Recently a client asked me about a project management tool he could implement with his team. It needed to be free and intuitive to use to secure the approval of his procurement department. My mind immediately thought of Trello. Having used Basecamp, Asana, and myriad task managers, I recommended Trello due to its task-based workflow and blank canvas approach. When you open Trello, there is a board and a prompt to create a List for your tasks which are represented as cards. I label my lists as ‘To Do,’ ‘Doing,’ and ‘Done.’ Once I have the various lists setup I then move to create cards for each one.

Cards can be individually opened to reveal a wealth of options. I can add a description, create a checklist, assign it to a person, add a comment, label it, and set a due date.

Once a card has been started, I move it from To Do to the Doing list. The process of moving cards across each column gives me a high-level overview of the progress made on the project. I also move cards vertically within the To Do and Doing lists indicate task priority. I typically go beyond the three lists mentioned earlier and add team members, resources, and tools. For example, I’ll add a ‘task’ for each member of the project team along with their contact information. Resource cards can include briefs or contracts to speed up the onboarding process, under tools l detail the required applications and workflows. These cards do not move across lists, but I may adjust the importance as needed vertically.

The beauty of Trello is that it so successfully replicates the concept of arranging post-it notes on a whiteboard but will all the advantages of a digital tool, specifically the task management and collaboration features. Misc. Notes:

  • You can change the background image on your product board.
  • The mobile apps for Android and iOS are very good. Information is kept in sync between devices.