Free Tools! Get Organized with Trello

A year ago, a colleague at a contract job turned me on to Trello project management. I’ve been a daily user ever since.

Trello is an easy yet powerful and flexible organizational tool from enterprise software giant Atlassian.

The tool centers around the metaphor of boards, kind of like whiteboards or bulletin boards. Each board can hold multiple lists. Every list can hold multiple cards. Cards have multiple fields including an area for ongoing comments. You can drag lists and cards around boards to rearrange and re-prioritize.

One easy configuration that works for many projects is a single board with lists labelled

  • Resources
  • To-Do
  • Doing
  • Done
  • Questions / Issues

I used a board with this organization to collaborate with a remote graphic designer in redesigning a website.

Trello Does More Than Project Management

The list-of-lists nature of Trello means it can do many things. It can hold your team’s information and meeting notes, making it a type of wiki. Or, you can use a board to create an online manual. Each list works like a chapter, with each card a chapter section. If you can imagine it, the tool probably supports it. The company offers plenty of ideas for how to use the tool. Check out their inspiration page.

If there’s not a built-in feature to do what you want, Trello supports dozens of applications and integrations to extend and connect to other parts of your organization. They call these Power Ups. For example, you can integrate Google Calendar with Trello to create editorial calendars.

With multiple categories of Power Ups including connections to other popular free software such as Box, Slack, SurveyMonkey, MailChimp, OneDrive, Join.Me, Zapier, and more, Trello can easily become the hub of your department, company, agency, or nonprofit.

The free version of Trello is great but of course you can pay for even more features and greatness.

During the past year, I’ve gotten more meaningful work done than maybe any preceding year. I’ve done Trello project management for paid work, for my volunteer projects, and even for organizing my personal work such as this blog.

If you’re looking for free, easy organization at work or home, check out Trello.

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