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Jump Start: Trello

Let's be real, there is a good portion of an organized exterior that is purely smoke and mirrors. Just because I know where to find all of the information my clients need certainly doesn't mean I've memorized all of it! Alas, as I get older I rely more on my ability to get and stay organized, than I did when I was younger and could "wing it".

Sound familiar? Let me guess - that stack of papers on your desk is a sort of "file system". (If by file system you mean you know exactly what is in the stack, plus or minus a quarter inch in to the pile.) Likely mixed in with old receipts still to file and handwritten notes from that last meeting, is a handful of gems that can't be replaced. A user name or password here, an important deadline scribbled on the corner of an envelope there.

Move the stack, it's time to get organized!

This week I am pleased to introduce you to Trello. Like all of the other resources I share in the Jump Start series, Trello is free to use. If you refer team members to the platform, either by inviting them to collaborate or by sharing your referral link you can gain access to their paid version, Trello Gold, free for one month.

Trello - As A Single User

There are seemingly countless ways to build and customize your project boards in Trello. Some of the best ways we've found to utilize the boards for a single user and business owner are:

  • Weekly To-Do List - With the ability to drag from day to day, it's easy to make sure everything gets done and reorganize the week if needed.

  • Annual Business Planning - Breaking down annual goals in to quarterly and monthly goals, with checklists to work from.

  • Client Feedback - Snips from fun emails, sweet notes and positive feedback from clients and partners.

  • New Client Onboarding Checklist - All the steps, from proposal to starting work.

  • Primary Business Info - Important business contacts, access points, company templates and more.

Trello - As A Team

Working collaboratively on a project when team members are located all over the place can make things complicated. Especially when sharing photos, files, brand components and more. Some of the best ways we've found to utilize the boards as a team are:

  • Marketing & Brand Information - Logo art, font files and brand colors in one convenient place!

  • Project Management - Collaborate with the team and review versions of completed work throughout the process, taking you from inception to completion and keeping everyone in the loop.

  • Important Team Information - Quick guides, reference materials and how-tos for activities that only come up once a month or less. Document it once so the team doesn't have to relearn the process each time, then store it where everyone can easily access it from anywhere.

As with all access points for your business, don't forget that as team members change so should your permissions. If you added someone to your board as a team member and they no longer belong, don't forget to remove them from the board so they no longer have access to potentially critical information. Sounds like a great thing to set a reminder for in your personal board!

Ready to get organized?

From Megan: I'm a big fan of working smarter and not harder. Trello allows me to do just that. It's biggest benefit comes when I need to find information I've already asked a client for, and don't use often. (Or ever, but I had the foresight to gather it early on in case I needed it.)

Here's my rule of thumb: If it was inconvenient to locate or difficult to gather in its entirety to begin with, it gets added to Trello. That way I always know where to go back to it if I need it again in the future. Plus, since it's web based and there's an app I can access everything on the go!

Trello has some fabulous templates and training materials when you sign up, but if you want to spring $29 for the same training I did with the ladies of Think Creative Collective, I promise it will be worth every penny. They provide easy, on demand training videos, templates and ideas for maximizing your organization with Trello. Click here to learn more about their program!


The Jump Start Series by Solutions On 2nd, LLC features free or low cost ways to elevate your small business marketing programs. Each segment will introduce a new avenue for you to consider as you grow your business. Utilizing these tools and doing further research on their functions is at the reader's discretion. Have questions or want more information on a topic? Let us know in the comments or over on Facebook at @solutionson2nd.


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