GTD with Trello Edited

Hello, Trello is a very useful tool, but it is not 100% GTD.


In my eyes, it would be if there were a simple way:


-To label "Next", "Someday", "Wait" every card on *every* board (right now, you have to recreate these labels on every new board, or copy them by . coping a card containing it)

- and have a main page/ main board, where all "Next", "Wait" tasks and so on are linked in corresponding lists. (one card per link)


HAs someone an idea what do , or another way to perform GTD with Trello?



4 answers

1 vote

Hi, Sascha!

I have been using Trello for GTD for a few years now, and I'm happy to share how I manage it :)

First off, you're exactly right that you have to recreate all labels across all boards. I have a small hack to get around that, however. I always use my first list on every board as my "home base" of sorts. I have some quick GTD reference cards at the top, then my goals for the year (or the board, depending on what it's being used for), then a key for my labels, and then my template cards. Whenever I create a new board, I copy this list from a previous board (and archive the templates, since they're usually board specific). This has the added benefits of:

  • Being a common feature across all of my boards, so I can easily orient myself; and
  • Copying my labels across boards with no extra effort

So, that's how I get around copying labels across boards - it's super fast and I personally really like having a list on every board that's kind of my home base, my master list.


Now, for your second question. Trello doesn't really have this sort of overall view, so to make GTD work we have to compensate for it. I do so by keeping all of my tasks in one board. I use other boards for managing project and committee details, but all tasks I must act on end up on my personal task board. Sometimes that means duplicating them. In those cases, I just copy the card's link, create my copy on my task board, and link to the parent task inside that new card's note field. Then I know to go back and update that other card once I've completed the task, and marked it so on my task board.

It's got a bit more effort involved, as you have to sometimes duplicate cards and then go back and edit the original, but I've found Trello to be the best tool (for myself at least) for GTD. With all tasks on one board, you get really fantastic overview of everything you're working on - you can easily browse multiple lists at once without having to open each one individually, like many task apps. This view is so powerful, to me, that it's worth making a few sacrifices here and there. Of course, this is always a personal decision and everyone should pick the tool that's best for their workflow!

I'm more than happy to cover more about how I use GTD with Trello if you'd like, but these I think at least give you some ideas for how you can make it all work together. Hope I've helped :)

Hi Devon,

thank you so much for this very complete and very interesting answer.

In the futur, I will do exactly as you do with a first list for the board, thank you for this good idea (i just began to copy one "task" with every Tag in the "Inbox"-List of every board, but your idea is better, having for every board a whole list  that is used for organisation and workflow, that's great.)


Regarding 2: i also made some trials in this direction, but "copying" Tasks seems to be really a workaround, even if you put a link to each parent task. 

But if you say that this is really working for you, i will try this.


What you are doing is something like "One complete GTD-Workflow per Board( =one GTD fLow per Project)", with 1 main board for the most important daily work.

Why not, thank you very much, i will try.

THis kind of "one GTD per project" perhaps will help me to have only important "ToDos" in the main view, because of course i will only copy really important tasks in the main board.


But i think the 100% perfect solution would be the possibility to have a  "Personal main board", with automatic links to all existing  tasks, but there would be a problem how to list/group  them on this  main board. 

Perhaps Trello will add the possibility, in the copy/move task menu, to create an "Alias", so  a replicate that is permanently linked to the original, with automatic refresh of the contents if you edit one of those two cards.

(A little bit like "Replicate Document" in the Document Management SOftware "DevonThink Pro for MAc")


Please let us stay in contact when there are some other news or ideas, great.





Devon Henderson Community Champion Apr 24, 2017

Happy to help, Sascha! I know quite a few folks are interested in some sort of master board, that pulls in due dates or other tasks from across many boards so they're all in one place - you can always send the Trello team your request as well.

Best of luck in your GTD Trello endeavors!


For information, this is my feature request sent to Trello:

For real GTD, a perfect solution would be a set of Tags available automatically in *every* board, that one can apply to a card with a shortcut.

Tags would be "Today", "Next", "Someday", "Waiting for". (Perhaps also "Inbox" )

Then , one can apply these Tags to any card in any board.

In a "Main board", Trello creates automatically a List "Today", "Next", "Someday"... and fills these lists with *replicates* of all cards (tasks) that are tagged like this.

The user can edit a task, or its replicate, and contents are automatically updated in the other replicate.

In this way , the user can perform real GTD.

Another way to perform GTD easily would be the possibility
in the copy/move task menu, to create manually an "Alias", so a replicate that is permanently linked to the original, with automatic refresh of the contents if you edit one of those two cards.

USer could replicate manually in lists "today", "next", and so on, in one "main board".


Devon - how do you elegantly make the connection between the individual tasks and the project they belong to, meaning if we have a list of cards with projects and a list of cards with actions, and many of these actions ties in with the projects, how do you make that link?

What I want to do, is to look at a project and immediately find out which next actions I have identified for that project.

I have not been able to find a way with trello to do that

One idea would be to label the cards with the related project.

Devon Henderson Community Champion Jan 19, 2018

Hello @Jakob Abrahamsen! Apologies for the late reply.

I’ve modified my technique a tad from what’s pictured to do just as you want. To mark tasks to their project, I now use labels! Black labels are all projects (for me, but you could use whichever color you like), and both the project card and the task cards get the label applied. I then click the label so that its name shows on the front of cards, and at a glance I can see what project it belongs to. I also stopped using labels for Contexts - I now just keep a list for each context. In my opinion, the huge swaths of color left my board feeling cluttered. The only labels I have are a red one titled Due for due dates, and my black ones for my projects.

Another perk of using labels is that you can filter by them. So, by typing F and then selecting the desired project, I can see all tasks associated with that project across my entire board.

For some reason I can’t upload images at the moment, so if you want screenshots, I’m happy to try again later today or so to see if it’ll let me add them.

Would be great to see some images!

Devon Henderson Community Champion Jan 23, 2018

@Дмитрий П I haven't the slightest idea why I cannot upload images. Here, I've done a quick write-up in Evernote - apologies for taking you away from the site.

Thank you! I started rearranging my tasks and projects, will see how it goes ))

@Devon Henderson

Hi Devon, thank you so much for your feedback. So after a long silent period have I gone through a serious evaluation period, and have tried out Facilethings vs. Trello. I know it's like comparing apples and pears, and I guess more so than comparing the systems I was really compared the different concepts. With Facilethings latest improvement, and maybe also optimization of my own workflows, have I managed to make it work. I have always in some ways like the very strict workflow that it offers, and have consequently been taking out the free trial month every january for the past 3 years, only to cancel again, because I felt something was missing. But this year I made it work. In combination with Onenote, Evernote, a capturing tool app called Captio and my email client, have I managed to get a quite tight system to work and have actually been able to conduct complete weekly review for 3 consecutive weeks, following a combination of Facilethings native review process and podcast 7 from David Allen where Meg Edwards guides through a weekly review. Sadly since I started with GTD almost 5-6 years ago, and through a myriad of systems, I have NEVER been able to weekly reviews. So the fact that I can get that done AS WELL AS cleaning my inbox daily is a huge win for me.

I did invest days of time into tweaking Trello and tried to get my head around how it would work for me. My conclusion is that I think I could have made it work, but it would have required so much energy from me to make it work and get into the new groove of working versus just picking up Facilethings and continue with the workflows that I already know.

So thats what I did. I have now taken out a yearly subscription for Facilethings and the same for evernote (i need ability to send emails into Evernote) and so I will be working with this at least for 2018, and I have moved all my tasts over into Facilethings.

Devon Henderson Community Champion Feb 23, 2018

That's awesome, @Jakob Abrahamsen! I'm so happy you found something that works for you. First and foremost, you should use YOUR best tool for the job, and that's truly a personal decision. I'm happy you found something that works!

Perhaps you could use Evernote instead?

Thank you for this idea, but it is not good for us. I used to work with Evernote (not for GTD, but for Notes), and i don't like it anymore.


Main reason: all notes are in a proprietary format. Try to export your notes in their original format, this is not possible!


So i use Devonthink Pro for Notes/Documents, and Trello for ToDo/GTD/Collaborative work. And i am still looking for a solution to my problem! :-)

+1 It would be better if there was a setting to set the default card names when a new board is created. For example, instead of To Do, Doing, Done I use ICE BOX, In Progress, Testing and Complete and it's not the best idea to create a basic reference board to clone each time. It would be simpler if there was just a user setting for this.

Hi everybody,

Right now using for GTD, but want to move to trello. Having cards (tasks) replicated from projects on my main GTD workflow is a problem for me - and the reason why I haven't decided to move.

I do not know much about trello yet - but saw that there is a filtering feature there. Is it possible to created lists as saved searches - so that if I tag a card as "Next" - the list corresponding to saved search would be updated automatically, and editing the card in this kind of list will edit the same card that is on my project board. Is there any way to do it?

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