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Hidden Productivity Tools In Trello

Angelo Luciani
Angelo Luciani

The simplicity of Trello is one of its attractions as a productivity and project management tool. You can visualize your tasks on Kanban boards, make to-do lists and use color codes to designate priority levels. With Trello, you can see at a glance where the bottlenecks in your project exist, what needs more attention and who on the team might need help getting their tasks across the finish line.

Trello makes teams coordinate better, be more productive, and learn from one another. It also improves communication, which is why many companies using Trello for project management are doing away with email altogether.

Give your trello productivity skills a boost

Mastering the basics in Trello is not challenging. If you love making to-do lists, then Trello will come naturally to you. Whatever the case, building lists and assigning tasks to a team is the simple part. Trello is much more than just a digital notebook. You can unleash greater productivity using the following simple tricks:

1. Enable Trello power-ups

Power-ups are adaptable features in Trello aimed at increasing your productivity and task management abilities. The most popular Trello power-ups are calendar, voting, and card aging. If you have problems keeping deadlines or need a visual reminder to help you stay on track, then calendar and card aging are the power-ups for you.

View all your scheduled tasks on a calendar, and see which cards have not been worked on for a period as they fade with time. The voting power-up is ideal when you need your team to vote on changes to a project or assign priority to tasks. Other useful power-ups include Google Drive and DropBox. These two allow you to attach files and folders directly to your Trello cards and update them in real time as well.

2. Use keyboard shortcuts

Keyboard shortcuts can be extremely useful when you need to cut down on time spent attaching, copying, moving files, highlighting or doing many other simple tasks on your computer. Trello is no different.

Navigate cards quickly by using the arrow keys to select adjacent cards, press “k” to choose the card above the current one or “j” for the card below. Shortcuts can also be used to archive cards (c), open header boards menu (b), or open a card (enter).

3. Export to Excel

Trello Business Class allows you to export your boards directly to Excel. The feature is located under Board Menu>More>Print and Export. If you need a snapshot of your projects or spreadsheet support, then this is a very useful feature. You can also utilize it to backup your Trello project data or send it to someone else.

For the free version, install the Export-For-Trello Chrome extension to enable this feature. Remember that you can also import Excel or Word lists straight to Trello by simply copy-pasting them into your board. Every task will automatically become a card in Trello.

For the free version, install the Export-For-Trello Chrome extension to enable this feature. Remember that you can also import Excel or Word lists straight to Trello by simply copy-pasting them into your board. Every task will automatically become a card in Trello.

4. Convert emails to boards

If your team mainly uses email for communications, turning them into cards can save you time creating new cards or boards for every email you receive. You can send any email directly to a board and have it converted to a task.

Open the board and click ‘Show menu” to open the sidebar menu. Select ” Email-To-Board” settings and after finding the board’s unique email address, copy paste and save it in your contacts. You can now send an email to that address and have Trello convert it to a task at the bottom of the board’s default list.

The subject of the email will automatically become the name of the card, while the email content will become the description. You can also attach documents or files to the email, which will then be added to your cards.

This feature is indispensable when you are away from your computer and need to add a task. The Gmail To Trello Chrome extension also has a create card button in Gmail, which makes turning emails into Trello cards even easier.

Scott Friesen put together a video showing you how to use Trello and email.

Trello is Better than Email

5. Use labels to mark tasks

You can make Trello even more visual by using color codes to assign priority to tasks. While the traditional to-do, doing and done categories might work just fine, color codes give you a better visual representation of your progress. For example, you can mark all urgent tasks in red, normal in green, important in orange and completed tasks in blue.

A quick glance at your board will automatically give you an idea of what needs immediate attention. Furthermore, Trello allows you to search tasks by their labels, which is great when you are understaffed or pressed for time and need to prioritize your energies.

There are several other hidden productivity tools in Trello to improve your project management skills. Using as many as you can master will increase the utility of Trello and ultimately, success in your projects.

Do you use Trello? What tips can you share with the community, share them with me on Twitter and as always thanks reading.


Angelo Luciani

Blogger who enjoys exploring current and emerging technologies.