An Agile Trello Workflow That Keeps Tasks Flexible

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Getting things done isn’t just about shipping a product, or checking off items on a list, or even about marking a project as “Done.” Getting things done is a process: it’s a way of thinking that involves planning, execution, iteration, and reflection. There are often setbacks. There are many moving pieces. Often, the most effective processes involve collaboration to ensure the best possible outcomes. In short, getting things done isn’t easy, and it’s almost never smooth. Almost.

The agile workflow has long been an effective strategy for programmers attempting to ship code in a timely fashion. Now those same theories are being adapted for non-technical workers, as well, as a way to prioritize getting things done.

Lyndi Thompson is a demand marketer at Tableau, which produces interactive data visualization products focused on business intelligence. Her job is to work with cross functional teams to introduce people to the world of visual analytics. She is also the undisputed agile Trello master. Her professional board boasts hundreds of cards, 40+ added members, and perfectly sorted lists that clearly dictate what needs to be prioritized, what is on the backburner, and what are just passing thoughts. These strategies help her to manage her teams, stay on top of an inordinate amount of initiatives, and accurately prioritize what’s important and what can be put on hold.

We can all use some new tips for maintaining an effective task flow. These best practices can be applied to anyone in any industry as a better way to get things done. Let’s dig into how Lyndi’s Trello workflow optimizes her productivity:

Keep “Done” At The Forefront, And Make Retrospectives

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Lyndi’s leftmost list is the “Done” column. It may seem surprising at first, but it’s actually a very intuitive strategy. Having a list of items already accomplished helps motivate her to tackle the next one.

Scrolling through accomplished tasks is a great feeling, but it’s not just about the warm fuzzies. It’s also an efficient reference when making quarterly reports or yearly retrospectives. It is for this reason that Lyndi says she rarely archives cards, unless they are truly deemed irrelevant. When it comes to making quarterly reports, no important initiatives are left out. She can easily see what projects got done, and when, with a quick scroll down the “Done” list.

Sprint Forward, So You Don’t Fall Back

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The next list over is “Current Sprint,” and she keeps approximately 5 things in there. Sprint is an agile term that indicates which tasks are the current focus of the project. Sprint lists can be individual or team oriented, and they are powered through until they are either completed or they face an outside bottleneck.

Keeping the list short ensures those tasks will get done, and keeping them in their own sprint list is a way to show that at any given time, these are the tasks that take priority over anything else.

In conjunction with her current sprint, she also has lists for “Next Up,” and “In Progress.” This is so the task pipeline stays active. Assigning a hierarchy system to tasks means each project is prioritized properly, and deadlines are met.

Free Up Your Brain Space With A Junk Drawer

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In addition to lists like “Next Up” and “Current Sprint,” there are more stagnant repositories for longer term strategies, meeting minutes, or just plain shower thoughts.

Lyndi’s list titled “Marketing Ideas Icebox” is essentially any idea that’s ever been thought of that doesn’t already have a relevant card.

Lyndi explains that these types of repositories are great for brainstorming meetings, when someone inquires about ideas that they had wanted to do in the past but never got around to. Instead of being tasked with remembering old ideas on the spot, Lyndi just scrolls down this list to see if any are relevant to the current discussion. Or as she calls it, “freeing up brain space.”

Identify Bottlenecks

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Do not fear the “On Hold” list. There are lots of reasons why projects get bottlenecked, and it’s important to identify that there is a reason they aren’t getting done. Instead of letting these cards sit stagnantly in other lists, drag them to an “On Hold” area.

One of the most effective ways to utilize the “On Hold” list is to address these cards during one on one meetings. Instead of interrupting someone’s workflow in the office or on a chat channel, save these items for the next sit down. It’s a good place to reference when it’s time to fix issues.

Lyndi also has a list called simply “Questions.” Anything in the universe she is pondering she will add as a card. When she finds the answer, she posts it in the card and leaves it there. This way, if she needs to look up the answer again, she can just search for that question. It’s a great repository of knowledge, and yet another way to free up brain space.

Stay Sane And Empower Your Team

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Lyndi’s board isn’t just for her, though. She maintains an “open board policy” with her colleagues, and has added nearly 40 collaborators.

“All team meeting notes are recorded, unprompted in Trello,” she explains. “I assign anyone in the room as well as stakeholders not present so that they get a copy of that meeting’s notes.” Trello makes it easy to mention key team members, bring them into a conversation, and if need be allow them to opt-out if they are no longer needed for the project.

Despite the fact that her department is growing, Lyndi says that she and her team members’ boards have become great resources for links, important dates, and contacts without ever needing to track someone down.

The agile methodology is all about doing less in order to do more. Adapting agile concepts into a Trello board is a quick and visual way to be more effective at work. Lyndi uses this in her marketing position, but these concepts are general tips that are easily adaptable in any industry.

Ready to adapt these concepts into your own workflow? We have created a sample board based on Lyndi’s process that you can copy for your own*:

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Tell us about how you GTD with Trello on Twitter, Facebook, or in the comments below.

Special thank you to Lyndi Thompson for providing such in depth insight into her Trello workflows.  

 

*if you copy this board, be sure to uncheck “Keep Cards.”

Step Into The Queue – Why Every Marketer Should Spend Some Time In Customer Support

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Recently I made the switch from support to social media manager at Trello.  While making the transition I took over the @trello Twitter handle, came up with tips in silly poetic verse, and made some fun (if not entirely useful) videos.  As marketing grew, I leapt at the opportunity to become the full time social media manager.  I had already come to love the community of Trellites during my time in support. In my social role, I am still able to engage with our users, except now I get to flex some of my more creative muscles. How could it get any better?

Of course, as with any new position I was excited, yet still nervous, about making the change. I wondered if my social media skills were up to snuff.  There was one thing, however, that I realized from day one: my time spent in the support queue was invaluable for my new role in marketing.  Support provided me with a knowledge of the product, knowledge of our customers, and allowed me to forge a deep bond with the entire Trello team.  The following are a few reasons why I believe that everyone in marketing should spend some time closing support tickets before they send their first tweet or launch their first campaign.

Know The Product

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Unless you wrote all of the code and pushed every pixel into place in your app, there is probably no one that knows a product better than your support team.  From direct customer interaction, to help documentation and bug reproduction, they get asked about every imaginable use case under the sun and are adept at providing clear and concise answers to users’ questions.

You would be amazed at the things people use your app for that no one on the development team dreamed of and no one on your quality assurance team thought of testing (boards with a zillion cards, animated gif card covers, a scanner attached to your garbage can that adds a new card to a grocery list board whenever you throw something away). Between reproducing and documenting the myriad of bug reports that come in and the feedback on friction points in the user experience, the support team gets to know every nook and cranny between all those ones and zeros.

Having such a deep understanding of Trello allows me to provide faster and more efficient responses through social media and also proves valuable when sharing tips and features with the Trello user community.  I feel good knowing that I can save our busy support team from some of the minor support questions, so that they can dig deeper into more technical questions. I also find that my knowledge of Trello makes me a better marketing team member, since I can provide input from both the product and user experience when we are developing new campaigns and content.

Know The Audience

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Let’s face it, if you’re in marketing you are basically the voice of the product. If you are going to start talking to people, don’t you think it’s a good idea to know who you’re speaking to?  Cultivating a voice for your product starts by talking to the people who are actually using your product, and there is no better way to hear from and engage with your users than in support.

The support queue is where I learned all kinds of things about our amazing users: empower cyclists in NYC, roadmap game development on public boards, and they organize volunteer efforts to better the world. Whether they are a new signup or a power user, they love that new feature or they’re stressed about an issue, you can learn so much about who is using the product, the way they want to engage with the product and the team, and best practices for communicating with a wide variety of individuals.

At Trello we aim to make getting things done fun and we carry this tone in our messaging as well as in our support interactions.  Witnessing the warm response to our voice and friendly engagement when talking to our users one on one has allowed me to develop and pursue that voice with our entire user base.  Feeling confident about who you are talking to is essential for having a positive experience with your community of users. It will improve all avenues of engagement whether it is on social media, email outreach, or your next big holiday campaign.

Know The Team

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Something that I cherished most while working in support was that it gave me the opportunity to get to know every single member of the Trello team.  Whether it was lunchtime chats with our developers, Slack discussions with designers, or conversations with our CEO around the aquarium (yes, we have Nemo in our office), there was always one ticket or another that would create a situation where I could engage with another member of the team. These conversations were invaluable when it came to reporting a bug, sharing user input, or learning more about the Trello roadmap.

Through these interactions I have been able to form lasting bonds that have helped me channel the voice of the entire team into our marketing and engagement efforts.  I have been able to better understand the past decisions that have real time effects on how Trello is currently being used, and where we will be going in the future.  All of this has enabled me to be more honest, direct and transparent with our users. (Yes, we’re working on better offline support, no we will not be working on a Windows Phone app anytime soon. Sorry, just wanted to be honest.)  Also, an added bonus of forging great relationships with all of the people working with and around you is that they are all extremely smart and creative people. Where else do you think I get half of my ideas? (Thanks everyone!)

Now It’s Your Turn: Step Up and Step In

Having a role in support was critical for my development as a social media manager.  Support is one of the rare roles that lets you engage with every aspect of the product.  Of course not everyone is going to be in the position of having a support role before they transition into marketing, but there are still many ways that you can get involved with the support team and learn some of their secrets.

Start by asking your support team if you can jump into the email queue every now and then to work on some cases with them.  You will be amazed what you can learn from just a few days in support. Next, grab some lunch or a cup of coffee with members of the support team and talk to them about their customer interactions, what works and what doesn’t, and what can be improved to create a cohesive voice for the company.

Finally, don’t be afraid to ask for ideas, opinions, and criticism from the support team when launching a new marketing campaign, or looking to better engage with your followers on Twitter. After all, they’re in the know!

Moved To Published: Using Trello As An Editorial Calendar

Or how we execute a robust content management pipeline without sending one, single email.

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Ever wonder how huge news sites like Mashable, ReadWrite, and The Changelog keep their content pipeline flowing behind the scenes? Spoiler alert: they use Trello. Whether it is a blog run by an individual or a humongous site with many contributors, Trello is quickly becoming the go to CMS for scheduling and publishing content. In what should come as a surprise to absolutely no one, we use Trello to manage our own extensive editorial calendar. Here’s how we do it:

Any blogger will admit that creating valuable content at a regular interval is difficult. Sometimes it’s hard to find the words to say… well, anything. This type of brain fog necessitates the need for an organized plan to hold writers accountable, centralize and flesh out ideas, as well as keep the content flowing at a steady clip. Creating a Trello board for an Editorial Calendar is an intuitive and visual way to store, overview, and organize content.

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Content travels from left to right across countless lists, gradually being poked and prodded through the pipeline until it reaches its final destination, the “Published” list. Our Editorial Calendar lists are as follows, from left to right:

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Article Ideas –

This is where anyone on our team is welcome to submit an idea for an article, whether it is a technical project they’ve been working on, or a Trello use case they got wind of whilst eavesdropping in the elevator.

This is also a place to put an idea that we want to investigate further, to determine whether it would make a good blog post. We emphasize to the team that all ideas are worth considering, and they should brainstorm here without fear of judgement.

Each idea is its own card, and on the back is usually a description of the potential idea. This is also where one (or three) labels gets added, to further distinguish what type of content this article is categorized as.

labels_cardFun fact: the Trello Editorial Calendar was one of the first boards to test the unlimited labels feature.

Researching –

These ideas have now taken on new form: a contact to interview, an author eager to write on a certain subject, or just an outline that everyone agrees is worth exploring.

At this phase of an article’s lifespan, the writer of the article adds him or herself to the card. This way it is clear who has taken point on writing the piece, and everyone knows who to tag in the discussions.

 

On Hold – 

Sometimes ideas get bottlenecked. The journey to Published is long, and these articles are simply resting their weary feet.

Writing –

Usually these cards have a working draft attached, or at the very least a detailed outline. They also most certainly have a due date by now, as we schedule content in advance.

When deciding on a due date, it’s easy to visualize the content landscape in calendar view. By pressing “Calendar” at the top right side of our board, we are able to see a breakdown of which cards are already scheduled and on which day. We typically aim to schedule 2-3 posts per week.

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Editing & Graphics –

Cards go here when it is time for the resident grammar stickler (ahem, me) to look over the piece. We integrate with Google Drive to attach article drafts to our cards.

One of the most important and time sensitive elements of content management is ensuring that content gets in front of a designer with enough time for him or her to create graphics. This isn’t always easy. As all designers know there are far, far more graphics requests than there is time to complete them. Having a dedicated place where designers are notified there is a draft or outline ready for them to review is crucial to ensuring that graphics are thought out and complement the text nicely.

Scheduled –

These articles are polished and ready. At this step we take time to get quotes approved from people we interviewed.

Promotion –

When an article moves to this list, we subsequently tag Brian, our Social Media Manager, who handles our Twitter and Facebook posts. He then creates a checklist of corresponding tweet text for this article. The marketing team is welcome to move items around in the checklist, as he tweets each one in order:

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Ready to Publish -

These posts make it to this list a day or so before their publish date. There is a card with a checklist at the top of this list. Before we publish, we make sure that all items are able to be checked off.

Published –

Put a fork in these articles, because they’re DONE.

So there you have it: an extremely straightforward, visual way to organize an inordinate amount of content. There can be hundreds of cards in an Editorial Calendar, but having various lists dedicated to each phase of the blog writing process deters feeling overwhelmed, and prevents content from getting lost in cluttered back and forth email correspondence. The calendar view provides a visual overview of the content timeline, which means that every piece of the content management pipeline can live entirely on a Trello board.

Now, all that’s left is to press “Publish.”

Content managers and bloggers – we love checking out how our fantastic content creators use Trello to better their brands. Tell us about how you are using Trello to manage your content pipeline.

We are hosting a Twitter chat on Thursday, 1/22, at 1pm EST on this very topic. Please join us:

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Find us on Twitter, Facebook, or in the comments below.

Editorial Calendar sample board – Copy Me!

We Are Living In A Material World And I Am A Material Girl

Or How We Gave The Trello Android App A Material Design Makeover.

Trello for Android: Materialized.

At this point you’ve probably already read about, used, and given us helpful feedback on our latest version of Trello’s Android app. Now it’s time for us to give you a little insight on how we brought this beautiful app baby into the world.

What is Material and why did we embrace it?

Google’s Material guidelines were created to develop a cohesive experience across devices and platforms. It’s anything but “flat design.” The guidelines are based in reality — using paper, ink, and shadows — without falling into the realm of skeuomorphism. They also emphasize the use of magical, smart, and intuitive interactions and animations. Interacting with an app using Material’s principles is more tangible and innate, yet has a touch of delight and whimsy.

So, in August, the team was discussing a roadmap for the Android app. We were aware that the next version of Android, Lollipop, was going to be pushed out to the public in a few months and we wanted to be ready for it. Our app was feeling stale. Until now, new features were bolted on instead of being massaged in with the deft fingers of a designer. This seemed like a perfect opportunity to reimagine Trello on mobile! We decided that we should redesign the app using Material, while addressing existing sore spots, for a more user friendly product.

How did we keep the app feeling like Trello?

We were acutely aware of the possibility of losing the Trello experience if we were to update our visual style to that of Material. We also wanted to keep things unified across Android, iOS and the web as much as possible. The app’s structure and user flow had to be taken into consideration before jumping into design and development. We used Material’s principles as a guide rather than strict rules that must be followed to the letter.

Our main goals for the app were:

  • Be recognized as Trello
  • Retain the core functionality that our existing users know and love
  • Be easier to decipher for people that are new to Trello
  • Be the starting point to designing a more consistent experience across all platforms

Not everything outlined in the Material guidelines fit the way Trello works:

  • Cards in a list are a no-no
    • But, that’s uh, kind of how Trello functions
  • The Floating Action Button (FAB) doesn’t always fit certain situations
    • Having one in a board would be too confusing, although we really did try
  • The colors provided in the Material guidelines, while vibrant and playful, didn’t mesh with our brand
    • We stuck with the colors specified in our branding guide. While it might not seem like a big deal, staying on-brand really helped emphasize the Trello-ness. This will also help with consistency in the future when working on other platforms such as iOS.

Alright then, what changed?

EVERYTHING… But ending it there wouldn’t be much of a blog post! Let’s get more in-depth.

The overall structure has been…materialized.

Trello for Android: before and after.Trello for Android: before and after.
We stuck very closely to Material’s principles, metrics, keylines, structure, and typography. These alone made a big impact on the overall clarity and cleanliness of the app, and since they’re universal changes, I won’t go into specifics on each section.

Users get to the core functionality of the app faster. The layout is based on an 8dp baseline grid. Typography has been cleaned up, as well as our color usage. Saying we had fifty (ugh, sorry) many shades of grey (and blue) throughout the app would be quite an understatement.

Bye bye, navigation drawer. Hello home screen!

Home screen: before and after.
After much deliberation between the designers and devs, we got rid of the navigation drawer. The drawer was a big part of our app, and it was a hard sell to scrap it. Every progress meeting would touch on the subject, everyone had their own opinions, and until the design team came up with a convincing flow, there was hesitation when it came to implementation.

Our use of InVision helped us experience the flow of the app without tying up devs. It was invaluable. We also set up a system where everyone can voice their concerns, but our dictator agreed upon designer, “The Decider,” would take everything into consideration and make a final decision.

So, instead of having a hamburger icon available to open a drawer that doesn’t provide much room to see a list of boards, we now have the user navigate to and from the home screen. The home screen already existed, but was redundant when you had it and the navigation drawer open at the same time.

The home screen is populated with all of the user’s boards, listed by priority: Starred, My Boards, and organization boards. It’s a better use of space, provides clearer hierarchy, and is a visually friendlier way of finding the board one needs. Starred boards, the boards most frequently opened by a user, conveniently cater to Material’s suggestion to use “bold, graphic, and intentional imagery.” They also make use of hero titles, even on phones, because of the extra room, providing more hierarchy cues.

We knew we had won with this new solution when one of the devs — one of our main opponents against losing the nav drawer, in fact — mentioned that he hadn’t missed the drawer when using the app!
Feels good, man.Feels good, man.

Here’s something to note: A key component to any app redesign/creation is that the people working on it should also use the product. If we were not avid Trellists, we wouldn’t have thought or debated as much about what we were working on. If we didn’t actually use every beta we came out with (not just test for specifics), we’d be poorly informed when making decisions and would be clueless regarding what problems have been solved or created.

App Bar

App bar menu.App bar menu.
The app bar, “a special kind of toolbar that’s used for branding, navigation, search, and actions,” has undergone some changes, aside from losing the hamburger icon.

Our logo is no longer included in the app bar. If you’re already in and using the app, we trust you’ll remember what it’s called. Plus, if it was there, we wouldn’t have room for your avatar and name, which acts as a menu to switch the home screen from displaying your boards to your organization’s boards.

Search and notifications have been updated to fit Material guidelines, as well as the overflow menu. There’s one thing missing from the overflow though, and that’s the “create board” option. We turned it into a FAB!

Board Creation

Tap the FAB to create a new board.
Previously, new boards could be created through the navigation drawer, which meant it was easy to dismiss; and the overflow menu, which was hidden. Neither made sense for a core function of the app. This was especially painful for a first user experience and it needed to be fixed. Now, the FAB is always visible on the bottom right of the home screen so a user can create new boards at a moment’s notice.

Boards

Board view: before and after.Board view: before and after.
We made use of elevation, giving the board view some hierarchy and dimension, using the z-axis, starting from the bottom where we have the board, then building upward to lists, then cards.

The app bar within a board is a little different from the one on the home screen. Along with the stripping of the hamburger menu and Trello logo, we no longer have a spinner that hides members or archived cards and lists. Because of this wonderful development, we now have room for the board name to breathe.
All the colors!All the colors!
If a board uses a background image, the app bar will pull a color from it, further personalizing the board. The notification icon has been removed — board activity updates are in our new drawer menu. Filtering has been moved up to the app bar to help users easily find the card they’re looking for. Finally, the overflow icon activates a drawer with menu items for board actions.

New addition: Board-drawer 1

The board drawer is accessible by tapping the overflow icon (the ellipses on the right) in the app bar. The drawer slides out from the right, above everything, providing easier access to different actions a person can take on the board they are currently on.

Our previous interface required people to hunt and peck for the actions they wanted to take. For example, it was nearly impossible to find items like archived items or members, especially for those that were new to the app. We needed a solution that gave a user easy access to every action they could take on a board with no time wasted.

We toyed with the idea of having a toolbar for members, activity, and archived items at the bottom of the screen; but that would have taken precious real-estate, leaving very little room for actual content, and causing too much back and forth between screens. It also created a problem where importance was given to items that might not matter to some users.

Eventually, we came to the solution of having all actionable items in one easy to access place. It made more sense. It provided greater ease of use and wastes less time.

Archived items: before and after.
The drawer also includes archived items, which were previously hiding behind the app bar spinner. Now, one can see what cards and lists have been archived for the board in question and easily unarchive should they feel the need to revisit.

We understand that having a more robust drawer interface where there should be a menu breaks a pattern in Android, but we feel that it works as a strong solution and went forward with it. The drawer serves as a direct way to access items that aren’t important enough to be front and center, but still deserve more than a convoluted user flow in order to access a dialog or bottom sheet.

Lists

Lists: before and after.
Lists now look more presentable with distinguishable headers and footers that also play into our use of elevation. This change gives the look of cards sliding under pieces of paper instead of mysteriously disappearing underneath a list title when scrolling. Just that small change cleaned up the look of lists (and subsequently, boards) ten-fold.

Cards

Cards: before and after.Cards: before and after.
Cards have all the same content as before, so no need to worry when it comes to quickly scanning for information. In fact, there should be some celebration! Cards are more readable, and feel more at home with other Material Android apps, due to our use of Material’s card layout guidelines.

Circular avatars are all the rage, but our use of them is more than just being on trend. Changing our avatars from squares to circles softens up the look of the app, which can tend to be rectangles on top of rectangles. Circles also help differentiate avatars from board thumbnails, which are rounded squares.

Cover images are flush to the top and sides of a card for some deliciously clean, full width images. Because of this, cards have a more uniform look no matter what the true size of an image may be. Hooray for no more weird whitespace! This has been a point of contention within Trello, especially for the web app. With all the information a card contains, especially labels, it’s hard to prioritize what should be shown first, or what gets the most emphasis.

Speaking of labels… We love them and use them almost obsessively. But, what’s the point of having so many wonderfully colorful labels if you can’t see them? Exactly. That’s why we decided to move them below those beautiful cover images to give them some room to grow. Larger labels serve the purpose of gathering information at a glance, especially for those of us with waning eyesight. The larger size and move is also in preparation for Unlimited Labels, a feature that’s already available on the web, and coming very soon to Android. (We promise!)

Card back

Card back: before and after.
We’ve been experimenting with the card back interface for over a year — well before and during the introduction of Material Design. The card back is the interface you see when you tap on a card. Our two main concerns are always:

  1. A card can contain a lot or very little information. How do we balance the design so that it’s beautiful, functional, and quick to use for the varying amounts of data a person can input?
  2. How do we add complex data types such as members, labels, due dates, etc, that all have data actions within each one?

The card back has always been a huge design challenge for us and we’re constantly looking for ways to improve it. The new guidelines offered us another opportunity to ask some additional hard questions:

  • What if there were no dialogs and the user could add content inline or through bottom sheets?
  • What if the FAB was attached to the header? Do we need the FAB at all?
  • What if we had a bottom toolbar for quickly adding content?. (View this on InVision.)

View how a toolbar would work on InVisionView how a toolbar would work on InVision
The list goes on, but we came to the conclusion that we needed to validate these experiments thoroughly. We decided to keep things simple and clean up the card back’s main pain points for this release.

The card back has had a FAB even before it was introduced as part of the Material Design Guidelines. We haven’t changed a lot of the functionality of the FAB, but we went through many iterations on the best placement. We opted to keep the same position, updated the UI, and added labels to easily identify the icons.

Tap the FAB to add to your card!
Like the rest of the application, we completely readjusted the metrics of the card back to align with Material Design’s patterns. We updated icons, spacing, alignment, and obsessed over UI polish to make sure you can find what you’re looking for and process information quickly.

We’ve cleaned up all the dialogs. Adding members, labels, due dates, and attachments now feels unified. We also simplified adding due dates so that it’s easier and faster with predefined options such as today, tomorrow, and next week. Of course, you can still implement a specific date and time when necessary.

Redesigned, recoded, and collapsable: checklists should provide no more frustrations! We improved spacing around all checklist elements to help you quickly process information and easily add, check, complete, and delete items. And, as we all know, checklists can grow exponentially — they can also multiply. Because of this, we’ve added the functionality to collapse/expand checklists so you can focus on the items that are most important to you.
Action Bar MenuAction Bar Menu.
Action bar items have always baffled us as designers. “Why can’t the user just tap ‘Done’ on the keyboard?” is something that we’ve said over and over. Yet, all of our user tests and feedback show that people expect a UI control for the “Done” command that’s separate from the keyboard. For this reason, we’ve unified and cleaned up the action bar edit commands. It now features a title for what you’re editing, the ability to cancel, and a checkmark to complete the edit.
Attachments: before and after.Attachments: before and after.
The number one item of feedback we get from our beta testers is related to attachments. The majority of users don’t want to see image details; they’d rather see more of the image itself. It makes sense: images want to be looked at. We’ve started to organize attachments by their data type. Images are larger and displayed as a grid. Other types of content, such as files, Google Drive and Dropbox links, now feature vendor specific icons and attachment details. We have a lot of work to do here, but based on your feedback we are taking a step in the right direction.

We’re very happy with this iteration of the card back, but it’s an iteration, and we have many ideas and experiments that we’re working on. We plan to bring a lot of updates to the card back in 2015.

Good grief, that was a lot!

Yeah dude, I know. We toiled over this. We made endless notes and sketches on notebooks: plain, lined, gridded and dot-gridded. We designed in Sketch and critiqued on Trello, InVision, multiple hangouts, and even in person (we’re a distributed team). Then we iterated. And iterated. We’re still iterating, honestly.

We got a little angry and frustrated. Those stupid dialogs wouldn’t give up without a fight! Animating that board drawer was a pain. The L preview made the battery on our devices die within hours, even if the dang things were just sitting on a desk!

I personally had dreams about some of this, which is a fun moment in my life that I probably shouldn’t share publicly.

We hope you love this version of the app. We’re happy to do this for you, and to continue working toward making a beautiful and effortlessly useable experience on a product that, just like you, we use every day! There are new features that will be making their way to the Android app soon that a lot of you have been requesting, so please keep an eye out and join the discussion! We encourage you to add yourselves to our beta group as well as follow the design team’s work on Dribbble.

For now, Adam, Dan, Hamid, Ulysses, myself, and Taco are going to take a nap.

zzz...



1 Since I started writing this blog post, we have received feedback on the drawer that we decided to implement. We will be releasing a version of the app soon that will go back to having a menu, somewhat restoring the pattern that we broke. The menu will still work the same way, just look the way it’s supposed to. Everything is still easily accessible from the overflow menu, so no need to worry! Feedback and iteration, y’all. It’s a thing that happens.

And oh yeah by the way, we are hiring an Android developer: https://trello.com/jobs

An Easy Trello Workflow To Maximize Charitable Giving And Minimize Tax Headaches

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Start the new year off right by following through on your resolution to donate more to charity. Trello is here to help:

One huge, time sensitive “to do” that can get lost in the end-of-year mix is making charitable donations. For tax reasons these checks need to be written before the end of the year, but there’s a lot to keep track of in order to maximize your giving. The solution? Start early in the year, and keep everything in one place. Here is a simple way to structure a Trello board to keep track of charitable donations, streamline your tax filing, and stay organized year after year.

Get Organized Early

Instead of spending time digging through inboxes and rummaging through file cabinets to find receipts at the end of year, set up a Trello board at the start of the new year. Using Trello to store all documentation can save a lot of time when you’re ready to pledge, and especially when it’s time to file your taxes.

Start by creating a list that holds donation requests. Throughout the year it is common to receive email and snail mail requests for donations from various causes. It’s not always the right time at the moment you receive something, but maybe you want to remember this cause later. Perhaps it’s something you would like to research further before giving. Throw all of these in a list titled “Donation Requests” so you never let an opportunity to pledge to a great cause slip through the cracks. At the end of the year when you’re ready to tackle these donations, you’ll thank yourself for adding those cards.

Pro tip: use the email to card feature to immediately forward an email you get from an organization straight to a card on your “Donation Requests” list:

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Keep Track Year By Year

The next list to add is “Places I/We Want To Donate.” Any cards from the “Donation Requests” list to which you’re certain you will be donating should be moved to this list. If you use Trello each year, then you can copy your board from last year and easily see to whom you have donated previously and immediately move them into this list, ensuring another donation this year. If you put information about the charity in the card’s description, this will carry over when the board is copied.

You can make other lists for any type of donation related initiatives: food and clothing drives, annual memberships (like museums), or 5K Runs. Donations to many of these organizations are tax deductible, thus it is important to keep all relevant information handy come tax season.

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Pro tip:
Use labels to distinguish different causes, in case you need to do a quick search, or just want to see how distributed your giving is.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Stay Ahead of the Game, And Yourself

The next list is “Donated,” and cards are moved here when you have pledged. On the back of the card, add the amount donated, and attach the receipt or confirmation number. Any documentation you may want at your fingertips when it’s time to file taxes should be placed on the card back.

This is also an especially useful practice if you are coordinating with a spouse or other family members on your donations. If they took some time to write out some checks for the both of you, then moving the cards to “Donated” means it’s easy to see which charities have already been taken care of. Alternatively you can tag each other to different cards, so there is some transparency on how the workload is being divvied up.

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Pro tip: take a picture from your phone directly to the card itself. This is especially useful for quickly keeping track of paper receipts. The snapshot is immediately uploaded onto the card.

 

No Fuss Filing

The final list is called “Filed” and this is where cards are moved after they have been itemized on your tax returns. Won’t you be pleased with yourself when you see all the receipts and documentation attached to each charity’s card back? Not only are you saving yourself a hassle during the end of the year bustle, but you’re also taking the pressure off during that other hectic time: tax season. You’re essentially killing two stress inducing seasonal birds with one Trello board.

Staying organized when it’s time to itemize charitable donations in your tax returns isn’t exactly the most glamourous way to start the new year off right, but it is one of the most effective. Trello provides a simple solution to keep the process clear and organized throughout the year. This also makes it easier when coordinating with a spouse or an accountant. Whether it’s time to donate, or it’s time to file, all the information is right there for you, neatly stored in a Trello board.

So before you dump that ice bucket over your head, remember to make a card in a Trello board with your donation. You might be a little too chilly to do it after!

We created a sample board that you can copy to get you started:  

Charitable Donation Sample Board – Copy me! (how to copy boards)

Are you using Trello to maximize your charitable giving, or organize your tax returns? Tell us on Twitter, Facebook, or in the comments below.

Special thank you to Daniel and Lena LeCheminant for sharing this awesome workflow.