Hey! I’m talking about seven clever ways to use Trello if you’re a blogger, small business owner, or freelancer.
The other day I talked about three reasons why you’re not getting stuff done for your blog or business. If that feels like you and you haven’t read that post, head on over there to read that first.
This article is one of a 3-part productivity series I’m doing about Trello. Here’s the itinerary below:
- 3 Reasons Why You’re Not Getting Stuff Done For Your Blog
- 5 Must-Have Trello Boards You Should Be Using to Streamline Your Business and Blog Like Yesterday
- 7 Clever Ways to Use Trello for Your Blog and Business (Yo, today’s topic)
You might have heard of people using Trello as a productivity or project management tool for their blogs and business. But you know what? Trello offers way more benefits than that.
Other than using it to monitor your content and productivity workflow, here are seven more creative ways to use Trello!
Let’s dive in and talk about Trello for bloggers!
#1 Trello can help you outline your blog posts.
You’re probably like, “What?! But I already use Google doc (or Evernote) to outline and write my blog posts!”
That’s right — and that’s totally cool. But if you want to explore if a blog post idea is worth writing about, I always outline the blog post before I dive into writing it. If you’re struggling on how to write a blog post fast, you can read my article on “How to Write Blog Posts Fast.” The hardest part is coming up with the idea itself; the actual writing can take less than an hour.
The most difficult step is the idea because you want to make sure you have some quality content to share before you actually sit down to write.
And how can you do this?
You outline your key points first.
I batch most of my blog posts writing these days. And everytime I’m exploring a new content idea, I always create a new card on Trello. Then I outline it before I move it on over to the writing phase.
Trello checklists makes it so easy to outline your blog posts. It can help you keep track of how many key points you still need to tackle in your blog post before you’re finished.
I know it can be difficult for you to imagine this. That’s why I created a short video that walks you through how I do it. I’m also giving you a free Content Workflow template that you can download and use immediately for your productivity.
Simply enter your name and email to get instant access.
The Content Workflow Editorial Calendar is the ultimate tool for bloggers and content creator who want to use Trello.
#2 Trello can help you manage your client acquisition process.
I remember when I was working for a tech startup, our sales team was using a quite complicated piece of software to keep track of the client acquisition process.
But thank god as a small business owner, you don’t need a separate (or complicated) software to do this. But when you’re pursuing so many clients at a time, you want to be able to keep track of what process each client is in. Trello can also help you organize your notes about each potential or paid client.
If you have a ton of client information floating around your desk (or your head), creating a Client Funnel board can help you sort through the mess.
I create a new card for each new potential or prospective client. If you’re offering coaching or done-for-you services, this is a must-have board to go from hot mess to doing sales and marketing like a boss!
#3 Trello can help you organize your market research and product ideas.
When I first started using Trello, I only intended to use it to track my productivity workflow. When I get a visual view of how much work is already done and how much I still have to finish, I’m way less overwhelmed. Also, I’m much more likely to pull through.
But I flipped when I started using Trello to keep track of my marketing research too. I don’t know about you, but I get these random light bulb moments where I have an idea for a new digital product I want to create.
But if you work smart, you won’t dive into creating that product immediately. I usually sit on and spend a few weeks doing some research to see what’s out there. I spend this time collecting research on Facebook groups, Amazon, and Reddit.
I use to keep track of everything inside a spreadsheet. I’m not much of a spreadsheet person, but it’s more effective to do that on a Google Sheet than a Google Doc. Then one day, I just found myself creating a new board on Trello and started adding my research there.
Honestly, Trello is a lot more flexible to use and too keep track of anything. Plus in product creation, there’s multiple phases before you actually get the product out to sell.
These days, I have five product ideas at a time and Trello is the place to help me organize all my creative ideas until the product sees the day of light. Right now I have five product ideas sitting on my Digital Product Ideas board, but not every idea is created equal.
My Trello board gives me a good pulse on what product I should run with first and what product is still going to take some time to execute.
Of course, and you guessed it! Having a Trello product was one of those ideas and I’ve moved from research down to the content marketing of it. That’s why you’re reading this blog post!
So another clever way to use Trello is to keep track of your market research, product offer, details, bonuses, etc for your upcoming product.
#4 Trello can help you store your text templates and swipe files.
I have this board called a “Blogging Bank” on Trello — and this is one of my favorite boards! And you probably have a clue into the name of board: it’s where all your assets for your blog and business is housed!
Think about it… you probably have a million templates that you will re-use for your blog every day. Think about these things:
- Short bios for your guest posts
- Social media links
- Links to your freebie or webinar
- Brand colors and fonts
- Testimonials for your services
Give or take… you want to have all these nitty-gritty details on demand. When you’re ready to launch, for example, you will need to plug in your testimonials to your email launch sequence and sales page.
Likewise, when you’re redesigning your website (I just did that earlier this month), you’ll need to plug in your social media links to your WordPress theme a few times. Of course, you can go to each individual account and grab those links each time.
But that’s tedious!
Or you can have all the things that you reuse again and again all housed on board. Open that board up the next time when you need to use a text template or grab a quick link.
See, this is another clever way to use Trello for your blog without being overwhelmed with the small details of each and every tiny project.
#5 Trello can help you organize all your files.
You’re probably a little skeptical about this one. After all, you’re probably using Google Drive to organize your files. I know I totally do!
Now I don’t believe that Trello can replace Google Drive or Evernote. But these two apps can team up to make a better experience for you and your team.
For example, I create my to-do checklists inside Trello for each blog post I need to write. Then I write the actual blog post on a Google doc. Afterwards, I attach the Google doc file link to my Trello card so that I know exactly where to find the file next time.
Give or take… you can totally skip this step if you’re a solopreneur. But if you have even a team of one person, this makes working together so much smoother and communication clearer.
Let’s say you share your Content Workflow board with your VA. You’re do all the blog post writing and your VA takes care of all the blog post editing, formatting and scheduling it to publish.
When you can attach each Google doc to its relevant card on Trello, this makes communication much clearer between you and your VA. She won’t have to go into the Drive to find the relevant file to edit and format.
When you’re using Trello to organize all your files, you can see Trello as the central hub for all your blogging assets.
You probably never thought of using Trello to store and organize all your files. But this clever way of using Trello can help you make communication with your VA or team much easier!
#6 Trello can help you keep track of your relationships.
If building relationships with bloggers in your niche or people outside of your niche is part of your strategy, then Trello would be perfect for you.
I know what you might be thinking, “keeping track of building relationships?” That’s so calculating.
But really, think about it. If you don’t build the relationship beforehand, expect most people to say “no” when you ask them to collaborate. It’s the same reason why you’re putting out lots of free content before asking for the sale.
There are many ways and phases to building a relationship. This can be as simple as leaving thoughtful comments on their blogs, tweeting them a sweet line, replying to one of their newsletters, or all of the above. It depends on what the “ask” is. Also, just because you keep track of the relationship building doesn’t mean it’s not going to be authentic.
I’d admit that I don’t use Trello to monitor my relationship building with fellow bloggers much. I do try to connect with business owners on their social media or email list before I ever reach out for a guest posting opportunity though.
But if you’re someone who is trying to get on 10 different podcasts within 2 months, then it’s a good idea to keep track of that relationship building.
This board is similar to the Client Funnel board, but unlike that board, it doesn’t have a direct return on ROI. Basically, you’re not getting paid directly, but by building that relationship, you will get more visibility and traffic.
So relationship management is another clever way to use Trello for your blog and business.
#7 Trello can be your personal assistant.
This final way to use Trello creatively sums up everything we talked about so far.
After using Trello for almost 18 months, Trello is my best personal assistant to fight off overwhelm, disorganization, and hot messes.
Of course, it doesn’t do the actual work for you, but it’s a great planning tool where you lay out all your projects before you start working. Imagine waking up every day and knowing exactly what needs to get done. When Trello keeps track of the nitty gritty stuff, you can really focus on strategy, big boss ideas, launches, and getting more clients.
But if you don’t have a personal planning tool and organization strategy in place, it’s easy to be trapped in doing the small things for your blog and business. When you’re only focused on small things, you accomplish small things for your business. When you have a tool like Trello to keep track of the small things, you can begin to focus on the bigger strategy for your blog and business.
Trello isn’t only made for bloggers. You can totally use Trello to manage your entire life, including your family outings, travel, taxes, etc. Really, the sky’s the limit.
If organization and creating workflows isn’t your strength, I understand some of this can be hard to imagine. That’s why I’ve created a sample Content Workflow Trello board template that I use for my editorial calendar for you.
Simply enter your name and email below and you can get access to it immediately. This is the exact content workflow process I use to get shit done even when I’m unmotivated.