It came up on Twitter, how do you use Trello in your workflow? So, I thought I’d do a quick show and tell for how I use it. I’m always tweaking the system and looking for ways to make it work better. For now, here is the September 2017 process.
About our team
We have a distributed work team across several provinces. Having an online web tool to manage requests makes it easy to share information and assign tasks across the team.
Goodbye paper and emails
To keep on top of the workload, getting out of working in emails and paper notes has been essential.
The volume of emails makes it easy to have tasks or requests get lost by the end of the day. And paper systems to keep personal tasks in order become quickly out of date.
Right now, I’m using 4 boards actively:
- Team tasks board
- Annual workplan board
- Special project board
- Personal board
For this show and tell, I’ll look at the current set-up for our team tasks board.
The set up
I’ve tried several ways to set up our workflow, including the traditional Kanban flow (moving tiles across lists as they hit different milestone in a process: in progress, review, complete etc.).
- Organize broad web topic areas by list
- Schedule temporary content for removal
- Use the completed tasks list to inform analytics team and senior managers
- Keep common shortcuts accessible to all team members
For our team meetings, I found the traditional Kanban system challenging for weekly reporting. Having tasks organized by broad topic worked much better when doing a run-down of our tasks.
Broadly, we have two main content streams: Places/Travel and National programs/Reporting. So, there is one list for each stream.
Within the two content stream lists, we use labels to categorize the tasks. The labels align with the main topics for our site’s information architecture. Labels makes it easy to assess what topics are making the most requests for web services.
Card level information
I still wanted to have the “at a glance” status for tasks. This is where the custom fields power-up helped. I added a custom drop down with our key workflow states (review and design, coding, client review and waiting for information). This is displayed on the front of the card.
In the Custom Fields power-up, I have 3 custom fields:
- URL: Final URL of the page
- Date unpublished (using the due date and unpublished date, clients can easily know how many days a campaign was live)
- Status: Workflow state
When a request comes in through email, I use the email-to-board feature to send it right away to the board. Email is a deep dark hole.
Once in Trello, we edit the card to have all the task related information:
- Due date
- Description of task
- Location of content / images
- Team members assigned
- Section label
Then we add a workflow to the card using a pre-populated checklist from the “request template” card. If it’s a small request, this isn’t always necessary.
To figure out who can take on new requests, I rely on Trello’s filters. I hit the ‘f’ key and filter by team member. With a small team, it’s easy to see who can take on new requests based on the number of active tasks.
What happens in Trello, stays in Trello
As much as possible, we use the task cards for discussions. This keeps all related information about a task with the task. No searching through emails. If another team member ever needs to pick up a task, everything they’ll need to know is directly in the card.