Tag Archives: trello

A Year’s Worth of Actionable Blogging Tips

This is part of my year in review series.

While I blogged about a number of these tools and tips previously, this post highlights my favorites and includes additional information.

Organize your projects, blog posts or anything else, with Trello.

Trello Free Organization Tool - Easy to UseMy best tip for this year is to try Trello. I blogged about my use of this service in March and have used it more and more throughout the year. The bottom line is it uses a digital notecard format to organize anything.

If you already use Trello here are my Bonus Tips:

Shortcuts for common Trello functions

Also check out their blog to keep up on new features and use cases

Quickly research the social sharing of any page with SharedCount

SharedCount is basic analytics and research tool. It tells you how often an individual page has been shared across social networks. You aren’t going to be making indepth reports with this tool, but it is good for quick research.

Never make a blog post without an image.

People like images. Perhaps more importantly, social networks like Facebook and LinkedIn pull images from your blog whenever a post is shared. Don’t give up that space. You can create a text based images in minutes to take advantage of this with Recite This.

Fill in the blogging gaps by getting personalized news to inform your curation.

As much as I would like to blog about everything that peaked my interest, there isn’t enough time in the day. I am so inquisitive, I would need a couple extra days a week. ūüėź Much of the gaps are filled by being active on different social media channels. For me that is Twitter. If you are going to find things to post about it, it helps to keep up on industry news. This blog post goes through some of the the best personalized news services.

Compose anywhere. Have access everywhere with Evernote.

Evernote for blog organization and compositionI have found this year that Evernote ends up being where I put anything that isn’t in my email program or saved to Dropbox. My normal compisition pattern is to start in Trello to organize ideas, and then I craft longer posts and reports in Evernote. Read more about how I used Evernote to blog.

When in doubt take the next step.

I feel like this personal blog post on working on difficult projects might be my best advice for 2012. If you ever have trouble getting something done, give it a read.

 

 

Trello Free Organization Tool - Easy to Use

My favorite free software this year. Trello lets you organize anything.

I really enjoy sharing useful services with people I know. If you are follow me on Twitter or know me in person, I have likely shared a few of them with you. But rarely do I find an service/application/product that I really think could be useful to every single person I know. Trello fits that.

There are hundreds of to-do list applications available. They run all the way from one basic list with checkmarks to the enterprise project management software. I have tried many of them. Trello is so simple, easy and initiative, that it is worth it to try for 15 minutes or so, to see if it is right for you.

What is Trello?

It is all about the cards.

A card is any text you want to add. I like to think of it as whatever you would write on a notecard. If you have never used notecards, then think of it as a note. It could be one word, a sentence or a paragraph. You can make as many cards as you want.

Then you organize them in lists.

Lists are just columns were you can sorts your cards. You can label lists anything you want and then drag and drop cards and reorder them in lists. The default Trello lists are To Do, Doing and Done, but you can change the names and quantity on any…

Boards

Boards are much like Pinterest boards. They are where your lists and notes live. You can have a broad board labeled “Ideas”. Or a very specific one like “What I want to accomplish on Saturday”. Your lists and the included cards can be reorder on your board however you like.

That is the basic of Trello and on its own has many uses. But. . .

Trello lets you go beyond that by “writing” on the back of the cards.

Like a traditional note card there is a back to Trello cards. Just click any card to access it. It includes a comment section and description that you can use like a traditional notecard. So if you are studying for a test, you can put the answer or definition on the back of the card and access it just by clicking on the card.

On a traditional note card that is pretty much the limits on what you can do, but with Trello you can:

  • Add attachments (videos, Word docs, PDFs and more)
  • Add color labels
  • And¬†collaborate¬†by giving others access to boards, thus…
    • Have conversations
    • Assign tasks
    • Vote for favorite cards

Examples of my own Trello use.

Organize and track the progression of blog post for this site.

I have many blog post ideas in Evernote. Some of those ideas turn into basic notes, and some of them turned into rough drafts. I created a card in Trello for each potential blog post, and then added the cards to respective lists in order to understand what I have to work with. I currently have six lists. They are titled:

Ideas – Notes – Drafts – Blog Drafts – Published – Promoted

With this board I can see all of my blog posts, whether finished or in-process, on one screen. When I take something from an idea to actually writing up notes in Evernote, I drag the related card from the Ideas list to the Notes list. Eventually as I work on each post, I keep moving the card along to different stages in the process and thus lists. In the end, what started all the way on the left as an idea goes all the way to the right as a published and promoted post. For many people, writing a blog post might be a one step process or at least the early stages are done in one’s head. For me, I like to break the process into small steps. If you don’t need that level of detail for smaller tasks like blog posts, try creating a board for something more ambitions.

Sorting

Trello’s key feature is the ability to quickly sort information. ¬†Complex projects can be broken down to smaller steps and then sorted and grouped.

Preparing for a trip

I recently took two trip. In each case I made a card for every single thing I need to accomplish before I left. I didn’t worry about the order; I just typed each task and hit enter. When I got done, I then created specific lists. In this case, three tasks required I leave the house to accomplish them (get cash, purchase sunscreen & get more dog food). With a normal paper list, I would need to make a new list, but with Trello, I just added a list called Errands and dragged those three cards to that list. Several of the task were ones my wife had expertise, so I made a list for her, dragged those tasks to the list and assigned them to her.

Website planning

I have used Trello to create “page lists” for new websites. Type every page you are considering. Sort them by how they would work in the site structure. Then you can even open up voting on cards to other members of your team.

Collaboration

I have yet to use Trello for any substantial group projects, but my wife and I have started to use Trello to organize some household projects we are working on. It has been usefully to quickly get ideas down and then sort them into more managable lists.

Trello is the kind of software I would gladly pay for, but thankfully it is entirely free. It takes seconds to signup and minutes to try it out. It is so flexiable, that if you give it a try, I am fairly confident you will find a use for it.

 

Clipboard and alternative to Pinterest for private boards

Pinterest resources and useful alternatives.

Pinterest Alternatives

After I published¬†six blog post about Pinterest, you might think I don’t see any flaws with Pinterest. While I do think it is an amazing web site and social tool, one of the biggest issues is the lack of privacy. If you like the organizational functions of Pinterest, but want the ability to have private boards, here are some alternatives.

Private Boards

clip board is an excellent alternative to Pinterest for private boards. They actually default all clips to private.  You can clip an image or text with a link automatically created to the original source

Organization

Another alternative is¬†Trello. It¬†isn’t really the same as Pinterest, but it does allow for a similar organization structure¬†except¬†it revolves around typing text on virtual note cards. I plan to blog about this service more in the future, but it is so easy to use, I recommend checking it out now.

If you are a writer, Scrivener is a powerful tool for organizing your writing from ideas to end product.  It is low priced, with a free trial, and the reviews are truly glowing. I have briefly tried it, but it may be more than I need. But if you are a writer, this is a good organization alternative, that is also private.

“For manly men”

As I mentioned previously, Pinterest users tend to be women (different research puts this number between 80 and 95 percent). A site called Gentlemint, created in my home town of Lawrence, KS, is trying to bring the Pinterest concept to men with a completely different site. Whether it will take off is of course a question, but the site is receiving considerable national press. You can watch a video interview with the Gentlemint creators on the Social IRL blog.

Pinterest Resources

My favorite article on Pinterest is composed of 15 interviews with active Pinterest users. If you are going to read one additional story, I recommend checking this one out.

If you want to keep up on the latest news about Pinterest check out this curated collection of Pinterest stories on Scoop.It.

Success cases

Kate Bryan is a blogger who has had amazing success using Pinterest.

Pinterest is now driving more traffic to the Real Simple web site than Facebook. 

Actionable ideas to market you business

Seven creative ways your brand can use Pinterest.

See how nine different businesses are using Pinterest.