organization Jun 30, 2018

I am genuinely so excited to share Trello with you! I have been using this app for a while and I can’t stop talking about it. If you don’t believe me just ask my boss, who I recently made download the app or my husband who has listened to my endless ramblings of how great it is. You’d think I was a part of the Trello marketing team!

*11/30/2018 update: I recently found out that if you use one of my links to sign up for Trello I get a free month of Trello Gold… just in case you want to help a sister out!*

Here’s why I love it so much:

  1. It’s very intuitive and easy to use from the beginning

  2. It has more advanced features like integration with google drive and automation with Butler

  3. The basic version is FREE

  4. As an executive assistant, it makes managing my boss’s life and my life so much easier.

    Unlocking the Genius of Trello for Assistants

Remember when I shared 3 Hacks That Doubled My Productivity? Well, Trello is the “container” I use to arrange tasks into batches and create my daily to-do list. It also comes in handy for creating checklists for travel, board meetings, monthly recurrent tasks, etc. Storing everything in Trello has really created a lot of peace for me because I now have a system to ensure nothing gets missed or falls through the cracks.

In this post, I’m going to walk you through how to set up Trello as well as a few great ways Trello helps me stay organized as an assistant.

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Setting Up Trello For The First Time

When you first log in to Trello, you should see a screen like this:

Trello for Assistants - Login.png

Click on one of the “Untitled Boards” and you will see this:

Trello for Assistants - Blank Board.png

Now is where the fun happens! Look at all the ways you can customize your board:

Trello for Assistants - FEATURES.jpg

This is what my main “To do” board looks like:

 Please excuse my pink boxes. They're for discretion. As a fellow assistant I'm sure you understand.

Please excuse my pink boxes. They're for discretion. As a fellow assistant, I'm sure you understand.

This is my weekly workflow. As non-urgent items come up they go on my weekly “to do” list with a label (more on this in a minute). If urgent items come up I still enter it into this board under "To Do Today". I do this for 2 reasons; first, I really get a lot of satisfaction when I move something to my “completed” list and second, I like to archive my entire “completed” list at the end of every week and want an accurate list of everything I accomplished. This is why my “completed” list title has dates after it. You can move cards around by dragging and dropping.

At the end of every day, I assess the next day's priorities and move cards from "To Do This Week" to "To Do Today" so everything is set up and ready to go the next morning.

I use color codes, known as “Labels”, to batch or group like items together. For more on batching check out this post. Open up any card on your board and this screen will appear:

Trello for Assistants - Open Card.png

Click the button entitled “Labels”. This is where you will create and add your labels.

Trello for Assitants - labels.jpg

Batch until your heart’s content.

What about those pesky weekly or monthly recurring tasks? Well, I create a board and list for this also. Did you know that there is actually a way to automate recurring tasks to land on your to-do list? Whaaaa?!!! I know! I won’t go into this now but stay tuned for a more advanced post where I dive into Trello automation.

Using Trello for Checklists

As assistants, we hold so many things in our heads that sometimes things fall through the cracks. Since I've set up checklists in Trello not much falls through the cracks anymore! Here's why:

  1. Making checklists creates more headspace because you have a written reference and no longer have any reason to attempt to keep it in your head.

  2. Once you create a checklist it's super easy to copy it to your master to-do list.

I've created a separate board for checklists:

Trello for Assistants - Checklists 1.jpg

In order to create a checklist, make a card with the name of your checklist then double click to open the card. Click the “Checklist” button and list the items or tasks you would like included.

Whenever I have a task come up that warrants the use of the checklist, for example, a board meeting, I copy the checklist to my master “To do” list. Here’s how:

  1. Open up the checklist that you want to copy and hit the "Copy" button

  2. Change the title of the checklist

  3. Change the board and the list to where you would like the checklist to end up and hit enter.

  4. Go to the board you sent the copied checklist to and voila! You're good to go.

Trello for Assistants - Board Meeting Checklist to move.jpg

As I mentioned early on in this article, the basic functionality of Trello only takes a few minutes to set up but the possibilities are endless. If you already have another application that works for you as an assistant, that's great! If not, I urge you to strongly consider finding one. Trello has unleveled my productivity and helped me stay organized and on task, perhaps it will do the same for you as well. 

Stay tuned for future posts where we will dive into more complex functionalities of Trello.

I would love to hear more about the productivity and organization systems that work for you! please leave a comment below or head on over to the Whole Assistant Heroes Facebook Group to join the discussion.


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