If you’ve browsed my website you may have noticed that most of my packages include “Trello boards.” But, what exactly is Trello? And why should you be using it for your business?
Trello is a versatile, visual; task/project management and accountability tool. Whether it’s a big team project, or your own personal goals or to-do lists, you can benefit from using Trello. As a virtual assistant, Trello allows me and my clients to share tasks, keep track of due dates and hold each other accountable for everything we need to get done!
Not convinced that Trello is for you? Let’s run through some examples of how to use Trello to level-up your business and personal organization, shall we?
We all have goals – big, small, some that are maybe a tad unrealistic…but whatever they are why not get them down on paper (or in this case, on a Trello board!)? Using Trello to track your goals will not only allow you to keep yourself accountable but also plan just how you’re going to achieve them!
Start with your big goals; these are long-term goals, things that will take time, hard work and sometimes resources you don’t currently have – think “hit $1,000,000 in profit,” “own a home,” “own multiple retail locations,” etc. Create cards for each big goal you have and keep them all in their own list – the board pictured above has these under the list “Quarterly Goals & Rewards” as it’s been setup for business goals but it works exactly the same for personal goals too, just rename this list to something that suits your specific goals (even naming this list BIG GOALS will do).
In a separate list create cards for your medium sized goals. Medium sized goals can be either slightly more manageable steps to achieving the big goals you’ve already listed or they can just be more achievable goals that you want to get done and hold yourself accountable for. In the example above, our medium-sized goals are goals we’d like the business to achieve that month, but if we’re going with a big goal of “own a home” these medium-sized goals may be something like “save ‘x’ amount for a down payment.”
Finally, create a list of your small goals. Small goals in the example above are your weekly goals, but in general, these would be bite-sized pieces of your big goals – the manageable, easy to achieve bits that will eventually play a huge part in getting you to those dream goals. These could be things like “research mortgage rates,” “set aside $100 a week for down payment savings,” or in the case of business goals “hit ‘x’ weekly sales target,” etc.
Have your goals changed? No sweat! That’s the great thing about Trello. Just edit or archive the appropriate cards, move cards to different lists, and add new ones to suit your needs! You can also make use of labels and set goals and tasks as low/medium/high priority or whatever labels help you stay organized the best.
To-Do Lists & Weekly Schedules
We all have our phones, our planners, our notebooks and countless other ways of tracking our to-do lists and schedules, but they can be overwhelming! What if you wrote a due date in your planner but didn’t put it on your phone? What if you accepted an iCal invite but didn’t write it down in your planner? While for some of us this will forever be a struggle, don’t let that be the case for your important projects and tasks – let me show you how I use Trello to keep myself and my clients on track!
One of my favourite ways to setup Trello is like you would your planner, bullet journal or desk calendar. With a weekly Trello board, you can create cards for all of your projects, appointments, tasks and to-do’s and assign them to a certain day of the week.
Have a deadline? No problem set a due date on a card and get a reminder when your deadline is getting close (bonus points if you download the app and get the notifications to your phone or tablet)! Assigned a task to Monday but didn’t quite get it done? No need to scratch it out in your planner, just click and drag the card to the next day. Didn’t get all your tasks done this week, or have a bunch of low priority tasks? Add a list at the end of the week to store “carry over” cards.
At the beginning of each week (to remember I like to put a recurring card in the daily/weekly list to remind me every Sunday) re-organize your board for the upcoming workweek. Again, make use of labels to help you prioritize your tasks, and power-ups to create recurring cards for your reminders and dailies (like “water the flowers” or “take out the trash”).
Another variation of to-do list organization would be to create lists for the types of projects/tasks you have to do, or simply creating a workflow like the one below:
These “To-Do list” and weekly boards are the ones I use most often with my clients. You can setup teams, or invite people to specific boards and then assign them to cards (tasks). This comes in handy when you want to make sure everyone on your team knows what they need to do and everyone is held accountable for their specific tasks.
As a virtual assistant, these boards help give clients some peace of mind as they see my progress on the projects I’m working on for them and we can communicate thoughts and ideas, add attachments, etc all on the cards themselves rather than searching through email chains or instant messages looking for the information we need for that one task.
I personally think everyone can benefit from having at least a to-do list on Trello.
If you run your own business and need to collect leads and onboard clients, Trello can be invaluable. Start with a few simple lists – Leads/Potential Clients, First Contact, They’re Hooked (or Landing your Client), Current Clients, Past Clients and Future Outreach (Keep in Touch).
Under Leads/Potential Clients create a new card for each new lead or client. Title the card your client’s name and within the card store information such as their website, social media accounts, any potential information you can use in a pitch if/when you try to land them, etc. These cards will move across lists as your potential clients become your current, and then eventually past clients so feel free to keep adding useful information to their cards.
When you make your first contact, your pitch, or just make yourself known to a lead or potential client; move their card to “First Contact.” This client’s card will remain here until you land them as a client or they express that they’re not interested (right now) in which case you’d move them to either “They’re Hooked” or “Keep in Touch.”
Once in “They’re Hooked” this means you have your work cut out for you! Do whatever amazing thing it is you do to take this client from wanting to work with you to actively working with you! Once you work your magic, move them to “Current Clients” which is where they’re card will live until your work with them is complete.
When a client is no longer active, move them to “Past Clients.” You never want to delete inactive clients from your Onboarding board because it’s important to maintain those connections for networking and referral purposes. Every so often, take a look through your “Past Client” list and check in with clients you haven’t spoken to or heard from in awhile, you never know when that simple “Hey, just checking in. Hope you’re doing well!” can lead to a new project or contract with an old client!
These are just a few Trello board examples, the possibilities are endless! I highly suggest signing up for a free account and customizing a board to your specific needs and goals and see just how beneficial Trello can be to you and your business!