”. The due date shows up on the front of the card so you can see it without having to click on the card.
Adding Other People
Here is one of the things that make Trello so great, you can add other people to any Trello board and assign tasks to them.
All you need to do is open the menu (click Show Menu), select invite, then enter the email address associated with their Trello account.
You can add members to individual boards. For example, I can add my family members to my home board so they can see what everyone’s schedule is like, but I can keep my other boards private.
Not only can your family see the schedule, you can assign them specific tasks. All you have to do is open the task card and then click on the board member you want to assign the task to.
Starring Your Most Used Boards
Trello automatically arranges your boards alphabetically. However, you can place your most used boards at the top of the screen by starring them. Just hover your mouse over the top right corner of the board, and a star will appear. Click on the star and your board will be pinned to the top.
Once I add tasks to my lists, I like to label them by category so that I know generally what they are at a glance.
To create new labels, you click on Show Menu, More, Labels. You will then see the different colors.
Labels allow you to assign a color to a particular category or person, so when you look at the card, you can see at a glance what it is for. For example, I can have pink to represent my daughter and label and to do’s for her with a pink label so that I don’t have to type her name each time a card appears for her.
This is one of my favorite time-saving features. You can attach photos documents google drive drop box and even links to any card. I use this feature a lot!
In my meal planning board, if I find a recipe I want to try out, I easily attach the link to the back of the card for that meal.
When the kids have a big school project and are doing research, they can attach the link to the research. I attach links to articles I want to link for in a blog post. Photos can be added for inspiration you may be working on.
The possibilities are endless!
Trello comes with what they call “Power-Ups. With the free version, you can unlock one power-up. I use the Calendar power up so that I can visually see my month at a glance. The calendar view is automatically populated with any due dates you have scheduled on your cards.
To Unlock the calendar open the board menu then select Power-Ups. You can see that there are a lot of different power-ups available.
Then, to see this board as a calendar, you will click on Calendar in the upper right corner, next to Show Menu. This wasn’t there before you enabled the calendar.
This is the Calendar view.
If you needed to change a card to another day, all you would need to do is click on it and then drag it to where you want it to be. It changes the date in the card for you! This makes it soooo easy to manage your calendar without having to go in and manually change something whenever something changes!
Drag and Drop
This is one of my absolute favorite features of Trello. To move a task all you have to do is drag and drop it. If you have an appointment that gets re-schedule simply drag the card to the new date.
Let’s say I have a task scheduled for Monday that I wasn’t able to get to. No problem I can look at the rest of my week, and drag and drop that task into the Friday list when I think I may have time to complete the task.
You can choose to use Trello for just about anything. Hands down Trello is my favorite tool to simplify and organize my life. Not only are all your tasks right in front of you, but gone are all those little post-it notes and random scratch notes. Trello helps to free up so much mental space by having everything all in one place.
If you’re feeling like a hot mess when it comes to organizing your life go try Trello
P.S. if you would like to learn more about the It’s My Favorite Day Free Printable Planner, check out this post here! or sign up below to get immediate access to the Guide.
As always, live simply, live intentionally and make each day your Favorite day!