Trello is a to-do list manager and project management webapp that’s based on the metaphor of index cards pinned to a board. The cards each flip over, giving you a workspace where you can discuss the task, create smaller checklists, assign responsibility, or add other notes. To change the status of a task, move it to a different list on your board!
I’ve been living with Trello as my main to-do list for the last three weeks, and its strength is definitely how easy and enjoyable it is to work with your tasks. Picking up a task and moving it to the “Done” list is very satisfying and sensible. I also love the many tools you get on the back of each card– I’ve been using the checklists to break my tasks into manageable, single-sitting objectives that I can easily knock out. I also love being able to put status updates on the back of each task so I can associate URLs, conversation notes, and memos to myself to help me get things done.
It’s refreshing that Trello doesn’t tell you how to work– you can come up with whatever system makes sense with your brain and the project you’re trying to manage. My understanding is that the tool was developed to help Fog Creek Software manage bug tracking, product updates, and feature requests in a transparent, public way. They even have their own software development board publicly available so you can see it in action!
Trello’s flexibility might also be a liability– at least in my workflow. One thing I demand from a to-do list manager is that it obnoxiously get my attention when something is close to due. While Trello has due dates, it doesn’t have a way of knowing whether the task is done or not. Since you just move completed tasks to a different list, Trello doesn’t know that your “Done” list actually means ”done”. I would love it if it would somehow integrate with my Google Calendar so I get a big noisy update when I’m about to have something due! I think it would be much better in an organization where everyone is checking Trello constantly to make sure everything is on track. The other thing that’s keeping Trello from overthrowing my current to-do list manager DoIt.Im is its lack of an Android app (which I understand is coming!) However, I think once that Android app is in place, the sheer joy of using Trello to knock my tasks off will make it my #1 choice.
[6 month UPDATE: I found this great app from Francois Metz that posts Trello due dates on my Google Calendar so I can get all the notifications goodness I need! And now that there IS an Android app for Trello, I am blissfully Trello-izing all my to-dos! ]
“Year 1+” Update: After Over a Year with Trello, It’s Still The One
I have been using Trello as my main personal ToDo list manger for over a year now and have had the opportunity to really put it through it’s paces as a project management tool to keep teams focused around shared goals. The great core features have been updated and expanded in smart ways to make Trello even more useful and powerful than it was last March.
As a ToDo List
I started using Trello as my own personal ToDo list manager after finding little annoyances with otherwise great tools like RemembertheMilk, Wunderlist, DoIt.im, and many others.
(more to come…)