Easily Automate Your Week with Trello — Wander Design Co.
skip to Main Content

Easily Automate Your Week with Trello

I’m a huge organizational fan, to the point that I make Google Sheets for group camping trips. Anything to make my life easier. So when Wander Design Co. started growing, I knew I had to find a system to keep up with client work, due dates, content marketing, to-do’s, and my personal life.

Like many of you, at first I tried paper planning with wall calendars, yearly agendas, and bullet journaling, while also filling up my iPhone with scattered and long-forgotten notes. I realized how the few minutes I used to copy deadlines, meetings, events, to-dos, etc. throughout all of these organizational tools added up. Not to mention how scatterbrained I felt knowing how unorganized my organizational structure was. It was not sustainable and led to blowing off important tasks, both intentionally and unintentionally. Then I turned to Trello.

Trello is a free web-based project management application that is designed for collaboration. It works for a wide spectrum of individuals to large corporations. I was already using Trello for client work and my journal pipeline, so it astounded me why I hadn’t thought of using it for my schedule, too. I then said buh-bye to the paper and scattered digital notes life and learned not only how to efficiently organize my work/life with Trello, but also how to automate as much as possible.

So if you can relate to this struggle and would like to make your life easier, then keep reading as I show you how you can also achieve an automated schedule with Trello.

Step 1: Set up your two boards

First, if you don’t have Trello, get yours here. You can also download the app for your smartphone, which works seamlessly. And if you’re really serious about keeping your life on track then you should download the desktop app, too.

Familiarize yourself with the application. Trello’s structure can be summed up in three parts: boards, lists, and cards. Their website has countless helpful articles to get you up and running with it, so I won’t be discussing that in this post.

Create two boards and name the weekly board and the daily board however you’d like to reference them as. I named mine “My Week” and “My Day” and they live in my “Wander Design Co.” team boards, but you can keep it in your Personal Boards if you’d like.

Star each board so they are pinned at the top of your list of boards, giving you easy access every time. You can do this by clicking the star icon next to the board name.

Step 2: Set up the weekly board

I use lists for days of the week and cards for tasks/ideas/reminders. Create a list for each day of the week in order and beginning with the day you’re currently in. I’ll show you how to automate the order of this list so that you wake up each morning to see the current day’s list first.

After these lists, I add a list for “Ongoing”, “Done”, and “Big Ideas”. The “Ongoing” list is for things that I would like to do but there is no urgency and I can tap into when I have unexpected downtime. For example, I have a card with a list of things I’d like to change in my website and another card for Instagram story ideas. Logging these tasks takes them off my mind.

The “Done” list is where you will move your cards to when you complete said cards. I’ll show you how to automate this step shortly.

Finally, the “Big Ideas” list is basically for brain dumping. You know those exciting new ideas that you suddenly need to run off with and stop everything you’re doing? Tell those ideas to buckle down and wait for their turn by writing each one in its own card in this list. You can visit these later when the time is right because I promise they’re not going anywhere.

Step 3: Set up the daily board

Create four lists, preferably in the following order: “Day of the Week, Short Date”, “Top 3 Goals”, “New Ideas + Notes”, and “For Tomorrow Day of the Week, Short Date”. I will show you how to automate updating the names of these lists so they reflect the current day and next day.

Every morning (or the night before if I already know what I want to accomplish the following day), I copy cards from the weekly board to the first list in the daily board. I then add notes to the card titles, like time frames for meetings or hours I’d like to book myself for certain tasks. I add a due date to each card, and when I check off the due date, the card will automatically be sent to the “Done” list in the weekly board. Doesn’t automation rule?

On the other hand, if I got too ambitious or realize I have to create a new task that isn’t logged in the weekly or daily boards, I move the postponed task or create a new card for the new task to the “For Tomorrow” list in the daily board. Then I automate the “For Tomorrow” cards to move to the first list at midnight. This way, I know the next morning that I need to set times for these new or postponed tasks.

When a big idea pops into my head (which is on the daily and can be super distracting if I let it), I make a card for it in the “New Ideas + Notes” list. I create a label named “Big Ideas” which helps me automate these cards to move to the “Big Ideas” list in the weekly board at midnight.

The reason moving cards out of the daily board is so effective in staying productive is because you start each morning as fresh and distraction-free as possible, and you have peace of mind that these awesome ideas await for a future, more ready you.

The “Top Three Goals” list should only have three cards at all times. One for the three highest priority no-exception tasks of the day, the second for the three highest priority internal business tasks of the day, and the third for the three highest personal tasks of the day. I add a checklist with three tasks to each card.

I label the first card “Main Goals” and the tasks in this card are non-negotiable, must-do by the end of the day. Most of the time these are sending a proposal to a lead, or completing a task for a client.

I label the second card “For My Business” and I write in the top three internal Wander Design Co. tasks I want to accomplish. This can range from posting on Instagram, to writing a blog post, to updating my accounting.

And I name the third card “For My Life” and write things that I either need to do for myself or someone else, like mailing something or going grocery shopping.

Let’s automate these cards so that when a checklist is complete, a fresh new checklist replaces it.

Ready for automation?

Step 4: Automation

There’s this awesome Trello feature called Power-Ups and it’s the best thing ever. With this, I introduce to you my good friend, Butler. In each board, I add the Butler Power Up and follow the simple steps to set him up. A list named “Butler” is automatically added to your board. Move it to the last position of the board before setting up any automation.

Setting up automation for the weekly board:

You will add a card for each command you want Butler to do. You can play around with your own commands by using the Command Builder in the Instructions card of the Butler list. Here are the commands you will enter, each in its own card. Note that you may need to edit the commands based on what you named each board and list:

  • every monday at 1:00 am, move list “Sunday” to position 7
  • every tuesday at 1:00 am, move list “Monday” to position 7
  • every wednesday at 1:00 am, move list “Tuesday” to position 7
  • every thursday at 1:00 am, move list “Wednesday” to position 7
  • every friday at 1:00 am, move list “Thursday” to position 7
  • every saturday at 1:00 am, move list “Friday” to position 7
  • every sunday at 1:00 am, move list “Saturday” to position 7
  • when the due date is marked as complete in a card, move the card to list “Done”
  • when a card is moved into list “Done”, remove the due date and all the labels from the card
  • every saturday at 11:58 pm, archive all cards in list “Done”

Setting up automation for the daily board:

  • when the due date is marked as complete in a card, move the card to list “Done” on board “My Week”
  • when a checklist is made complete in a card in list “{weekdayname}, {dateshort}”, move the card to list “Done” on board “My Week”
  • when a checklist is made complete in a card named “Main Goals”, remove all the checklists from the card and add the “Urgent” checklist to the card
  • when a checklist is made complete in a card named “For My Business”, remove all the checklists from the card and add the “Business” checklist to the card
  • when a checklist is made complete in a card named “For My Life”, remove all the checklists from the card and add the “Personal” checklist to the card
  • every day at 11:50 pm, move all the cards in list “For Tomorrow {weekdayname+1d}, {dateshort+1d}” to the top of list “{weekdayname}, {dateshort}”
  • every day at 11:56 pm, rename list “{weekdayname}, {dateshort}” to “{weekdayname+0d}, {dateshort+0d}”
  • every day at 11:57 pm, rename list “For Tomorrow {weekdayname+1d}, {dateshort+1d}” to “For Tomorrow {weekdayname+2d}, {dateshort+2d}”
  • every day at 11:58 pm, move all the cards with a “Big Ideas” label to the top of list “Big Ideas” on board “My Week”

Step 5: Adding more Power-Ups

You can make your schedule more powerful by adding other Power-Ups. This requires you to get a paid plan, and if you choose to do so it will be worth your money.

You can learn about the large array of applications you can connect to your Trello boards. Some of the most popular are Calendar, Google Drive, Evernote, Harvest, Slack, Mailchimp, Zapier, etc.

I find that I use Calendar and Google Drive the most. With the Calendar Power-Up, you can view your cards in calendar mode and manage their due dates by dragging and dropping. And the Google Drive Power-Up gives you easier access to your linked files and real-time previews and details.

Summary

Trello is a user-friendly tool so the learning curve is relatively small. It features a minimalist design that is far from limited in use. in fact, Trello’s functionalities can be customized to endless possibilities that will work specific to your needs.

It’s allowed me to have a sustainable work/life balance so things don’t fall through the cracks in the various aspects of my life. Moreover, it has helped me stay productive rather than busy because there is a huge difference in the two.

I’m always finding a new way to use Trello that makes my life easier, like handling pipelines for my journal, client work, and more. It’s also super handy for working on the road, which you can read more about here. I hope you enjoyed getting a peek behind the curtain on how I stay on top of #allthethings.

I know you will find Trello valuable, too. So don’t let any more precious time go by and grab my free automated boards to get yourself to the most organized schedule of your life.

Giselle Field

Wander Design Co. is a brand identity boutique created by Giselle Field. Giselle specializes in streamlining the brand identity of small businesses from a variety of industries. Learn how you can power up your business by delivering a clear and strategy-driven message to your ideal customers by contacting Giselle today.

Back To Top