How to use Trello to
manage your new website project like a pro.

How to use Trello to
manage your new website project like a pro.

So you want to build a website? Well, good luck.

Of course, you can take some luck out of the equation — by using a great project management tool like Trello.

Here at Flowji, we use Trello to manage all our website projects. It’s how we keep track of multiple tasks across multiple team members — and always know what do next.

With Trello, our core team, clients and freelancers are all on the same page. Literally.

Here’s how we do it.

Why Trello?

Trello is free. Trello is awesome. Trello empowers you to track tasks through stages, collaborate on task lists, make comments and share content — including screenshots and files.

Trello puts your whole website project in one place. No more searching for old attachment through emails. No more mixed up versions wasting your time and energy. No more confusion.

Trello basics.

So let’s take a closer look at Trello. Here’s the blank website creation template we use to get started:

The whole thing is called a Trello ‘Board’. Each column on the Board is called a ‘List’. Each List contains a bunch of ‘Cards’ which describe separate tasks.

You decide how detailed to get with each Card. A Card can hold a huge amount of information including files, links, screenshots, checklists, and messages from your collaborators — so it really puts all your resources in one place.

Trello in action.

Now let’s look at a real-life Trello Board, in which the Lists are already full of Cards. Each Card shows previews of the images and comments it contains:

The above Trello Board is for the launch of David Holmgren’s RetroSuburbia website. With ten team members collaborating across four locations to create this website, a single point of reference for all tasks, discussions and issues reduced confusion — and allowed the website to be launched with minimal stress and conflict.

Using Trello Lists.

As we saw above, the columns we call ‘Lists’ in Trello are the first layer of categorising the tasks in your website creation project. Click on the images below to explore how we’ve used Lists on a real-life project.

Naming Your Trello Lists

Here’s a hot tip to get you started: name your Lists the Flowji way. Across dozens of website projects, we’ve found this the most useful way to categorise tasks on Trello.

1. Backlog.

Backlog is a software development term used in Agile Methodology — specifically to list all the desired features for a website or app. However, for a simple website, you can use it as the catch-all for every task as it arises.

Any time you think of a new task, add it to ‘Backlog’. The idea is to drag Cards from ‘Backlog’ to ‘Up Next’ as you are ready to start work on them. Review Lists regularly, and order items by importance from top to bottom.

2. To Do – Next.

This List contains the tasks you plan to work on next — the most important tasks you need to do to complete your website and launch it. Try to keep this list to between five and ten items. Each item should have a team member attached to it, and preferably a due date.

For more complex projects add a column for ‘To Do – Urgent’. Or follow more of an Agile methodology and add a column for each sprint.

3. Blocked.

This tells you who’s waiting on something to be able to keep working — and so it’s the first and best column to look at every day. Work out the next steps to ‘unblock’ the task, and clear the critical pathway so work can continue.

Sometimes tasks do have to sit here for a time, while you wait on resources or input from your graphic designer, copywriter or website mentor.

4. In Progress.

This List is just what it says: all work that’s in progress and unblocked. It’s usually the second list you check — right after checking the ‘Blocked’ column.

Get in the habit of dragging all active tasks into this column. Don’t leave them in the ‘To Do – Next’ column once you’ve begun work on them.

5. Ready to Review.

Once a task is complete, it’s dragged to the ‘Ready to Review’ List. If you’re working on your website solo, you may want to drag it straight to the ‘Done’ List — but we recommend using this List and reviewing your own work before moving it to ‘Done’.

If you’re part of a team, this is a great way to control the quality of all work.

6. Done.

We all love ticking things off our To Do list! So when the task is completed and reviewed, drag it to the ‘Done’ List. Some people prefer to archive completed tasks, but moving them to the done List shows your website creation progress. You can also then refer back to completed tasks quickly and easily.

7. Shelved.

Use this List for features you decide not to implement. Use the comments section to note why the item was shelved. This List can become the basis for the almost inevitable ‘Round 2’ of website creation that happens sometime after your key deadlines.

8. Discuss.

The ‘Discuss’ List includes any ideas or tasks that need clarification. There is generally not a lot in this List when you begin creating your website, but it pretty quickly fills up — especially if you’re collaborating with a designer, copywriter or other team members.

9. Resources.

Use the Resources List to store links to files that aren’t already linked to particular Trello Cards — including any files that need to be accessed throughout the life of the project.

While Trello is the central place where your tasks and resources are cross-referenced, Flowji recommends using Google Drive for long-term storage — with all links listed on the Trello cards.

Understanding cards.

Within your Lists, you create a Trello ‘Card’ for each task or feature of your website build. In the image below you can see the Cards for the ‘Backlog’ and ‘To Do – Next’ Lists for the RetroSuburbia website.

When you click on a Card it opens to reveal more detail. You’ll see Task Titles, Due Dates, Descriptions and Attachments — as well as space for Activities and Comments. It’s all very intuitive to use — check out the image below:

To move a Card from one stage to the next simply drag the card to the next List.

Trello Success Tips.

Use Members to assign tasks to people.

Who is responsible for completing the task? Add them as Members to the Card.

Use Due Dates to meet your deadlines.

Set a due date on tasks, and use the calendar view to plan your work. Get team members to agree on a delivery date — it helps keep everyone accountable and get your website launched sooner:

Use Comments to communicate.

No more searching through emails! By using the comments, all communication related to a task on your website project is visible on the Card. Use the @ symbol before a person’s name to ensure they see the message in their notifications feed:

Use Checklists for sub-tasks.

Add a Checklist inside a Card to track your steps in more detail.

Conclusion.

Really, these tips apply to any project management system you might be using. But we recommend giving Trello a try. It’s free. It’s awesome. And it ensures your whole team is on the same page.

It always takes time to learn a new system. In the case of Trello, it’s well worth investing that time.

Got a question or comment about Trello? Post it below, and let us know how you’re getting on.

And if you want more, here is our Website Success Checklist — and another great article on how to use Trello like a pro.

Wasting money on the web?

Become your greatest online asset with the world’s best DIY web guide.

The Website Success Checklist is your complete guide to a DIY business website that changes your life without wrecking your head! Bring Flowji’s wisdom into the room and get smart before you get started.

  • Step-by-step wisdom
  • Demystify DIY websites
  • Plot a clear path to success

Subscribe to get regular tips on how to create a successful website and get instant access to the free Website Success Checklist PDF.

Wasting money on the web?

Become your greatest online asset with the world’s best DIY web guide.

  • Step-by-step wisdom
  • Demystify DIY websites
  • Plot a clear path to success

Subscribe to get regular tips on how to create a successful website and get instant access to the free Website Success Checklist PDF.

Click here if you would like the Website Success Checklist but prefer not to leave you email address.

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Don’t make a mess!

Make a website that makes a difference.

The Website Success Checklist is your complete guide to a DIY business website that changes your life without wrecking your head! 

  • Step-by-step wisdom
  • Demystify DIY websites
  • Plot a clear path to success

Subscribe to get regular tips on how to create a successful website and get instant access to the free Website Success Checklist PDF.

Don’t make a mess!

Make a website that makes a difference.

The Website Success Checklist is your complete guide to a DIY business website that changes your life without wrecking your head! 

  • Step-by-step wisdom
  • Demystify DIY websites
  • Plot a clear path to success

Bring Flowji’s wisdom into the room and get smart before you get started.

Subscribe to get regular tips on how to create a successful website and get instant access to the free Website Success Checklist PDF.

Wait! We understand that you’re busy.

Why not download the PDF to read later?

The Website Success Checklist is your complete guide to a DIY business website that changes your life without wrecking your head! Bring Flowji’s wisdom into the room and get smart before you get started.

  • Step-by-step wisdom
  • Demystify DIY websites
  • Plot a clear path to success

Subscribe to get regular tips on how to create a successful website and get instant access to the free Website Success Checklist PDF.

Click here if you would like the Website Success Checklist but prefer not to leave you email address.