How to create your own personal Trello board
Stay organized with all your tasks and improve your productivity at home by creating a personal Trello board.
There are a lot of tools that can help you stay organized with your task list and in software development one of the more popular tools is called a Scrum board. Some of you may know this as a Trello board due to the popularity and growth of Trello.com. Being a technical project manager I use Trello for organizing and completing my work tasks.
For those unfamiliar, here is a brief introduction to what a Scrum board is.
A Scrum Board is a tool that helps software development teams make backlog items (items to be worked on) visible to the whole team in an organized fashion. The board can take many physical and virtual forms but it performs the same function regardless of how it looks; organizing tasks into various categories and priorities for the team to work on while showing progress on all the tasks.
Here is the typical Scrum process:
Make a list of everything to do.
Make a sublist of what you’ll do in the next given time period. (Usually between a full day and 6 weeks.)
Don’t work on anything that’s not on your sublist.
At the end of the given time period, evaluate how things went, and make a new sublist for the next time period.
Since I have been using Trello to create these boards digitally, I wanted to find a way to encourage myself to complete all my personal to-do’s and side projects as well. So I got the idea to create a personal Trello board and hang it in my apartment. That way, I would be forced to look at it every day and thus more likely to keep myself accountable (in the past I was only checking my work Trello boards online and neglecting my personal to-do’s rather often).
So what did I do? I purchased a whiteboard, some tape, dry erase markers, and post it’s then got to work.
Here is what my personal Trello board looks like:
(Note: I had to cover up a few tasks as they are for side projects that I have not gotten permission to share.)
Since this is only for my personal task list and not a broader team, I wanted to keep it extremely simple. Often if I overcomplicate things I will end up burning out and not doing it over time. So by simplifying my columns into 4 easy categories I was giving myself a better chance at successfully using my board to complete tasks over time.
Here are my category breakdowns and how I use the board:
This column is for all of my unscheduled tasks. Any time a task pops into my head, I walk over to the board, I write the task on a post-it and then I throw it in the ‘Sometime’ column. This is the place where tasks go when I know I need to do something; get groceries, take my dog (Charles) to the vet, work on a side hustle project, and whatever else I need to do, but I am not sure when. This is a great way to ensure I never forget a task (or at least don’t forget as often…).
The title speaks for itself but this column is for anything I need to get done this week. When I want to get something done this week but still not sure which day, I move it from the ‘Sometime’ column into the ‘This Week’ column.
You catching on or what? You guessed it, these are the tasks I focus on daily. Every morning when I sip my coffee and look at my board I look over my tasks in the ‘This Week’ column and then decide what I want to try and accomplish today. Once I have identified those tasks I move them into the ‘Today’ column.
Once you complete a task you can place it in the ‘Done’ column. Not much else to say about this column except that it is my favorite of them all. There is something about physically moving a task from the ‘Today’ column into the ‘Done’ column that is super rewarding and keeps me coming back each day.
I am slightly ADHD so finding a way for me to stay organized with my personal to-do list has been really great for my productivity at home. Remember, you can change and alter some other strategy for staying organized and make it your own so that it works for you. Don’t be afraid to get creative either.
If you need another good tip for getting your personal to-do’s done you can check out our post on how to create and complete your task list.
Looking for a large whiteboard? Here is the one I purchased.