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Not just for business: How to use Trello for school and home

Not just for business: How to use Trello for school and home

Getting Stuff Done
February 25, 2015

You may have seen Trello in the App Store and thought it was just for business users such as project managers or department supervisors. Or, maybe you are a current Trello user but never realized how useful it could be for schoolwork or home projects. Below you will find some suggestions and examples for how to use the awesome features of Trello outside of the office for school and home.

First, if you are one of those that are not familiar with Trello, here are the basics:

Trello is a popular app used to organize and manage projects from start to finish with an array of features that make it a powerful, yet easy-to-use tool. Trello is comprised of boards; think of these as whiteboards. Each board contains lists and each list contains cards. Cards are basically your tasks and those can be moved from list to list as your project progresses. For example, you may start with three Lists named To Do, In Progress, and Complete. As you work on the different tasks within your project you move them from list to list until your entire project is finished.

Cards contain particular features that are very helpful to any project:

  • Labels for categorizing, organizing, and grouping
  • Checklists with percentage complete indicator
  • Attachments for files and photos
  • Comments and activity records
  • Reminders with notifications direct to device

So, let’s take a look at how these features of Trello can be helpful outside of the office.

Trello for School

One great way to use Trello for school is to create a board for each class. For example, I created boards for English, History, Geometry, and Health. Within the English board I created lists for different projects and processes within that class including Term Papers, Homework, Turned In, and Graded. Within the Term Papers list I created a card for each of the papers due throughout the term. Each card contains a description along with a checklist of the items needed to complete it. In addition, I added a label for word count so that I can see on the board which papers at a glance will take longer than others. The attachment feature is perfect for uploading the term paper directly to the corresponding card. Finally, I added a reminder to make sure that the paper is turned in on time. Once the term paper is complete, I simply move it to the Turned In list and finally to the Graded list once the teacher or professor has finished grading it. I can even add a comment at the end with the grade received.

Trello School Board

Another reason that Trello is great for school projects is for those involving other classmates. If you have a team project, Trello allows multiple members per board. You can invite members to join specific boards to communicate with each other using the comments feature in the cards. To notify a member of a comment, you just begin typing the member’s name beginning with the “@” symbol in the comment section and a drop-down appears where you choose their username. That member will then be notified of the comment.

Trello School Card

Trello for Home

Trello is perfect for those projects you have to do around the house. Here is an example you might try. I created a board for Home and lists for Spring Outdoor Projects, Spring Indoor Cleaning, Purchased, and Complete. This allows me to not only track the tasks for each project, but also those items that need to be purchased to complete them all. In the Spring Outdoor Project list I created a card for Landscape Front Yard which includes a checklist of all items I must complete for that task. I also used labels to indicate whether the projects were big or small so that I can see the difference at a glance on the board. Once all of the items in my checklist are complete, I move the card to the Complete list and am ready to move onto the next project.

Trello Home Board

Similar to how the member feature works great for team projects in school, this feature works well when multiple members of the household are all involved in the same projects and tasks. You might even consider creating a board for each member in the household with a list of their own projects to complete. This way you can keep track of who is completing their projects and when.

Trello Home Card

Trello is definitely a terrific tool for business, but as you can see it can be beneficial for students and heads of the household as well. The project possibilities for using Trello are endless.

Trello is a universal app available for free on the App Store. There is also a monthly or yearly subscription available to Trello Gold which provides extras such as larger file size uploads, more backgrounds, and sticker packs.

Mentioned apps

Trello - Organize Anything
Trello - Organize Anything
Fog Creek Software

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