The quest (I’m all about quests lately ain’t I?) for the perfect organisation/productivity tool feels like a never ending battle.
As soon as you have one well-oiled system running, a new one comes along and flaunts it’s benefits in your baffled face.
l think it’s just part of the human condition.
The type-A human condition maybe.
Now, it is of course all dependent on what your current needs are, when deciding which productivity tools to use (or to ditch).
Mine have definitely evolved over the years (particularly after going freelance in 2013) and naturally, the tools I use have to evolve with it.
l loved Kanbanflow for the longest time, when all l needed was a neat, visual way to organise my to-do’s and more things around easily.
It was totally free, never pushy with upgrades or premium tools… just a simple, agile, online app that helped me organise my to-do’s.
But when I started to want to go deeper; add attachments, make notes, multiple checklists, categorise tasks… I had to look elsewhere.
That’s roughly the same time Trello entered my life.
I came across it because a client was using it to organise his projects, and added me as a contributor. I started using it, and was amazed at how quickly I adapted to using it.
(Definitely nothing to do with me – when I first got an iPhone I cried because I couldn’t work out how to turn it on. Not a quick learner here.)
It was everything Kanbanflow was…
… and then some.
Anyway, I could go on about the cool features it has (including a mascot husky called Taco), but I’m not trying to sell you on Trello (I’m not getting paid to write this!)
I do however, want to explain how I Trello to organise my life – specifically, my blogging life.
1) Use one board to rule them all
You can create multiple ‘boards’ on Trello – which I do (more on that later). But for me, it’s all about having one main board.
It’s my Weekly Planner which I do pretty much everything in though. Having one main board allows me to see all my tasks in the almighty… calendar view.
You can switch between the standard list view to a calendar view – which shows your tasks (but only after you’ve set a due date).
Of course this can look pretty overwhelming, and that’s when filter mode comes in.
With the filter mode, you can view tasks by label.
I should explain labels. Labels let you assign colours (which you can name) to tasks on a board.
I’m highly visual when it comes to organisation (erm, who isn’t?) so these help get things straight when I look at a task and can’t remember if I’m referring to a post for my Cat Food blog, or Catillest’s blog and so on.
They’re also great for setting the urgency of a task. For example: red = urgent, orange = up next, green = in progress, grey = backburner (aka never gonna happen…)
2) Organise your task lists
All tasks fall under lists, and you can have as many lists on a board as you want.
I like to keep it to 4-5 lists, which happens to be the amount I can see at once on my laptop screen. Anything more starts to get overwhelming.
Currently, mine are set like this:
I’ve also organised my lists into days, because I tend to do certain tasks on certain days (roughly though, because every week – or day – can be so different!)
Currently it’s something like: Mondays and Wednesdays are for creative and technical tasks, Tuesdays and Thursdays are for research and writing, Friday is admin and planning the next week, Saturdays are social media and promotion, Sundays for contacting people. Roughly.
But I worked out I didn’t need to do things this way because of the nifty calendar view, which can be seen by month, or by week.
3) Use a board for a blogging calendar
You know how tip #1 was all about having one key board? Well, I still have others.
By having a separate board for blogging, I can organise lists into the topics I blog about.
Within the lists, I can add my post ideas as I have them.
Then, when it comes to writing, I can just go to my blogging board, set some due dates and go into calendar mode.
And there you have an automatic (and free) blogging calendar! No paid-for unnecessary tools here 😉 (and before you say ‘Google cal’ – I like to keep this free for actual activities, rather than blog posts – otherwise my head explodes).
You can do cool things within the tasks too – so if all your tasks are post ideas, you can create checklists (eg. research more on something, create your post images…) as well as attach files.
(Top tip: you can copy lists from other (asks so you don’t have to write this stuff out repeatedly! I know – thank me in the comments)
So there you have it – how Trello rules my life now.