Trello’s flexible layout and practical feature set make it a great product for managing large chunks of information in a variety of ways. Pretty soon, however, boards can get quite large with list after list of cards, and you need a way to effectively sort and filter the content so you can find what you need. This article is going to address a few ways you can use Trello’s built-in filtering features - labels, due dates, and assigned members - to effectively manage information, as well as the keyboard shortcuts that can make you a filtering pro. Let’s get started!
There are two options for searching available in Trello. In the top left corner you’ll see search box #1. This searches your entire Trello account - every board you are a member of will return results if they have ones that match your criteria. But there’s another search box in the Menu panel inside each board. Click Show Menu, and then Filter Cards, or you can simply tap F from your board view. This keyboard shortcut takes you directly to the Filter Cards option, with your cursor active in search box #2. This box searches the titles of the cards on your current board only. You can search for more than one item through here by separating each keyword with a comma, too, which is a nifty and not oft-mentioned feature.
Here I'm tapping F, which opens the Filter Cards pane in the Menu panel.
How can this be helpful? Here are a few ways:
Labels are those little colored bands you see on the front of cards. On the back of cards, they turn into taller bands with the name of the label on top of the color. There are 10 colored labels (including black) and one pale gray “invisible” label. Colored labels always show on the front of a card, while the invisible label does not - though it still behaves like a label in every other way. You can filter your board by labels through the Filter Cards option in the Menu.
Labels can be used to sort or pare down a board in a variety of ways:
Due dates are super useful for setting deadlines, scheduling tasks, and bringing things to your attention on certain dates. You can use due dates with or without the Calendar Power-Up; with effective filtering, you can make do without the Power-Up and save that slot for something else you may need more.
The Filtering menu lets you filter by a variety of upcoming due times, as well as whether the card is overdue or whether or not its due date is marked complete. Let’s take a look at what you might use this for!
Assigning cards is one of my favorite features in Trello, and it can be handy in a variety of ways. Tapping Q while in a board quickly filters out all that aren’t assigned to you, leaving you with a board filled with just your cards. You can also do this from the Menu panel.
Here I'm tapping Q, which toggles showing just the cards assigned to me.
Here are some tips and tricks to getting the most out of assigning cards:
So, now we’ve learned a wide variety of ways large Trello boards can be refined and filtered down to usable, bite-sized chunks. To top it off, there are quite a few keyboard shortcuts that can make the process even faster! We have covered some of these already, but for consistency’s sake I’ve included them again below:
Using these keyboard shortcuts you can fly across your boards, assigning and labelling and searching like a pro.
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With effective filtering methods in place, boards with hundreds of cards across dozens of lists become manageable and practical, all without having to sacrifice information or pruning to keep from going crazy. How do you use filters? What are some of your favorite ways to narrow down your bigger boards?