productivity · Review · Time management

Trello – A Visual Way To Plan Your Productivity

I recently discovered a great new tool for productivity tracking called Trello that has helped me a ton! I still use my bullet journal as well, but I keep my monthly goals and planned projects on my Trello board as well so that way they’re just a click away when I’m working on various projects. I wanted to give a brief overview here on my blog so you can see if it’s a tool that might help you as well.

What is Trello?

Whether you are working by yourself or with a team, you can use Trello to track your tasks visually on a board. Overall, I found the user interface to be really fluid and easy to use, so there’s not much of a learning curve to figuring out how to use the boards.

How to Step Up Your Board

You can really set up your board in whatever way works best for you. You can make lists and then fill them with cards that represent different tasks.

I’ve set up some of mine by laying out goals for each of the coming months and each month was its own list, but I’ve also found I like the “To Do, Doing, Done” list layout as well, because it helps me focus on what my current projects are. Here’s an example of what your board could look like:

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You can also easily drag and drop cards between lists, so it’s simple to move things around your board as you need to.

Features I Love About Trello

Color coding, the ability to add checklists, and the ability to add deadlines are by far my favorite features! You can add a color label to cards, so if you have interconnected projects you can add the color label to them and easily see where all the different pieces are.  

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Checklists are nice if you are like me and love the feeling of marking something off the to-do list.  You can also see how many of the checklist tasks have been done by just looking at the board itself, so you have an easy idea of how much more you need to do. Deadlines are something I like to have, even if I miss them, so I have something to work towards.

If you haven’t tried Trello out, I would definitely give it a whirl! A basic account is free to use and it has all the features I mentioned here. If you’re looking for more advanced features, you can get a Business Class account for you and your team, which is super affordable at $10 a month.

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Writing

Talk! With Marie

I had the awesome opportunity of being on the Talk! With Marie show last week, and I had so much fun talking about ways to stay creative and book reviews with Marie.

I met Marie through Second Life (An online, virtual world), and in Second Life I am known by alter-ego, Natalya Lore.  I had a wonderful time being on the show, if you would like to listen to the episode, it can be found here.

If you are interested in knowing more about my adventures in virtual spaces as Natalya, you can also check out Virtuosity 11.11, a blog I share with my best friend about writing, Second Life and education.

Writing

My Writing Space

I always find it fascinating to see how other writers and creators organize their spaces.  Organization has been sort of a thing for me lately, as I’ve been reading The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up by Marie Kondo.  This is probably the best my desk/office had looked in years, so keep that mind.  When I’m in the midst of writing a story or working on a project, it is often covered with papers, pens, my bullet journal and planner.

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I keep two calendars on my wall as well, I happen to be a very visual person, so having several places to see deadlines and plans is helpful to me.  One calendar is just to keep my blogs planned out for the month.  I don’t always stick to this calendar, but It helps me keep track of which blogs I have written and which ones I still need to write.  The template I use for blog planning is here, and I really love it.

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Along with my calendars, I keep a lot of art and inspirational quotes above my desks.  I also have a few notes about writing, so that they are easily accessible when I need them, though you can’t see them in the picture above (they are off to the side).  A lot of the art is from the lovely and talented Vylla, but I also have pieces from Kate Leth and Becky Cloonan.  The quote on the right side about “Failing Better” is one of my favorites, and something my best friend and I often remind each other of.

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The bookcase next to my desk holds some of my most prized knick-knacks, including my Funko Pop dolls.  I’m not a huge collector, but I have 4 Black Widow dolls, two Peggy Carters, a Sharon Carter and a Cap doll.  The book displayed on the shelf is a version of Neil Gaiman’s “Make Good Art” Speech.  It was actually the first book by Gaiman I ever owned, I was a fan of his writing advice for awhile before I fell in love with his stories.

The bookcase also is home to all my errant papers, books and notebooks.  I mostly try to keep writing books that I really like, or ones that have given me good advice in the past.  There is also a very cute tentacle kitty on the top shelf, who I got at Denver Comic Con.

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I have a lot of new organizers on my desk, most of which I got at Joann when they had them %60 off.  I’m a fan of the color pink, so the pops of color are kind of fun to me since my desk is black.  The Star Wars coloring book was actually a gift from my husband this year, for my birthday.  In that back organizer I keep the coloring book, my Erin Condren planner, my bullet journal (not pictured), my sticker booklet, bookmark and blue sticky stuff.  I’m a huge fan of the blue sticky stuff because my walls change a lot and it doesn’t leave a residue.

So there you have it.  That is what my space looks like.  Feel free to share a picture of yours in the comments!  I always love to see how other writers/creators organize their space.