Last updated: July 5th, 2019
The most common calendar setup used widely in Trello is an editorial calendar. At least, that’s what I come across most, when I browse through Pinterest.
And I understand why an editorial calendar makes a lot of sense for bloggers. It’s a planning instrument for them. Tracking the status of article and blog post production helps a lot of us to remain sane.
I have come across way too many “Editorial Calendar Posts” by now that didn’t impress me very much. Mostly, because they were all manual creations. Since I am pretty much into workflows and how to create Trello boards that do intelligent tasks on their own, I’d love to see this also for Trello boards. (Update: I have now created a post exclusively on automated editorial calendars!)
Why are so many people using Trello for their calendar applications?
Perhaps, people find it somewhat spectacular, because Trello, by design, is a project management tool and running a calendar on it seems a bit odd, at first. As it turns out, an classic editorial calendar is super easy to set up. And when you connect it with Trello’s Calendar Power-Up, it makes this Kanban-style tool look like a real calendar and dealing with a pleasure.
— So, that are probably the main reasons why editorial calendars receive so rave reviews.
Now that I talked so much about editorial calendar, I need to disappoint you for a moment. This post is actually about another type of calendar that is way less common. (Yet.) But nevertheless, it is an incredibly useful application! And people who have downloaded my Workflow Kit for Rolling Calendar are actually proud and pretty happy with it. – But first things first.
Today, I am going to introduce the ROLLING CALENDAR to you!
A Rolling Calendar is an awesome solution and a wonderful helper in all matters business!
The Rolling Calendar is a calendar that works as a moving calendar.
A pre-defined timeframe “rolls” in continuously, holding recurring tasks as well as one-time tasks that can be rolled over into the next day when they weren’t finished.
With the classic calendar views when you use a desktop or web calendar application, you can usually switch between weekly, two-weekly or monthly views.
I appreciate these views when I need an overview of how full my plates already are.
But I also learned to appreciate the advantages a rolling calendar brings.
How a Rolling Calendar works
I mentioned before that a rolling calendar is a moving calendar. It moves between time frames.
Imagine, you have some kind of static time frame: 5 days, 10 days, 21 days – anything you like – and your rolling calendar moves in this time frame, and day by day it rolls over to the next date indication. In any time frame, the list of the most recent day (today) is being archived at the end of the day and a new list (at the end of the timeframe) is being created.
Time frames can be set up for weekdays. If that’s how you prefer to schedule your work.
But you could also include weekends.
And basically, you can make it any duration you want. But I would recommend you keep it manageable.
The possibilities are many.
The way it looks in Trello is that lists are used as a container for one day.
By automation routine, the day’s list is created every day, early in the morning. And all unfinished tasks from the previous day are rolled over into this new day’s list.
Contrary to a classic calendar application, you don’t have to move the tasks in your calendar yourself. It is done automatically at the end of the day.
But more importantly, you don’t have to engage with the emotional aspect of not having finished everything during the day. Because you know how it goes … sometimes we are way too optimistic about what IS achievable in one day, and then something (or someone) else crosses our plans and our to-do lists never seem to get shorter.
With a rolling calendar, incomplete tasks are automatically rolled into the next day. You don’t have to wrangle with this nagging emotional feeling of the destructive program called “not being good enough”. Too many of us carry that burden around.
Simply admit that you cannot control everything that you come across in life.
We all need to remain flexible in some way or the other. And a rolling calendar is a pretty good tool to help with such a mindset shift.
What makes a Rolling Calendar so special?
There are a few aspects of a rolling calendar that I would like to emphasize. Here’s what makes it so worth using for me:
1. Setting up checklists with recurring tasks on a daily basis – and have them added automatically to each calendar day. And these can be different checklists for each weekday.
2. Scheduling recurring tasks is simple and you have way more options for customization than in a standard calendar application.
3. Open it on your phone or tablet, and change / adjust/set up new or existing tasks
4. Add notes, attachments, URLs to cards as you normally would and collect useful information to your tasks on-the-go.
5. Share a task or the whole board with others, and use it as a collaboration tool if it suits your project’s purpose.
6. Copy tasks over to other boards – or – copy tasks from other boards into your Rolling Calendar (that’s called cross-board functionality, and I will make a big dive into this feature in my next blog post!)
How to Build a Rolling Calendar
First and foremost, what you need is a Trello account. Unfortunately, a free account isn’t enough since you need a variety of commands within the Butler Power-Up which isn’t available for free accounts. Therefore, you’ll need at least a Gold account with Trello.
Secondly, you need to enable the Butler Power-Up on this Trello board.
Thirdly, you want to get one of the Workflow Kits for a Rolling Calendar application.
Currently, I offer 3 different setups in my shop:
These Workflow Kits comes with a set of predefined and tested commands that enable you to quickly build a Rolling Calendar in Trello in the specific time-frame.
What makes these Workflow Kits so useful, are the features that I have built into them:
✧ AUTOMATED CALENDAR SETUP ✧
☛ Absolutely essential. Comes with 3 different time frame setups and adjustable time format settings.
✧ RECURRING TASKS ✧
☛ Non-negotiable for a Rolling Calendar to make sense. Recurring tasks can be set up according to one’s needs.
✧ HOUSEKEEPING ✧
☛ Is usually a nice-to-have and depends a lot on individual preferences. One of the housekeeping commands is essential for the board to work. The other ones are optional, and you can, of course, add your personal chores.
✧ INBOX ✧
☛ An optional feature. With it, you can have tasks send into your rolling calendar by email or a 3rd party automation tool. Simply use the board’s individual Email-to-board-Settings to set it up.
When you enable Trello’s Calendar Power-Up, you can use the well-known monthly or weekly views for cards that have a due date added. And that’s where you come full circle with the calendar views you might be used to. But of course, that’s optional. For me, it was never that important.
I have praised the benefits and advantages of such a Rolling Calendar.
But everything has also disadvantages, no doubt. So here is something that you may want to consider before you make your choice:
When you use a Rolling Calendar, there is no look back.
Because of its inherent feature of moving unfinished tasks over to the next day, you cannot have a look back at past days.
Also, finished tasks, get archived the day they are marked as complete. They literally disappear in the depths of your Trello board. Whilst you can restore them, it does require a little bit of effort.
Another beautiful aspect of a Rolling Calendar is that it can be customized in ways that really suit any working style.
The possibilities of what can be created with Butler for Trello are endless. Literally. Once you get the hang on it and learn how to set things up yourself (and hey, it’s not that hard because its programming language is plain English!), you can realize the most impressive workflows!
When I recently developed a new Workflow Kit that allows using multiple project boards along with a Master board (another awesome cross-board feature), I was also pondering how to tie that in with a Rolling Calendar. That would be such a cool feature! Imagine, having a bunch of project boards that “report” open & actionable tasks into a Master board, which then – on demand – mirror these tasks into a Rolling Calendar. That could be such a time-saver …