Do you want to know more about Trello?

This morning I am at Sheffield 4Networking meeting doing a presentation on the 5 pieces of software that I couldn't run my business without.

One of those pieces of software is Trello.

I know more and more people are starting to use Trello but someone just this week said to me "I use Trello but I hadn't thought of using it how you use it" so I thought it might be useful to record a demo of how I use Trello.

I know I did a very brief introduction to Trello a few weeks ago but that simply gave an overview of the sorts of things you could use it for. This demo goes into much more detail about specific boards I use and how to actually do things on Trello such as copying template lists onto a card, etc.

It's not a quick view - it's 26 minutes long - so it is for people who use Trello but think they could use it more/better or for people who want to start using it and need some guidance on how to use it.


I hope it's of use and please get in touch if you want to have a chat about how you could use Trello better in your business.


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I’m having a love affair in the office

I have to admit to being guilty of having ‘shiny object syndrome’. You know what I mean, the next new shiny gadget (or in my case, piece of software) is introduced and you want to try it.  Like a small child, the old toy gets thrown in a corner and you’re mad for the new toy.

I think over the years my team have got fed-up of me keep changing the software we use as I’m introduced to the next amazing tool that will help us work more efficiently, so I am now consciously trying to stick with the key tools that work well for us and have a very specific role within the business. 

I now have 4-5 pieces of software that are central to how I run my business (bearing in mind we’re a remote team so everything has to be managed online), but there is one piece that has become the king-pin.  I use it internally within the team, with my clients and their teams, with teams I volunteer with outside of work and even just for myself at home.

I’m totally in love with this piece of software. It’s so flexible and I just love to find new ways to use it.  

I discovered Trello a couple of years ago but didn’t really get into it.  It was only last year when I realised it’s potential to be a great hosting place for the process/staff manuals I was building that I investigated it more and understood how many uses this piece of software might have.

If you are old enough to remember T-Card boards that were used in the office or factory back in ‘the old days’, you'll find Trello familiar as it’s basically an online version of a T-card board, but with so much more functionality.

As a brief example, I set up 2 boards last week.  The first was with a business friend who was struggling to manage her sales pipeline.  We set up a Trello board which now clearly shows her the different stages of her pipeline (each stage is a ‘list’) and who is in which stage (each prospect is a ‘card’).  As the prospect moves through the pipeline the card simply gets moved from list to list but with the ability to add notes along the way, attached files and tick off items on a check-list, it’s interactive and an easy way for her and her Marketing Assistant to keep on track with what’s going on- and she no longer has to wait until she's back in the office to get an update on pipeline progress.

The second board I set up was shared with a friend I’m working with to run a children’s Christmas project at our church (I know it’s a bit early but it needs a lot of planning and preparation so we’re starting early!).   The project involves a number of different tented areas with quite a lot of equipment/props/costumes required, scripts, helpers, refreshments, the list goes on, so this is a great way for us to manage each area with check-lists that we can both access so we can see what's been done and not duplicate work.  We can also upload the scripts and forms that will be required so that everything is kept in one place.  This might be an extra-curricular activity but it’s a project like any other and is an ideal use of Trello.

I now have 33 boards and as well as helping me manage my pipeline and work with my clients, it is also a central portal of information within the business - processes and instructions on how to do nearly everything in my business can be found one board or another!

In December I did a brief overview video of Trello so if you haven’t used it before and want to get a feel for what it looks like then take a look, it’s just 5 minutes but will give you an idea of what it’s about.


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Who's in control?

Sticking with a similar theme to last month, I thought it worth mentioning about 'notifications'. We live in a world of instant access and instant response. It is normal to be constantly checking and responding to email, text, Facebook messages, etc. But if you want to have some relaxation time and spend quality time with family and friends, you need to be "in the room" with them and not constantly worrying about who else is trying to get in touch with you. The easiest way to do this is to turn off your notifications so that your phone isn't pinging and dinging every time a message comes in.

I have an iPhone so I can only give guidance on how to turn things off on that, but I'm guessing it won't be dissimilar on other phones.

So head to your settings icon and scroll down until your find 'Notifications'. When you go into the notifications section every app you have on your phone will be listed and you can go into each one and select your notification options. It would be best to turn them off altogether but at least turn off the sound even if you leave the badge alerts to show. This isn't turning the app off, just the notifications, so you can still go into your email or Facebook apps and see what messages have come in, but at least this way you can do that at a time to suit you, rather than being interrupted every time a message arrives and then feeling obliged to look at it.

So take control of your time and make sure you dictate who you speak to and when rather than being controlled by the little black box in your pocket.

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