Staying organized when you have a lot going on can be a task to itself. I have tried things from ticketing systems to calendars and it seems my tasks are just too varied to fit everything. I usually end up falling back to the simple To-Do list in Notepad++ after things get too complicated. While Workflowy worked pretty well for a while, at some point it dropped off. The latest tool I’m trying is Trello and it seems promising.
Trello seems promising for me based on the fact that it allows you to focus easier and manage tracking information by only showing what is relevant. Trello uses a concept for organization that goes from Board to List to Card, a paradigm called kanban. You can have multiple boards. You could create a new board to organize a different topic. A list exists on a board. By default, you start with three lists: To Do, Doing, and Done. On each list, you can add cards. Cards are basically each individual task or note.
In the default example, you might have a board for ‘Chores’ and on it, you create a card that says ‘Mow the lawn’ and you place it on the To Do List. When you’re ready to go mow, you move the Card from To Do to Doing. Then, when you complete the yardwork, you move the task to the Done list. When you are done with the information, you can click on the ‘Mow the lawn’ card’s drop-down and choose to archive the card so you don’t have to see it all the time.
You aren’t stuck with the Welcome board or the default To Do, Doing, Done lists. You can rename the Lists as you like or create other boards to organize things however you need to.
You can color-code cards with labels, assign due dates, and attach files or images from your computer or Google Drive. You can also work well with others by making a board public, or creating an organization for people to join, or just keeping it to yourself. If you share the board in an organization, you can then assign Cards to people for them to take care of it. You can also subscribe to either Boards, Lists, or Cards to be notified when things change.
So far, I like Trello. It’s simple but complex enough to allow all sorts of flexibility. It has an iOS and Android app which makes it easier to take with me than some other apps or even just portable webpages. CPUsage recently shared how the company is using Trello for their project management.
Trello is free and so far it seems to be working with whatever I throw at it. As long as I can stay interested in managing my tasks through Trello, whether on my desktop or phone, my productivity should improve and I should feel less like I’m forgetting something. Perhaps I could just get fewer things on my plate…