Trello: Perfect for Organizing Personal and Work Tasks

Trello, a great task management tool.

I'm a fairly huge fan at Atlassian and their product suite. I've been using BitBucket and SourceTree, both free for awhile. I know a lot of companies use Jira, but since that product isn't free forever (there is a 30 day trial of Jira), I did not want to commit the time to using it for my own side projects.

Trello is another Atlassian product (originally developed by Fog Creek Software) that isn't a full blown project management tool, but offers barebone basics of project management, mainly by tasks. There are no reports or fancy charts. For my personal projects, this felt like a good fit. Plus it's forever free (Trello does have paid tiers), so it works will with BitBucket and SourceTree.

How Does Trello Work

If you want a quick intro to how Trello works without actually creating a free account, here's Trello in a handful of sentences. The following is based on a free account. Having a paid account will remove some of the constraints.

  • Each Trello account can have unlimited boards.
  • Each Trello board can have multiple users
  • Each Trello board contain multiple lists. These are configurable and are useful to create a new list of a "state" of a task (such as backburner, in-progress, on hold, completed, etc).
  • Each Trello board contain tasks (known as cards) that hold title, description, linear history of comments, checklists, labels, due date, and attachments. Each of these Trello Card are part of a list.
  • Trello Cards can move across your set of Trello lists. Once it's done, the card can be archived.

My Trello Opinions

Additional features of Trello include free Android and iPhone apps, so I can stay on top of my tasks when I'm on the go. In fact, during my experiment, I found it handy to create a Trello Board for tracking personal and work tasks.

  1. How to Integrate Trello with BitBucket?
    It's considered a power-up. You get one free per board. You can link branches or recent commits. When you click the link, it deep-links into BitBucket with information regarding the commits.
  2. How to automatically add myself to a Trello Card?
    There isn't a setting to automatically add yourself to a Trello Card, but there's a keyboard shortcut. If you hover your mouse over a card and press [space], Trello will quickly assign you to a Card.
  3. How to Password Protect Individual Trello Boards?
    Since a single login can facilitate different areas of your life (work/home/personal... etc), I want a way to password protect certain Trello Boards so they couldn't be accessed in case I forgot to lock my computer. So far, I haven't found a way.

The Android Trello app itself is fairly handy. They have a widget that I can put on my homescreen, but the lack of configuration makes it difficult to show me what I need at the right time. Therefore, I stopped using the Trello Android Widget and instead only use it to access information on the go as necessary.

I like that you can use Google login, as this makes it both easy to login from a desktop/laptop browser and from my Android phone. One less password to remember, plus it pulls in my photos for use from within Trello.

Ultimately, if you're looking for a tool to help you manage your tasks, I think that Trello is the perfect tool. It's not too heavyweight such as Bug/Feature Management tools or Project Management tools. However, not that Trello isn't designed to be Bug/Feature Management tool or Project Management tool, so look elsewhere if that's your end goal. Continue and learn more at Trello.

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