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The Ultimate Guide to Trello: Weekly Planning
In the first article of this series, I went over the basics of Trello: how to create boards and cards, as well as how to assign labels, due dates, and members. As I was going through all this, I created a weekly planning board. In this article, I am going to revisit that board and show you how I plan out my week using it.
Using Trello as my weekly planner allows me to easily open it from my computer, iPad, and phone. So no matter what I’m doing, I can check in with what I have going on.
It also allows me to rearrange my schedule from any of these devices.
I’m the type of person who doesn’t have the time or patience to have to go into a calendar and manually change things. Any digital planner that I have used in the past has failed me because of this alone. Trello allows me the two-click functionality I need to stay on top of my to-do list, which has been a game changer for my productivity!
So I’m going to walk you through how I set up my weekly schedule so that you can take advantage of these features as well!
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Setting it Up
In the previous article, I went over how to create the board, and I went ahead and created a general to-do list. This is the first card that I have on my own board. I can always go on and add something I need to get done. And on Sundays when I’m planning my week, I look at what I need to get done, and then drag and drop them all onto the different days of the week.
So the next thing that we need to add, then, are cards for each day of the week. I simply name them Monday-Sunday. If you theme your days, you could also add the daily theme to the title of the card as well. But to keep things simple, here is what mine is going to look like:
If you keep your to-do lists separate, you can always have separate lists in here, too. In mine, I have a general to-do list, a business to-do list, and then my signature course to-do list. So when I’m planning my week, I pull from all three of these.
Drag and Drop Your Days
This brings me to the next step. To move a task to a certain day, all you have to do is drag and drop it. In the previous article, we had put a due date of 6/15 to pay the car insurance. That is a Wednesday, so I’m going to go ahead and move that task to the Wednesday list. I’m also going to move scheduling the doctor’s appointment and editing the first draft to Monday. So here’s what my updated board looks like:
Not Overbooking Yourself
As you can see, it’s super easy to move things around to schedule out your time. This also makes it super easy to overbook yourself, though, so you have to be careful not to do that. In the example I laid out, I put scheduling the doctor’s appointment as the first task of the day because that will only take a few minutes.
Let’s say that you also have a conference call at 2 on Monday. I would first add a new card, type Conference Call, and also type the time on it because that doesn’t show on the card in the board or calendar mode. I’m also going to give myself from 9:30-12:30 to work on the first draft. Again, I’m going to type it on the card. So here is what this looks like in the board mode:
Then, if we switch over to the calendar mode, this is what it looks like:
If you compare this to the car insurance on Wednesday, you can see that there is no time showing there. So it helps to type in the time on the card title itself.
Also, note that I left myself plenty of empty time during the day. This is pretty similar to how much I would normally schedule for myself during the day. This allows for me to spend more time on something that I anticipated, which tends to happen. And, if I have ten minutes to do something quick, I just glance at my to-do list(s), and everything I need to get done is right there.
Removing a Completed Task
Once something is done, you’re going to want the satisfaction of crossing it off. Unfortunately, with the card setup, you don’t actually cross them off, you archive them.
So, you would either click on the little pencil on the right side of the card or click on the card to open it up and select Archive.
If something has a due date, though, you do have the option to cross it off. To do this, you open the card and click on the due date, which will turn it green. If this due date has passed, and you haven’t archived the card or turned it green, it will be in red.
Marking the task as done (green), though, does not remove it from the card. Which is important for the next step.
Starting a New Week
As I said, every Sunday I will go through and schedule out my week. I use this same board every single week so that my running to-do list is always right there. For that to work, I have to remove the tasks as I complete them during the week. If not, I have to remove everything that is done on Sunday when I’m setting up for the next week.
So even if something is completed and I mark it green, I still have to archive it. I do enter due dates so that I can visualize my calendar, but I don’t worry about crossing them off here as I’m going to be archiving the card anyway.
The ability to cross them off is something that I use in my editorial calendar, which I will be going over in an upcoming article in this series.
In my weekly schedule, though, I remove them as I go. If I don’t get something done, I can either move it back to the to-do list or go ahead and move it to Monday or Tuesday, so it’s ready to go for the next week.
Want a PDF of this to read when you have time?
Just tell me where to send it!
Do you use Trello to plan out your week and manage your to-do list? I would love to hear about it in the comments!
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