Tools on the Bench – Trello

Trello

– a visual virtual collaboration tool 

(Part 1)

 

As we unpack for you some of the projects and ‘adventures’ we’re taking on, we thought it’d be fun (and helpful too!) to share with your some of the ‘tools on our bench’. These are the digital and virtual tools that we use, that’s helping us be effective as a team. (And like some of our initiatives, some of them are being experimented on too!). Our desire is that some of these digital resources might also find it’s way into your hands, to equip, enhance & empower the work you do.

Ours in some ways is a virtual team, and my guess is that many of you work in similar environments too, with similar challenges. We needed a common digital tool/platform that would help us coordinate our projects, initiatives and team work.

We considered and evaluated a few options like AsanaProducteevDo.com etc, but eventually settled on Trello. It’s an excellent visual virtual collaboration platform that offers a whole lot.
Trello essentially allows you to create virtual whiteboards for your team to interact on.

It’s almost like placing little post-it’s notes on a giant board as a team, except it’s all virtual. From wherever you may be, you can move these notes (what Trello calls ‘cards’) around anywhere you like, to attach it to whatever ‘lists’ you want to create. It’s very intuitive, and a rather quick learning curve. I’ll be happy to show you how easy it is in the next post. =)

 

Some great uses for Trello:

1.  As a team bulletin board.

  • A good place to place all your important news, key announcements, coordination points, team FAQ, team prayer focus etc.
  • An idea board to ‘pin up’ interesting or new ideas/projects, or as a parking lot for further team interaction.

2.  As a virtual whiteboard, to accompany an online meeting or conference call

  • To brainstorm & organize ideas, share & discuss concepts, create an outline, collate and compile notes etc.
  • Just like in Google Docs/Drive, (another great tool) items refresh immediately and allow members to manipulate and see changes ‘live’

3.  As a project coordination and management tool.

  • Use it for project planning and collaboration, with the ability to assign tasks, track and monitor progress, report results and more
  • At a glance, see all the tasks you’re assigned, and comment on the task/project/assignment, attached files, integrate with Google Drive etc.

4. Enhance your team communications.

  • Forget email. No more searching your Inbox for that illusive reply to your question about a project. All your activities are recorded, and relevant parties in your team are notified of your comments/replies etc.
  • Discuss and coordinate directly within the context of the specific task/project

What I personally like about Trello:

  • Interact with your ‘To-do’ items, manipulate it. Work is like play. Plus it’s so intuitive, so ‘Mac-like’ =)
  • Trello is available on all the platforms you’re on! iOS (iPhone, iPad) or any Android device. And because it’s in the cloud, you’re all synced-up, across all your devices.
  • Instant notifications, with options to control what you receive.
  • It’s Free! and it’s got a responsive team of developers working hard to make it great!

I must say I really love this tool! As a person who’s really visual, this is an awesome GTD and project management tool.

In Part 2, I’ll show a quick tutorial on the basics of Trello, and in pt.3, a short video on how our team uses Trello, to make it work for our needs. (For those of you who can’t wait, here’s a helpful quick overview video) =)

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