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One of my favorite blogging tools is a free task management software called Trello. I first heard about Trello from my husband, who had used it at work, but when he first tried to show it to me I didn’t really feel I needed it.
It wasn’t until I read a blog post by another blogger I know where she described how she used it that the light bulb came on for me and I saw its true possibility.
The biggest value to me is that it gives me a place to organize and categorize my never-ending to-do lists. Now, whenever I have a new blog post idea come to me, instead of forgetting about it later, I add it to my “Blog Posts to Write” list. If I discover a blog update I need to do or something I need to fix, instead of having to take time away from whatever I had planned for the day to do it right then, I can add it to my “Do Next Week” list.
The cool thing about these lists is that an item can be easily moved from one list to another by simply dragging and dropping it. It can also be easily moved from a list on one board to a list on a different board.
There’s even an easy-to-use phone app so you can easily access and manipulate your Trello boards whether you’re on your phone or laptop.
And no, Trello didn’t pay me to write this blog post! I’m just a fan eager to share something that has really helped me!
Here are some ways I use Trello, as well as some ideas for ways you might use Trello to help you stay organized in your blogging business:
For Scheduling Blog Posts
Trello makes a great content calendar for planning your blog posts in advance. If you decide to switch around the order, it’s super easy to drag an item from one list to another!
Here’s an example:
If you click on one of the list items, it flips around so you can see the back of the “card.” Here you can add notes, links, checklists, file attachments, and more.
For Making To-Do Lists
This is part of one of my actual Trello boards. Below you can see some of the items on my never-ending to-do lists. Some of these items have been on the list for quite some time, and some of them I’ll honestly probably never get to, but that’s okay with me, because as long as they’re on the list, they’re not distracting me from more important tasks. From time to time I go through my to-do lists and archive items I’ve decided are no longer important, or move items that are important to a higher priority list.
For Tracking Content Recycling
Re-sharing your old blog content on social media on a regular basis is an important way to increase your website traffic over time. You can use paid tools to automate this process, but if you are on a budget, Trello is a good to do this as well.
Simply list all your blog posts (or whatever content you wish to recycle), then on a regular basis, once a week for example, share the one at the top of the list on social media, then move it to the bottom of the “Already Shared” list. When there’s nothing left on your “Next Up to Share” list, drag the list on the right to the position on the left to reverse their order, and rename the lists to swap their titles!
Here’s a sample I created:
For Saving Content to Share
Trello can also be used for saving other people’s content you come across that you might want to share with your followers on social media or perhaps as part of an evergreen email. Here’s an example I made to show you how it could work:
For Setting Goals
One of my favorite uses for Trello is to help figure out which of my “Things to Do” will actually help me reach my long-term goals. To do this, I create lists with goals as titles. Then, I drag tasks from my to-do list and place them under the goals they will help me reach. At the beginning of each month, I choose projects to work on from these lists.
Below is a screenshot from one of my actual boards:
For Managing Multi-Stage Projects
One of the most common uses for Trello is to break down large projects into granular and specific tasks.
Below is an example to show you a much more efficient way to make progress on something like creating a digital product rather than just writing on your calendar, “Work on the e-book.”
For Managing Teams
Trello is also a good way to organize projects and processes that have multiple people working on them. This is actually how my husband used it at work, and how he first introduced me to it.
In the example below, a blog post is taken to completion through a team effort between a blogger and a virtual assistant. Each person can refer to the board to see which blog posts are ready for his or her part of the process, and which ones are waiting on the other person.
Another way to use Trello to manage a team’s tasks is to list all of the team members and list their tasks below their names. When each person finishes a task, he or she moves it to the “Done” list. You could also add a “To Do” list for tasks that haven’t yet been delegated.
For Scheduling Tasks
This is the system for using Trello that really helped me get a handle on my day-to-day time management. At the beginning of each month, I choose tasks from my “Goals & Plans” board and my “Blog Posts to Write” list and move them to my “Doing This Month” list.
Each Sunday when I plan my week, I choose one or two projects from my “Doing This Month” list and move it to my “Doing This Week list. If needed, I’ll break the project down into multiple tasks that should each take no more than one day. And each morning, I pick one of two items off my “Doing This Week” list to actually get done.
Sometimes if I have a particularly busy week, I’ll add a “Doing Tomorrow” list so I can plan two days at a time, or I might even create a list for each day of the week if I have appointments or other scheduled tasks.
Here’s a sample I created to illustrate the process:
I hope that gives you some ideas for being more efficient as a blogger! To read more about the goal setting and time management strategies I use as a blogger, check out my blog post How I Stay On Track Toward My Blogging Goals.And to be notified next time I publish a new blogging tip, sign up for my email list below!