Jamal Awad

almost 3 years ago • 1,475 • 5 minutes read • 3

Trello touts itself as a “collaboration tool that organizes your projects into boards”, but that just doesn’t drive home how powerful of a tool it can be. As someone who previously relied on to-do lists for just about everything, it has changed the way I organize my thoughts, projects, and tasks – to the point where I am obsessed with finding new ways to use it (I even used it to build and design this blog). Because of the ability to attach files, add checklists, assign users and due dates, search, add labels (the list goes on and on), there really is no end to the possibilities. Here are some great examples of how you can use Trello in business and life.

Projects and Collaboration

This one is no secret, in fact, it’s the reason it was created in the first place. Trello does a great job of showing this off in their Trello Development Board, so much so that it convinced us to use it for our product design process.

Home View

Trello recently rolled out its newest feature, home view. It shows you everything happening across your boards, including due dates, card notifications (from team members), and what actions you can take next to move your project forward. It gives you a bird’s eye view of all your projects so you can easily reorient yourself with what you’re working on and working toward at any time.

Team Collaboration

The ability to collaborate with an unlimited number of team members is one of Trello's best features. Every board has a defined set of members that can see it and create or move cards between lists. You can set the visibility of the board so that your entire team can join the board at will or you can invite specific employees to collaborate as needed. You can delegate tasks by assigning specific team members to cards, then everyone can discuss those tasks in the card's comments section. This makes collaboration in Trello seamless and straightforward.

To-Do Lists

I used to love the simplicity of a to-do list – add something on to it, and check it off when it’s done. There’s a huge benefit, however, to going beyond the binary “done” and “not done” status for your tasks. What about things that are in progress? What about things that have several steps before they are considered “done”? With a simple to-do app, you need several lists to track everything – with Trello, you only need one.

For example, I’m building a new website and when I started the process, I had a bunch of separate to-do lists for ideas I have to implement, do, enhance, and what’s in progress. Trello proved to be a better tool to track my tasks, by letting me lay out all of my to-do lists in one board that has the same “done” status for everything. It’s also handy to attach images of some design patterns I want to utilize, schedule due dates for setting up utilities, and adding comments as new thoughts come up.


Trello is great for grocery shopping. You can organize your board however you’d like (by aisle, by a department, etc) and load up your shopping list. When I buy items, instead of checking them off as complete, I drag them to the “Inventory” column. This way I know what’s in stock at my house – and when I use it up, I can drag it back to the list it belongs to. Before you know it you’ll be tracking all of your groceries on hand, which is great for that impromptu meal planning.

Gathering Feedback

Need to organize your thoughts AND get feedback on what to do next? Trello has a voting feature that lets users vote on cards. Say you’re planning a trip with a bunch of friends, and you need to get ideas from everyone on where to go when to go, and what to do. Trello lets your friends add their ideas to the list, then vote on what they like best.

Due Dates

Trello's due dates help keep you on track so you never miss a deadline. When you give a card a due date, you'll get a reminder 24 hours ahead of time to help you complete your tasks on time. As with everything else in Trello, due dates are highly visual. They’ll appear as a tiny badge on the card that changes color according to how close you are to the due date.

  • Grey means you have more than 24 hours to finish
  • Yellow means you have 24 hours left to finish
  • Red means it’s due
  • Light pink means it’s past due
  • Green means it’s complete
Due dates are very effective at instantly telling you what’s the most important task you have to complete and what can wait.

Access Restrictions

Every board can be made private (only for the user who created the board), public (for everyone visible with the link; it will also be visible in search engines) or restricted to the team (only team members will be able to edit). To invite someone to a board, click Add Members in the menu and either enter their email address or copy the link underneath and share it with the person or group.

There’s a ton more Trello can do that didn’t even make it in this article. You can create cards via email, view boards as a calendar, customize the look and feel, and integrate with your Dropbox or Google Drive account just to name a few. The best part? It’s FREE. Go see how Trello can help organize your life, and let us know in the comments how you use it!
You must be logged in to comment on this blog.

Questions / Comments:

User Comments:

Jamal Awad

Freelance Writer · almost 3 years ago

Trello’s simplistic design and open-ended interface may leave a new user unsure where to start. Hopefully some of these use cases will help you find a way to harness this great tool to help you manage your next project. It’s not necessary to use every feature in Trello for it to be an effective tool. Find what works for your and your team. Once you get a good method work to establish processes and consistency to get the best results.

Khaled Mohammad

Freelance Writer · over 2 years ago

I tried trello after reading your article and i think you just told me about a treasure! Its very user friendly and smooth and i think ill use it in work, shopping.. everything. Thanks for sharing this with us.. Keep up the good work mate.

Jamal Awad

Freelance Writer · over 2 years ago

Many thanks, Khaled. I hope you've enjoyed it and I would recommend having a look at my new blog post "Mac vs PC: Which should I buy?".