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Note from Lisa: As a busy mom boss, I’m always looking for ways to keep things in order for both my business and my household. So when Tara asked if she could share how she uses Trello to stay organized, I knew it’d be a solid post. She definitely has some great ideas, and I’m so happy to share them with you now.
Take it away Tara…
Laundry, cleaning, meal planning, sports schedules, shopping, party planning, medical appointments, and birthday gifts. If you’re a mom you probably recognize that list because it’s just a fraction of the things we have to manage and do on any given day.
If you manage a business then add in things like writing blog posts, emails, and social media posts, creating products and planning these things out ahead of time so you’re not scrambling at the last minute.
If you are a mom AND a business owner, your list of things to do and manage is probably a mile long!
After I had my blog for a while I knew that I had to have a streamlined system to keep me on track of both my blog and my home. I tried to find the perfect planner for me and realized it just doesn’t exist! And plus, I just didn’t like to carry around a paper planner with me anymore. I had enough to remember!
The one tool that I have with me 99.9% of the time is my phone. I was already using the digital tools that come with my phone for my address book, calendar, and email. So why not use my phone for keeping track of my tasks and systems?
I tried several digital tools as well…Evernote, notes apps, and wunderlist just to name a few. One day I heard about Trello from another blogger and immediately fell in love! I loved the way it looked and how simple it was to customize for my own needs.
Today, I hope to teach you a little bit about the benefits of Trello, how to sign up for your free account and then share six ways that I use Trello to manage my blog AND my home in one tool.
Let’s get started!
What is Trello?
Trello is an online tool to manage projects and personal tasks. It was originally designed for the business world, which is why it is so beneficial for the blogging side of things. But I have found that Trello is an amazing tool to manage all things home as well!
Now before you say you don’t need yet another app on your phone and in your life, let me explain the many benefits of using Trello for both your blog and your home life.
Benefits of Using Trello for Both Blogging and Home Management Tasks
Trello is digital
One of the first benefits that drew me into Trello is that it is digital. I tried so many different paper planners and even gave a bullet journal a try. But I found that I didn’t like to carry my planner with me when I left the house. So when I was out and about and something came up I had to either remember (which wasn’t going to happen) or find a scrap of paper somewhere to write down the note.
This was just not working for me so I had to find another way. I realized that I always had my phone with me and that is when I found Trello and fell in love!
Trello eliminates all the paper clutter
I used to have a million scraps of paper all over the place (read the paragraph above!). That all changed when I started to use Trello. Instead of adding a task item to a post it note, I just added it to Trello. Rather than jotting down a website I wanted to check out later I just linked the site to a card in Trello.
You can use Trello on all your devices
Trello has an app so you can use it on your phone, laptop, and tablet. I love that I have access to my boards when I’m away from my home.
You can share boards and cards with others
This is great for both home tasks and blogging tasks if you have people that work for you. For example, you can share the Meal Plan Board with your husband so he knows what’s for dinner and can help prepare the meal for the day.
It’s such a great way to empower other family members to participate and help with all the responsibilities of running a home!
You can add due dates and use a calendar view
I love this aspect of Trello!
I often add a due date to specific card and then Trello sends reminders to my phone. I also use the date and calendar features for my meal plan. I add dates to specific meal cards and then sync my board with my iCal so that I can see my meal plan on my phone calendar as well!
Trello is customizable
Trello has a TON of functionality and I am just scratching the surface. You can make your boards as complicated or as simple as you like. But the awesome thing is that you can set it up to make it your own and work for you, not against you.
There are a ton of support articles and sample boards on the Trello blog
I tend to keep my boards pretty simple but if I am working on a project and want to create a new board I will often search the templates to see if there is an existing board I can use.
This saves a ton of time so I don’t have to start from scratch. I don’t usually use the templates exactly as is, but they at least give me a place to start.
Powerups add a ton of functionality
A Powerup is a more advanced feature, but you can add things like a calendar view to a board as I mentioned above. While there are a ton of great options, what I love is that you can keep it simple and still be super productive as well.
Trello is FREE to use!
There are no hidden fees to use Trello. While there is a paid version, you do not need it. I use the free version and don’t feel like I’m missing out on anything.
How to Sign Up For Trello
Now that you know about the many benefits of Trello, I bet you are just itching to get started! So let’s get your free account set up now!
This page will show you the pricing options, but you can click the “Get Started” button under the FREE column.
Enter your email address and hit “Sign Up”. The next screen that pops up will ask for your name and for you to create a password.
From here you’ll be prompted to create your first Board, complete with lists and cards!
How easy was that?? You’re ready to go!
Trello Overview: What Are All the Parts of a Board?
Now that you have your very own Trello account, you’re probably wondering what everything means. Let me give you a quick overview of the major components of Trello.
There are three major components, which you can see in this image. I’ll explain a bit more about each below.
- Board: The main component that you’ll be working from is called a Board. A Board is basically a project or place to keep track of information. In the pen and paper world, this could be considered a notebook or binder you would have for a particular project.
- List: A list is kind of like the tabs of a binder or they can be used to create a workflow. For example, you could have lists for “TO DO”, “DOING”, and “DONE” to show the progression of tasks in a project. In the image above I have lists for “DO THIS FIRST,” “Braindump Task List,” and “Delegate.”
- Card: To continue with the binder example, cards are like the individual pieces of paper in a binder or all the post-it notes you have on your desk. Cards represent the tasks or things you want to remember or complete. You can add as many cards as you want to a Board.
3 Ways to Use Trello for Blogging Tasks
Now that you have your Trello account setup and know what the lingo means, let’s take a look at 3 boards I use for blogging tasks and 3 boards I use for home tasks
1. Content Calendar
As a blogger we know that content is king! Our content is one of the main ways that we market ourselves and communicate with our audience. Content can mean blog posts, Youtube videos, emails or even social media posts.
I use Trello to plan out all of my content and it helps me to stay organized, plan ahead, and have a more cohesive message.
Another thing I love about using Trello as my content calendar is that I can draft posts on my phone while I’m on the go or while nursing the baby. I actually started this post on my phone while nursing my newborn one night!
Additionally, if I think of blog post ideas while I’m out with my kids or at the store I can quickly create a card with the idea so I don’t forget it. The next time I’m at my computer I can expand on the idea or add it to my content calendar to write the full post.
2. Blog Overview Board
I love this board. This is like my business binder in digital format. Here are some examples of things I keep on it:
- Affiliate links
- Brand colors and fonts
- Guest post ideas
- Links for things like my hosting company and WordPress
- Information about my ideal audience
- Information about products and freebies
- Inspiration swipe file (If you don’t have one of these yet start now!)
Basically, anything that I often refer to in an e-mail or online website, I added to this board for easy access. I love that everything is in one spot and I know where to look.
3. Goal Setting
I actually use this board for both blog goals and personal goals, but you could also keep them separate if you wanted to.
I use this board to brainstorm quarterly goals that I then break down into an action plan for the month and then specific tasks for the week. Additionally, I add due dates to the cards to hold myself accountable and keep me on track. It’s so much fun to see my progress as I can check off tasks on the checklist.
3 Ways to Use Trello to Stay Organized with Home Management Tasks
In addition to using Trello to stay organized for my business, I also use it in my home. Here are three examples for you.
1. Meal Planner
I use this board just about every day! On the weekend I will take about 20-30 minutes to plan out the meals for the following week and order groceries.
I keep our tried and true recipes on the board for easy access as well as any recipes we may want to try. Instead of trying to look for a specific recipe in the sea of Pinterest or Google, I have it all right there in my board.
Like I mentioned above I add a due date to the card for the week so I can see the meal plan on my iCal as well.
2. My Week Board
This is the board that I use the most, even more than my Meal Planner board. This board is where I keep all my tasks for the week, any appointments that I have, and a brain dump of tasks I may want to do in the future.
Instead of letting things swirl around in my head, I get them onto a card in Trello for safe keeping. That way my brain can rest and I can focus on actually getting the tasks checked off instead of worrying about what I need to do in the future.
“Your mind is for having ideas, not holding them.”-David Allen, Getting Things Done
3. Simplify the Holidays Planner
I use this board to streamline and simplify the winter holiday craze during October, November and December. On this board I keep important dates to remember such as parties, school events, when I need to send out holiday cards, and when I need to ship gifts to relatives.
I also keep a budget, shopping list and bucket list for my family. The point of this board is to help me be more intentional with my time and resources during the holidays. This has helped me to be more present and enjoy the magic of the season rather than stress out over the little details.
Stay Organized with Trello
I hope that this Trello introduction has you excited to give it a try to manage your blogging tasks AND your home management tasks. For me it has really married the two sides of my world together into one neat package, and I love the simplicity of that.
If you want to give Trello a try, be sure to check out my author bio below for a link to to download three of my most used Trello boards. Let me know how they work out for you!
Do You Have Any Other Uses For Trello?
Let us know in the comments below how you use Trello to stay organized.
Tara Dubiel is a wife and a mom to three beautiful and active kids. She writes at i Dream of Simple about her family's journey to declutter their space, time and mind with the hope of learning to cultivate a life with enough. Download Tara's free Trello Templates, and connect with her on Instagram and Facebook.