American Genius’ preferred productivity tool
Trello is one of our favorite productivity tools. It organizes thoughts, projects, and collaborations effortlessly onto boards. If you haven’t tried Trello, it is one tool I really recommend to anyone and everyone who happens to ask me what my favorite app is as a freelance writer.
Create a card by dragging a URL
If you’re a seasoned Trello user, however, you know it’s a great tool, but did you know there are some wonderful tips and tricks that can streamline your Trello use? The first one is probably the one I use most often on my own board: you can drag URLs over to a Trello board and a card is created with the relevant data including a description and image.
This is so much easier than copying and pasting these components individually.
The same process works with Airbnb listings and Slack conversations as well. You can also create a new Trello card from a spreadsheet. Simply copy and paste any spreadsheet list onto a card and Trello will list items as separate cards.
Rearrange your cards with your keyboard
The rest of these tips will deal with helping you manage, organize, and prioritize the cards you have already created. If you need to rearrange your cards, you can drag and drop them in new locations, but you can also add the “^” symbols and a number after a card to move it to a new position.
If you need to move it to a different list, use the “^” symbol then the name of your list (instead of a number); once you get used to using this method it’s a super fast way to rearrange your cards.
Attach files from your Google Drive, Dropbox, or e-mail
You can also attach files from your Google Drive and Dropbox easily: click “attach file” in the sidebar and then select what you need. If the information you need isn’t in the cloud, but rather is in your email, Trello has a hack for this too. Each of your Trello boards has a unique email address which can be found in the sidebar menu. When you email to your board, the subject of the email will become the card title and the body will be the card description; another super easy way to organize your information.
Tag team members on important cards
Another one of my favorite hacks is the ability to tag team members. So many times when you’re collaborating on a project you miss something that you need to address simply because of constant notifications and information overload. To get someone’s attention, simply use Trello’s “@mentions.” This works just like Twitter and Instagram: use the “@” along with the person’s username and you can tag the person you need. Once they’re tagged, they will receive and alert and will know they need to address something on the Trello board.
Enable desktop notifications
A great way to keep up with those alerts is by enabling desktop notifications. On the notifications menu, select “enable desktop notifications” and you’ll receive updates no matter what tab you’re currently using. You can also save time by color coding and customizing Trello card labels. You can select a specific color for items that are “in progress,” “on hold,” and “high priority.” This way you can clearly see what needs to be completed first without reading the card; just look for the colored labels.
Finally, if you need faster hacks, Trello has a set of one-key shortcuts. From your Trello board you can press the “?” key at any time to see a list of these shortcuts, but here’s a couple of my favorites.
You can assign or unassign yourself to any card by pressing the space bar. The “q” key will show you a list of all the card currently assigned to you. The “n” key allows you quickly add a new card and you can archive old cards with the “c” key.
Give the hacks a try
If you haven’t given Trello a try, you definitely need to take a look. It’s one of the easiest productivity tools I’ve found and with these additional hacks, Trello has never been easier to use. Have you tried any of these hacks? If so, which one is your favorite?