It’s no secret that I like to keep things super organised!
Knowing that things are all planned out and assigned to whoever needs to do them means I can relax and let go. Leaving my mind clear for the good stuff like my clients!
But to get things out of my head they have to go somewhere. I could write a list, and I often use cards to keep my mind organised but how to share that with my team?
I’m not one for having a billion gadgets/apps/shiny new things, so I find something I like and stick to it. And as you know over at Orre HQ we’re always happy to share what we use to keep on top of our stuff and the work flowing.
When you work as a virtual team, it takes a little more effort to stay in control of who’s doing what and by when, and what the priorities are.
To be honest, even if it’s just you and the cat you still need to know what you’ve got on and when it’s due by.
Let’s get sharing
The tool I’m sharing here isn’t new, and it isn’t complicated which it part of why I love it. You can use it for so many different things, it’s totally adaptable to your biz needs and best of all it’s FREE!
It’s basically a web version of Post-It Notes on a whiteboard. But since, as you know, my team is virtual – we can’t all use the same whiteboard. So, what to do?
Enter Trello. It’s a collaboration tool for tasks and projects – you can use it for your to do list, project management, content calendars – all sorts.
How does it work?
You have a webpage in place of the whiteboard and in place of sticky notes, cards. The cards are organised by list and you can drag and drop them around as you need to.
For example, say you have the basic categories of TO DO, DOING, DONE you simply drag the cards you are working on from one to another. Or if you have items for various team members you drag and drop the cards to whoever you want to work on that task. Visual, easy, fast!
Within the cards you can add team members so that that they receive updates on that particular task. Or you could have separate lists for each person. It’s so flexible you can set it up in a billion different ways.
You can add labels (colour coding, naturally), due dates, check lists, pictures and attachments to the cards too.
Here’s an overview of one of our team boards. We use this one for a rolling to do:
We use the “pending” list as a braindump of all the things which need working on, then drag the cards from there to the “this weeks priority” list when…well when it’s time to do them!
For tasks with several stages we use the checklist function – here’s one of our (completed – hurrah!) checklists:
Why we use it
As well as needing a way to track our shared to do’s in a list (like we can here), most of the time we need to add details.
Within each card we can comment on progress (or use a checklist) so that we know what we are all doing without the need for constant updating.
You can change the settings to get email (or app if you’re using it with your smart phone) notifications when there’s an update, so you only get notified on the things which are relevant to you.
And there’s more good news!
I’ve told you all about using Slack and how easy it makes our team communication – as well as keeping us well away from time sucky inboxes. Happily for us there’s a Slack / Trello integration. The integration lets us get updates in a dedicated Slack channel when activity occurs in Trello.
It means we can see at a glance that someone is on the case with a task and what stage it’s at.
And you can choose which activity you want sent to Slack, so there’s no danger of update overload.
Here’s what ours looks like:
And we have more than one…
The other board we use is for my editorial calendar. We brainstorm all the ideas for the upcoming quarter and allocate them dates. Then the cards go across the board from researching to writing to editing and images to done – and at each stage we all know where it’s at.
Here’s what it looks like:
Even if you don’t work with a team, it’s a great way to get all your blog and content ideas in one place. Easy to see, easy to update – you can add the links to the docs you’re working on (or the docs themselves, if you want) saving you time and energy looking for them. Another win!
Over to you
Are you going to give Trello a try? I’d love to hear how you get on – or what else you are using to stay on top.
If it feels like you can’t get on top whatever you do, and it seems like all work and no play get in touch! Book yourself a free Chemistry Call with me and we can get clear on what steps you need to take to get your business working for you, and giving you a life you love.