Trello – What it is and how it helps me

What is Trello?

Trello is a visual based organizational system. You can create an account with an email address and make different boards for different topics you need to organize. (Similar in some ways to how I organized my information on Pinterest into boards to keep ideas about design separated from my collection of life hacks.) Within each board, you can create columns called lists. On each list you can add as many cards as you like. Each card can be customized with due dates, checklists, notes, attachments, and more!

The next few sections will describe some different ways to utilize Boards, Lists, and Cards based on your end goals. For more information, check out Trello’s website!

Trello is great for Business Planning

  • Access on desktop browsers or on apps for iOS, Android, and more so it is great on the go!
  • Create special labels to help visually organize your cards. Colorblind mode is also available!

  • You can set the board to private so that your confidential ideas remain for your eyes only. I do this for my convention planning and product concepts.

  • You can also create a board that is exclusive to you and the members of your team or leave it private and add members by invite only. Add members as your team grows. Invite to add as many members as you like!

  • Set due dates on each card for yourself or your members – you will get notifications in the app and via email as the deadline approaches.

  • Create and name different check lists. As I prepare for a convention, I create a card for the event then add lists of what I need to pack. I’ll make a list for dealers den necessities, hotel needs, and whether I need to organize hotel roommates. I can hide the list items that I check off as I go so it reduces the visual clutter (I can always show them again if I need to review checked items.) For instances where I set a deadline, as the date approaches, the app will remind me if there are some check list items that haven’t been addressed yet.

  • Copy, paste, and move lists, cards, and check lists. As I attend more conventions, I need the same set of check lists so I can either duplicate the card that corresponds to a convention and simply change the name and uncheck the boxes or edit contents of the existing lists. Or I can create a brand new card and create a check list that is the same as another card by selecting the existing list contents from a dropdown menu.


Some awesome things about Trello for Artists and Customers

It’s visual! Not just a boring list, now its a list with graphics and color coded labels. Use labels to signify progress or other important notes for yourself. I often leave special notes for commissions that are ordered for convention pick up versus commissions that are ordered at a con for take-home or large projects that require multiple components.

Color code your boards. There are multiple colors to choose from to set your boards apart. If you upgrade to Trello Gold, your options get far more customizable!

Upload files up to 10MB in size – this is great for wips and completed image files.

Recorded activity log shows how fast it took you to get from one step to the next as well as if you moved a card from one list to another. For instance, when I take a commission card from “Awaiting Payment” to “To be started” to “Sketching”.

Attach links for references or if you want people to be able to find your website, prices, or contact info.

Customers can subscribe to their commission card and choose to be notified of progress as their commission moves from one part of the process to the next.


Some other ways to use Trello to your advantage

  • Planning character design – sorting out ideas for colors, names, species, and personalities.
  • Organizing a large event with multiple people – creating a space for everyone to contribute and keep track of the different components and details of a large event.
  • Keeping your personal goals on track – maintaining a running list of projects, setting goals with reminders and checklists so that you can stick with a routine or stay ahead of the curve on business planning.


Share the love

If you want to check it out for yourself, go to Trello and make an account for free! If you recommend a friend, you can earn a free month of Trello Gold!


Take it up a notch

Trello Gold is a paid upgrade subscription that gives you access to fun perks like 250MB attachment limit (instead of 10MB basic limit) customizable backgrounds, stickers, and Power-ups which help integrate your Trello board with other apps and accounts.


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