Setting up the right lists for your Trello boards can be difficult. But there is a simple Trello setup that Scott Friesen has been using with his clients for years. In this video, he shows you how to set up your Trello board to take on any project and make it easier for you and your team to succeed!
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This video tutorial is brought to you by Rewind. Are you worried about losing your Trello data or not being able to go back to something you did days or weeks ago? Don't, because you can always go back with Rewind Backups for Trello. A little more about them a little later in the video. If you go and do a Google search for Trello Consulting, do you know what you'll find? Well, you'll find me at the very top of the list. No, not the advertisements here. I mean the very first listing. Trello training and consulting with Scott Friesen. Why is that? Well, I've been a Trello user for more than 10 years and I've been providing Trello Consulting for five of those years. And along the way, I've learned what works and what doesn't when it comes to using Trello with businesses, with projects, really with any type of thing that you're wanting to manage within the Trello space. So in this video, I'm going to help you build the ultimate Trello project management board, something that can be applied to virtually any industry and even any size team. And best of all, it's not going to be some massive board. In fact, depending on your screen size, you'll be able to see all seven lists right here within a single board. That's right. We're only going to be using seven lists. Now I'm going to be building this out live so you can follow along and also understand why I've designed this template the way I do. And yes, this is the exact same template that I use with most of my clients. So let's dive in. Now, the very first list that we are going to create is not going to be called to do or tasks or projects. In fact, we're going to call it about this board. Why? Far too often, we are collaborating with members who are either new to this board or are managing many other Trello boards as well. So it's important that we add some vital but simple details here so that they know what they're working with. Now, a few years ago, Trello added the ability to add an about this board area here where we can add a description to our board. But it's kind of buried here in the menu. No one's coming here out of their own free will. We want to be up front and also be able to share other information here as well. So the very first card that we're going to add here is a description. This board is used for, and I'm just going to leave it at that for our example here. But this is really intended for you to fill out a couple of sentences, maybe a very short paragraph, just describing what this board is used for and maybe who should be involved in this board. I'm going to select add card. But before we leave that, we're going to make it stand out even more because otherwise this is just going to look like any other Trello card. So I'm going to open up this card and we're going to make use of the card cover feature. Here on the right hand side, you can see near the bottom of our add to card options. I'm going to select cover. And in this case, I want to select this full cover option. Maybe I'll choose the color yellow, and then I'm going to choose the right one here. And the reason that I'm doing that is that I want this text to be big and bold. Not only do I want the color to stand out, but you can see anything that I write within this card, within the card title is going to be big and bold. So we want to be clear and upfront as to what this board is used for. Now, the second card in this about this board list is going to be for reference, and particularly reference documents or maybe links to other websites. And once again, I'm going to click on this card and make use of that card cover feature, because again these are things that we don't want to mix or sort or move with other things on this board. We want it to stand out. So I'm going to use this sort of reddish shade, but maybe I'll leave this card cover here. I don't need it to stand out as bold. In fact, I'd like them to see if there are links to other documents. Now remember, we don't want to replace Trello for our cloud storage system. If you're already using Google Drive or Dropbox or OneDrive, that is really the ideal place to keep your files and important documents. But maybe there's something particular to this board that people will be needing to reference on a regular basis. That's where we can use this card here and attach certain documents. So under attachments here, we can either link to specific webpages, we can upload PDF files, maybe there's certain images that you would like to be included here as well. It's that much more handy to have them all in one convenient card, or at least many of them in a single card, so people don't have to be switching between this board and other tabs or other areas on their computer. The next one on our list is also going to be a type of reference, but here it's going to be labels used on this board. Of course, you can name this any way that you like. I'm going to open up this card, and in this case, once again, just so it stands out a bit, I'm going to make use of that cover feature. Maybe I'll use the blue color this time around. Now, because this is a brand new board, I actually haven't added any labels. All of these labels are waiting for me to enter in some options. But let's just say I'm going to give them a few different titles. Maybe this is a priority label here with green. I'm going to save that. Maybe yellow is going to designate that they are a customer. And then maybe one more here. Let's just say that this one means urgent, something along those lines. Now what's important is that you want to apply all of the labels which you've created to this particular card so it will show up on the front of this card. So when people are looking at what's going on, they can see all of the labels that are available to them. And don't forget this Trello tip that if you don't see the name of the label here on the front of the card, just click on the label itself. By default, you may only see the colors, but if you click on any of them, it will expand and it will do that for the entire board. So you can see clearly what labels are available. Now for our example, I'm going to stop adding cards to this about this board list. But remember, this is an ideal place where you can add reference material or other pieces of information that people would like to or need to go to on an occasional basis. It's important that it's far left so that everyone can see it and also have easy access to it. But just before we start adding our next list, I'm going to do one more thing here to the title of this list. And you're going to see me do this for all of the lists in this board as well. And that is to add an emoji at the front. This is something that I've started to do with really all of my boards to make them stand out that much more. So in this case I've decided to add a little notepad just to make it look like it's a reference style or a reference emoji here. This is not only helpful as we go through the other lists in this project board, but it's especially powerful when it comes to things such as sorting or maybe viewing your Trello board in the other views here within Trello. Can also be very helpful when you're accessing Trello on your mobile device. So something that stands out and makes each list a little more distinctive. So I'm going to start with my emoji here. I'm going to look for something that's maybe a brain. Why? Well, the very first list where we're starting to take some action and I'm going to title this one brainstorming. Now, you could title this something such as ideas or things to consider, but I think it's very important that every tri board has a place where we can dump information, whether it's yourself, maybe it's a personal board, or especially when you're collaborating with a team, you have a safe place where you can input new ideas, new tasks, new things to consider. But they haven't graduated to an actual task or perhaps an actual due date. So this first location here for brainstorming is going to be where you can maybe triage on a weekly basis, come back and revisit. Maybe there's some things that will immediately get archived or be deferred to another time, but something that is related to this particular board, the type of work that you're doing, but you can input it on the same screen. Our next list is where things start to get done, or at least we start to organize the things that we want to accomplish. And again, I'm going to start with an emoji and I think I'm going to pick this finger pointing down because this is where a lot of our attention should be. Now, you can call this to do or task to accomplish. I'm just going to leave this as to do. But there's a great distinction here between things that we're thinking about or things that we're considering and things that we've committed to. I think it's really important whether you're using Trello for your personal task list or working on a huge project with many other colleagues that there's a distinction that everything in this to-do list are things that we've committed to, not just ideas, not just things that we'd like to consider. That's what brainstorming or maybe a completely separate board is for. To do means that we're going to accomplish it. Now at this stage, you may think that the very next list in this list should be done, right? Here are the things we need to do. And then when they're complete, we move it to done. But there are more than one important list that we want to put in between our to do and our done or completed list, because there are many phases when we are working on a project or even working on given tasks. So the very first one that I'm going to put in here is in progress, meaning that someone is actually working on this. And don't forget our emoji here, just to make it stand out that much more. I'm going to use these tools that we're actually working on something here and add to this list. It's so easy to create a to-do list, but who is actually working on that task in the moment? Why are there so many things on our to-do list? Probably because other people are working on other tasks, and we want to spell that out and make it exceptionally clear right here within our Trello board. Next, I'm going to add a little hourglass to this particular one here. Why an hourglass? Well, I'm particularly using this image here that says hourglass not done because the name of this list is going to be pending. Now, what exactly do I mean? And what is the difference between in progress and pending? Well in progress means that it's something that you or someone else is actively working on. But I always like to include a pending list for things that cannot be worked on any further until someone else either gets back to us, someone else delivers a part of work, or maybe replies to an important email. How often have you been working on a task and you're working within a collaborative environment such as Trello and people maybe ask you, hey, why haven't you finished that task yet? I see that that's been assigned to you for some time. Meanwhile, what you're doing is actually waiting for a response maybe from a vendor or from a client or waiting for someone else to finish up a portion of their work. Rather than keeping that task within the in progress list, I think having a pending list is much more appropriate. Now, chances are you will only have very few things here within this pending list. But again, it's about making that distinction between our different stages and our different lists here within Trello. Pending means that I am waiting for a response or there's nothing else I can do at this moment in time. And don't be afraid to move your cards back and forth between in progress and pending depending on that task, and depending on what information that you're waiting for. We are also going to add a list which I'm going to start with a stop sign because this means that that particular task or whatever that card represents is actually blocked and you or perhaps other members of your team need some help. Now, this is a list which is often not used very regularly, and hopefully there is never more than maybe one or two cards in this list at any given time. But especially when you're collaborating with others, I think it's important to have a place where you can call out something and say, listen, I can't get any further with this particular task. Can I get some assistance? Can someone answer this question? Maybe someone else can bring another alternative. This can also be a safe space for you to put things that can be discussed perhaps at the next team meeting. Or better yet, you could set up a Trello automation that whenever something is moved into the blocked list, perhaps everyone on the board gets an automatic email notification so that they are aware of that particular task and can jump in and help as needed. If you'd like to learn more about Trello automations, be sure to click the video here in the top right hand corner of your screen. And now that we have our first six lists added, really there's only one more list that I think we need to add. And yes, that's going to be complete. I'm going to select this checkbox here, and we can either title it complete, finished, done, whatever you think is most relevant to you and the needs of your particular project board. As you can see, minus the about this board on the far left hand side of the screen, everything fits in nicely on a standard resolution desktop screen. So we can start our task here in the brainstorming mode. They can graduate to a to-do and then work their way sometimes through pending, hopefully not very often through blocked, but always to its completed end so that you can efficiently get through your projects. Now, one more bonus tip is what to add at the top of each of your lists. And what I would recommend is adding a brief description, something along the lines of this. This list is for tasks that are waiting for input and cannot proceed without that information. After adding that card, I would recommend that you open the card and once again make use of that cover option. In this case, maybe I'm going to use this green shade here so that this card stands out and won't be confused with other tasks or other cards within this list. Now, are you ever worried about losing your Trello data? Or about someone else messing up your Trello boards? Well, don't be. That's where Rewind Backups for Trello come into play. Rewind provides automatic daily Trello backups and allows you to restore your boards in just seconds. And best of all is the price. Rewind Backups starts at just $1 a board per month, so you can be rest assured that your Trello information is safe, secure, and always retrievable. To learn more and get started, go to rewind.com/Scott-Friesen. And remember, being productive does not need to be difficult. In fact, it's very simple.
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