Organizing library tasks with Trello

The Trello Welcome Board — a great place to get started!

What is Trello?

If you, like me, love to make lists and sometimes your lists have sublists, then you would love Trello!  If you like clear communication and division of labor when working with a team, Trello can help! In short, if you need to keep your work organized, you’d probably like Trello! If you strive to be more organized to keep the components of your library program working in harmony, Trello is probably for you, too! So, what is Trello? Trello is a visual project manager. It’s ideal for planning library projects that have multiple components or involve working with multiple people, but also has features that make to-do lists more efficient. At TSU, we use Trello to pitch blog ideas and organize them into a master calendar of posts for a given month. Since being introduced to the tool through TSU, I’ve found it useful in the library, so I wanted to share it with all of you.

How does it work? 

Trello works by allowing you to create main boards for projects, and then create lists on each board, assigning tasks (called cards) to each board. You can embed checklists, assigned due dates, or color-code each card. Each card can also be assigned to a member of a team, making dividing or delegating work simple. It’s possible to get email notifications when tasks are due or sync events to your calendar. If you like to work on a phone or a tablet, there’s also a mobile app.

How can I use it?

  1. Use Trello to prioritize your To Do list and keep it all in one place by sectioning it into sections for time-sensitive tasks, admin work, programming or instructional work, work to delegate, personal items, work for later, and work that’s done.
  2. Create an annual planning board to plan out your displays, programs, and major admin tasks in advance.
  3. Create a shared to do list with colleagues, student workers, or volunteers.
  4. Create a board for a research project that you collaborate on with other teachers.
  5. Plan out committee or professional organization work with the ability to assign tasks toward a common goal.
  6. Make a more detailed board for planning an event with lists for needed supplies, a sequence of events, needed follow-up, etc.
  7. Plan out a conference board to get the most out of your experience. Include lists for packing, possible sessions to attend, vendors you want to talk to, meetings and networking opportunities, after hours plans, etc.
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