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Trello Review: Project Management for Professional Services Firms


by Christina Hooper on April 28, 2020
in Software Guides

Is Trello the right project management tool for your professional services firm?

To answer that question, you need to have a basic understanding of what Trello is, who it’s best for, and what it allows you to do.

A larger company with hundreds of employees and several projects going at one time might be better off using a project management tool that’s packed with a more comprehensive suite of features — like ClickUp.

If you’re a solo act or if you’re working with a small team and have only a few projects going at a time, then Trello might be the perfect fit for you. 

Let’s dive into the details so you can determine if Trello is the right project management tool for your professional services firm.

Are you in a hurry? Click here to read the quick recap, and let us help you find the perfect project management tool to suit your needs by scheduling your free phone call with our experts before you go.

What’s the Best Way to Use Trello?

Trello is an extremely flexible project management tool that’s known for its simplicity of use and visual appeal.

For beginners, Trello offers templates you can use to get started. I recommend using their templates at first and experimenting with the features to discover what works best for you before you try creating your setup.

Trello is highly customizable. There are numerous ways you can configure your Boards and Cards, which makes it extremely flexible, and you will be able to create an effective and efficient workflow for your business.

Getting Started With Trello

1

Create an Account

To get started with Trello, visit their website, and create a new account. After you’ve created your free account, they will prompt you to make a Board for your first project.

Trello lets you organize your projects into Boards that are made up of lists and cards. List organize your tasks by status and cards are tasks.

2

Create Your Lists

The next step is to name your Lists on your Board. Lists are the stages that each thing you need to do will need to go through before you consider it complete.

They pre-populate your Board with 3 lists titled “Things to Do,” “Doing,” and “Done.”

You can name your lists whatever you like, but I suggest you stick with something simple and obvious at first. I typically recommend adding a "Reviewing" list at least so you spend a few minutes specifically on quality checking a task before you consider it to be complete.

3

Add Your Tasks

Once you’ve made your lists, you’re ready to add some tasks. Trello prompts you to create some tasks on your first list, titled “Things to Do.”

You can create some dummy tasks for now if you just want to experiment and play around, or you can go ahead and add some real tasks for a real project.

4

Enter Task Details

Each task you create on can have subtasks or checklists added to it.

For example, say you have a task called “Write a Blog Post About Leadership Skills.” You’re going to have several smaller to-do's that you need to complete before the post is ready to be published.

In this case, it would make sense to create a checklist that might include:

Write the outline.
Write the first draft.
Write the final draft.
Publish the post.

You can check off the items on the checklist as you go. 

Then when all the checklist items are complete, you can mark the top task as complete and move it to the “Done” List by simply dragging and dropping it onto that List, as seen in the following screenshots.

Features and Power-Ups

One of the biggest reasons businesses love Trello for project management is because they can easily organize projects and tasks, as well as collaborate with their Team.

Organize Your Cards With Labels

Color-coded labels are available for organizing your Cards, but since you designate a color for each label, it limits your options to the number of colors available.

Color-blind users have the option to enable a “color-blind friendly mode” that lets you assign patterns to labels vs. colors, but you’re still limited to the number of available patterns.

Change Board Backgrounds

If you use the same Card titles for each Board you create, you can have a different background image or color to help you keep track of each of your projects.

So, for example, let’s say you have one Board for a book you’re writing and another Board for a workshop you’re hosting.

Each Board has the same Card titles, “Things To Do,” what you’re currently “Doing,” and what’s already been “Done.” 

When you’re working with both Boards simultaneously, it can be easy to get mixed up and confused about which Board you’re on.

You might find yourself adding book Board tasks to your workshop Board if they both look the same.

Trello helps you quickly differentiate the 2 with Board background customization.

Collaborate With Your Team

To create a Team, you’ll click on the + symbol in the top right corner of the screen and select “Create Business Team.”

Give your Team a name, pick one of the available options in the dropdown menu, choose what department they are in, and add a description.

Now you’ll be able to add people to your team by sending them an email invite through Trello.

Your team member dashBoard contains the information about your Team and options for more tools if you upgrade to Business Class.

Using Power-Ups

Power-Ups let you do more with your Trello account by integrating with other services, such as Google Drive or Slack, or giving you new features, like custom fields.

With the free version, you can only choose one Power-Up, but if you want to pay for a higher tier, you’ll have access to unlimited Power-Ups.

Pro Tip: How to Use Trello’s Features For Your B2B Professional Services Firm

Manage Your Editorial Calendar

You should be regularly publishing content on your site and sharing that content on out social media and to newsletter subscribers. Trello can help you stay organized.

  • Create a Board for your blog and add each post that you need to write as a task on the “Things To Do” Card.
  • Create checklists for what you need to do to publish the post and promote it on your social media and email newsletter.
  • Then move the task for the post to the “Done” list when it’s published. 

Brainstorm Content Ideas

Customer questions are the biggest sources of inspiration for new content. However, it's easy to forget what you've been asked lately when you sit down to write. Use Trello to keep those ideas safe and ready to go.

  • Create a Board for brainstorming. 
  • Create tasks for each idea quickly when they hit you — you can even Trello's mobile app to make this easier to do when you're on the go.
  • You can jot down some fast notes in the description.
  • You can share the board with coworkers and let them leave comments with their input on each idea. This will make it easier and faster to write the post when you're ready.

Define Your Buyer Personas and Stages

Buyer Personas or Customer Avatars are semi-fictional representations of your ideal customers. They represent the types of people that you're trying to sell to. It's important to keep them in mind.

  • Create a board for personas and stages.
  • Create a list for each stage of the buyer's journey — Unaware, Aware, Researching, Deciding, Onboarding, Enjoying, and Excited.

Create a card for each persona in each stage. On the card, you'll want to populate the description with information about:

  • the right messaging for that stage and persona
  • which message vehicles you want to use
  • what your capabilities are for reaching them in that stage (software, staff, etc)
  • what a good fit prospect is
  • what their needs are
  • what experience you want to create for them at that stage

Pricing for Trello

Trello’s free version gives you access to unlimited Boards, Cards, and lists. When uploading files, you’re restricted to 10MG per file, but you can increase that to 250MG by upgrading to one of the paid versions.

You are limited to 10 Team Boards with the free version. To unlock more Team Boards, you’ll need to move up to a paid version, but when you do, you’ll be able to create as many Team Boards as you want. You’ll even gain access to Board Collections and Team Board Templates.

As far as Power-ups go, you’re limited to 1 with the free version, but you can unlock unlimited Power-ups when you upgrade to a paid tier.

Depending on which paid version you choose, you’ll gain access to different additional features and customer support.

Business Class is the next tier up from the free version, and it’ll cost you $9.99/user per month (paid annually). After that, it’s the Enterprise version, which will cost you $20.83/user per month.

Pros and Cons of Trello

Trello isn’t a good fit for everyone, and you need to know if it’s the right choice for your business. Let’s take a look at some of the pros and cons so you can get a better idea if it’s a good fit for you.

Pros

  • It’s an excellent solution for smaller companies without a lot of projects going at one time.
  • Easy to learn quickly, flexible, customizable, and easy to use.
  • Highly visual with an intuitive drag and drop interface.
  • Changes are made in real-time so you can collaborate with your team more efficiently.

Cons

  • Not a particularly good fit for larger companies with more complex projects.
  • If you try to add too many Cards, it makes your Board cluttered. Clutter makes it harder to see the big picture view. You have to scroll the screen left and right to view all your Cards.
  • Labels are limited by the number of colors available for you to assign, or perhaps patterns if you’re in color-blind friendly mode.
  • If you want to integrate Trello with more than one of your business tools (Google Drive, Slack, etc.), you’ll have to upgrade to a paid version. The free version only lets you use one Power-Up.
  • Limits the size of files you can upload as attachments with the free version.
  • If you have more than ten teams, you would need to upgrade to add more Team Boards.

Quick Recap

So, is Trello the right project management tool for you? Let’s do a quick recap of what you learned to find out.

  • Trello is an easy to use project management tool that is flexible and has an intuitive drag and drop interface with customizable backgrounds on each Board.
  • Larger companies with several employees that manage multiple projects at a time might find that Trello isn’t a good fit. Solopreneurs or smaller companies with few employees are better suited for Trello.
  • Pricing makes Trello an excellent option for someone looking for a free project management tool without a significant learning curve to get started. If you’re looking to integrate it with other tools or unlock more features, you’ll need to upgrade to a paid tier.

Are you still not sure if Trello is the right tool for you? Or maybe you’re a larger company with more complex projects, and you need a more robust project management tool.

Keep reading to find out how we can help.

Get Free Advice Now

Don’t waste time doing hours and hours of research and testing to find the right project management software — let us help. 

Schedule your free discovery call with our experts and get the advice you need in minutes instead of days. There are no high-pressure sales tactics involved, just honest advice. 

We have over 14 years of experience helping businesses just like yours leverage software solutions to decrease overhead, increase productivity and revenue, and gain a competitive advantage in their market. 

So schedule your call today.

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