by Ish Stabosz
Center for Creative Instruction & Technology
Delaware Technical Community College
Let’s face it. You’re busy. You’ve got all of your quantifiable duties: 15 hours of teaching plus 6 office hours every week, 40 hours of advising per semester, etc. But then there are all of the fuzzy duties–the ones that are hard to count: the grading, the committees, the paperwork. And the worst part is that when a new responsibility gets dropped on you, it is usually an addition rather than a replacement. To say the duties of faculty are overwhelming is an understatement.
Enter Trello, an app that promises to “Organize anything, together”. Trello can best be described as virtual wall to which you can attach an infinite number of bulletin boards. Once you’ve created a board, you can start pinning cards to it to help track your projects, ideas, and tasks. Trello is super user-friendly, and moving your cards around to organize your ideas is a simple drag-and-drop process. Not only is Trello great for organizing your personal projects, you can also share boards with others that are collaborating with you. What’s more, you can access it on your computer, phone, or tablet–so whether in the office or on the go, Trello is there with you.
The applications of Trello are endless, but let me show you a few ways that you might start using it to organize your life.
In the Classroom
Are your students working on a group project? Why not get them prepared for working in the 21st century by having them collaborate on a Trello board. Create a separate board for each group and let students manage tasks and deadlines together. A great feature of the app is the ability to assign cards to different users. Students could create a separate card for each job that needs to get done, and then divide the duties amongst themselves.
On a Committee
If your students can collaborate with Trello, why can’t you? When you find yourself taking lead on a project, try creating a Trello board to share with the rest of the team. Depending on the project, some of the lists I like to track are “The Vision”, “Big Questions”, and “Timeline”.
Trello is great for work and class projects, but my favorite use of it so far has been to collaborate with my wife about the most dreaded of household responsibilities: feeding everyone. At home, we share a Trello board for meal planning and grocery lists. Now it’s easy to see what’s for dinner tomorrow, and the drag-and-drop nature of the program lets us keep a running list of frequent meals, which makes planning for the week a cinch. Since I’ve got Trello on my iPhone as well, I don’t need to worry about keeping a grocery list on paper anymore either.
Whether you are drowning in projects and deadlines or just looking for a way to get your thoughts in order, Trello is great for you. Try it out, start small, and get ready to organize your life.
Create an account today at Trello.com