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?



3 answers

0 votes

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".


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.

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