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Using Trello for Project Management

I am a project manager for a small digital solutions team within a publishing organization. 

We use Trello to manage our app/website projects from contract signing to store publishing and beyond. While we've changed our systems many times over the last 5 years, one thing has remained constant - the use of Trello!

Currently, we have a board that manages all of our incoming/ongoing issues, one for our developers to sync work to from Github and manage releases and one as a resource/reference library. Labels help with being able to filter to a specific project at any given moment. We also heavily use Butler for automation (and we've been through all of those expansions too). 

My biggest tips with using Trello are:

  • Keep an eye on Trello Inspiration boards for new ideas
  • Ask others for tips through the community
  • Don't be afraid to start over on a new board
  • Labels and Power-ups are your friends and can save you a lot of time for automating even basic processes


Erica Moss Community Manager Aug 12, 2019

@carrie_eandm Love this intro post! The thing that struck me is that I definitely need to up my Butler game — I feel like it'll make my life easier. 😄

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Butler has been an absolute life-saver for our team! We started using it shortly after it came out and got grand-fathered in on a lot of the features. Between me and our other project manager - we let Butler know all the issues and bugs we ran into many, many times to help make the product even stronger!

Now that its moved all the way up to a Power-up, there's so much more to learn! I love the fact that there are the board commands and also now card commands.

I have a "Sort-by-Date" board command I run once a week to help keep our team organized. As dates move around on cards due to changes with clients or delays on PRs, its nice to be able to click a button and the lists re-sort by date.

Good luck!!

Alice Rising Star Aug 12, 2019

I should start to play around with Butler more as well, it has so much potential that I'm surely missing out not using it!

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I second the use of Butler! It has automated so many things for me, including moving cards around my Trello boards by applying labels (Completed, FUP (Follow Up), Waiting, etc.) and Butler commands.

Every Sunday, Butler archives my completed tasks from the last week, moves items from my Inbox list to my Action List, Monitoring List, etc.

As you begin to use Butler more, and grow more comfortable with it, you'll be amazed at how many uses you can find for it!

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I love Butler! I use it on several boards to automate creating Lists each month, applying or removing labels, and assigning cards to individuals. Yes, it saves time, but the thing I like even more than the time aspect is not having to remember to create new Lists each month, add or remove labels, or forget to add someone to a card! 😫 I'm excited to see how Butler evolves over time since it was acquired by Trello. 

Like Erica Moss likes this

I agree, great intro post Carrie! I am a ginormous fan of the Trello Inspiration boards, and I love that they are updated often. So many golden nugget boards created by Trello Community super-fans.

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Yes! I have a personal board to track my books/reading. Unfortunately, it has taken quite a hiatus the last year or so and it's nowhere near up to date. I'm inching myself to get it updated so I can share it with the community!

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Nice! I look forward to seeing it! I wrote a few community posts on how I use Trello to work with my volunteer board "Happy Ocean", as well as developing my career portfolio and language maintenance. #TrelloforLife

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Hi, thanks for the post)

I also used Trello to managed software development projects, but with the growth of the team and the number of projects, we moved to Jira, did you compare these 2 tools?

I continue to use Trello for personal tasks, and I agree with your advice, I’ll only add: “use plugins to make your life easier”

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I haven't looked at Jira yet. We started on Trello because of how awesome the freemium version was, then found Butler (when it was a bot) and have now modified how our team works with the recent changes to Trello and also to Butler. 

We currently don't have a big enough need to switch, but its worth keeping an eye on.

Like Erica Moss likes this

This is a great post and thank you for the insight! I use Trello for the same reasons you do but we haven't been using Butler. I definitely will look into that more!

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It's been an automation game-changer! Even simple tasks now can be done seamlessly across our boards and keep both our client administration team and our developers in sync.

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That's awesome! Thanks again for the tips, incredibly useful!

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Brant Schroeder Community Leader Aug 24, 2019

Lovely post.  Since you have been a long time Trello users and have a lot of experience there and I am new to Trello I was wondering what other products you have used to manage projects.  Have you used Jira or other project management tools?  If so what set Trello apart from them for you?  Do you use Trello with other tools to be successful?  Would love to learn more.

Like Erica Moss likes this

@Brant Schroeder Our team was started on Trello. A lot of the other platforms at the time didn't have the flexibility we needed or were too pricey. We haven't used or tried other platforms.

As for using Trello with other tools, not really. We have the 3 power-ups (Butler, Calendar, Booklet by Vince) that help with keeping things in check. Internally at my office, we use Google quite a bit (Sheets, Docs, Drive) - so those are a daily tool as well as Trello - but they're not paired together.

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Brant Schroeder Community Leader Aug 27, 2019

@carrie_eandm - Thanks for the helpful information.

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Tim Keyes Atlassian Team Jan 16, 2020

Hi Carrie,

Thank you for the post!

I really enjoy the ability to easily customize lists (columns) on trello boards to facilitate project management.  When utilizing a traditional project management framework Boards could represent projects, lists can represent the phases of a project and and cards can represent pieces of work as they progress throughout the Project.

One of the things I like about Trello is how easy it is for new to users to pick up the fundamental concepts of usage!

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