I’m a list person. Always have been, always will be. In the past you could find post-it notes around my work area, at home and sometimes even in my car (I can’t believe I said that) – each one reminding me of the tasks at hand for the day, the next day, or later in the week.
Today it just seems our lives are filled with a never ending list of tasks that we need to accomplish by a specific deadline. Just look back five, three or even one year ago and you know from personal experience that we are being conditioned to complete and fulfill more and more in our daily lives. This applies to both our personal and professional lives.
At home you have tasks like planning the next family vacation, scheduling extracurricular activities, or being the general contractor for your next home improvement project.
At work we have specific tasks that we complete as part of our individual job responsibilities. And we have projects that require a team effort; whether it’s just one co-worker, a group of ten or working with external contractors/freelancers.
So how do you juggle all of these tasks, and still keep sane?
Find a web-based tool that will help you organize and manage all of these tasks. There are a plethora of options that include Asana, Basecamp, Taskworld, Trello and Wrike. Even Microsoft Office has a built-in task management tool.
Personally, I like Trello. It’s inspired by Kanban (‘signboard’ in Japanese) which was developed by an industrial designer at Toyota as a scheduling system to improve manufacturing efficiency. It was designed to bring organization and task management to processes by promoting focus, clarity, prioritization and collaboration.
How does it work?
Users create public or private boards and add lists as needed. These lists can be labeled as deemed by the user. For example, say you titled a board ‘Projects’; you may add lists to the board for ‘Inbound’, ‘Working on’, ‘Under Review’, and ‘Completed’.
Cards would be added for each ‘Inbound’ project and moved to the next list as the project hits certain milestones. The cards are titled (i.e. XYZ landing page development) and can contain documented discussions between team members, checklists of items needed for completion, attachable support documents, and visual labels as needed for complete, seamless work flow.
For more details, check out this demo.
For me, I find the following features the most valuable:
- Simple, intuitive and easy to use
- Collaborate with others and assign tasks
- Instant communication with members via the Trello board, email and mobile push notifications
- Drag and drop functionality
- Checklists can be used to show task progress
- Due date color aging
- Search ability
- Archive a task once it is completed
And the best part it’s FREE. Of course they offer business and enterprise level versions with even more features and capabilities but those will cost you a monthly fee.
In today’s world, I crave solutions that are simple and easy to use. Why complicate things if you don’t have to? That’s the beauty of Trello, it does both and works in every aspect of your life.
I must confess, even though you’ll still find an occasional post-it note on my desk, my bread and butter is the flexible organization I found in a simple yet powerful app called Trello.
Whichever solution you chose, you’ll be glad you did. Your life just got easier and more organized!
*We were not compensated by Trello for this post.