On Trello

As promised, I tried out Trello for organizing what I need to do next to The Dangers of Fraternization (the current writing project) and have some thoughts to share with y'all.

I'm just not sure how much use I'm going to get out of Trello for my personal projects that I couldn't get out of my to-do list (I use Wunderlist, btw). I definitely see the utility for collaborative projects — it's been useful coordinating between Partner, myself, and Tom, the guy we're working on pulling together a Red Markets pick-up-and-play convention packet. We can leave ideas we know we need to happen up on the board and folks can grab tasks as they have time. But that's not really relevant when it's just me on a project.

I used labels? It's nice to have color markers for quick visual reference whether a task is organizational or writing or editing. I guess that could be good if I have a variety of tasks and have more energy for dealing with one over the others that day. But that's not really how I work on projects... I tend to do all the organizational work. Then build a skeleton of scenes based off the outline I built (in the previous step). Then do the writing. Then the editing. Then... Point! Point being that I work more iteratively and less with multiple types of tasks to do.

The checklist feature in Trello matches up with the subtasks feature of Wunderlist. Neither lets me assign a due date to the checklist item/subtask, so there's no gain in features there (that is something I like to have). I suppose I could accomplish that by converting each checklist item to a card (Trello has a button for that) and assigning a due date to the card. Which defeats the purpose of using a checklist in the first place?

Comments on a card seem more useful when multiple folks are on the project, otherwise I might as well just call them notes to myself.

I think the real thing Trello provides that Wunderlist does is visual organization. Moving cards around on a board between lists is dang useful for some folks, just not my thing. I am primarily a visual organizer, but visual in that I want to see the task written down, not that I want a cork board of index cards I can move around to organize my thoughts.

Don't get me wrong, Trello is a good product — heck, writing this post reminded me to suggest using it to the Technical Difficulties crew. I just don't find it useful for how I think about my non-collaborative project. If you're one of the folks who likes the cork board of index cards of ideas or more visual organization than a to-do list or stuff like that, I'd recommend Trello. It's really robust, with good features, that's free for personal use. I'll just be sticking to Wunderlist for solo writing projects and expanding into Trello for collaborative projects, of all varieties. Gods help me if/when Partner and I need to go house hunting...