Trello for Online Collaboration

Looking for a free way to collaborate online with your co-workers? Want a way to organize your non-profit, website or software project? How about a wedding? Or a room remodel?

No matter what your project, you can use Trello to help manage and collaborate with your team (or just yourself from day to day!) online.  Trello is meant to cut down on emails & meetings while increasing productivity and communication.

The idea behind Trello is it works as a trellis.  Cards, which are tasks or mini projects to complete your bigger project, are on Boards, and go from bottom to the top of Lists, and then from the left, to the right of lists, from beginning to completion of the project.

Trello Board Oragnization

With this in mind, it will help you keep your Trello board organized.

I invite so many of my friends and colleagues to Trello, I end up training a lot of people on how to use it.  Well, that is not true.  I actually throw people in head first and watch them try to swim!

This blog post is meant to give you the quick low down of Trello so you can start using it immediately. Most likely with me.

Boards on Trello

Boards on TrelloA Board is where you have lists and put your cards. Each Board should be its own project.  For example, for my business,, I have one Board. I have another Board for my blog  Since these are two different projects, I have two different Boards.

Every time I get a new client, I make a new Board and invite them to it so we can start collaborating.

You may only have one Board. You may want to start more Boards if you start getting other projects you want to collaborate with others on or just organize yourself. I use a lot of Boards by myself simply to organize my projects.

If you find you have too many Boards too keep track of (like I do), you may want to “favorite” or star some Boards. You can see to the right that the Boards on the top are starred.

You can also drag and drop the Boards into the order you prefer.

Lists on Trello

If you have been invited to a Board, Lists (which are where Cards are stored), will be provided for you already.Trello cards

You can see the Lists on the above Board are “Upcoming Projects”, “Current Projects”, and “Completed”.

You have the ability to add and subtract Lists, however you should not be doing this regularly.  Once your project is set up, you should move Cards from the left to the right of Lists, as you complete them.

You should not be adding Lists in the middle of your project. If you do, make sure you ask you team members! Otherwise they may be confused.

Cards on Trello

Cards are meant to be mini tasks that you need to complete to finish your project. Cards are awesome and come with some powerful features.

  1. Color code cards to various categories for better visual organization.
  2. Add members (your co-workers or people helping you with your project) to Cards so they get notification of what is going on).
  3. Add attachments to your Cards such as images or pdfs to help complete the Card
  4. Add due dates.
  5. Add checklists.  This is great because if a task on your checklist becomes a big project, you can easily turn it into a Card itself!

The idea is to move Cards over as they become closer to completion, depending on how many Lists your Board has.

(Some Lists may be resource Lists with Cards on it that don’t regularly change. That is ok too).

Your Team (Members on Trello)

Add Members TrelloYou can add Members to Trello by clicking the link “Menu” on the right and then Add Members…  This will add people to the board you are currently on. If they aren’t on Trello already, just add their email and they will be invited for free.

Your team is who you want to communicate on Trello regarding your project.  You can add Members to Cards that you want them to be a part of, and can make sure they get email notifications by using the @ symbol and then typing in their Trello name (Trello will give you suggestions).


Trello is a powerful free collaboration tool that is relatively easy to use. I use it for all of my projects and recommend it to anybody looking to write less emails and get more work done!

(PS If you have someone stuck on email, they can email Cards directly! Just have them click on “Share and More” and they will get the link to the Cards email address.  People also have the possibility of replying via email to Cards.)

I hope this overview of Trello is useful. Let me know if you have any questions regarding Trello that you would like to see answered!

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