One of the major issues I see people have when approaching Trello is, what you can actually do with it.
“What are you using Trello for?”, is what users ask others, eager for inspirations of a nice, neat construct that would really make a difference in how to organize ideas and information.
Sure, you can set up boards with the classic To-Do/Doing/Done-style, that Trello promotes regularly itself.
With it, you can create boards for all kinds of private projects, like planning a vacation, organizing a wedding or an apartment change. You can use it for a job search or plan any other mysterious project X.
The point is just … it is rarely more than a buildup of notes, snippets, links or files.
To be clear here, that is already a value or an achievement in itself. I don’t want to badmouth it. It’s still better than being totally disorganized.
There is no intelligence behind it. There is a clear structure missing, that with conscious application of rules and commands would transform the accumulation of snippets into a system.
QUESTION: How many boards encompass your Trello Empire?
After the 50th board, you get to this point where you ask yourself:
“What am I going to do with all this stuff now?”
“How am I going to make sense to all my collections?”
Access the various articles in this series here:
The Next Level
Using Trello to organize your business or professional projects, rather sooner than later brings you in a position where you wish for productivity enhancements. The integration of 3rd party web apps, for instance, could help to sync and process information, that you otherwise would have to copy in. Or, the automation of certain manual tasks can bring significant time savings.
There are a few dozen Power-Ups available in Trello, that help you with connecting to other web apps you are already using. Many Trello users have Twitter, MailChimp, or Dropbox in their toolkit. And whilst I consider some of these Power-Ups in Trello still a bit limited in the real benefits they bring, there is one that stands out and shines brightly.
When I came across Butler for Trello, I realized I finally had found a way to connect the dots. I quickly learned how to use Butler for Trello, and I was now able to create workflows and applications inside my boards that REALLY helped me to work better, plan better, and keep track of open tasks. Everything seemed to be achievable again, and the overwhelm that occasionally had knocked me out is gone and hasn’t returned since.
So today, I want to share some of the Trello boards I am using as systems for my own business.
It might be that due to a different setup, you cannot apply my ideas 1:1 onto your board(s). But there is so much flexibility and adaptability available with this tool, that you surely can find a way to make it work for you.
If you want to learn more how to set up automated project management boards in Trello, you could enroll in my free online course! This course teaches the basics of Butler for Trello. And it also introduces a number of board systems and shows you in a guided workshop how to set up commands for your Trello boards. It’s really a no-brainer, so come over!
Automated Project Management in Trello – 3 Options
1. Rolling Calendar
The Rolling Calendar Board Setup that works as a moving calendar. A pre-defined time frame “rolls” in continuously, holding recurrent tasks as well as one-time tasks that can be rolled over into the next day if they were not finished.
The time frames used for a Rolling Calendar can be many. For instance, you could use:
- a 5-day-weekday time frame
- a 7-day-weekday + weekend time frame
- a 10-day time frame (weekday with or without weekend days)
- weekly, monthly or even yearly time frames
Lists in this board setup are automatically created, named with the timestamp of your choice, and archived automatically.
The Rolling Calendar is an automated project management application in such, that it not only changes the daily lists automatically. It can also schedule recurring tasks on intervals of your choice.
For instance, you might set up commands with Butler for Trello that set up a task on every second Tuesday to send off your Newsletter. Or, every month on the 30th, to check your Business Analytics KPIs.
Every routine you have developed or want to develop, can be set up as a command and automatically placed in this Rolling Calendar.
Would you like to learn how to set up a Rolling Calendar for yourself?
From students of my free online course “How to Automate your Trello Boards with Butler for Trello“, I received quite some feedback that a Trello board setup of a Rolling Calendar would be very appreciated.
That’s why I created a Workflow Kit with predefined, tested and verified commands and features that sets up a Rolling Calendar.
A Rolling Calendar can come in many forms. Above I already pointed out the various time frames. And that’s certainly the most obvious difference to think of. But there is much more, and that’s why I needed to set everything up in a way that the commands that automatically build the calendar construct, need to be easy to adjust and intuitive to work with.
There’s a PDF tutorial included in the Workflow Kit for Rolling Calendar that explains its features, its setup and gives plenty of information how to adapt and customize the setup to individual needs. This should enable you to set up the calendar board without any external help.
2. Master-Client Boards
The Master-Client board type is a type of board that is particularly useful when you use a number of boards for different kind of tasks. Instead of having to check every single board for possible due cards or tasks, you can look at the Master board! It holds all your recent and future tasks and syncs back to the board of origin.
This setup is a favorite for those with client work.
Imagine, a board where you can see everything of what’s going on with all of your clients – at a glance! That’s a massive productivity enhancer. I am using this myself, and I cannot imagine going back to my old system.
The way it works is, that each of your clients gets its own board. In the example above, you see three different client boards, each split up with various task categories. Each client can add tasks (cards) and comments to a task in each category. Or, you as the Master could also add these tasks.
In a first step, the card would be copied over to the Master board, whereby labels play a significant role in this setup.
Then, any comments or attachments added to the card would be synced with its duplicate card on the Master’s board, along with a time stamp for tracking. // You never know 🙂
In my up-coming online course AUTOMATED MASTER-CLIENT BOARDS FOR ENTREPRENEURS, I am teaching how to set up such a Master-Client board setup with four different features:
- Copy-Card Logic with Linked Cards
- Card Mirroring System
- Due Date Notification System
Having such a Master-Client system in place, was an incredible relief for me. I only had to use one single board and could see immediately what tasks were coming from what clients. Also, being able to see in one place what responses, feedback, and questions I got for those tasks, simplified the communication process a lot.
Because the Master board holds all of your active client projects, there is, of course, the danger that you could be overwhelmed. If you have 5 clients with 20 tasks each, it’s not hard to imagine that setting up a sudden due date could easily slip through your fingers. To prevent that, I have created a Due Date Notification System that allows you to see due cards the moment you open the board.
3. Online Course Development Board
Because I am working on creating several online courses, I started developing a system that would help me to smoothen the creation process. With Butler for Trello, I was able to set up a few features to keep track of modules and sessions, and also on my performance of videos and downloadable files.
I did a video with a sneak peek at how I set up an online course development board, and you can watch it below.
And of course, such a development board could be adjusted for all kinds of info products that require a decent share of planning and follow-through. But an online course is quite a project that I found worth to develop an automated project management control for. So, if you are interested in learning this, I invite you to sign up for this mailing list. Everyone on this mailing list will be informed once new products or freebies are available.
Over to You
What kind of Trello board are you going to automate first? Are you planning to create something new, something unique? Or, are you rather tip-toeing, intending to implement one feature after the other, and letting your board grow?
If you have an adventurous spirit and want to learn as you go, get inspired by various other possibilities and new examples, you may consider to join me on Patreon to be the first in queue to receive tips, tricks, articles & tutorials.