How to use Trello to organise your business
Trello is an online project management platform that allows you to manage everything you need to do in both your life and your work. Trello is ideal for small business owners as it enables them to collaborate on projects both with colleagues within their organisation but also third party freelancers and subcontractors.
And Trello is free. Well, that’s not entirely true as there is a paid version but most small businesses can easily and effectively organise their processes, workflow and procedures with the free version for a long time, if not forever.
What can Trello be used for?
Trello can be used for planning and managing allsorts of things within your business and your life:
- You can use a Trello board to host your employee manual
- Trello can be used to carefully manage projects at home such as revamping the living room
- Trello is ideal for brainstorming ideas
- Trello can house your training resources
- It can be your ultimate to-do list
- You can use Trello to manage workflow
- And it can even be used to organise a funeral
The only limit to how Trello can be used to efficiently manage whatever it is you have to do is your imagination – here is some more Trello inspiration
Copying a Trello board
If you wish to copy a public Trello board from the list above or from the Trello inspiration page so you can adapt it for your own needs or use it to become familiar with how Trello works, simply log into your Trello account and follow the simple instructions in the video.
Your business processes and procedures
Trello is ideal if you wish to outsource tasks within your business.
If you want to enable someone else to be able to take on the work in your business that you either don’t want to do or don’t need to do, you’ll need to create business processes and procedures so that everything is done how you want it to be done.
Start by imagining that you’re giving a task to someone who has never done it before and you don’t have much time to go through it with them and then break each process down into individual steps without missing anything out.
For example, a really simple process for managing your inbox could be:
1. Open inbox
2. Scan emails for spam and delete all spam
3. Starting with the first email received since last checking, deal with each email in turn as follows:
- Reply to those that will take less than 5 minutes to deal with
- Delete any that are irrelevant
- Forward on emails that can be dealt with by another member of the team (Note: you’ll need an associated list of who deals with what)
- Turn emails that contain work that needs scheduling into Asana tasks.
4. Close inbox
Once you actually know all the steps that are needed to do a task in your business, you’re ready to create a Trello board for that process. But before you do so, just take a few moments to understand what it is you want to achieve through using Trello and any ‘rules’ you want to apply to make sure that the way your boards work is consistent so everyone in your team knows what to expect and what is expected of them.
Getting started with Trello
Trello consists of a series of:
You will have one board for each project – this could be your marketing plan (or part of it), for example, or perhaps your blog content schedule or the plan for your staff Christmas party.
Each board then consists of a series of lists with each list being made up of a number of cards that contain information, tasks, resources such as images or web links.
Creating a team in Trello
The great thing about Trello is that the members of the team associated with a particular board do not have to be members of your organisation – they just have to have a Trello account.
This works particularly well if you’re working with freelancers or subcontractors as everyone will be able to easily see the status of each of the cards on the board, whether they have any outstanding tasks and what they need to get on with next and the deadline for that task.
Creating a Trello board and adding lists and cards
First create your board
In this video, I give you an overview of how to create a board and the various board settings including:
- How to change the background of a Trello board
- How to create labels for your Trello cards
- How to filter the cards on a Trello board
- How to email tasks to a Trello board
Then add your lists and cards
In this video, I show you how to build your Trello board by adding lists and cards. It includes:
- How to add a checklist to a Trello card
- How to add an image or link to a Trello card
- How to add a due date to a Trello card
- How to enable the calendar power up in Trello
So, as you can see, Trello is a very powerful tool for organising both your business and your life, giving you the peace of mind of knowing that everything that needs to be done is getting done. You can be confident that each member of your team knows whet he or she is responsible for and what everyone else is working on. And by simply adding tasks to a Trello board and not having to remember them, you’ll gain the headspace to concentrate on new projects and the things you really want to do.
Sarah Liddle is The Lady in the Shed. She is a virtual assistant specialising in marketing, admin and techie solutions for small businesses, a smallholder, a sheep farmer and a farm bygones dealer. She loves supporting small business owners to do whatever they do by enabling them to use their time more effectively.