How to Use Trello to Organize Your Life

If you saw my resent post about how I was organizing my semester I told you I would do a walk through of my Trello organization. This post is just a basic walk through of Trello, for more in depth looks and tutorials check out youtube. There are lots of great videos all about Trello, how to use power ups and how to connect trello to other apps and programs. For me all of this was really complicated when I first started using Trello last semester so I gave up after a few weeks. Over Christmas break I took the time to learn the very basics and that’s how I use my Trello.

What is Trello:

Trello is a project management software. Its designed to help company’s and teams work though long term projects and collabarate without the thousands of emails or text. So how does this apply to the individual or more specifically law student? I run my time like a business. Between all of the things I do (work, school, keeping 3 dogs and a fiance alive, clubs, blogging, you get the picture…) I was seriously struggling to keep up. I hear about project management systems over and over on different business podcast and finally took the leap and looked into one. Now there are may out there (and this post is not sponsered, but Trello, if you want work together let me know :)) and Trello was the one I landed on first. I opened the website, created an account and then was completely confused. So I went to youtube. After watching about 100 videos I was overwhelmed and confused by I wanted to try it so I started creating boards.

How to easily use Trello.

The reason my first Trello attempt was not successful came down to the fact that I wasn’t utilizing the program in a helpful way. I was formatting things the way the people on the internet were and that just was not working for me. I finally found a video of a layout for a to-do list that seemed like it would work for me and that’s the one I modeled my To-Do list board off of. Now I have several boards for all the different purposes in my life.

What makes up Trello

There are a few basic components to understand to easily use Trello.

  1. Trello itself is a website and an app that all sync perfectly so you can always have it with you and you can figure out which version is easier for you to set up your boards (I like the website version for laying out boards and the app for updating cards).
  2. Home Page: when you open Trello the website you land on a homepage that gives you a summary of your boards. Because I used the basic aspects of trello, my summary doesn’t always reflect my needs so I don’t utalize this page much.
  3. Boards: Trello organizes by catagories or “boards.” You can think of boards as a box or bucket or in lawyer terms as a file cabinet. However you think of a board, they are your general place that holds all your list. When using Trello as a project managment system, each project would have its own board.
  4. Lists: Once you create a board, you can add lists. Lists are like subcatagories to the boards. You can think of these as individual tabs in a binder or an indivual file. List move from left to right and you can easily switch around list by holding them down and moving them. You can also send them to other boards and all the cards in the list will move to where ever you move your list. Lists are placeholders for all your cards.
  5. Cards: so what are cards? They are your individual tasks that need to be complete in your project. Cards hold different tools to make tracking, completing, and collaberating easier. You can add discriptions, due dates, check list, labels, attachments and powerup to cards to enhance them and really get into the details of what you need to get done. This is what sets Trello apart for a to do list or planner.
Overview of all my trello boards.
Some of my list from my To Do board.
Example of a card.

My Trello Boards:

So like I said I have started using my Trello for everything in my life so here is a list of all my boards the list that make them up. I use cards a little differently depending on the board but my most used tools within the cards are due dates, labels, and check lists. I have also started using descriptions and attachments for my school assignments. Below you will find all my boards and lists.

  • Tiffany’s To Do:
    • Goals for the Week
    • Today
    • In Progress
    • Done
    • Up Next
    • Not Urgent
    • Future Projects
    • Ideas
  • 2019 Overview
    • Each month has a list, I use the cards to flag events and set a due date for each.
  • Bar Application:
    • Fees/Costs
    • Forms
    • Attachments
    • Updates
  • Home:
    • Meal Plan
    • Bills
    • Savings
    • Cleaning
    • Shopping List
  • Independent Study: (this is my massive paper I have been working on over the last semester. It has its own board because of the size of the project.
    • Things to be done
    • Drafts
    • Research to do
    • Citation work
    • Meeting to do’s
    • Content Specific issues to resolve
  • IS Research: (I got tired of having research everywhere and having to do the citations so I use cards to represent each piece of research I have used, including the bluebook citation, an attachment of the research and notes about what information came from the research. I organized them by the way we do in Law Review as opposed to the sections of my paper they were used in to account for multiple uses.)
    • Articles
    • Cases
    • Internet
    • Books
    • Statutes
    • Other
  • LILAC (Life in Law and Coffee)
    • Ideas
    • To write
    • To edit
    • To schedule
    • To promote
    • Final posting schedule
  • LILAC admin
    • Email list
    • Amazon
    • Pinterest
    • Instagram
  • Meal Ideas/ Recipes
    • Breakfast
    • Lunch
    • Snack
    • Dinner
    • Desserts
  • Personal Development
    • Things to Learn
    • Things to read
    • Things to do
    • Self care
    • People to meet
  • Spring Semester
    • Bar Prep
    • Presidential Honors Seminar
    • Secured Transactions
    • Law Practice Management
    • Externship
    • Law Review

I hope this post gave you some ideas if you wanted to start your own trello boards.

The Best Tools To Organize Your Schedule In Law School.

So we have all made it through the first through weeks of class and by now you are probably feeling like you have been run over by your to do list and struggling. This semester I got bronchitis the first week, we got out puppy spayed (10 days in the cone of shame= puppy pawrents worst nightmare), and we completely moved our house around including my office so I basically have my desk cleared off and the rest of my office is piled on my couch. So usually in would have been giving up at the beginning but this semester a few things have changed that are lightening that load.
1 I dropped classes… a lot, I’m only part time with 12 credits. That may still seem like a lot for some of you but I have taken 17 credits basically since starting undergrad so this feels huge. Only two of my classes are graded and the rest are pass/fail unfortunately that includes bar prep so while there is no letter grade there is definitely a ton of work and a lot of stress. Bar prep was the main reason I wanted to drop down to part time because by the the end of last semester rolled around I was so burnt out I had no clue how I was going to make it through the last semester and then 3 months of bar prep.

First you should note I dropped classes… a lot, I’m only part time with 12 credits now. That may still seem like a lot for some of you but I have taken 17 credits basically since starting undergrad so this feels huge. Only two of my classes are graded and the rest are pass/fail unfortunately that includes bar prep so while there is no letter grade there is definitely a ton of work and a lot of stress. Bar prep was the main reason I wanted to drop down to part time because by the the end of last semester rolled around I was so burnt out I had no clue how I was going to make it through the last semester and then 3 months of bar prep.

The tools that are getting me though:

  • Planner:
    So as always my planner is my lifeline but this year I’ve stepped up my game. I still use the exact same layout of my plum paper planner as last semester. I scheduled that planner to run out there week the bar is done. This semester I’ve been trying to keep my planner calendar view matching my iCal for my phone. I do this using google calendar and love it because I have 4 different calendars filling in my phone but my planner mainly focuses on my big tasks. Then I use the weekly pages to keep up with my readings, meetings, and other reminders I may need throughout the day.
This is just one of my many trello boards but it has proved the most useful. List include: weekly goals, todays, in progress, Done, Up Next, Not Urgent, Future Projects, and Ideas.
  • Trello
    My secret weapon for how I have been successfully navigating my bar application, my independent study paper, my school work, dog mom responsibilities, and my blog stuff has been mastering trello. I started using trello last year but struggling with how to utilize it properly. I wanted more then a todo list and found a great guide to by on YouTube and then made it my own. Trello has some great features and it took me a lot of time to get my system down but now I’m really like it. I found the first couple days back to school my todo list grew by the minute. I started just dropping new cards in my trello list. I know Trello can be tricky to figure out so I do my best to post a full overview next week.
  • Google Calendar: Calendar Blocking
    I learned about calendar blocking from Amy Landyno on YouTube. The basic concept is you actually block out your time on your calendar. This helps me see how much time I actually have verses the time I think I have. I use one of those four google calendars to keep up with my calendar blocking. You can get more advanced with lots of colors and individual calendars but that’s what I find trello good for.

It’s taken me 3 years to finally feel good about starting a semester!