How to Use Trello to Organize your Blog or Business
A couple weekends ago, I was asked to be on an influencer panel and share some of my personal insight and views on running my own business. One of the questions that was asked at the panel was “What is your favorite app you use to run your business?” Without missing a beat, I pretty much shouted “TRELLO!” at the top of my lungs. Yes, I am that freaking passionate about Trello and I couldn’t believe that almost no one else at the panel had heard of it. Trello is my lifeline. Sounds dramatic, but it’s true. I would be one hot mess without it – and I sing it’s praises to all of my clients, friends, and fellow business owners. Basically, if you run a blog or online business, you need Trello in your life and today, we’re talking about how to use Trello to organize your blog or business.
Before Trello, I had a super hard time keeping everything in one place. I used checklists in notebooks, paper planners, Evernote, etc, but nothing seemed to keep it all together with me. I love paper planners and I use one to keep my real life and 9-5 organized, but the problem with blogging is that everything I do is digitally online. It was way too much work to transfer notes about a project from an email by hand into a planner. Plus, I would have spreadsheets in google drive for one project and note from a client meeting in an email and contract details in Dropbox and could never keep them all in one place. Thankfully, Trello solves ALL of these issues by allowing me to keep EVERYTHING neatly organized.
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So. What is Trello?
Trello. The most magical organizational tool in existence. Imagine Pinterest meets Post-it notes meets checklists meets a calendar with hyperlink capabilities. That’s Trello. Oh and also, it’s free. Sounding magical yet?
Trello starts at a board level, similar to Pinterest. You can create as many boards as you want for as many categories you want to keep organized. Once you open a board, you can create lists. Each list is made up of cards (as many as you want or need) and that is where the real magic happens. You can create cards to have checklists, link to Google Drive or Dropbox, assign them colors or dates, save links to sites, attachments, assign them to team members and leave comments and notes. It’s super flexible so you can adjust each board and card as you need, depending on the project or what you are using the board for. When you open up a board, you can only look at the lists and cards saved to that board. You can access any board from a menu on the side to switch through them.
If you are 100% new to using Trello, setting it up is easy, but kind of hard to type out and explain. So, I created a quick video talking through the very basics of setting up a Trello board and creating lists and cards below.
Trello Boards For Blogging:
Below is a list of all the boards I’ve created in Trello to help me keep my blog organized, complete with the lists and cards I use to keep it all organized! Using these boards keeps all my projects, ideas, and goals in one place and I love that I can access it from my desktop, phone, or iPad!
Blog Hub Board
This is the board where I keep almost all of my ideas stored for Hey There, Chelsie. It’s the hub for my business and blog. I keep a running list of all blog post ideas here and jot down any notes or thoughts quickly in the comments of each card. The next list is the current month’s editorial calendar. I love this because I can drag and drop any blog post ideas from my brainstorm list right over to my editorial calendar list and assign it a due date. If for some reason, something comes up and I can’t get to that post during that month, I can quickly drag and drop it back into the idea bank. That way, I don’t lose any of my ideas as I change things around.
I also have a list dedicated to ideas for each medium that I create content for. So, I have a list of youtube/video ideas, a list of recurring series posts on the blog, a list of content upgrades, a list of topics for emails to send out, and a list of any big projects that I have. I love that I can open each card and add any thoughts, checklists, or links to where I might have written other notes (like google drive.)
My Week Board
Like I said, I used to never be able to keep my dates organized before Trello. I’d also always write out a bunch of back-end tasks on random pieces of paper or post-it notes and would inevitably lose them. I love that I can have a running list of tasks on the My Week board and can assign them out to different days, depending on my workflow. I also love that I can copy all my blog posts that have deadlines from my Blog Hub Board to My Week Board as they come up so that I never have to worry about forgetting to publish a project on time.
Hey There, Chelsie Big Picture Board
This is where I keep all my BIG PICTURE goals and ideas organized. All of my quarterly goals are listed out here, along with any big projects that I am working on. This is also where I keep track of ALL of my pitching for projects. Since taking BossPitch last summer, I’ve completely taken my sponsored post opportunities into my own hands and pitch myself and HTC to companies I truly want to work with. I have a list of companies I want to work with. Each card has an email contact listed in the comments, and detailed notes of each time I email and follow up, with dates and reminders scheduled on when to follow up again.
I have a list of projects that are in progress, with checklists detailing everything I need to do to complete the project. This helps me make sure I don’t miss any steps (like sending a thank you email to the brand a few weeks after the project is published to thank them for working with me!)
Additionally, I keep a list of companies and contacts I HAVE worked with before so that I can check in from time to time, build relationships, and follow up with any additional projects.
(P.S. If you are looking to take your monetization strategies in your own hand and work with brands directly, I cannot recommend BossPitch enough. It is the main reason why I’ve been able to triple my rates and consistently get paid projects every month with brands I care about!)
I would be 100% lost without this board, which is where I keep organize and store every kind of link I access on a general basis. I have a list dedicated to every service I use to run my blog (like my email service provider and my host) and keep all my passwords stored in the comments of each card. I also have a list dedicated to all the courses I’m a member of, with hyperlinks to the log-in page and all of my log-in credentials.
I have a few affiliate links that I find myself sharing frequently (like for my hosting or for my favorite Pinterest Strategy eBook) so I have a list dedicated to all of those programs, with my affiliate links saved in the comments section of the card. I also keep a running list of affiliate sales I make so I can track if/when payment is due to me.
I also have a “feel-good” list where I upload and save any screenshots of sweet messages sent to me from readers or testimonials from brands or clients. This is what I spend time reading when I feel like I’m stuck in the rut of comparison and it’s good to have on hand when I’m negotiating projects with future clients and want to share proof to how I provide value to brand awareness.
I also keep checklists of all my workflows here – so that I can copy and paste them into any cards that might need them. (Workflows include onboarding a new blog mentoring client, publishing a new blog post, or working on a funnel.)
Lastly, I keep a list of templates that I find myself using a lot – canned email responses to guest post requests or chunks of text that I find myself typing out frequently so that I can copy and paste it instead of typing it out individually every time.
Other Trello Perks I Love
- You can share a board with a team! So, since I just hired my first two team members and bringing an intern on to boot, it will be awesome to create a board just for the HTC team to assign tasks out and to organize all the projects they will be in charge of.
- You can copy boards! Some of my first boards came from ThinkCreative (although they have totally evolved into my own boards as I’ve learned how to make Trello work best for me.) So, if someone has a board layout you like, you can copy it for your own!
- You can use extensions on Chrome to intensify what Trello can do – like automate cards being created or moved between boards (look into Butler for that!)
- Trello also has a super user-friendly app that allows me to access all my boards and cards on my phone (and add to them) which means I can get to all my information whenever I need it.
The best part about Trello is that it can be molded into whatever you need it to be – so don’t get too overwhelmed by all the add-ons or options. Just start using it and experiment until you figure out the best combination of boards and lists and cards for you. And hey! If you want to swipe my boards to get you started on Trello, I’d love to share, Just sign up here and I’ll email them to you!
Let me know below – how do you organize your business and blog? Do you use Trello? What boards do you use for it? And hey, if this post was helpful, would you do me a huge favor and pin it?