When I first started blogging I would sit down at my computer and try to think of a subject to write about. Then I would sit at my desk for ages just looking at blank screen not knowing what to write, finding it really difficult, thinking how I had to research everything and it would take the best part of a day to actually write 1000 words.. !!
It became a real pain, and I really didn’t like blogging. It was just too much like hard work. But I knew how important it was to help people get to know me and what a great tool it was to demonstrate my knowledge and expertise
And then of course, after writing the blog, I would then need to write my social media posts. After all, if people didn’t see my blog, at least they might see my articles on social media right? So I would write those but they not necessarily have anything to do with my expertise, my subjects, I was writing without a plan. What I was currently doing just wasn’t working for me and so I knew I needed to take a step back and review what I was doing.
Then I found Trello. I loved the way that it’s kanban style, it shows everything very visually.
I could see lots of ways I could use it, so started experimenting.
First of all, I started using it just to create blog ideas so that when I went to my laptop, I had some ideas to write about, I had subjects that I could draw from.
I then realised that if I make myself a template, then I could use that to create a process for blogging, making sure I stayed on subject and making sure that I didn’t just write about anything and everything just because it interested me. That’s the problem with someone who loves systems and processes is that everything interests you, you want to know how it works and what you can do with it. Then you end up going down a rabbit hole.
So, I tried a few different ways of using Trello to plan out my content. At first I used it to just try to plan Facebook, blogs, Twitter, etc. But that didn’t really work for me. I was getting confused about which platform I was writing for and it was still taking quite a lot of time and energy to keep up to date,
But using a template in Trello was working for me. It was allowing me keep on point with my posts and also helped me repurpose posts for different platforms. So I used that as the basis and then created a number of templates to help me plan my content.
The first is a high level content calendar. It’s a plan of the subjects I’m going to cover in April, May June July, etc.
Then I have another one for each month, with a list for week one, week two etc. Under each list is a set of cards. One is for Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday, Friday.
And I have different areas to write about. So for instance, Monday is a blog post,Tuesday is how I gained knowledge of the subject area, Wednesday is a personal story of how the tool or system has helped me become better, more efficient, make my life easier, or how I used it in my corporate life.
So now I have a nice content calendar so I can plan ahead. I don’t always plan a whole 12 months in front. But I have the capacity to do so, and if I’m sat there and suddenly get an idea of a subject I’d like to write about I can put onto the board and I plan it out.
And then I have the monthly one, which is less strategic, more operational. And that gives me the areas that I’m going to cover on a weekly basis on that broader subject area. So for me Trello has been a godsend.
It’s allowed me to write things in advance. It’s allowed me to batch write, so that I can be more productive. It also allows me to plan ahead, so if I have a busy period coming up, I can still have some content that I can deliver to my community.
This allows me to be more consistent.
If your audience is expecting something weekly, and you don’t deliver, then you disappoint your audience. And that’s not something I want to do. For me, my blogs and posts are because I want to add value and give them what they want and need. Trello allows me to do that consistently.
Other ways in which I use Trello for planning include creating my strategy for the year. Again, I have 2 boards. One that is quite high level. These are things I want to achieve by the end of this year. And then I have another that is more operational has, these are the things that I must achieve to this quarter in order to achieve my goals for for the year.
When I have a new project, the first thing I do, after mind mapping everything I can think of, is to open a new Trello board. This means that I can share the board with the client, and they can see instantly how the project is progressing.
I add the cards to the board, which allow me to plan what I need to do and when I need to do it. Then I can easily see when I’ve got things that need doing, what tasks I’ve got in progress and what I’ve already completed.
Trello gives you notifications. So you can set your due dates and then it will show me if I’m behind with things.
Trello is also great to plan out your schedule. I have a board that shows all the work that I have for clients and all the work I have for my own business.
I can then put it into the calendar view to make sure that I don’t over commit myself. Because if I do the first thing that’s going to happen is I’ve either work longer hours or I stop doing something that is building my business!
And the last way I use it is for business ideas. So things that I would like to do like to get involved in, but they’re not actually part of this year’s plan. Perhaps they’re things that I want to do in the next three to five years, or things that just come into my head that I think might help me in my business but I’ve not really fully developed it yet.
Ideas I can park, so I don’t keep mulling them over in my head, letting them take my focus away from this years activities.
So as you can see Trello is a fantastic tool, which you can use in a variety of ways to help you build your business
If you’ve never used Trello
You want to know how it will help you improve your business
You want to organise your activities and
You want to become much more productive
Then sign up to this introductory course in Trello, that takes you right from beginner to practitioner
Sign up here.