At first, I used ‘sticky notes’ on my computer. While this was okay at first, I soon became overwhelmed with too many notes on my home screen. In an effort to control the chaos, I started colour coding notes. Although I was able to keep track of my various tasks, it just looked well..messy. Plus, I was terrified the notes would disappear into thin air. I also couldn’t look at my tasks if I was in a different location.
So then I moved onto my old friend Google Docs. I started using different documents for different kinds of tasks and processes and organising these documents into folders. Again, this was okay but..messy. The only strong advantage was I knew everything was backed up and I could access my information from anywhere. However, I disliked having to click into separate files. I needed greater visibility on my processes.
Finding a good project management software was tougher than I thought. I guess this was because I knew what I wanted:
- One place where I could access all my different tasks without making several clicks
- The ability to create different categories and subcategories
- The ability to create lists that could easily be ticked off, but not deleted completely
One of my teammates said she uses Trello. I gave it a go and liked it instantly for a number of reasons:
Simple to set up
I may overuse the above word, but simplicity and user experience are extremely important in any product. Nobody wants to spend hours going through a help section to get started (although the help section is very good). On joining, Trello provided multiple visual clues that guide you through using the platform. They also provide a welcome board that gives you ideas on how to use it.
You have a choice to either set up your own boards or create team boards where you can collaborate with work colleagues. Both options are easy to set up and give you greater visibility and transparency on tasks. There is also a business team option that gives you more security and administrative control.
Another great thing about Trello is that there are no hard and fast rules to using it. You can fully tailor it to suit your daily needs. For example, I like to keep track of the tasks I do everyday, so I name different boards after different days. Within each board, I have ‘lists’ with the following titles:
- Lead generation
Within each list I have different cards that vary depending on my tasks. To avoid my dashboard getting cluttered, at the end of the week I group Monday – Friday into one larger board. For example boards ‘Monday 19th June – 23rd June’ all go into the board ‘June Week 3’. Over time, I will then group all the June boards into one larger board again.
Maybe it’s just because I like pretty things, but I believe if you’re using a tool everyday, you should enjoy using it. Trello’s colour coding features help gain visibility on your work. Going back to the different boards for different days example: If I want to clearly see the days of the current week – I colour them pink. If I have a different group of boards, I colour code them differently.
The overall design of Trello also helps with project management – I like to think it resembles Pipedrive CRM. The dashboard clearly outlines all your boards and the lists are also clearly defined side by side with the ability to move cards easily.
Productivity levels kept high
If a project management software doesn’t keep you productive, then it’s not doing it’s job. When I complete a task in Trello, I label the card yellow. Trello allows you to name different labels. So in my case, yellow is labelled ‘done’. I can then see clearly what is done and what needs to be completed.
As we complete weekly and monthly reports here at HireHive, I find it more useful to label tasks as opposed to deleting them when they’re completed. This way, I can look back at the end of the week or the month and see for example, how many companies I contacted or how many blog posts I wrote and track my progress over time.
Trello’s price plans are extremely reasonable with the free plan offering unlimited boards, lists, cards and up to 10MB of attachments. The free plan also allows you to create teams and collaborate with work colleagues.
The business plan for 9.99 a month offers the free plan plus integrations, more custom backgrounds, advanced support among other things. There is also an enterprise plan for 20.83 a month where you can get 2 factor authentication, a dedicated account executive and custom security.