In this series I will review the different project management software I am currently using, which are Trello, Basecamp, Asana and Teamwork. In this post I will review Trello.
Trello is a software that uses a Kanban approach to help you organize your projects. It is almost like Scrum but less structured. What it basically means is that you have information on different cards organized on a board that has different columns. Each column represents a different stage in a process and each card represents an individual item that you are working on. Once you have finished the task you are working on, you move it across the board to a different stage. Back in the days this was (actually, still is) done with post-it notes on a whiteboard.
The image above shows you what a simple Trello board looks like. This board represents a website project where different tasks are being worked on already. As you can see I made four different columns: Tasks, in progress, in review and done. The idea here is to list all tasks in the “Tasks” column and then move them between the different columns until it is done.
If you are an agency, or just have many different projects going on you can either create a board like this for each project or you can use the different labels. Basically just add a color that represents the status of the task. I have used the labels like this: red = to do, orange = in progress, green = done. This way it’s easy to manage multiple projects on the “same page”.
For each task you can also add a checklist, i.e. you can have tasks inside tasks. In my example I have added a checklist to my “Contact -page” -task. In order to complete the “contact -page” -task, I first have to complete “Header-image”, “new text”, “map” and “contact form”. In the board overview above you can see for that task there is a green checkmark and “4/4” to the right of it. This is a really good way to keep track of your progress in a project.
Adding a task
Adding tasks is really easy, all you have to do is click on the “Add card” and write down the task and hit enter. You can then click on the task in order to modify it. Here you can add members, labels, checklist and attachments. You can also move, copy, subscribe to and archive the card. Another great feature here is the comment section, where you basically can talk with your colleagues about the task. It looks like this:
Like the software, the mobile app has a really clean design and is really easy to use. They have the same structure and layout, so if you can use the desktop version and you are familiar with a smartphone, you can use the mobile app. The app is available on both AppStore and Google play.
What I like about Trello
- As I have mentioned, I really like the design of the software. Both how it looks and how it works.
- Easy to set up and learn.
- Free plan is enough (there’s “Business Class” and “Enterprise” -versions, but what I use Trello for, the free plan is enough. See different plans here).
- Use of “@”. If you add a comment to a task, you can add “@” and a persons name (like on twitter) and it will notify that person. A lot of project management software don’t have this feature, but I think it is a tiny feature that adds a lot of value.
What I don’t like about Trello
- Trello is so simple, I would say it isn’t suitable for bigger projects with more “low-level” details. Also I would imagine (I haven’t tried) that with bigger projects (e.g. 15 columns and a total of 200 cards) it might be difficult to manage everything efficiently.
Should you use Trello?
For smaller projects, absolutely! For bigger projects I would recommend something else. Of course you can use both Trello and another project management app at the same time, keeping the more hight-level details and the communication on Trello.
I also recommend Trello for personal use. I love it as a to-do list, e.g. if I come up with a great blog title while I am outside running I just add it to my Trello board. It’s a great way to keep things organized (since I’m already using Trello).
- Posted by Andreas Westerlund
- On October 27, 2015