Cool Things You Can Do With Trello How to Use It and Why You Should Check It Out - Tech Marks The Spot

All of us have to plan and organize things. Whether you are a content creator, in sales, a writer, manage employees, or are just planning a vacation or have a favorite collection, Trello can help you keep track of it all. Read on to find out what Trello is and what it can do for you.

What is Trello?

In the 1940's Toyota invented the Kanban system to get things done. What is that? It is a board with items organized into lists, all done visually. There are three basic elements:


  • Boards
  • Lists
  • Cards

A Kanban board can actually encapsulate a whole project. The possibilities of how to apply this system to your work or life are endless. Here is what a board might look like.


Trello is an extremely visible and flexible Kanban system. It was created by Fog Creek Software in 2011. At its core it is simply an application to make lists. You can look at it like a collection of sticky notes, or better yet, a board of lists that are made up of cards in which you can place almost anything.

Some people saw Trello and said, "oh, it's Kanban boards. For developing software the agile way." Yeah, it's that, but it's also for planning a wedding, for making a list of potential vacation spots to share with your family, for keeping track of applicants to open job positions, and for a billion other things. In fact Trello is for anything where you want to maintain a list of lists with a group of people.
-Trello co-founder and Stack Overflow CEO Joel Spolsky

What are some cool things that you can do with Trello?

A better question would be: What can't you do with Trello? Your imagination is the limits. Here is a list of some possibilities.


  • Shopping lists
  • Day organizer
  • Time tracker
  • Reading list
  • Media list
  • Game organizer
  • Vacation planning
  • Planning your Blog or website
  • Job hunting
  • Home organization and chores
  • The possibilities are endless

This list only scratches the surface of the ways you can use Trello.

How Much Does Trello Cost?

There are three pricing tiers.

Free - $0.00
Business - $9.99 per user per month for the annual plan. $12.50 per user per month for the monthly plan.
Enterprise - $5.92 - $20.83 per user per month depending on the number of users. The more users the lower the price.

For either the the business or enterprise tier you will pay the total once a year. There are differences between all three choices. Here are the features that you get for the price broken down.

Free


  • Unlimited personal boards
  • Unlimited Lists
  • Unlimited Cards
  • 100 MB per file attachment
  • 10 team boards
  • One Power-Up per board
  • Simple automation
  • Commands limited to one board button, one card button, and one rule
  • 50 command runs per month
  • Two-factor authentication

Business


  • Unlimited personal boards
  • Unlimited Lists
  • Unlimited Cards
  • 250 MB per file attachment
  • Priority support
  • Observers
  • Custom backgrounds and stickers
  • Unlimited team boards
  • Boards collections
  • Team board templates
  • Unlimited Power-Ups
  • Custom fields
  • List Limits
  • Card repeater
  • Calendar view
  • Map view
  • Voting
  • Over 100 app integrations
  • Automation across your entire team
  • Unlimited buttons, rules, and scheduled commands
  • 1,000 command runs per team plus 200 per user
  • Scheduled commands
  • Command administration
  • Email notifications
  • HTTP requests
  • Two-factor authentication
  • Advanced admin permissions
  • Domain restricted invites
  • Deactivate members
  • Google apps sign-on
  • Simple data export

Enterprise


  • Unlimited personal boards
  • Unlimited Lists
  • Unlimited Cards
  • 250 MB per file attachment
  • Priority support
  • Observers
  • Custom backgrounds and stickers
  • Unlimited team boards
  • Boards collections
  • Team board templates
  • Unlimited Power-Ups
  • Custom fields
  • List limits
  • Card repeater
  • Calendar view
  • Map view
  • Voting
  • Over 100 app integrations
  • Advanced automation for your company
  • Unlimited buttons, rules, and scheduled commands
  • Unlimited command runs
  • Scheduled commands
  • Command administration
  • Email notifications
  • HTTP requests
  • Two-factor authentication
  • Advanced admin permissions
  • Domain restricted invites
  • Deactivate members
  • Google apps sign-on
  • Simple data export
  • Easy and secure access to Trello by integrating directly with top identity providers
  • Power-up administration
  • Attachment restrictions
  • Organization wide permissions
  • Organization visible boards
  • Personalized onboarding
  • Public board management

That is a lot of features. Let's simplify. For the vast majority of people the free tier is more than enough. If you are a small business you might like some of the features that the business tier offers. If you are a large organization you may want to check out the enterprise tier. It all depends on your needs. Take a look at what each price point offers and proceed from there. As I said, a free account will offer more than enough for most of you.

Get Started With Trello

The main parts of Trello that all of you will work with are boards, lists, and cards. There are more features that we will explore as well. Let's get started. We are going to get Trello, check out its features, and learn how to use it.

How to Get Trello


  1. Head to the website and sign up for an account.
  2. After you are signed up it will ask you to create your first board. Give your board a name. It can be anything that you want to organize. When you are done click the arrow underneath. 



  3. Next you are asked to name your lists. Again, they can be anything depending on what your board is about. When you are done click the arrow. 



  4. Now create the cards for your first list. Your cards are basically your lists broken down into manageable steps. When you are done click the arrow. 



  5. You will then be asked to add an item to your first card. It can be a description, attachment, checklist, or comment. Just fill in the information and click the arrow. 


  6. Click "Now you're a pro! Keep building your board". 



Now you are all set up and ready to use Trello. Next we are going to take a closer look at the interface and the cool features you will find.

Get to Know Trello

Think of Trello this way:


  • Your board is the overall project.
  • Your lists are the steps you need to take to accomplish the project.
  • Your cards are the things you need to do to complete your lists.

I have made an example board for writing a blog post. Remember, yours can be about anything that you want to organize. Here is what my board looks like:


Now let's take a closer look at the interface and our options. Just follow along and we'll get to know how Trello is laid out.

When you load Trello you are greeted with a list of your boards and boards that you have recently viewed.



On this page you will find:


  • Home button
  • Boards button
  • Search
  • Create button
  • Information button
  • Notifications button
  • Account button
  • Create new board
  • Create a team

Home Button


This will take you back to your list of boards.

Boards Button


Shows a list of your starred boards, recently visited boards, and personal boards, lets you create new boards, and view closed boards. Closed boards are boards that you have closed because you are done with or want to delete them. I will cover how to close and delete boards in the FAQ below.

Search



Search for boards. Actually, you can search for a lot more than just boards. When you click in the search field select "Find Out More" to learn how.

Create Button


You can create boards, teams, and business teams. Boards for teams and boards for business teams are for exactly what they sound like. If you want to make a board that others will work on as well then you create a team or business team board. The difference between the two is that a business team board has better security, administrative controls, and unlimited Power-Ups. More on Power-Ups in the FAQ below.

Information Button




More information about Trello. You will find links for tips, pricing, their privacy policy, blog, and more.

Notifications Button



See your notifications.

Account Button



Your account information, settings, help, and logout.

Create New Board



Create a new board and set its privacy and look.

Create a Team


Create a team to work on a board.

Now click on the board you created earlier. If you haven't signed up and made a board yet go ahead and do that now then continue.

Now you are looking at the board you created. Here is mine.



We have already gone over some of the options here. Let's check out the areas that differ from the Home page.


  • Board name
  • Star button
  • Privacy buttons
  • Invite button
  • Butler button
  • Show Menu button
  • Lists and cards

Board Name



This is the name of your board. To change it just click on it and name it what you want.

Star Button



If you click the star your board will become a starred board. This means that it will show up at the top of your boards list. If you click it again it will unstar the board.

Privacy Buttons



The Personal button allows you to keep the board personal or to create a team. The Private button lets you set the actual privacy of the board. You have a choice between private, team, organization, and public.

Invite Button



You can invite others to see your board. You can do it by username or email address. You can also get a link to share.

Butler Button



This is one of the areas that Trello shows its power. Here you have automation tips, rules, card button customization, board button customization, calendar automation, and due date automation.

Show Menu Button



This will show Trello's main menu.

Lists and Cards



These are your lists and cards. From here you can create new lists, modify your current lists, and make and modify cards. There are also a lot of other options such as copying, moving, and many others for you to explore.

Trello FAQ

What is Trello?
Trello is a planning/organization system in which you place lists on a board and then put cards on your lists. Basically, you make lists pertaining to what you are planning and organizing and then in each list place the steps you need to take to complete the list (cards).

What can you do with Trello?
You can do anything with trello. It can be used for anything you are organizing or planning.

How much does it cost?
For most users the free account offers more than enough. Trello does offer plans for businesses and large organizations.

What are Trello boards?
You can look at your board as whatever it is that you are trying to plan or organize whether it is  a collection, vacation, website, or whatever is important to you.

What are Trello lists?
Lists are basically your board broken down. For example if your board is about your work day some of your lists might be:

  • Phone Calls
  • Important Emails
  • Meetings
  • Current Tasks
  • Upcoming Projects

What are Trello cards?
You can look at cards as the steps you need to take to complete your list or things important to to your list.

What are starred boards?
Starred boards will appear at the top of your boards list.

How do you invite others to see your board?
While at your board just click the invite button. You can invite another Trello user via username, email address, or grab a link to your board to share with others.

How do you set up a team to work on your board?
Just click "Create Team" either at your boards list or on the Personal button on your board itself, name your team, then invite members.

What is Butler?
Butler gives you access to automation. You can set rules, customize cards, customize board buttons, and implement automation with calendar, and due dates.

How do you change your board's background?
At your board just open the menu and click "Change Background".

How do you use stickers?
At your board open the menu and click Stickers.

What are power-ups?
To get to them open the menu and click Power-Ups. This is where the true power of Trello shines. Power-ups are features that really take your Trello use up a notch. There is a large amount of power-ups to choose from. Read the following section to learn more about them.

How do you close and delete boards?

When you close a board you are archiving it. You close a board either when you are done working with it for now or want to delete it. When you delete a board you are removing it from Trello. You need to close a board before you can delete it. To close and delete a board do the following.

  1. Click the "Show Menu" button. 



  2. Choose "More". 



  3. Choose "Close Board...". 



  4. Click the "Close" button. 



  5. Your board is now closed.
To see closed boards or delete them:
  1. Click the "Boards" button. 



  2. Choose "See closed boards". 



  3. You will see a list of your closed boards. You can either re-open or delete any of them you like. 



The Power of Power-Ups

In a way I saved one of Trello's best features for last. What can you do with power-ups? Let me first say that the number available is staggering. Keep in mind though that with a free account you can only use one power-up per board. The categories are: Analytics & Reporting, Board Utilities, Communication & Collaboration, Developer Tools, File Management, HR & Operations, IT & Project Management, Marketing & Social Media, Product & Design, and Sales & Support. Each category has several power-ups to choose from. You can either explore them by category or use the built-in search feature. The power-ups available are nothing short of amazing. Here are only a few examples.


  • Google Drive - Access your Google Drive files for a project directly from its card.
  • Alerts - Track your important alerts and notifications.
  • Automate.io - Automate routine tasks.
  • BlueJeans Meetings - Start a video meeting right from your Trello board.
  • Calendar - Visualize your cards with a calendar view.
  • Streak Habit Tracker - Create habits by tracking through cards.
  • Package Tracker - Track packages right from Trello.
  • Countdown - A countdown to when important tasks are due.
  • CloudApp- Attach screen recordings, GIF's, and screenshots to cards.


As I said, these are only a few of the power-ups available. I was amazed to find how much I can do with Trello. I think you might be impressed with it too.

Trello is an amazing online service that will help you organize or plan anything. A free account should give you all you need. What started as a simple organization system in the 1940s has turned into a powerful organizing and planning information system Check it out and see what you think.

Have you tried Trello? What did you think? What kind of boards have you made?

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