Are you looking for a way to systemize and streamline your online business?
Are you currently using a project management software but find it to be more of an added complication?
What if there was a way to simplify your blogging workflow, increase your productivity, and save money?
There is a way, and it’s called Trello.
However, it can also be AWESOME because every so often, I stumble upon something that takes my efficiency and productivity to the next level.
Trello is one of those apps, and I love it.
What Trello Is
If you read the Trello homepage, you will see that it’s “the free, flexible, and visual way to organize anything with anyone.”
This is such an apt description because that’s exactly what it does. If you have a blog, Trello can help with organization and management. If you have a team, Trello enables you to create processes and systems that organize your team and help it run smoothly.
Trello is built around the Kanban method, a system used to increase efficiency and productivity in teams. The Kanban method involves a visual process that outlines the incremental steps needed to take place for a task to be completed.
It was inspired by the Toyota Production System, where to build a car; it would have to go through specific, outlined stages to get from start to finish. At each stage, a new part/component is added and in the end, you are left with a beautifully finished product.
How Trello Works
Trello uses three important components: cards, lists, and boards. Here is how each functions:
- Cards: a task that needs to be worked on
- Lists: a stage in a process
- Board: a collection of lists in the order that the task needs to be completed.
For a simple illustration of how this works, let's take a look at my “To Do” Board.
On that board, you can see that there are four lists: Ideas, To Do, Doing, and Done. Whenever I have an idea for my business, I add it as a card in my “Ideas” list. Once I’ve decided that I’m going to work on that project, I add it to my “To Do” list.
When I start working on the task, I move it to my “Doing” list, and when I’m finished, it gets moved to “Done.”
This is a simple illustration of how Trello works. By having a board with multiple lists arranged in a specific sequence, I’m able to make sure that everything that needs to get done gets done.
Whenever a card is added to a list, you have the option of adding a checklist. This checklist can include a list of tasks that need to be completed before moving a card to another list.
For example, in order to prepare one of my articles for publication on my blog, my assistant needs to copy the article to WordPress, format the post, add images, and do a number of things so that the article can look as good as this article does.
All of these tasks can be added as a checklist, and that checklist can be reused for similar tasks in the future.
Trello’s Team Features
Also, if someone on your team handles a specific task, you can add them to the card that represents that task so that they receive updates and notifications. As they move the card through the workflow, you get notified and are always up to date on the status of the task.
If there’s a question or comment about a specific task, they can always respond in the comment section of each card.
Example Trello Boards
I currently have four trello board set up for my business, and I’d like to share them with you an example of how it can be used in your business.
Weekly Plan Board
I like to start each week with a master list of tasks or projects that I’d like to accomplish that week. This gives me a good overview of where I need to spend my energy.
This board consists of four lists: To get done, doing, get done today, and done. All of the tasks I’ll be working on during a specific week start in the “To get done” list.
Once I start working on something, I move it to the “doing” list and/or if I plan on having that project completed by the end of the day, I move it to “Get done today”.
When I’ve finished the project, I move it to the “Done” list.
Every podcast episode that’s produced for the Learning With Leslie podcast goes through a number of stages before going live on my blog.
If I’m conducting an interview, I have my assistant research the guest. Once I’ve decided on a title for the episode, she can start creating the images.
Once I’ve actually recorded the episode, she creates the downloadable transcript, adds resources links, and prepares the blog post for publication.
Once I’ve reviewed her work, the podcast is ready to be scheduled and will eventually go live on my blog.
Here's a video walkthrough of how we use Trello for my podcast episodes. The process has changed slightly, but the concept is still the same:
Articles published on this blog need to go through a careful editorial process to ensure quality. To facilitate this, we have a Trello board with the process outline.
When I write my articles, I do not edit. Because I want to be extremely productive with my time, I simply write the article from beginning to end in a Google doc file.
That article then gets worked on by my editor (Damaris) to ensure that it meets my editorial guidelines. She checks my grammar and spelling. All of her changes are done in “Suggesting mode” so that they are tracked.
Once she’s done, I go through and approve her edits and pass the article on to my assistant, Noemi, who adds the article to the blog and prepares it for publication. Lastly, Noemi schedules the article for the next available publication date.
What About You?
Do you use Trello in your business? If so, what kinds of boards are you using? If not, do you think that this is a useful tool for you? Let me know in the comments below.