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.