About three months ago, my friend Tom Williams introduce me to a nifty little tool called Trello.
Since that time, it’s been THE only project management tool in my vast arsenal of mobile and desktop apps. Trello has made it’s way into the habits of my daily working and personal routines. The result? I’m more productive and have much better clarity around the tasks I need to complete and the progress that is being made.
Today, I want to introduce you to Trello by sharing some ideas on how this great tool can fit into the daily habits of content marketers.
Trello is a software as a service collaboration tool that helps users organize projects into boards and then collaborate in real time on the work the project requires. In one glance, Trello tells you what’s being worked on, who’s working on what, and where something is in a process. It’s fun to use, easy to understand and completely flexible.
Outside of the few occasional bugs that you might come to expect with start up software products, Trello preforms well and has been very dependable — at least in my experience as a user thus far.
How Trello Works
Rather than type a long description, this video will give you a very nice overview of how Trello has been built, it’s features and the basic overview of features.
Tips for Using Trello for Content Marketing and Editorial Management
In managing the editorial process for TKGenius and other content pieces we’re working on at TKG, I’ve been able to experiment with a few different ways of setting up Trello cards to keep projects moving.
The greatest thing about this tool is that it’s completely flexible and can meet the unique needs and preferences of any user, so fon’t be afraid to experiment on your own.
Here are 7 things to keep in mind that will help you get the most out of using Trello for content marketing task management:
- Start with a “Big Projects” column. I’ve found that starting with one column that’s dedicated to cards that contain bigger and more complex projects allows me to create tasks lists inside those projects, and then promote each separate task as a new card during the day or week I plan to tackle that phase of the project.
- Create a new “Completed” column on a weekly basis. Creating a completed column helps me stay aware of what’s been accomplished over the course of that week. As the length of the column grows, I start to feel better about what;’s been accomplished each day. I can also archive the list at the end of each week so that I can go back and reference the progression of tasks for reporting to management.
- Keep your total number of “Boards” limited. This is a big one. Be careful to avoid the urge to start a new board for every separate project. The cards are robust enough to keep projects isolated there. Rather, look at your boards as categories of your life or work. For instance, I have 8 different columns set up on my main Trello dashboard. Each of these columns represent difference aspects of my life, jobs and other work, and all are constantly visible in a single dashboard view which helps me keep my tasks top of mind.
- Remember to subscribe to the cards for which you want to stay updated. Trello allows any user to subscribe to specific boards or cards and then receive email updates as things change or in anthology-style emails at intervals the user can select. Subscribing to these updates can be very handy in eliminating silos and keeping projects moving.
- Learn to use task lists, and save and repurpose common lists. I had mentioned the use of a ‘Big Projects’ tab above. Trello‘s task lists are what make that possible. In each card, the user has the ability to create and title lists of action items. Each of the action items can then be promoted as a unique card in the list if the user desires. It’s a very handy feature, but I do wish the Trello folks would leave the action item as a stricken task once the task has been promoted. Task lists also can be pre-defined and work to track percentage of completion as action items are marked off.
- Trello and Google Drive work together like peanut butter and jelly. A lot of small and medium sized businesses have become Google Business users. One of Google’s anchor products for this is Google Drive — essentially the search giant’s competitor to apps like Dropbox. Trello fully integrates with Google Drive allowing you to easily link and share Google docs without bogging down hard drive space.
- Color-code your cards by urgency. Trello offers a very flexible color coding feature on cards. I use this to code the urgency of each tasks or project which allows me to quickly focus on what’s most important. You can choose up to five colors and give them custom text titles to remind yourself what each color represents.
Would Trello Work for You?
Based on what I have shared here, are you curious about Trello? If so, go sign up for a free account today. Like a lot of cloud-based apps, Trello may not be free forever so get in early.
Which one of the tips above hits a pain point for you in your project management responsibilities?