Trello is a list lover’s delight. Its Kanban-style approach was not meant just for project management. Don’t believe us? Maybe you’ll believe what the guy behind Trello had to say about the software’s intended uses.
Some people saw Trello and said, “oh, it’s Kanban boards. For developing software the agile way.” Yeah, it’s that, but it’s also for planning a wedding, for making a list of potential vacation spots to share with your family, for keeping track of applicants to open job positions, and for a billion other things. In fact Trello is for anything where you want to maintain a list of lists with a group of people.
~ Joel Spolsky, How Trello is different
Here’s a compilation of some unusual uses for Trello.
As a Learning Aid
Imagine you’re working on your graphic design skills. You could use a Trello board with a card to list some of the basic design principles you come across. A second card could hold some neat Photoshop or Illustrator tricks that you’ll need. The third could contain a list of typography terminology that you keep forgetting, and so on. As this board fills up, you’ll have a graphic design primer on your hands.
An approach like this can be useful no matter what you’re studying. If you’re feeling overwhelmed by what you have learned or need a recap of the basics, return to this organized board for revision.
— Stacy Sniegowski (@cornzippers) June 24, 2015
As a Job Hunt Helper
Job searches are not easy. There’s a lot to keep up with. You have to look out for the right listings, research companies you’re applying to, follow up on old listings, etc. All information like this can go on a “job hunt board”.
Wondering if this approach will be any good? See how Trello user Lauren Moon adopted it with great results. Here’s the Trello board template she integrated into her job search. And guess where she landed a job. At Trello. How cool is that?
As an Idea Book
We all need a “mind dump” sooner or later, preferably before our brain explodes under the weight of the ideas and the information bombarding it. Trello’s visual approach makes it the perfect place to clean out your mind. Then you’re free to rearrange its contents in ways that make sense to you.
— Jason Ephraim (@Jason_Ephraim) April 27, 2015
Create one mammoth board with an endless number of cards and treat it as your personal idea notebook. From potential locations for your wedding to publications that you want to write for — anything can go on this board. If you want something more organized, have different boards for different kinds of ideas.
By the way, have you considered using Trello as a vision board for goal setting?
As a List of Bucket Lists
We all have mental lists of adventures we want to go on, books we want to read, and movies we want to watch. How do you keep track of them without going crazy? With Trello cards, of course.
Create a board just for bucket lists of every kind. Don’t stop there. Use it as visual inspiration to work on accomplishing what’s on your list.
As a Money Tracker
Trello boards make a neat solution to track where your money goes every month. Create one to use as a money tracker. Add cards to list debt payments, recurring bills, one-time expenses, and budgets. You could even add a list of sites that help you save money.
Looking to cut down on unnecessary spending? Use colorful labels to highlight expenses that you can avoid, postpone, or find a way around. Try this Financial Plan template for some inspiration.
As an Editorial Calendar
If you’re responsible for a blog or a magazine, Trello is just the app you need to host your editorial calendar. Put your current article ideas, deadlines, on-hold ideas on separate cards on a single board. Add a list of tasks you want to delegate to other writers on your team.
Here’s the top advantage of this approach. You can ditch complicated email threads altogether. Instead, you can have follow-up conversations with fellow contributors right from Trello. This puts everybody on the same page with minimal effort. We at MakeUseOf can vouch for that.
Draw inspiration from this public editorial calendar on Trello. Here’s a snapshot of it.
As an Appointment Tracker
If your job (or life) is an endless stream of meetings or appointments, there are various ways to organize them on a Trello board. You could split them up by days of the week, months of the year, meeting agenda, etc. Use color codes to distinguish them by time and location. You might even end up noticing that a couple of appointments fall on the same route on separate days or that there’s a time overlap.
Monitoring your time with a Trello board gives you a clear idea of what your days looks like. This makes it easier to schedule/reschedule appointments to your convenience.
Tracking your time on individual tasks could offer clues to lost productivity. Trello doesn’t have time tracking built in, but an ecosystem of third-party time tracking solutions offers many choices.
As an Event or Trip Planner
Are you in charge of planning a party or a wedding? You need the power of a Trello board to plan your strategy. Use cards to track theme ideas, manage the guest list, decide the menu, delegate tasks to the right people, etc. Here’s a sample wedding planning board you can borrow ideas from.
Now replace “event” with “trip” and the same strategy works. Create cards for the travel arrangements you have to take care of, tasks you have to wrap up before you leave, the stuff you need to pack, and so on. If you’re a frequent traveler, keep such a board ready to use as a template. Every time you plan a new trip, just open the board’s sidebar menu and click on Copy Board to clone it.
As a Pick-me-up List
Sometimes you need a dose of inspiration to fire you up, sometimes you need a dash of optimism to help you feel good. Keep a pick-me-up board ready for such times.
Add a card with quotes from people you admire. Add a second one with some pics of your loved ones. Maybe throw in a third one with tips from various websites to handle bad days at work. You get the drift. Keep a well-stocked list of words and images to help you cope with the ups and downs of life.
As an example, if you’re trying to counter an erratic lifestyle with a calming daily ritual, keep a card with a checklist of tasks to go through. It could read something like this:
- Drink eight glasses of water
- Do a 30-minute workout
- Get 30 minutes of sunlight
- Write a journal entry
A few days of checking things off a list like this will help you integrate the new routine into your life.
As a Poll Taker
Buying new furniture for your office? Planning a team vacation? First, wrap up the required research on brands/destinations. Then bring it all together on a Trello board. Create separate cards outlining the pros and cons of each option. Follow it up with a poll card to list the potential choices and invite your team members to take a vote them.
Does that sound too geeky? Yes, it is, but it’s also more effective than getting into loud and baseless arguments over why X is a much better choice than Y.
What’s Your Creative Approach to Trello?
The good thing about Trello is that you can reuse cards, lists, and boards at the click of a button. If you find a cool public board, don’t hesitate to make a copy of it for yourself. You can even pair Trello with IFTTT and Slack to automate and streamline things. When it comes to using Trello, you’re limited only by your own imagination. That’s how versatile Trello is.
Now that we have shown you several ways in which you can put Trello to good use, it’s time to act on that information. We want you get inspired by these ideas and repurpose Trello for your own needs. It’s time to get creative, folks!
Do you use Trello in an unusual way? Was it your idea or did you borrow it from someone? Give us some juicy Trello tricks to feast on.