Internet Productivity

How to Use Trello: 10 Common Questions Beginners Ask, Answered

Akshata Shanbhag 25-05-2018

So you’re on Trello and have got the hang of creating cards, lists, and boards. Now it’s time to gather a few useful Trello shortcuts and tips that are floating around.


Don’t know which ones to learn first? Got some unanswered questions on how to use Trello? Here’s a great list of how-tos that work as a good place to start.

1. How to Edit a Card on Trello Quickly

how to use trello - edit a card

You don’t have to click on a card to edit it. Trello has a shortcut for that task!

Hit the E key on your keyboard to trigger Trello’s quick-edit mode for cards. This selects the card name, in case you want to edit it. You’ll also see a tiny sidebar with options to edit labels, move/copy/archive the card, etc.

If you prefer to use the mouse over the keyboard, hover on the card and click on the pencil icon that shows up on it. That’s another way to trigger the quick-edit feature.


Of course, you’ll need to click on the card and open what Trello calls the back of the card for extra options. There, you’ll be able to add comments, subscribe to notifications, share the card, and so on.

2. How to Create a Card via Email

how to use trello - create a card via email

To email a card to any Trello board, you first need that board’s email-to-board address. Yes, each board has a unique one. You’ll find it hidden in the fly-out sidebar menu that appears when you click on the Show Menu button. You’ll find this button in the top-right section of the board, right below your profile picture.

In the sidebar menu, click on More > Email-to-board Settings to look up the current board’s email address. From this section, you can also specify the default list and position where you want emailed cards to appear.


Saved the board’s email address in your address book? Now send an email to that board with the:

  • Card name in the subject line
  • Card description in the body

Any attachments you add to the email show up as card attachments.

Did you know that every card in Trello also has a dedicated address? You’ll find it by clicking on the Share and more link on the card back. Use this address to send comments to the card.

3. How to Add a Card Cover

how to use trello - add a card cover


If you add card covers (i.e. images to cards), it becomes much easier to identify the right cards at a glance. And if you add card covers to the card at the top of every list, it becomes super easy to distinguish between lists, too.

To turn an image from your desktop into a card cover, drag and drop it onto a Trello card within a list.

If you want to replace the card cover with a new image, drag and drop that onto the card. The old image still remains attached to the card, but it will no longer show up as the card cover.

You can also turn an existing image attachment into the card cover. To make this happen, open the card’s back and select the Make Cover option next to that image.


To get rid of a card cover altogether, select the Remove Cover option next to the card cover image on the card back.

4. How to Delete a Label From a Trello Card

how to use trello - delete a card label

Keep in mind that you don’t have to delete a label if you don’t want to use it. You can simply unlink it from one or more cards.

To delete a label (and to unlink it) you have to first visit the Edit Labels section. You can access it in one of two ways:

  1. Hover on any card, click on its pencil icon and then on the Edit Labels option.
  2. Click on Show Menu > More > Labels i.e. open any board’s sidebar and then click on More > Labels.

Once the Edit Labels section appears, click on the pencil icon next to any label and select a label of any color from the Select a color section. Then hit the Delete button below this section.

At this point, Trello warns you that you’ll lose the selected label and its history for good. If you’re okay with that hit the Delete button again.

5. How to Delete a Card on Trello

how to use trello - delete a card

Trello has stashed its “delete card” feature in an obscure location. To access it, first open the card back by clicking on the card. Next, click on the Share and more link at the bottom of the sidebar.

You’ll now find the Delete option in the popup box that appears. The link is not an easy one to spot. Look next to the card creation date on the last line.

6. How to Duplicate a Card, List, or Board

how to use trello - duplicate a card, list, or board

You can copy cards both within and across boards to save time. You get to duplicate lists too, but not across boards. When it comes to boards, you can duplicate your own boards as well as public boards. Let’s see how to make copies of these basic Trello elements.

How to Copy Cards in Trello

You’ll find the Copy option for a card:

  • In its quick-edit mode, which you can learn about from section #1 of this roundup
  • Under the Actions menu in the sidebar on the card back

After you click Copy, you can specify the board, list, and position where the new, duplicated card should show up.

How to Copy Lists in Trello

The Copy List option shows up in the List Actions menu, which you can access by clicking on the ellipsis icon next to the list name on a board.

If you want to copy a list from one board to another, you’ll first have to duplicate it on its own board. You can then use the Move List option in the List Actions menu to port the copied list to another board.

How to Copy Boards in Trello

Each board comes with a Copy Board option hidden in its sidebar. (Click on Show Menu > More to access this option.) Once you click on it, you’ll be able to duplicate the existing board with a new name.

Check out Trello’s own set of public boards for inspiration and grab a few of them for yourself.

7. How to Sort Cards in Trello

how to use trello - sorting cards

Trello gives you only a couple of card sorting options: you can sort cards either as “newest first” or “oldest first”. You’ll find these options under List Actions > Sort By. To access the List Actions menu for a list, click on the ellipsis icon next to its name.

After you get used to Trello’s workflow, you might want to get a tool like Ultimello or Butler for extra sorting options. And while you’re at it, how about checking out a few browser extensions and third-party integrations to make Trello better?

8. How to Turn a List of Items Into Cards

how to use trello - turn lists into cards

Let’s say you want to create cards from a list of names from a spreadsheet. It’s not going to be as tedious as you think.

You don’t have to create the cards one at a time. Copy the entire list from the spreadsheet and paste it into a new card in Trello. This works for any kind of line-separated text.

When you hit the Add button to create the card, Trello will ask you if you want to:

  1. Split the list items into separate cards (Create [X] Cards), or
  2. Copy them as is into a single card (Just One Card).

Select the first option and your job’s done!

9. How to Change a Trello Board’s Background

how to use trello - change a board's background

Trello gives you a Change Background option for each board in its sidebar menu. Click on that to give the current board a new coat of paint. You can choose between solid colors and photos for the background.

While you have only a few colors to choose from, you get an endless supply of stunning photos sourced from Unsplash. A word of warning: selecting the “most perfect” background for each board could turn into your latest distraction.

10. How to Find Trello Cards Faster

how to use trello - finding trello cards quickly

With Trello’s latest update, you’ll find important elements like @mentions, starred boards, and due cards in a single view called Home.

Finding any other data you want is not all that difficult either. If you know which board a particular card belongs to, the easiest way to search for it is from that board itself.

Open the sidebar for the board and click on Filter Cards within it. As you start typing in the name of the card you’re looking for, Trello hides cards that don’t match your query. Handy, right?

If you want to look for a card across multiple boards or for a board itself, the Trello search box is there to help you. You’ll find it next to the Boards button at the top left.

Type a card name or board name into the search box and Trello gives you a list of matches. For each card result, you’ll see its list and board name too. That’s not where Trello’s search capabilities stop. You can use search operators, saved searches, keywords, and more to refine the results. Learn how with our Trello search and sort tips.

From Beginner to Beyond With Trello

When it comes to digital Kanban implementations, Trello is one of the best there is. Congratulations on making a good choice! Trello can keep your projects in shape, streamline your finances, and even organize your job search.

Now, are you ready for some creative ways to manage your life with Trello 10 Creative Ways to Manage Your Life with a Trello Calendar To-do list items are easier to work on and tick off your list if you schedule them into your calendar. The calendar display of Trello is an awesome feature for managing your life. Read More ?

Related topics: Project Management, Trello.

Affiliate Disclosure: By buying the products we recommend, you help keep the site alive. Read more.

Whatsapp Pinterest

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

  1. Gerard
    May 5, 2019 at 3:17 pm

    Thanks Askshata,
    My problem is that I don’t find the icons of menu, show menu, and my profile on my iPad. Only on my MacBook.
    Can you help me ?
    Best regards

    • Akshata Shanbhag
      May 5, 2019 at 3:29 pm

      Hi Gerard,
      The Show Menu link is available only when you have opened up an individual board and not in the view that displays all your boards. It’s on the same bar that displays the board name and the Private/Public status of the board and is visible both in landscape and portrait orientations on the iPad.

      Your profile is accessible by clicking on your photo/gravatar at the extreme right at the top from any Trello page.

  2. Fred
    June 8, 2018 at 8:46 am

    Copying and moving lists is a risky operation. If the list is long (Trello would have to define long) it will fail and you don't know what has been done or not. I would recommend downloading the boards, source and destination before doing anything like this.

    It would be worth mentioning doing backups of the boards from time to time...

    • Akshata Shanbhag
      June 11, 2018 at 12:09 pm

      If you copy/move lists one at a time, I don't think it should be a problem. But you're right, Fred - it's a good idea to back up boards in any case. Unfortunately the export feature is not available to everyone. Of course one can always make copies of boards.

  3. Nha Tran
    June 8, 2018 at 3:36 am

    This is a useful article for me, thanks Akshata

    • Akshata Shanbhag
      June 11, 2018 at 12:10 pm

      I'm glad to hear that!

  4. Smith
    May 27, 2018 at 8:00 am

    The deep web site won't work for me it just keeps saying the connection timed out