Unabashed love for Trello (wasting time for productivity, part two)

I always sort of knew this, but it recently hit me just how much writing there is on productivity, GTD and task management apps post-iPhone. So many opinions of so many apps leveraging so many tactics. On top of that, plenty of rebuttals of technology-as-productivity and reminders that “pen and paper always works.” So I’ve got a new blog in which I talk about this stuff occasionally, and add to the noise.

Yes, it’s stupid for me to consider one particular app better than another for any individual’s needs – everyone has different preferences, whether they’re aesthetic or functional. I’ve tried to push Alicia to use technology to manage her tasks and she sticks pretty adamantly to her Kate Spade 17-month planner (why she had to have the Kate Spade one, I won’t try to explain). Alicia’s note: It has gold polka dots!

That said, I do think anyone with any sort of project to manage, or who wants to get organized for any reason, should try Trello out once. It’s free, completely flexible to however you want to use it, and looks beautiful on any screen.

There’s tons of writing about how useful Trello can be, so I won’t get into that — but I figure I’ll share how I’m using Trello in a few contexts:

  • We’re using Trello entirely to manage the content calendar and site/social maintenance for Tone Deaf & Color Blind. Trello’s calendar “power-up” makes visualizing our content schedule easy; we can mark up which posts need review or edits, report issues with the site (which usually come to me to fix); and save and share articles worth discussing.
  • I’m using Trello to collaborate with my friend/mixing engineer, James, on some Sophomores projects. For a given album or EP, I’ll create cards for each song, which contain lyrics, tempo, key and other important information for James to digest. These then get duplicated into several cards indicating my recording process, his mixing process, and the final sequencing and mastering. We also create other cards for related tasks (liner notes, artwork – which I assign to Alicia, etc.) and use Comments to track versions of various things, like the mix of a particular song. More on this in a future post.
  • We don’t use Trello at my day job – but I have a personal board for managing product roadmap items for myself, which allows for quick review of agreed timelines for certain items at the level of detail I set for myself. I can easily take notes from meetings or emails (usually using Drafts for iPhone) and throw them up onto this board as a new card or a comment underneath an existing one.
  • Alicia and I have a shared board for planning and sharing ideas for travel. Since we’re now at the age where all our friends are getting married, we use this to keep track of wedding dates & plans. I also use this board to keep track of airfare prices for places we want to visit.

Plus Taco the dog. Adorable, right?!?!?!!!!?!

Now, how much time and $$$ did I blow through, only to find out that my favorite project management app was a free one? Shrug.

Is stuff like this interesting to read? If so, I’ll happily post more about tech products I love to use and how they work for me.