Ah, the continued quest to find the perfect task management / email / to-do / etc. tool. It’s never-ending!

For the longest time now I’ve been very happy using email as my prime tool for managing to-do list and workload. Between email and my calendar, I’m able to be very efficient with my time.

The missing ingredient has been a way to keep track of the “big” things that are going on. For instance, right now I’m planning a trip out West and there are several people I want to see while I’m there. That’s not an easy thing to keep track of in email or my calendar. One might suggest Google Keep or Evernote for this, but I’ve tried them and they aren’t great at high-priority lists and projects, IMHO.

Trello is a tool that my team uses to keep track of our game progress. Many development shops use Trello as it is a great way to group activities and let the entire team see where progress is being made. Here is an example of a Trello board:

trello-example

So for the last week, instead of having a few post-it notes on my desk at work and a list of “to-do’s” in a notebook, I’ve consolidated all of that into Trello. I have the following lists set up:

  • Pipeline (for my current business development opportunities)
  • General To-Do (list of things I want to get done, but aren’t urgent. Eventually they would move to the Mid or High Priority lists)
  • Mid Priority (items that need to get done but not in the next day or two. As time goes on, these items will either be completed or moved to High Priority)
  • High Priority (items that need to be given a lot of time over the next day or two)
  • West Coast Trip (this is where random “projects” would fall)
  • Done (where I move items when I complete them)

Trello has a terrific mobile app and I like the web UI a great deal. So far this process is working for me, although admittedly its only been a week. If this doesn’t work I’m pretty sure it will be because I have yet another tool to help me stay organized. The reason email and my calendar work so well is that I HAVE to constantly check those, so my tasks are top of mind. Moving some tasks out of email and into Trello means I must stay diligent about checking Trello on a daily basis. So far, so good.