I have 2 jobs at the university, one at the Department of International Development and one here at the Botnar. Having spent time as a “yummy mummy” I returned to work part time. As the children grew older, we needed less time together and they demanded more materialistic love, so I got a 2nd part time job. Trello helps me to remember what I should be doing. I enjoy the simple pleasure of placing cards into the done column.
What is trello?
Trello is a visual online tool for organising anything. Trello is modular and so can be used for anything that you would mentally break into chunks. You can create multiple boards, so one for each project. You create lists and then within the lists you create cards. Lists are used to represent a workflow process or stream of work. A card represents a task. Cards can contain as little as a title or you can add the following items:
- Coloured labels to help categorise
- Attachments or links
- Due date
Cards can be allocated to people and so are a good way to allocate and manage work in a team.
How to use it?
Trello is free to use (https://trello.com/en-GB) and online so can be used across devices, there is an app! Create an account and then start using it. It’s intuitive so no manual is required.
How do I use it?
I use it as a to-do list. In my role I work on multiple trials and so I have a list for each trial. On each list are the tasks that I need to do for the trial. I use the trial lists as a repository for future tasks. I also have an in-progress list, this has the tasks I will be doing this week. At the end of the week I will re-arrange this to make sure I have the tasks with the highest priority here. I find this especially useful, having 2 jobs, means I’m not in every day so it’s easy to forget what is current. I also add notes for myself in the description of the task to remind me where I am up to if I am half way through a task before leaving the office. My last list is a done list, this is where I move completed tasks to. I could probably just remove the card but it’s nice to keep a record. For any recurring tasks, requiring multiple parts, I will add a checklist so I can keep track of where I am.
How do other people use it?
The first time I was introduced to Trello was during the development of a new web application. The team managed projects using AGILE project management and so it was set up with sprints and tasks were allocated to team members. The team manager could easily see what everybody was working on and the client had full visibility of priorities. We were able to prioritise the upcoming tasks. I then took over the project and used the board with an external developer who was based at home. It was a useful way to communicate what was being worked on and what could be signed off and moved onto the live site.
If you look at the inspirational Trello boards in the links below you will see that people use them in many ways. There are Trello boards which list recipes, plan trips, training manuals, home projects like moving house or work projects containing policies. It is an incredibly flexible tool. There are also plugins that you can install to add functionality, like phone apps e.g. add a tool to display maps, calendar tools…