Running a small business is hard work. There are many things that demand your attention on a regular basis, from bookkeeping to customer service to digital marketing. Even the most basic part of running a small business in Portland – selling your product or service – can be frustratingly difficult if you don’t have the right tools at your disposal. Well, never fear – omgSEO is here!
Welcome to Your Web Toolbox! In this monthly blog series, we’ll feature one free (or nearly free) online organization or project management program that can help you manage different aspects of your small business. While many of these tools will have SEO or digital marketing applications, some posts will highlight tools that can help you get organized and be more productive offline as well. This month we are shining our spotlight on a simple, effective, and fun project management program: Trello!
According to their website, Trello is “a collaboration tool that organizes your projects into boards. In one glance, Trello tells you what’s being worked on, who’s working on what, and where something is in a process.”
In short, Trello is like an online version of the old sticky-notes-on-whiteboard system.
Users can create project boards made up of multiple lists. Boards can represent anything related to your business: digital marketing, product development, accounting, and more. You can create as many boards as you want, and share them with different members of the project team. You can even create boards for non-business-related things, like chores and errands.
Each board contains lists that represent different stages of the workflow. Lists on the left are generally of the “To-Do” or “Brainstorming” variety; lists in the middle usually have titles like “In Progress” or “Development”; and lists on the right are your standard “Done”, “Launched”, or “Deployed” kinds.
Each list is made up of cards that represent goals or plans for the project. For instance, if you were working on a digital marketing project for your Portland business, you might make a card titled “Claim our business on Google Places”. You can sort these cards vertically in your list in order of priority. Once you or anyone from your project team works on the card task, you or they can easily move it into the appropriate list. Claimed your business on Google Places? Great! Move that card from “To-Do” to “Done”.
The card system has some pretty cool features, too. You can upload attachments to cards, which makes sharing single files among team members much easier. You can also write descriptions on the cards, which helps clear up any confusing aspects of a project so the entire team can be on the same page. Some other nice features include: due dates; archiving; activity monitoring; and more.
This all may sound pretty standard if you’re familiar with project management systems, and it is. But what sets Trello apart from other programs is: 1.) It’s really easy to use – and beautiful, too! The functions of the site are presented in a clean, easy-to-understand way that makes getting your first board up and running quick and easy; 2.) There’s a great mobile app version that pretty much mirrors the site version. This is great for adding ideas to or checking in on projects when you’re on the go. 3.) It’s free. Like, totally free. And according to the developers, it’s going to stay that way forever.
We hope you’ve enjoyed the first installment of Your Web Toolbox! Take a look at Trello, leave us a comment and let us know what you think!