I’ve been sitting on this post for a while, probably a good year in fact. It’s a concept I’ve been mulling over; while I talk a lot about crafts on here, my day to day job isn’t something I really share online too much. In fact, I don’t think many blogs I read talk about their day to day lives, so I’m kind of curious. So before I start talking about Trello and I use it organise my blog, I hope you don’t mind me giving you a little background.
I work in marketing and have done since I graduated with a Business Management degree in 2007. I started in field marketing before moving to email marketing about six and a half years ago. I’ve worked with lots of great clients and love seeing how businesses operate and grow, as well as seeing the success they have in email and wider marketing. The field keeps me learning and that’s one of the best things about my job.
So I’m going to do something brave and challenge myself to posting a monthly blog about marketing; I’ll keep it fairly broad and always aim to bring it back to blogging and being creative, so hopefully you’ll stick with me. Even if you’re not in marketing or are a blogger, I’d hope there’s still something you can take from it.
Today I’m excited to share with you my love of Trello and how useful I think it can be to organising your blog and your blog editorial calendar. So let’s get stuck in…
How I use Trello to organise my blog (and my life!)
Trello is a project management board where you can have lists, cards, due dates, labels, checklists, calendar views etc. You can move things around and build a board how it works for you – so there’s lots of flexibility. It’s primarily web based, but they also have an app for Apple and Android. I love Trello and I have done for years; it was introduced to me by a work colleague and it’s a tool I use for work, blogging and organising my personal life – so this post isn’t just for bloggers, I promise!
Here’s a snapshot of how my February blogging board looked:
You’ll see I have lists for each week of February – which I run from Monday to Sunday, and then there are what they call cards for each blog post. I also have cards for my social media scheduling and monthly newsletter. Here’s a closer look at the first two weeks of February.
A few key features that I find really useful:
Labels. You’ll see just above the blog post titles various colours, which I’ve set up to tell me where I am in the process of completing the post:
- Green: To research/make/read/bake/visit
- Yellow: To photograph
- Orange: To edit photographs
- Red: To write
- Purple: Scheduled
- Blue: Social updates scheduled
Due dates. Beneath the blog post title you’ll see a date, which you can set and adjust as you need. As the date approaches the colour changes to let you know it’s pending (you can also set up email notifications). There’s also a calendar view to show you more visually how your blog schedule looks – similar to the WordPress plugin.
Checklists. The checklist feature is incredibly helpful and ensures I cover everything I need to for a given post. You’re able to copy cards, so once you’ve set up one blog card with checklists you can copy it as many times as you need – no need to repeat yourself (so keeping it nice and efficient). For me I’ve tried to stay away from lots of lists in the past, but ultimately it makes me more likely to get 1) stressed and 2) forget something, so the checklist feature is one of my favourite things about Trello. Here’s an example checklist I use when writing a post.
My checklists cover photography, writing the post, scheduling and organising social media posts.
You can also see how you’re progressing through a checklist when you look at a card on the board (meaning you don’t have to click into each and every card to double check).
Adding images. You’ll notice on a couple of cards that I’ve added images; with Trello you can upload as many images and attachments as you need. I use images to make the board more visual for me, but more so to tell me that I’ve finished creating the photographs I need to for that particular post. You can also attach from URLs, Dropbox, OneDrive, Google Drive and more.
Customising. As well as labels, you can also add stickers and change the background. I tend not to use stickers (as it makes it a bit too busy for me!) but I’ve customised the background to something relevant to my branding. It’s worth adding here that Trello is free, with an option to upgrade to Trello Business Class. The paid for option gives you a lot more options to customise, as well as integrations with other platforms, and I uploaded my own background when they ran a free trial. The standard background options are from a palette of colours.
Multiple users. While not relevant to my blog at the moment, at work a team of us use Trello and work from the same board; we all have access and can assign ourselves to cards and @ mention each other if there’s something we need to alert them to. When Stu and I moved house we also set up a board for things we need to do and buy and would assign each other tasks. This makes it a great tool if you’re collaborating with someone or a group of people on a project.
Setting up an ideas board
I used to have a list on this board where I’d add blog post ideas, but found the board was starting to get messy and I wasn’t able to clearly see my ideas and how they fit with the Create, Home and Lifestyle themes of my blog. I’ve recently set up a second Trello board (you can have as many as you need) and so far it seems to be working. I thought having two boards would be a bit daunting, but breaking it down is a theme that works well for me. Here’s a snapshot of my ideas board as it looked at the beginning of February – some of these ideas may never come to light, but you never know!
Beyond Trello – using pen and paper
While I use Trello on a daily basis, I still like to use pen and paper to help keep me organised – this applies to my blog and work life. For my blog I have this pad of paper from OhNoRachio’s shop where I filter what I need to do and what would be nice to do in a week, which is paper clipped to my Erin Condren planner. That way Trello never gets too overwhelming for me and allows me to breakdown posts and progress I’ve made.
So what do you think – could this help you with your blogging, work or personal life? I use Trello for so much in my life and I can’t now imagine not using it – I even used it for organising Christmas presents last year!
If you’re looking for more information on how to get started with Trello, they’ve got a great selection of guides that’ll help you, as well as some interesting user stories over on their blog. As a company I really support them and enjoy their brand. I hope you’ll love them as much as me.
If you have any questions on Trello, or feedback on this new post and marketing feature drop me a comment below or tweet me – be great to hear from you.
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Photo credit: DTTSP