Review: Let Trello Run Your Life

I have been trying to figure out the best way to keep my life organized for years. I tried Evernote and Remember the Milk when they came out. I have several day planners that were well used until about April. I’ve added endless, never completed items to the little pop-up Tasks section in Gmail. I have tried bullet journaling and weekly handwritten to-do lists, which I have been relatively successful at maintaining both at home and at work. But it wasn’t helping me cover all of the varying aspects of my life that I needed to keep track of.

And then someone randomly mentioned having a Trello board.

Having never heard of it, I immediately googled it and then signed up for an account. The best thing, initially, about Trello, is that you can use it on a desktop or a device, so you can keep track of yourself no matter where you are.

Trello Desktop

So how does it work? Easy. You get an account, and you start with a welcome board. Add boards by selecting “create new board” on the desktop or the + on the app and give them names. Once you have a board, you can add a list, which is where you place cards about like items. Once you’ve got your basic text (“milk”), you can add anything to it: text, a link, an image or other attachment, or an emoji. You can create a checklist or give it a due date. You can create a labeling/color coding system and utilize that, too. When you’re ready to take something off your list, you can either drag it up to the top (on your phone) or archive it (in desktop mode). You can even move it to another board. It can be as simple or as complicated as you want it to be.

Once you figure out how everything works (and how they work differently on desktop and mobile), you can just start making boards and cards. This is great for me, because I can just go on a card spree for the next few weeks of things I need to do, and then put them down in my bullet journal for when exactly I need to get them done. As I said, I have this for nearly every non-work facet of my life: I have a list that tells me what books I have checked out from the library and when they’re due and a list of books to look out for at my local used bookstore on my “Books” board. I put cards on my “writing and other related stuff” board any time I have an idea or a deadline for one of my writing pursuits. I have dates for rehearsals and performances and notes about costumes. I have grocery lists and long-term house goals listed. Basically, my entire non-day-job-related life is managed through this simple blue and gray (you can change yours, but I like the starting color) wall of text. And I actually remember to look at it, which is more than I can say for my daily bullet journal.

Another cool thing about Trello (that I only take marginal advantage of for sharing the grocery list with hubs) is that it is a collaboration tool as well. An organization of any size can use a shared board to make workflow plans, brainstorm projects, keep track of deadlines, or…whatever else people do in office environments. The only setback to this kind of sharing and collaboration is that you have to have an account to see it, so you can’t just send someone a link to look at it if you just want to show it to them. They would have to create an account.

With the exception of the required login, I haven’t really found anything that I’ve wanted to do that Trello hasn’t provided me with a method for. True, I have to click an extra time to get to a link, or to see an image or long note to myself, but is that really a hardship?

We’ll see in time.

Jessica Pryde

Jessica Pryde

Copyeditor Jess is a book hoarder and equal opportunity geek. She loves to get lost in stories of all kinds. See what she's lost in: @jessisreading