Sunday, June 5, 2016

Getting Organized with Trello

I’ve been looking for a way to do personal task management for years.  I tried a paper in many forms multiple times (I don’t have it with me when I need it, its not searchable, etc).  I’ve tried all kinds of todo list apps on iOS.  I’ve tried Outlook multiple times with complete failure. I even tried a mind-mapping app.  Oh yes, and there was that time I used a white board which was really hard to carry around.

I like the "agile / scrum" approach that uses a "backlog" of things to do.  You drag things from the backlog list to some level of To Do this week or in-progress, work on it, then drag it to QA or Done. When I think of my own approach to managing my task list it really works well.  I can toss a whole bunch of things on the backlog and then by dragging them into a "start working on this list" to work on for the week (my sprint), it helps me focus on the stuff I really want to get done. It also helps me stop procrastinating.  My rule is that I need to start the first step for everything in the "ToDo this week" list.

I setup a Jira project for personal task management, complete with a scrum board and it was Kanban style.  I didn’t like Jira for personal because there is way too much overhead and no connection to my personal phone (and it was slow).

I had a quasi requirements list but finding the right package really helped me better understand my needs as well.  Here's my simple requirements:
  • Fast and easy
  • Web & iOS
  • Offer something like the Jira Scrum plugin with the visual kanban style of tracking stuff.
  • Ability to get a little more fancy (dates, attachments and more), but only if I need it.