It started over a dinner for two. But it’s not quite what you may be already imagining.
Back in 2014, a good friend, let’s call him Michael, was eager to explain to me that his online dating activities had become unmanageable, although he’d recently found a way to keep track of his ‘prospects” and ‘active projects’.
As a serial but honourable online dater with now few free evenings to himself, remembering multiple names was one thing, but recalling what he’d discussed with someone last time round, or even their children’s names and birthdays was creating confusion for him. Then add to that the scheduling of his next dates within a busy personal diary, and the time management involved to avoid any awkward cross-over.
His business analogy and terminology made me smile, and simultaneously I got hooked on his story. My own business was growing and my team was beginning to struggle in managing real ‘enquiries’, ‘active projects’ and keeping a tally on due dates. I had 45 active projects and five staff, Michael at that time had four love interests, and no staff.
Inadvertently he was about to solve my problem.
The first two beers came, and the story was paused to order some food. Then he continued:
‘So at first I tried keeping a spreadsheet of relevant information for each person, but that was hopeless for viewing readily on my phone’. He regularly cross-checked his stored info just minutes before his next ‘meeting’ to help avoid any faux pas.
So taxing was his need to keep all this information managed and accessible, Michael trialled and adopted a free* online solution that fitted the bill perfectly!
‘Wait ‘til you see this’. He opened the App version on his phone. ‘This is Trello’.
Now, I’m not planning on an in depth review of the tool that now continues to manage my project workload, but if you are struggling with the sharing of information within your business and the allocation of work to your team, this could well be an eye opener for you.
The guys at Trello provide an informative overview here and there is also a collection of helpful videos on YouTube here, to help you on your way. (More importantly, my team took to it like proverbial ducks to water).
We had a couple of short-term false starts as we experimented with the best way to lay out our boards, but in a short space of time we were able to see just how to grow and adapt Trello to our needs.
As with any similar offering, the free sign up allows an individual user to experiment and get a taster of the potential (or indeed manage your online dating at no cost).
To work and sync for our team, we quickly upgraded to a package with a negligible monthly cost of $5.00 per month, per user. (Price accurate at time of sign up)
That early evening curry was almost three years ago, Michael is now happily hitched and his free personal Trello Account is on ice.
Me? I’ve been using Trello ever since and can’t sing it’s praises enough!
Our business continues to grow and we currently manage our team of seven, along with around 110 active clients at any given time. Everything is shared via the Trello boards.
Updates, notifications, completed tasks, annual leave, incoming emailed support requests, integrated time tracking to another app, links to our files stored within Google Drive, image and document attachments. It’s all visible.
Complete visibility, 24/7, wherever we are.
And if you do decide to run with this you’ll be in good company. Adobe, Pixar, Google, National Geographic and British Red Cross are all mentioned on the Trello website as users…. and Cinch Ideas of course.
Please note that in writing this article, I have no affiliation with Trello other than being a satisfied subscriber.
* Trello is initially free on sign up for a single user, with the option of paid upgrades as required.