It’s Trelloween! Contests, Treats, and More

Halloween is no longer one day or one weekend of celebration. It has become more of a month long mindset. As soon as there is a hint of chill in the morning air, everyone begins to question whether they can dress up as any seemingly innocuous event that happens to them. So much so that I’ve got $20 in my office pool on Pumpkin Spice Lattes as this year’s most popular costume (but in all fairness, it was a quiet year for Miley Cyrus).

The key to really crushing Halloween is planning ahead. Great Halloween costumes, like Rome, weren’t built in a day. Between finding the right wig to ordering custom contact lenses with enough time for delivery, it’s important to remember these things take time.

Luckily for you, here at Trello we already got the Halloween ball rolling. Our excitement for all things Halloween is palpable, as demonstrated by our office decor:

office_collage

But our Halloween spirit extends well beyond the halls of our office. That’s why we are excited to announce our Trelloween Costume Contest! We set up a public Trello board complete with our own costumes, pets’ costumes, and even a few kids dressed as gnomes (you’re welcome).

trelloweeen

All we need is you! Tweet us pictures of your Halloween costumes, past and present, and include #Trelloween to add to our board and we’ll give you one month of free Trello Gold. You can also share pictures on Facebook by uploading your photo and tagging Trello.

Did you know that Trello has a Power Up to enable voting? Well now is your chance to see it in action! Vote for your favorite costume right on our Trelloween board: the submissions with the most votes will receive an entire year of Trello Gold.

To vote for your favorite costume simply open the card and click the “Vote” button on the right side under Actions. You can also use the vote shortcut: mouse over a card to highlight it and press “v”. Read more on voting here.

 

Last but certainly not least, we’ve made some extra spooky custom stickers you can download straight from the Trelloween board to swag out in seasonal fashion.

So don’t let Halloween sneak up on you, or you’ll be stuck with an old costume (and Breaking Bad is so last year). Happy Trelloween!

Note on receiving your Trello Gold: Be sure to follow us on Twitter in order for us to contact you. Also, since we don’t use robots (nor are we dressing up as them) please allow 24-48 hours for us to send you Gold. Thanks!

Meal Planning With Trello – Part 2

Or How I Use Trello To Be A Grocery Store Superstar

Last week I shared with you my meal planning board as well as tips on how to get started creating a meal planning board of your own. This week I will go into setting up your grocery list, ruling the grocery store, and I’ll share some additional tips and tricks that you might want to use with your board.

Grocery Shopping

The Grocery “List”

At this point you have a few weeks or a month of meals planned out, you are organized, you are motivated, your future is so bright that you gotta wear shades.  You open up your fridge and… oh right, you haven’t cooked since you got that food processor for your birthday last year.  The cupboards are looking equally bare, and maybe it is time to toss that expired ramen, as you think to yourself, “Wait, ramen expires?!”  Luckily, Trello makes creating grocery lists a cinch.

The first thing I did was to make a new list on my board called “Grocery Lists.”  For each week of meals that I have planned out I added a new card.  Breaking up your shopping into weeks makes grocery lists more manageable and I want to spend as little time shopping as possible.

GroceryListsList

Now we are going to create our grocery list for the first week by adding a checklist to the card.  Checklists in Trello have a few great features that the old pen and paper grocery list of yesteryear don’t have. To add a checklist, click the card to open it and select “Checklist” from back of the card in the Add section, name your checklist whatever you like, (I went with the very original “Grocery List”) and then click “Add”.

The quickest way to add items to your checklist is to copy and paste the ingredients from each recipe into a checklist item.  Trello will automatically create a new checklist item for every line separated item in your recipe’s ingredient list.  To do this, open the card of one of the recipes you are going to make this week, highlight the list of ingredients, copy the text, then open your grocery list card for the week and under the checklist click “Add an item.”  Now paste your copied text into the field, press add, and watch the magic unfold as each item in your list becomes a separate checklist item.  I am going to give you a minute to go through and add the rest of your ingredients for each meal into your checklist.

 

Once you have all of your ingredients for your week’s worth of recipes added to your checklist, it’s time to do a little organization and clean-up.  First, there are probably some items on the checklist that you already have and don’t need to buy.  Remove these from the checklist by clicking the checklist item and then selecting “Delete.”  Organize your list by dragging and dropping checklist items into whatever order makes most sense to you.  I like to organize my list by produce, meat/dairy, and dry goods (aka all of the stuff in the center of the store that you can never easily find).

 

If you have a few redundant items, like 2 checklist items that each call for a yellow onion, feel free to consolidate these items by clicking the first checklist item to enable edit mode, change the item to say 2 yellow onions, and then delete the second onion checklist item from your list.

I should note that you are not limited to one checklist on a card, so if you want to make more checklists for your grocery list, feel free to do so! Also, encourage other members of your household that are on your Trello board to add any items to your grocery list for any snacks that they want, like those coveted seaweed snacks.

Supermarket Sweep

Where my partner, Jess, and I live in Brooklyn, we have four different markets that we like to shop at all within a two block radius: the produce stand, the local baker, the organic foods market, and the supermarket. In order to get our shopping done fast we like to split up, divide and conquer style.  This also makes shopping in one mega supermarket way more sane.

Trello is available on both iOS and Android devices and it syncs in real time so we can leave the apartment at the same time, go to different stores and know exactly what has already been added to each other’s shopping carts by checking off checklist items as we go.   If I am going to the bakery and Jess suddenly has a craving for some babka she can add it to the grocery list and I will be able to see the update in real time.  Never had babka? Go do yourself a favor and get some.

 

Bonus Tips

Trello has a lot of other great features that you might find useful on your meal planning journey, and I want to touch on a few them really quick.

Labels – Labels are a great way to make information more visual on your board.  Consider adding labels to your recipe cards to make certain features about those cards stand out more, perhaps labels for dietary restrictions, the style of food, for cooking time, or for the season the dish tastes best. To learn more about labels check out this article.

Calendar iCal feed – The calendar for your board has a unique iCal feed that you can import into a third party calendar, such as Google or Apple’s calendar.  If you are someone that schedules your life in an online calendar, you might find this useful.  To learn more check out this article.

Markdown formatting – On my recipe cards I like to get fancy with my formatting by using bullet points for ingredient lists, as well as bold and italicized fonts.  Trello incorporates Markdown syntax to do this and you can learn more about adding Markdown to your cards here this article.

Collaboration – Just like sharing a meal, Trello makes it easy to share your recipes with others.  Got some friends and family that love to cook? Add them to your board.  I added my sister and my parents to my meal planning board so that they can get ideas for things to make, and they have added me to theirs.  Now if my sister adds a great new recipe to her board, I can copy the card and add it to my board in a few clicks.  To learn more about copying cards, lists, and boards check out this article.

Board backgrounds – My mother always says that she considers the plate a canvas, ready to be filled with not only exquisite flavors, but also visual delights.  With Trello Gold you can make your board background your canvas for culinary delights by adding a custom board background.  To learn more about custom board backgrounds, check out this article.

Well, that sums up my experience so far into using Trello as a meal planning tool.  It has been great getting back into the kitchen more, developing my cooking skills, and sharing one of the greatest gifts with my family and friends, a nice home cooked meal.

Do you have any favorite recipes? Share them with the rest of the Trello community by adding them to this card  or by sharing them with us on Twitter by tweeting @trello

Managing Your Move With Trello

Or How Newlyweds Managed A Move Without Killing Each Other

A couple of weeks ago, my husband and I moved to a new place. It was our first time moving as newlyweds, and I was really dreading the whole thing.

There were so many details! Like when do the movers come, remembering to label all the boxes correctly, and of course changing our address everywhere. It made my head spin just thinking about all the little things we had to remember. Before I got too stressed, I started jotting tasks down on a Trello board. I made sure to ask friends on Twitter what they recommended as another resource for moving:

Twitter Re: Moving

After folks on Twitter reminded me to call my bank to change my address (duh!) and to make a list of places where payment was done automatically, I started dividing and conquering all the tasks we had to do.  I wrote each task on a card and easily assigned some of them to my husband. This prevented potential confusion on who was doing what (OK let’s be real, it prevented my husband not knowing what he was supposed to do). We could comment on the different options right on the card, and get things done quickly.  It was great to have an overall visual snapshot of the move, highlighting different stages of the process. I’ve made my board public so you can take a look.

The Garbers Big Move

Having our process documented meant that we could track the progress of each task.  Every card moved to Done meant a high five and a rewarding feeling (I swear it’s real).

Since I’m on my computer most of the day, and my husband is mobile, having Trello on his iPhone gave him the ability to check in during lunch and do things like cancel our cable. I got real time updates every time he moved a card to Done, so it motivated me to do more. Situations like moves can be stressful because of diffusion of responsibility- when one person thinks the other person is doing something he isn’t. Trello helped solve this problem and motivated us to work as a team.

 Having Trello on my phone was also a lifesaver when it came to things like connecting documents to tasks. For example, People’s Gas needed me to wait 2 days before calling them to confirm my identity by giving them some code on a receipt (yeah, I don’t get it either). There is about a 95% probability that receipt would have been lost. Instead, I just snapped a picture of it and added it right to the People’s Gas Trello card. I also added a due date to remind me to call and confirm. With all the moving pieces (no pun intended) it was great not to rely on my (terrible) memory to ensure the move was a success.

Trello on iPhone We also discovered a bit of a productivity hack: the FancyHands and Trello integration. FancyHands is a virtual assistant service that can help with things like scheduling and research.  Their Trello integration allowed us to tag FancyHands right on a card with a detailed description of a task and it would get done by a virtual assistant. For example, I tagged FancyHands in a card regarding research on cable providers in our new neighborhood. They were able to narrow down the list of providers, outline our package options, and patch me into a phone call with customer service to set up our plan. That meant making quick choices for me, and not sitting on hold for hours. My husband was also able to see the FancyHands’ research and we could discuss the task right on the card. See a snapshot of a card with FancyHands added below.

FancyHands

Trello took the stress out of my move. Since making my board, I’ve seen how other people use Trello to move. Some categorize each new room as a list, then number moving boxes to correspond to each list. Whoa- that gets major organizational props. If we had done that, we probably would’ve saved at least 2 hours of moving time shlepping boxes from room to room.

Now that we’re settled into our new home with gas, electricity, and cable, I can relax knowing everything has been managed and the move is over. Now I just have to make a Weekly Chores Board….

 

Meal Planning With Trello

Or How I Use Trello to Expand My Savings (Not My Waistline)

Meal Planning With Trello

About a year ago my girlfriend Jess and I moved back to New York City after six years in Seattle.  In Seattle we cooked all of the time, and we loved all of the delicious flavors we could create at every meal.  When we got back to NYC, life became so much more NYC.  Happy hour on Tuesday, a friends’ band playing on Wednesday, gallery openings on Thursday.  Sure, it’s a lot of fun, but it seemed like we were living off of expensive meals and quick falafels. We were never cooking for ourselves.

Now don’t get me wrong, if you are going to spend $3 in this city, you probably can’t do any better than a falafel from Oasis. Add that to the hip Korean place that opened around the block and the lobster rolls that are in season, and now eating out all the time starts hitting the wallet, as well as the belly, pretty hard.  Jess and I decided that we had to get back to cooking at home, making meals that were both tasty and nutritious.  We needed a way to plan our meals. Since I was using Trello to organize projects at work, I thought it would translate well to organize recipes to cook at home.

BrianJessCooking3

Let me now share with you my Trello meal planning board. It’s full of recipes from my favorite food blogs. You can check it out here: Brian’s Meal Planning Board

Feel free to copy this board and expand upon it with your favorite recipes, or use it as a source of inspiration as you create a board of your own.  So how do you create the perfect meal plan in Trello?

Trello Meal Planning Board

Converting Recipes From Bookmarks Into Cards

Everyone who likes to cook probably has a few or a few hundred food blogs that they like to read for recipes and inspiration, and we have all probably bookmarked our fair share of recipes with good chef-ly intentions, of course!  But as we all know, so many of those recipes fall by the wayside.  Turning those recipes into Trello cards with just a few simple steps, brought a cornucopia of easily accessible meal options right into my life.

Recipe On Card

The first thing you want to do is set up some lists on your board.  Imagine you are creating the cookbook of your dreams…think of all the chapters you would want.  Each list can be a chapter for a favorite meal category.  For me it was simple:  I was brought up in an Italian household, so right off the bat pasta gets a list. Any pasta. All of the pasta!  Of course dinner is not always about pasta, so I add: Vegetables, Legumes, Seafood, Meat, Salads, Sides and Desserts. Nothing too crazy, but you can go as crazy as you like.

Now when I am cruising my favorite blogs and see something that looks amazing I can create a new card with the name of the dish on the appropriate list.  Then, I copy and paste the ingredients and directions into the card’s description as well as the link to the recipe back on the original website.

Finally, if there is an image included with the recipe I will right-click the image and select “Copy Image URL” and then in my Trello card click the Attachments button on the card back and paste the link in to the “Attach a link” field.  This also adds the image to the front of the card as a card cover so that when I am browsing my board I can see all the great dishes that are available for me to make.

 

Now go through all of the recipes that you have been squirrelling away and fill up your board with mouthwatering delights.

This is also a great time to add any other members of your household to the board.  Have them add their favorite recipes to the board as well, like that Tunisian stew that you can’t get enough of on a crisp Autumn night.

Due Dates & The Calendar Power-Up

Alright, now you’ve got your recipes on your Trello board and it’s time to start planning.  I like to be realistic about my cooking habits, which means I will probably be cooking four or five nights a week, leaving a few nights for leftovers, and a night for us to either go out with friends or go out on a date. Trello makes it easy to plan out a few weeks or a few months of meals with due dates and the calendar power-up.

Calendar Power-Up

Start planning out your first month of meals by adding due dates to the recipes that you crave the most. To add a due date to a card, either click on the card to open it and then select “Due Date” and add your date, or use the add a due date shortcut by hovering your mouse over a card and pressing “d”.

AddDueDate

Once you have assigned due dates to your cards, enable the calendar power-up for your board.  This will let you visualize all of the cards with due dates on your board in a calendar view.  To do so, open the board’s menu, click power-ups, the Calendar and enable it.  Now click the calendar icon to the left of your board’s sidebar and ta-da!  What is even cooler is say that you are looking at your meal planning calendar and decide that maybe you would rather make tacos on Tuesday rather than Thursday.  Just drag the taco card on the calendar from Thursday to Tuesday and the due date that you assigned to the card will be updated instantly.

 

Now that you have enough of the basics to get your meal planning board started, go and get cooking! Also, checkout my follow-up article on the glories of grocery shopping with Trello and more in part 2 of this series.

Do you have any favorite recipes? Share them with the rest of the Trello community by adding them to this card or by sharing them with us on Twitter by tweeting @trello

Sources:
http://www.greenkitchenstories.com/mung-bean-stew-on-a-budget/
http://the-broken-bread.com/2012/11/oatmeal-pumpkin-cookies/
http://howtofeedaloon.com/mixed-green-salad-gorgonzola-pancetta-walnuts-apple-cranberries-pine-nuts/
Also, please see the public Meal Planning board for more recipe and image sources.

Trello Has Five Million Users: Free Gold For Everyone!

We’re super excited to announce that Trello now has over five million users! Hurray! It’s hard to believe that in just three short years, Trello has sparked a collaboration revolution. That’s right- at five million users and counting, Trello is growing the fastest we’ve ever grown and we’re more pumped than ever to be helping you organize your work and life.

To celebrate this milestone, we decided it would be the most fun to reward our users with something special. Something shiny…like gold. So that’s exactly what we’re doing!

Today, we’re offering a free month of Trello Gold to everyone.

All you have to do is share the good news! Click here to get larger file uploads, custom board backgrounds, and custom stickers galore. And don’t forget about Taco…he’s really excited about this too.

Thank you five million times over for using Trello and for your support as we continue to build the most simple, visual way to organize and collaborate with others. To see how big of an impact Trello has made, check out the infographic below. Roo!

5m-infographic