In one of my last posts tagged Accomplishteers, I detailed the products I use to keep my life in order. I'm going to pretend that I haven't spent the last 30 minutes playing 2048: Gawker edition (you're welcome), and tell you about another FREE tool you might enjoy to be productive. I try to pick up free stuff because I don't want to spend money on things I'm not going to use.

Trello is in something of a different category from the apps in the last post, which are all personal management tools. Trello can be used as one, but its strength is in collaboration. Unlike HabitRPG, which is largely centered around three different types of tasks: habits, dailies, and to-dos, Trello is just to-dos - it's for one-time projects. If you do groupwork, and you're trying to launch something with many small parts among a group, Trello might be the tool for you.

I am working with a group to launch a series of events. One particular event requires many small parts, so I was going to make a google spreadsheet that we'd share. But I wanted to add links to individual tasks, and I thought that could be messy. Then I remembered that HabitRPG actually uses Trello for game development, so I decided to explore.

The basic premise, for groupwork is this:

  1. individuals create Trello accounts.
  2. An admin makes a public/private organization (private is the default)
  3. You create boards for specific projects within that organization
  4. Each virtual board, which looks vaguely like a bulletin board, has a certain number of lists - columns. The default is to-do, doing, and done.
  5. Within each list, you create tasks, which can be assigned to specific people, can allow people to comment on them, attach files, add deadlines, add tags, etc.
  6. When the status of a task changes, you click and drag it to the appropriate column.


Trello also has the option of working by yourself on your own board or inviting others to a board without creating an organization - if it's a one-off, you might not care about an organization. There are also features you pay for, but I'm not clear on why I would need them.

Happy organizing.