Do you know what you’re doing tomorrow morning? What did you achieve yesterday and how does it all fit together? Do you have the faintest idea about what to write for your blog next and when it will be published to your website?
I chat with hundreds of small business owners and entrepreneurs every week. One of the most common struggles I hear about, besides increasing sales, is figuring out what to do each day to move the business forward. When you’re the only person on the team or the team you work on is quite small, it can be hard to figure out what steps to take next, which can be a huge pitfall in your business.
For your business to grow, so does your mindset; and, finding the right tools that help organize your ideas and tasks is one of the best ways to build confidence and start taking small steps towards the business and life you want.
At Selz, we use Trello to manage everything from content strategy, day-to-day tasks, and ideas for blog posts and upcoming projects. This is why we’ve decided to highlight Trello as one of the Tools We Love, because we know how effective Trello is and how easy it is to prioritize the important stuff with the platform. Oh, and did we mention it’s free?!
What Is Trello?
Trello is a cloud-based project management system that is great for creative minds as well as small (and big!) businesses for making space for the important stuff. It’s also a great space to collaborate with your team and keep yourself organized if you’re a solopreneur.
What are Trello’s Features?
Trello seems super simple out of the box – and it is; yet, it is so powerful when you learn how to harness the features of the platform.
For example, you can:
- drag and drop cards from list to list, or archive them
- upload images directly from your hard drive, Google Drive, Dropbox, Box and OneDrive to cards
- add due dates, assign cards to team members, label cards and create check lists
- add organizations, keep boards private, or share with the org
- star your boards for easy access
For more details on everything Trello has to offer, check out their tour.
Instead of wasting paper, Trello has enabled me to move everything to my digital to-do list. It’s also an effective way to stay connected with the rest of the team and prioritize my weekly tasks.
5 Ways We Use Trello At Selz
Throughout our Tools We Love series, we focus solely on the tools we already use at Selz and how you can use them too: most of the tools we use are great for small businesses owners, startup teams and entrepreneurs. Here are some of the ways we use Trello to organize not only the Selz blog, but also our outreach efforts and personal daily tasks:
Setting Business And Content Goals: we create and track our strategy for success within Trello. This is our guidepost for everything we do.
Guest Posting (internal and external): we list out all the people we want for guest posting on the Selz blog, who is in progress, and who’s done, which is a very simple way to track your efforts. We also track all websites and blogs where we’ve contributed and where Selz has been mentioned.
Content Strategy: the Selz blog content strategy is organized within its own Trello board for easy access and reference when creating content for the blog and accepting guest post submissions.
Weekly Tasks: this is a personal one of mine as I’ve finally learned how to keep myself organized without using paper! Trello makes it super easy for those of us with creative brains to track our ideas and plan them out in a visual way. I track my daily tasks, including content that needs to be written, outreach that must be done, and community support emails that need attention. Once I’ve finished the task, I either move it to the ‘Done’ list, or I move it to the next day if it’s something I do daily, like answer emails and process refunds.
Content Management: we use Trello to organize our editorial calendar. We add our (usually tentative) blog post titles, set a date for publish on the blog, and assign to either Mel or myself. Here, you can see the last three weeks of content and our plans for the upcoming week:
Here are 7 ideas On How To Prioritize The Important Stuff With Trello
The key is not to prioritize what’s on your schedule, but to schedule your priorities. – Stephen Covey
Create a business goals board: Take a think about your business goals (increasing revenue, increasing client base, increasing website traffic) and figure out the things that need to happen to create that outcome. Create lists of what needs to be done, what’s in progress, and what’s already been done.
Pro Tip: When looking at what’s already been done, figure out what worked and what didn’t, then make better decisions moving forward.
Create a weekly task board with daily lists, prioritizing the most important stuff for when you’re most productive. And, no, I don’t mean answering customer and client emails. What I’m talking about here are the things that need to happen to align with your business goals. For example, take a look at your newsletter and content strategy as well as any upcoming projects, workshops, or guest posts you may be partaking in and schedule in tasks that you must do for that final product to be done. Break it up if you must!
Here, you can see my weekly list with creating content and outreach happening earlier in my day, rather than jumping into Facebook and email (it’s a black hole I will never come out of!) As you can see, any tasks that are finished are moved to the ‘Done’ list. Everything not finished today, or tasks that happen daily, is shifted to the next day.
Create a newsletter strategy board and schedule in when you will be sending your updates to your subscribers – you can tie this is with your content strategy for more aligned messaging.
Create a content strategy board with blog post titles and schedule in publish dates on the individual card. Once a blog post has been published, add the URL for organization purposes:
Create a board for each aspect of your business: social media, content / blogging, offerings (services and products), potential new products, partnerships and programs.
Create a board for products, or services, that do not exists yet: what do you want to create this year? Write down all the ideas you have in a separate board and reflect on it often. Add to the list as time goes by and you’ll eventually have a working list that you can shuffle around and use as a product management tool when the time comes to start.
Integrate your Trello board with Sunrise Calendar: Sunrise Calendar + Trello is everything. Collaborate with different team members, VAs, developers, or project managers via Trello and Google Calendar, for example, and have all your meeting, project, or blog post details on your Sunrise Calendar:
Learning how to prioritize the important stuff aligned with your business goals is one of the most important aspects of running a successful business. Make this a habit, and you’ll be growing your business every day.
Another great tool for thoughtful prioritization is Agile. This tool has reportedly increase on time project fulfillment by a whopping 25%! Read more about this exciting tool here.
Have you tried Trello yourself? If you have any tips for us or want to let us know about other awesome management tools you use, comment below!