Hello Trello!

Ever since I started using Trello, I have been an enthusiastic user of this planning app. Trello is a simple but very efficient programme that helps you plan and organise all your work and at the same time it enables you to work together with colleagues in a very convenient way without sending emails all the time. Perhaps you sometimes even send yourself an email to remember to do something or to save a useful link? Saving useful links can also be done on a blog like this, in an app like Pocket or on a handy yurls.net page, but by using Trello you automatically organise the ideas, notes, plans and materials per task, subject, group or project. Very simple and clear.

It is also easy to get started on Trello. I started using it when planning a family party together with my cousin, but very soon discovered its practical usage for work. Right now, I have about 12 Trello Boards in which I plan and organise all my activities. A Board is simply an (almost) empty canvas to start drawing up lists of things to do, use, plan, etc. Each list can be named for a different purpose and on each list you can add cards with these separate plans, ideas and activities. Each new board starts with three default lists: to do, doing, done. You can remove these if you have a different way of organising things, you can your own list and you can always reshuffle lists. The app works on all devices, computer, tablet and smart phone and all your boards are automatically synchronised. So whenever you think of something to do during a meeting, while travelling, basically anywhere anytime, you can make a note of your things to do, look at, use, etc. This is super practical!


To give you an example for teaching, you can think about planning a new course programme for a group of students. You probably start filling the list of things TO DO, but soon you will start planning per week (e.g. use a list per week), start collecting on-line materials to use (e.g. make a new list MATERIALS), start organising practical things (e.g. list IMPORTANT DATES), etc. You will most likely also work on certain tasks or projects together with colleagues and then you simply share the board with them and everyone can contribute to the board. The big advantage is that you can always see what others are working on (e.g. list DOING) and you can communicate in a very efficient way without sending endless emails to and fro. On a card you can write a comment and by adding @Namecolleague this colleague gets notified about your comment or question. You cann also allocate tasks to members, so you can see who is responsible for what activity. On every card you can add links, photos, a checklist, a due date and a colour label to indicate priority, for instance. If you are working on the board at the same time as a colleague you can actully see what he is doing real time. This way you can work together without actucally sitting together, while sharing ideas and materials.

As you can probably tell from my experience above, I am very enthusiastic about the possibilities to work on all the tasks that teachers typically work on all the time. This programme supports the active planning that you already do but also helps those  who need some ‘encouragement’ to follow up on tasks. If you are an enthusiastic planner and a Jack(y) of all trades, I am sure you will enjoy using this app as much as I do! I have noticed that working on so many different tasks at the same time has become much better organised and efficient. So, if you have not already tried or looked, go to Trello!