Trello, Organization & Productivity

Automation FTW: How to Streamline Trello to Get EVEN MORE Done

So, this ain’t your first Trello rodeo.

You have Abagail and Emylee’s boards. Your business is insanely organized. You spend your days doing the things and moving the cards to the right, to the right.

Like Beyonce on opposite day.

Anyway, you spend most of your day in Trello and love it that way. But is that really a good thing?

I mean, I get it.

The app is a-mah-zing for planning and organizing, and that stuff is so important. But you need to focus on the doing, not just the planning and organizing, so maybe you need to find another way to get that stuff done.

So, this ain’t your first Trello rodeo.  You have Abagail and Emylee’s boards. Your business is insanely organized. You spend your days doing the things and moving the cards to the right, to the right.   Like Beyonce on opposite day.  Anyway, you spend most of your day in Trello and love it that way. But is that really a good thing?  I mean, I get it.   The app is a-mah-zing for planning and organizing, and that stuff is so important. But you need to focus on the doing, not just the planning and organizing, so maybe you need to find another way to get that stuff done.  |  Think Creative Collective

Because every hour spent organizing your launch in Trello is another hour that you’re not creating your launch content, building affiliate relationships, or doing all the stuff that your Trello cards are telling you to do in the first place.

Once you think about that, the idea of streamlining your Kanban time sounds a little more appealing.

The answer? Sexy streamlining. I’m talking about automation.

Making Trello Automagical

Between Trello’s built-in features like power-ups, its direct integrations, and its connections to IFTTT and Zapier, you can do almost anything you want to with it. On autopilot.

IFTTT and Zapier are both workflow automation apps that connect to other websites, apps, and devices. It sounds complicated, and behind-the-scenes, it definitely is. But here’s all you need to know: they get all the other apps, websites, and devices you use to talk to each other.

Think of them as the middlemen for all the tools you use to run your biz. Your own robot virtual assistant going back and forth between tools saying “do this, update that”.

And if you tell me you don’t want a robot of your very own, well, I can’t say I’ll believe you.

Both IFTTT and Zapier connect to hundreds of apps, and I’ll bet you 6 ice cream sundaes that most of the tools you already use are on the list.

Gmail? Check.

Buffer? That, too.

Teachable? Indeed.

FreshBooks? Slack? Facebook? Twitter? ConvertKit?

Roger that, 5 times over.

And, of course, our favorite fellow, Trello.

By automating a lot of the admin and maintenance and all those tiny updates that keep you on your game all day, you can focus on using Trello to map out and organize your ideas, then move on to actually creating them!

Here are a few automations you can quickly set up to make your life a little less crazytown:

Sync Boards With Each Other

If you have a “master plan” board to plan out your day/week/month, as well as collaborative boards with clients, contractors, masterminds, or anyone else, you need a streamlined way to connect them.

It’s not even that difficult to manually copy new cards assigned to you by a client or your VA, but why not make it as easy as possible?

There are a bunch of different ways you can do this with Zapier. For example, for my freelance writing clients, we use a Trello board with a list for each stage of the editorial process. Whenever a card/assignment gets moved into “To Write”, I’m up to bat. So whenever a card gets moved onto that list, this zap automatically copies it to my master to-do list board.

BLAMMO. 💁🏻

And if you’d like to move cards based on who they’re assigned to instead of what list they’re on, there’s a free IFTTT recipe that does the same thing!

Make sure "inbox zero" happens

I have a bad habit of cleaning out my inbox to the point where there are only 3-5 emails left, and then letting those 3-5 emails stay there forever. Even if the reply would only take a sentence or 2.

Oops.

Luckily, I figured out a way to hack my Type A tendencies. For some reason, an uncompleted Trello card bothers me a LOT more than an un-archived email, so I gotta make sure that any email replies I need to send take priority on my to-do list.

But replying to emails can be boring enough. Sitting and making a list of the emails you need to reply to? Ugh.

My streamlined solution for you to steal?

Create a Gmail label called “To Reply ASAP” and use this zap to pipe that into the top of your Trello board. Where it can sit and mock you until you reply to that friggin email. Nothing like a guilt trip!

Create cards from Slack

You know when you’re chatting with your VA or another team member on Slack, brainstorming all of the things, kicking ass and taking names, and you stop?

You realize you just came up with about a dozen things that you now need to go put in Trello. So you open that up in a new tab. Then throughout your whole conversation, you’re talking about tasks in Slack and assigning them in Trello, switching back and forth and back and forth.

Annoying right? And there’s a good chance an important task could fall through the cracks.

Streamline your next brainstorming sesh by using this zap to create new Trello cards without having to leave Slack. Just create a Slack channel as your go-between. :)

Manage client work like a boss

If you use the Streak Gmail plugin as a CRM to organize the emails for your freelance or service-based biz, you can automatically sync that with Trello!

With Streak organizing all the emails associated with your different deals and assignments, and Trello organizing the tasks associated with them, this automation will make it super easy to keep all information for a client project in one spot! No more looking at your to-do list and going “I know they mentioned this teeny detail in an email, but what was it again?”

Create recurring tasks (yasss!)

This last one is my faaavorite. TCC has talked about it before here, but you can use Zapier to create recurring cards in Trello. This saves an insane amount of time when you’re using Trello to plan out anything regular or routine! Think about things like participating in Facebook groups, engaging on other social media channels, checking email — even creative bosses have tons of routines.

But let’s be real. Zapier is a freemium app, meaning that in general, the more you use it, the more you’ll pay. IFTTT is totally free. And you can create recurring tasks in both! So I did want to throw this alternative IFTTT recipe out there for you. If you want to create a ton of recurring cards, but upgrading Zapier’s not in your budget right now, you can try that! 🙌

Automation, FTW

If you haven’t started automating your Trello processes yet, you wanna do that now. The links throughout this post take you straight to recipes that you just have to connect to your accounts. It’s practically done for you!

Apps like IFTTT and Zapier let you totally power-up everything you learn in Trello for Business, complete the processes in less time, and spend more time reaching your Oprah-sized goals! (Man, it’s fun using TCC lingo!)



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