How Trello Organizes my Life

I’m always trying to find ways to organize my life. Categories, lists, reminders. I love it all because it helps me be productive and move toward my goals, and I love checking things off my to-do list. I’ve experimented with various apps on my phone to help me achieve this, and I’ve learned what works for me and what doesn’t. Trello, at least so far, is working for me.

What didn’t work for me

I tried Evernote, but found it to be too complex for what I needed.

I tried iPhone’s Reminders app for a while, but it frustrated me that I couldn’t change the order of the items in my list to reflect my highest priority items at the top.

I used Swipes for about a year because it was different from any task management system I’d used before, and it took me that long to figure out that I didn’t like it. Swipes had you set a day and time that each item would pop up on your to-do list, which was appealing for a while but eventually made me feel like I was being nagged repeatedly to do things I wasn’t quite ready to do at the moment. I found myself continually “snoozing” tasks. My other complaint about Swipes was that it didn’t allow you to break your to-do list into several different to-do lists. Instead, it was one long list with the option of adding “tags” or categories to each item in that list. I much preferred sorting first by categories, then by deadlines, not the other way around.

Why Trello works for me

Trello offered the kind of customization I was looking for, with layers upon layers of categorization possible.
The first layer
The first layer of categorization is called the “board.” You can name the boards whatever you want rather than have to select from predetermined categories like some apps require. I have one board for each of the following (and more):
My trello boards
Example of Trello Boards
The second layer
In each one of those boards I can add a bunch of different lists, and I can also customize their names. Here’s an example of lists within my temporary “Moving” Board:
My Moving List
Example of Lists
The third layer
And each of those items in the lists above make up the third layer of categorization. Trello calls them “cards.” Cards allow you to break down a project or task into small manageable pieces. And if cards don’t break it down small enough for you, there’s even the option of adding checklists to each card.
Trello Cards
Example of Trello Cards
Trello Checklists
Example of Trello Checklists in a Card

And the best part is…

My favorite feature of Trello is that lists can be moved manually into a different order, as can cards. You can even move a whole list (or an individual card) from the board it’s on to a completely different board (or list), with just a few taps. For instance, if I get some birthday cash out of the blue, I can move something from my wish list to my shopping list quite easily. So I can organize my life in whatever way works for me in whatever moment I find myself in.

Trello has many more useful features than the ones I listed. Go ahead and download the app (for either computer or smart phone, or both!) and give it a try. It might make your chaos a bit more manageable.