As a writer, you need tools to help manage your tasks and your time. Trello is the tool that I use on a daily basis. I have the app on my phone and I have it open on my computer all the time. It’s useful for collaborating with others and just to use for my own needs. After using it for almost a year, I feel more confident in sharing this Trello review.
During the review I’ll look at the ways that I use Trello personally. These are insights into my daily schedule and life to see how I manage my tasks and plan my writing. You’ll see how I stay on top with my deadlines, track my ideas and pitches, and more.
This is an update from my post back in April 2016 when I first started using Trello for my writing business.
Easier Collaboration with My Clients
I now try to encourage all my clients to use Trello. It’s not always possible and some prefer to use Google Docs (which is good as well) but I prefer Trello. There’s one reason for that: it’s something I can personalise more than Google Docs.
My husband has even created an account and we’ll be collaborating together through it very soon. But for now, it’s my private writing clients and for my own blog and pitching needs.
Trello makes collaboration easy. You can manage multiple people through the same boards and open up separate boards for separate needs. I’ve found that I can have a small number of clients on one board to plan out tasks and share updates, while on another I have the tasks for specific clients where they can invite their other team members.
This is all through the free account, too! There’s no need for me to pay money for the stuff that I need Trello to do. For those who are setting up a bootstrap website, this is definitely a tool that you need.
Multiple Colors to Assign to Clients and Boards
It’s much easier to track the board I’m on based on the color. You can set up different colors for your board, so each client’s board gets a different color. While there are limited colors, you’ll find that there should be enough to go around.
Colors are easier for me to track. I like assigning colors, so that I can glance and just see which client has new updates and who I’m working on next. Even the drop down menu at the side includes the colors to help with the management.
And you are notified when there’s been a change to one of the boards. On the board itself you get a grey dot but on the drop down menu that dot is bright blue.
It is possible to “star” the boards, which means that they stick at the top of the page. These are the boards that have priority. Right now I don’t have any, but I put them up there when there is something urgent that I need to work on.
Add Due Dates to Your Cards to Manage Your Tasks
As I mentioned at the start of this Trello review, I use the site to manage my tasks. This is made possible with the calendar feature. I’m able to assign a “due date” to the card. That will sit clearly on the top of the card and just underneath the card name. It’s possible to just glance and see if there are any upcoming tasks that are due.
When the due date passes, as it has in the example below (just an example, by the way), then the due date goes red. It is possible to remove the due date quickly with the calendar function.
I use this to set up the plan of attack for my writing ideas. There will be times that I get an idea that I have to run with as soon as possible. It’s either timely or something that works with a piece of content that I’ve written recently.
Once I’ve finished the work, I’ll attach the document to the card and even a link to the blog post that was written. This is my way of making it clear to myself that it is published and where it is published. Should I need to check up on it on a later date, I can see it quickly.
If there are a few tasks to do for a card and you want to take your time, it’s possible to set up a checklist. You tick the checklist off one step at a time and you’ll see a strike through appear.
It’s possible to archive cards once I’ve finished with them. Then the cards can be permanently deleted if necessary.
Use Different Boards for Different Blogs
You could choose to use different boards for different blogs, like you would clients. I like to keep all my writing ideas in the one board for easier management. That board then has different cards for the different blog posts and places to write.
This helps me track my writing ideas and create some sort of plan for attack. When I’m planning out my month in my Plans+Things weekly planner, I just need to find the right board for the blog that I’m planning for. Then I can find a range of ideas that work for my needs.
Some of my clients prefer to keep one blog per board. They then have a “Planned Topics,” “To Do,” “Pending Editing,” and “Pending Publishing” section. For other clients I’ll set up a “Paid” section for all the work that has already been paid for.
You can actually organize the “paid” and “unpaid” through the use of the labels on the board. These are colors that sit clearly on the board to make it easy to see at a glance what needs doing with the cards. Choose a color that is important to you when you have a high priority card on a board.
Trello Review: The Organization Site for Your Writing Needs
As a writer, you need a place to plan out your week and manage your tasks. Trello is the place for me. I can manage tasks for clients, for myself, and track my pitches to publications. This is the quickest way for me to keep track of my time and my finances. Trello is just so easy to get used to—it took me a matter of days to understand what I needed to do.
Do you use Trello for your writing plan and tasks? Share your views below. If you don’t use it, tell me what you use instead.