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Posted by on Dec 19, 2012 in Features, Guides / Tips | 1 comment

Using Trello to organize your tasks following GTD

Using Trello to organize your tasks following GTD

A few weeks ago we talked about GTD , or Getting Things Done , a methodology developed by David Allen to make us simple task management, “bring order out of chaos” and help us to be much more productive. In short, we proposed a system based on five pillars (collecting, processing, sorting, reviewing and making) that allowed us to organize our daily tasks so important distinguishing what is blocked or what we can do and yes, within this group, which has a committed date, something we can easily manage from a pad of paper or using a tool. Indeed, following the introduction to GTD let’s take a moment to learn how we can implement GTD in Trello .

A methodology must see it as a tool on which to support our management or our daily work, something we must realize and put into practice through daily use. If GTD pillar is compiling and sorting tasks, it stands to reason that we need some kind of support on which to collect all this information as if it were a kind of basket.

This is where tools come into play, either a paper notebook or something much more sophisticated as an application. Applications, by themselves, do not make us more productive, what makes us to be is the way in which use and, of course, this is where the methodology becomes a fundamental basis.

GTD For there are many online tools with which we can implement our tasks and staff, along different notes, we will try to show some options. A few months ago we spent a note to Trello, a web tool (which is also available on iOS and Android ) oriented in which they are represented by cards ordered in different piles. This card sorting, which makes us think of Scrum , we can also use it in GTD and implement our tasks in following the methodology of David Allen.

Classifying tasks in Trello

We saw that the classification tasks could complicate everything we wanted, that is, we could generate a number of states or batteries to our work (in fact, over the network, we can find very complex classifications with 17 sub-trays and trays) but we will try to simplify the model as initiation and, from there, as we move forward in the management of our work and we feel comfortable with this dynamic we can apply the iterations we deem appropriate and provide greater granularity to our classification.

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Trello works primarily with cards and these are grouped into lists, that is, we can assume that tasks will Trello cards and lists trays will you classify tasks. A simplified approach would be to manage the following trays:

  • Inbox, ie an inbox in which we will accumulate to classify tasks, though, tasks that need more than 2 minutes to run (because, otherwise, the right would execute as discussed when we analyze this methodology ).
  • Scheduled Tasks (or calendar) would be the list of tasks that we have already planned their execution and have assigned a date to perform (because, for example, have a deadline).
  • Waiting Tasks represent the list of tasks that we can not run because they depend on a third party not control, that is, they are waiting to send us a document, we make a delivery or something someone processed. While these tasks not dependent upon us and are locked is important to keep track of and keep them controlled, for example, to keep track of them.
  • Perhaps representing the list of things we’d like to do but unfortunately we do not have time available. This list add those tasks that we’re always putting off (yes, avoiding procrastination) for lack of time, for example, propose improvement plans for our projects or our departments or other tasks to consider an “extra”.
  • Running boards will be added those tasks at hand and therefore we are running. With this list we put the focus on what we have to do and if, for example, we are distracted with anything else since, at a glance, we can always have located the things we have planned to do.

The importance of context

Besides dedicating one card to each task and sort the cards based on these lists (or more if you want some lists more complicated model), it is very important that we do not just record the name of the tasks on the cards and we strive to provide as much information as possible to them.

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Add context information to help us classify tasks better and, above all, to concentrate all the information in one place that we take as a reference point (very important if we return to a task long after giving it high).

What information can we add? Upon registering the card we attach a description, ie, we can add a description of the task and record the objectives to be met, the most relevant reference sources or having as deadline date (a field that can also be used to plan the tasks). Another interesting detail is that, as we go, we go appending comments and complete the information as it develops the task.

Besides the task information, Trello offers the possibility of using a discrete set of labels, color-coded, which we use to provide greater context to our tasks. And how can we use labels? The tags can help us to identify the tasks of a specific project or projects (to distinguish which tasks belong to each project), identify personal tasks, which are urgent, etc..

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If we use the labels see that in the cards appear a small band of color that will also help us identify the tasks at a glance.

Working with Trello

The web interface Trello supports drag & drop, ie, drag and drop, so we can easily move the cards from a list to another as we go sorting tasks.

At the time we want to add more information to a task or, for example, assign a deadline date, all you have to do is a simple click on the card and it will be displayed showing the description and all updates that have been scoring.

When we finish a task, the action of deleting the file we run through its since, in this way, are no longer visible but not removed from the system and we can use them through the search engine offered Trello.

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Now what?

Trello, in my opinion, is a very interesting place to work in groups to implement GTD individually and manage our tasks. Its use is quite simple and following these guidelines can easily implement a management and monitoring tasks without letting anything slip away.

Header image: Crew of One

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1 Comment

  1. For implementing GTD you can use this application:

    You can use it to manage your goals, projects and tasks, set next actions and contexts, use checklists, and a calendar.
    Syncs with Evernote and Google Calendar, and also comes with mobile version, and Android and iPhone apps.


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