Up until last week, I kept my to-do list in Google Docs along with my grocery list and ideas for tweets. But then I was introduced to Trello, and that all changed.
Trello is a free, cross-platform application that helps you organize your life. It’s a cross between a to-do list scribbled on a napkin and a Pinterest board. It’s great for collaborating on a project with coworkers, putting together a wish-list for remodeling your kitchen, planning a vacation, or making a Netflix to-watch list.
You create boards, each of which can either be private, public, or shared with certain people. Each board has one or more lists. Every item on the list is called a “card”. If you click on a card, you or any of your collaborators can add a comment.
For example, your “Office To-Do” board can have a separate list for things you need to have done by the end of the day, week, and month. If you have a card for “Call Fred,” you can comment on the card with Fred’s phone number and the times of day he’s available.
On the surface, Trello can just be a simple place to keep all your lists. But it has the power to be much more than that!
Cards can carry more than comments. Each card can also have a checklist, a colored label, and an attachment. Checklists are great for tasks that have multiple steps; labels can work for marking the urgency of an item or assigning the task to a team member; and, as they say, a picture is worth a thousand words.
There are also advanced features, called “power ups,” which allow you vote on cards, see a calendar with due dates, or make the cards fade over time.
Ready to dive in? Here’s a board of templates you can use to get started.