There’s no denying that Notion has taken the book community by storm lately with how many posts describing how and templates created about a platform. And it is very deserving! After all, Notion has so many functions that allow personalization and aesthetics like never before.
However, I always get overwhelmed by the amount of function available. Before it exploded on book community, I found out about Notion from studytube community and tried it out. It didn’t work for me then and it doesn’t work for me now either 😬 I love the clean interface and had fun exploring the functions, but it just isn’t for me.
One productivity platform I find work the hype and have been using consistently is Trello. The app uses Kanban board which organize your workplace based on workflow (list) and tasks (card). I find this system is really effective in breaking tasks into smaller pieces and keeping track of different pieces. I understand that Trello is aimed for a different functionality than Notion; Trello is mainly aimed for team-work and tasks management while Notion is for life organization, but while I won’t be able to do habit tracking or personalize my page, Trello’s functionality is exactly what I need.
So today I’m going to share how I use Trello for organization and planning. I will show different page and functionality, as well as what I’m using from them. Again, it’s aimed for a different function than Notion but if you like me find it too overwhelming, maybe Trello can be an alternative for you.
Disclaimer 1: This is not a sponsored post
Disclaimer 2: There are other kanban platform available out there, but I find the best fit with Trello
Disclaimer 3: This post has no intention of discrediting Notion or people who use them, Notion also has Kanban board for you to use but I prefer to use Trello
So this is your homepage, which contains all of your boards. You can pin your boards with the *starred* functionality so it’s on top of your home everytime you open it. When you download the app on your device, you can directly pin the board on your home screen so you can access it without visiting the homepage.
I have eight boards and all of them have different functionality:
- Blog: Organize blogging-related activities, such as review copies, discussion ideas, done posts, etc (I will use this board as an example later)
- Reading List: As the name suggest, this board organize my reading by keeping track of review copies and my TBR as well as creating seasonal TBR
- *censored*: This board is to manage work in an organization I’m part of which is also where most of Trello’s aimed functionality is used 😂
- Thesis: I used this board to organize my thesis, such as keeping tracks of topics I need to read, paper I’ve read, outline my manuscript, defense study materials, and even list of friends I bought flowers for 😂
- Uni: I didn’t use this board anymore, but I used this to keep track of assignments, upcoming deadlines, competitions, and when I was looking for internship and thesis placement (in addition to my trusty spreadsheet)
- Watchlist and Welcome Board are boards automatically created by Trello when you first created your account. I never really used them but I didn’t deleted them either ¯\_(ツ)_/¯
- The last board is basically a bucket-list and goals type of board, as the cheesy name suggested 😂🙈
To add a new board, you just need to click the + sign on the top left of your home. The i sign provide tips and corporate information, while the 🔔 sign give notifications when someone mentioned you or someone made changes in cards you’re watching.
So this is how my board for blogging looks like! List refers to the large gray square and in this board equals to task category. Meanwhile, card refers to the individual while blocs within each list.
Each lists corresponds to different task I do for blogging, with high TBR means non-review copies priority TBR. Discussion ideas is where I listed all discussion topics I want to write about and I usually create the outline for the post within the card. The done list is where I move lists that I already finished working on.
There are more lists you can create and to do this, you just scroll to the rightmost side of your board, where you will see the transparent “add another list” and voila! you have a new list.
Let’s take a closer look at a card, which you can do by clicking on the white bloc.
So this is how a card look like. I usually put my outline (and its expansion) on the description section, with the comment reserved for some random notes regarding each point. On the right side of the card, there are different functions you can use.
- Member: Add another Trello user to the card where they can add and collaborate on the project
- Labels: Color-code your list for better organization. For this board, I only use 2 colors (yellow for discussion post, gray for ARC reviews) but for other boards, I am using more
- Checklist: Add checklist if you need it
- Due date: Set deadlines for a specific card
- Attachment: Add attachment. I always add images but apparently you can attach conversation from Slack or even leads from SalesForce
- Cover: Add cover to the card, similar with Notion cover
- Power Ups: Basically add-ons, such as countdown and approvals
- Watch (see below): You’ll get notification if someone (who has access to the card) make any changes/updates
This is an example of a card where I’m using due date and checklist, which is mainly for reviews. You can change the name of the checklist and add multiple checklist in one card, which is super convenient.
🌱 WHY I LOVE USING TRELLO 🌱
- Everything is one click away. You want to create a new board? click. A new card? click. Label? click. It’s so freaking convenient!
- The interface might not be as pretty and minimalist, but it’s very straightforward
- It doesn’t have as much functionality, but it has exactly what I need to keep track of my projects, planning, and brain dumping ideas in an organized manner
- And since everything is one click away, it’s very quick to just dump whatever in my head
- The Kanban structure help with the flow of ideas. I might open the board to write an idea but I always ended up with some form of outline ready to go