Devon Henderson is our first Trello Showcase because of how she balances her dedication to productivity with a healthy dose of whimsy. And in our opinion, that is what makes a true Trello Champion.
In Devon's Showcase, you will discover how this web services specialist uses Trello to manage marketing for a public library as well as to entertain a healthy addiction to cats, tea and coffee, stationary products, and of course, productivity tips and tricks.
**Are you interested in meeting Trello super-users like Devon in person? Check out Atlassian User Groups: Trello Edition to learn more and to discover events near you!**
How did you hear about Trello?
It was in 2013, and in my quest for a collaborative list manager I stumbled upon the Lifehacker article sharing a blogger’s GTD setup in Trello.
At the time, we were a marketing team of me and two of my coworkers. We had been tracking our shared tasks first in Evernote and then Wunderlist. We were desperate for something more collaborative and that presented information in a more digestible way, and we were hooked from then on.
What was the first board you created?
It was called “Marketing Timeline,” and it was a board with months as lists and cards for each of the events going on at the library (for which I market and advertise). Each card had three items in a checklist inside: Press Release, Website, and Social Media.
I still use a form of this board 5 years later, though I don’t think it’s the exact same board. Sadly I’ve lost track over time. It’s kind of ballooned into something more complex, but we also hold 3x the workshops and classes we did before and we’re more active online than ever, so they grew together.
How does Trello help you in your role as a web services specialist?
My job is to handle all of the library’s print and digital marketing and advertising, as well as our website and online catalog. So, I’ve got two main boards I use to track everything—my catch-all tasks board and my marketing board.
Marketing has its own board because my coworkers reference it—they’re the ones holding the workshops and classes I advertise. In it, I track each workshop or event through its various stages of marketing: adding it to our internal calendars, adding it to the website, writing our press release (a local paper is our biggest form of marketing, outside of Facebook), hitting social media, etc. I set the card’s due date to the day I send the press release to the papers (which kicks off the final run of its marketing), and check it as complete once it’s been sent. I use Labels to show which library is hosting the program as well as the target age group. This way our librarians can hop in and quickly find the programs they’re responsible for, as well as learn about the programs their coworkers are prepping to host.
All of my other tasks are on a GTD-style tasks board, with lists for each of my work contexts. I’m a big fan of David Allen’s system, and my board really adheres to the GTD methodology. Except for the marketing board and those for other committees I’m on, I track every task and project in my single task board. I really like having everything in one place. My secret to making all of this work is having a Projects list, where each active project has a parent card in that list. Each project also has a tag, and every task associated with that project gets that tag. With a quick keypress (F) and then a click, I can filter for each project and see that I’ve got a next action on context list to move that project forward. All project files and related information go in the project card, so I only have to go to one place to find everything relevant to that project.
Template version of my GTD board: https://trello.com/b/zOAkurkQ/demo-gtd
Trello’s flexibility means I can use these two boards fluidly in my task management despite their setup being wildly different. I LOVE that.
What's your best productivity tip/trick?
Trello-related: Always assign yourself to the cards you’re responsible for that have due dates. Even on your personal board! If you do, you can see all of your deadlines at once on your Cards page. I use ButlerBot to automatically add myself to any card with a due date on my personal board, so you can easily automate that monotonous step. Trust me, it’s worth it––especially if you’re a member of many boards.
Non-Trello-related: Carry a notebook and write everything down. Especially if your job is fast-paced like mine, daily work notes have saved me from forgetting something important—said to me in passing—more than once. Get in the habit of writing as things happen throughout the day and process the day’s notes before you leave. It’ll give you the peace of mind to leave work at work and enjoy your personal time without the worry you’ve forgotten something.
What's your favorite/most quirky board/use of Trello?
I track my fountain pen collecting and hobby through Trello. It’s incredibly dorky but it’s saved me from double purchases a couple of times. I’ve got lists for pens I want, for my grail pens (the ones that are so expensive they’re practically hobby-enders), ink, paper, and accessories.
Devon's fountain pen Trello board (board is set to Public)
What do you do in your free time?
I am an avid reader (working at a library, it comes as a total shocker, I know). I also collect fountain pens and stationery, journal and write letters, and enjoy brewing coffee with my Chemex or AeroPress. I am also obsessed with my cat, a 9 year-old black cat named Hildegard von Bingen that I’ve had since she was 9 months old. We’re besties.
I’ll just leave off with a quote that keeps me focused when things seem hard:
“In times of change, learners inherit the earth, while the learned find themselves beautifully equipped to deal with a world that no longer exists.” - Eric Hoffer