SYW138 – Trello for Planning and Productivity

by | Podcast | 1 comment

Trello is one of the most-mentioned tools on the podcast, along with perhaps Lightroom and Gretchen Rubin, and this roundtable episode gives it the spotlight. I’m joined by Anandi Raman Creath and Alissa Williams for a look at how Trello can support planning and productivity in the craft room and beyond.

Links Mentioned

* Affiliate link

Anandi Raman Creath 0:00

These are not things I would forget, because they're kind of top of mind when I'm scrapbooking. But it's also to help me remember I have these ongoing projects don't start new ones, because there's also these other things that need to be done. So it gives me a good 50,000 foot view of what are all the things I have going on with scrapbooking. Let's not add another project.

Jennifer Wilson 0:21

Welcome to Scrapbook Your Way, the show that explores the breadth of ways to be a Memory Keeper today. I'm your host, Jennifer Wilson, Owner, Simple Scrapper and author of The New Rules of Scrapbooking. This is episode 138. In this episode, I'm joined by Anandi Raman Creath, and Alissa Williams to chat about Trello as a digital tool for work, home and of course scrapbooking organization. This is a fun conversation full of handy tips and tricks. But before we jump in, I have a fun announcement to share. The 2022 Planning Party will be November 15 through 19th 2021 and is now open for registration. This is a completely free event where we'll work together to create an inspiring get practical plan for your hobby in the new year. Head over to simple to learn more and RSVP for the Planning Party. And now my conversation with Anandi and Alissa.

Jennifer Wilson 1:22

Hello Anandi and hello Alissa. Welcome to the podcast.

Anandi Raman Creath 1:27

Thanks It's good to be here.

Alissa Williams 1:30

Yeah, this'll be fun.

Jennifer Wilson 1:31

Yeah. OK, Anandi cause you have not been on the show before, why don't you go first and share a little bit about yourself?

Anandi Raman Creath 1:37

Sure. Hi, everyone. I'm Anandi Raman Creath, and I live in Phoenix, Arizona, with my husband, two daughters and two dogs. I've been scrapbooking, officially since 2012. And Project Life was my gateway drug into scrapbooking. And my fun fact today is that Alissa and I are living parallel lives in different states. We've never met in person, just met through scrapbooking and through social media. So I'm excited to be here today, talking to both of you.

Jennifer Wilson 2:08

Awesome, I'm so excited to talk to you. You're a member of our creative team. And this is our first time you know, talking human voice to human voice. And so I'm looking forward to hearing more about your experiences with Trello, which is our topic today. But before we get into it, Alissa, you've been on the show before, but can you remind our listeners who you are and in what your life is like?

Alissa Williams 2:29

Sure. My name is Alissa. And I live in central Illinois, with my husband and two daughters. And I'm a librarian. And I'm excited to be back on the podcast.

Jennifer Wilson 2:41

Yes. So as I mentioned, our topic today is all about Trello. But we're first going to share some of the things that are exciting us right now. And there's one kind of off topic thing we have to jump into Anandi mentioned that she had not watched Parks and Rec. And Alissa and I watched it during the pandemic, basically binge watched it over a month and a half. And now we are rewatching. So Anandi have you started watching it at all?

Anandi Raman Creath 3:08

I have not. But I was excited to find out that the Peacock app lets you watch the first two seasons for free. So I got to check that out this weekend. I think my husband will like it too. So I think it's probably something good for us to both watch.

Jennifer Wilson 3:23

What I would say you have to give it the first two seasons because at the end of the second season, I think it's really when it starts to get good.

Anandi Raman Creath 3:29

Oh, interesting.

Alissa Williams 3:30

Absolutely. Yes. The first couple episodes are, are they're finding their way. And so the whole reason we're doing the rewatch Jennifer you didn't mention is because Rob Lowe has a new podcast called Parks and Recollection. So we, I at least am listening to the podcast than watching the episode they discuss. So which I did with the West Wing, and I, that podcast I love that experience. So it's so fun to get the behind the scenes and I'm doing it differently this time. When I did the West Wing I watched the episode then I listened. Now I'm listening to the podcast episode and then watching the show. So I pick up more so it's it's fine to do it differently.

Jennifer Wilson 4:14

Well, and I think just because we've seen it before listening to the podcast, you kind of you can you know, you remember some of the things but then there's all these little like Easter egg things they mentioned. And so yeah, it's like, it's gonna be like a two year project though, because they're going episode by episode one week at a time. So it's kind of like just like a side thing. It's this is not a binge watch experience.

Alissa Williams 4:38

No, and I think you're right, because we did watch it so recently that it is fairly fresh in my mind when I did that West Wing rewatch it had been several years.

Jennifer Wilson 4:48

So honestly, we are so excited for you to join us in this rewatch, and really jump into it and watch for the first time and like we can't wait for you to fall in love with the character.

Anandi Raman Creath 4:57

So it'll be awesome. Like it's so much part of our culture and like people's references that I feel really left out that I've never seen it. So yeah, it'll be great.

Jennifer Wilson 5:08

Alright, shifting to scrapbooking what is exciting you in scrapbooking? Anandi, why don't you go first?

Anandi Raman Creath 5:13

Sure. So I'll I will admit that I've been in kind of a creative slump for most of the pandemic, doing a lot of scrolling and not a lot of creating. But one of the things that I've really kept up with is Project Life in a very simple format this year. Like I don't know, I mean, I guess I had the foresight after 2020, to choose a very easy way to do project life. And so it's one 6 by 12 page a week, which is generally just two, four by six slots, and two, three by four slots. So it's super easy to fill up, I just print the pictures from my phone, you know, and mostly handwrite the journaling cards. Although I also figured out a way to pretty quickly print them on my Epson Picture Mate printer, so I can just stick it in there and print the card out. And so it's really fast. And so that's kind of what's allowed me to keep up with it and stay up to date. I'm basically working on September right now. And so I'm happy to have that documentation for the year despite you know, not scrapbooking a whole lot this year.

Jennifer Wilson 6:17

I love how you really kind of took stock of where you were and you want, I'm sure you have this desire to stay connected, but realizing maybe your overall capacity is not what it used to be. But you're going to find the simplest thing that will keep you going forward. And I love that so much.

Anandi Raman Creath 6:32

For sure.

Jennifer Wilson 6:34

Alissa, what about you, what is exciting you in our hobby?

Alissa Williams 6:37

Well, I am exciting, excited about the merger of like two things I'm doing this year. So I have been doing Story 52, which was the card deck class from Stacy Julian, where you deal yourself these cards and make a layout based on the creative rails the cards give you. And I've also been really wanting to spend the last part of this year using my Story Kits more intentionally. And there's been so much inspiration on Instagram, a Story Kit Crush and people making layouts and not just pocket pages. And so for the rest of the year, I am combining those two. And so I'm only dealing, I'm not dealing all four cards. So like I'm starting with product, my Story Kits and then deal two cards depending on my mood if I already had to kind of use those creative rails to then use up my Story Kit products from Ali Edwards.

Jennifer Wilson 7:28

I think combining these two is so brilliant, just as you said, like creative rails are sometimes so necessary for us to make it easier to get started. Because sometimes you know that blank page or just uh, what am I going to do next. But if you've got so many of the parameters are already set, then you it's really just sitting down. And you know, as I say, doing the work.

Alissa Williams 7:50

Yes, I'm really, I've made a few layouts using this approach. And it's, it's worked really well because I have a list of story ideas for some of these kits, but trying to pick which one to do next, or you know the product and how to lay it out, it just really helps. Like you said, get me started and get me going.

Jennifer Wilson 8:09

Alright, shifting gears more towards the storytelling side. So what are on your respective Bucket List? So Bucket List Stories, are these kind of deeper, more meaningful stories that you haven't told yet, but you know, you want to? Well, so why don't you continue on and tell us what's on your Bucket List?

Alissa Williams 8:26

Sure. Well, I have been kind of obsessed lately with the idea of doing these like pages with photos from various years celebrating certain events. So like, my girls and I have rung Salvation Army bells every holiday season for like eight years. So I compiled, compiled a bunch of photos about our bell rings. And so, you know, my girls are 11 and 9 right now. So we're, you know, a little over a decade into this parenting thing. And seeing those through lines of things we've done. I just love bringing, bringing that story instead of making a page about bell rang every year. So I am right now excited to use again, Ali Edwards Story Kit, the Connect kit, to tell the story about how when my oldest was in kindergarten, we very intentionally had an ice cream social. And then we also had it in first grade because the two kindergarten classes come together. And then it's actually just sort of become this thing that we do now as a class. It's really helped bond the parents and the kids together. And we just had one of the beginning of this school year after not being able to do anything obviously and not seeing people because of COVID. So I'm really excited to tell how this ice cream social and has become an annual event for our semi annual event for our class and just the connections we've made through that.

Jennifer Wilson 9:47

Oh, that sounds so fun. Do you have any ice cream related embellishments because I feel like some of the more like you love colorful things, and I feel like some of the stuff that you got like more chunky or embellishments in the past that connect well with that.

Alissa Williams 10:01

Yes, I have some very old Freckled Fawn ice cream embellishments that I actually just used on it that I use a few of them on a different page. But yes, I do have Yes, I'm prepared with the ice cream embellishments.

Jennifer Wilson 10:14

Awesome. Okay, Anandi, what about you?

Anandi Raman Creath 10:16

Yeah, I realized when when I was preparing that I haven't told the story of how my younger daughter got her name and what our alternate choices were for her name. She is about to turn nine, and still doesn't have a baby album at all. So I guess that was something I could have put in there if I had actually made her one. But I made a single layout for my older daughter like this. Like how you know how she got her name and how her you know, Dad and I had a really hard time finding names that we both liked. But I never made this for the younger one. And it's sort of one of the things I think is, I mean, your name is super important right in your life. And so I think having that backstory is something they might actually like to have. We've talked about it with them. But we haven't, you know, I haven't sort of formalized that and put it on a page. And the other one is, for my older daughter, I made it in 12 by 12 format, because when I first started making layouts, that was the size I use, but I've pretty much switched almost entirely for full page layouts to 8.5 by 11. So I may actually redo that one at the same time so that they will fit in our albums. Because right now I have 12 by 12 album for stray layouts that don't fit in any of my other albums. And there's no real theme or story or anything. So I'm slowly, really slowly working on redoing some of those to make them the smaller format.

Alissa Williams 11:36

This proves how Anandi and I are living parallel lives because I have done layouts for both of my girls and how they got their names. And both of their names ended in I. Which was a very intentional choice. And so I did a layout about that and see this, you have to do that. Because you know, we are basically the same person. And I've already done it. So now it's your turn.

Anandi Raman Creath 11:54

Now it's my assignment. Excellent.

Alissa Williams 11:55


Jennifer Wilson 11:56

Okay, we have to make sure this is an actual fact here. Anandi is your husband older than you?

Anandi Raman Creath 12:02

Yes. What is that like another? Four years, I don't know if it matters.

Alissa Williams 12:12

I got a few more years but, it's more proof that we are like the same person living parallel lives. Different times. That's right.

Anandi Raman Creath 12:20

And I'll say that both of my girls names and in the same three letters. So there's that too.

Alissa Williams 12:26

Yeah, yep, we're the same.

Jennifer Wilson 12:29

So on that topic of 12, by 12, I just wanted to say that, like, I was definitely going down the path of only 8.5 by 11. And then there were some pages that I wanted to make, like I was basically said, here's the stuff make this page. And then I was like, Oh, now where do I put these? So I kind of have I literally labeled albums yesterday, these ones are 12 by 12 stories, these are 8.5 by 11 stories. These are six by eight stories. And I have like Volume One, two, and three of each of those. Because what else do I put on them? They're, I'm just telling stories that feel interesting and exciting to me in the moment. And the only way they're being divided is by their size. So I kind of just let let go and went with it.

Alissa Williams 13:15

Okay, the librarian in me is like, shuttering right now.

Anandi Raman Creath 13:19


Alissa Williams 13:20

Size is not a classification scheme.

Anandi Raman Creath 13:22

Oh, dear.

Alissa Williams 13:24

We'll have to visit this, about this, after.

Jennifer Wilson 13:28

Oh, I'm in trouble. All right, so speaking of classification, things and organization and how we wrap our brains around the things that we're creating. Today, we want to talk specifically about Trello. Because you guys are both Trello users. I'm a Trello user, and we're gonna share, you know, the pros and the cons. You know, what we use it for what we don't use it for? So let's just start, Anandi, can you start by sharing how long you've been using Trello? And, you know, yeah, start there.

Anandi Raman Creath 14:02

Okay. So I've been using Trello for about two years now. And I actually had heard of it, you know, because always all these new tools, you hear about it on social media, or it might have been one of your podcasts, possibly, Jennifer, I'm not sure. But I heard about it. And I'm like, Oh, it's another tool. Like I tend to get really ramped up when I hear about these cute new tools. And I'm like, oh, I should put all my stuff in there and use it. So I deliberately did not use it when I first heard about it cuz I'm like, I don't need another thing. That's gonna distract me from actually getting stuff done. So I kind of set it aside but then you had your Bucket List Project class at Simple Scrapper in Trello. And that was the first time I was kind of using Trello. Like I was basically forced to use it because that was the way your class was set up. And it was sort of a revelation like, I found it to be very intuitive and useful for the way I think. And so that was just like I think for me also some of it just like getting your hands dirty and getting in the tool, you can really see the possibilities of what it could be used for. So that was I mean, my introduction to Trello was that class. And so I thought, wow, this is gonna be a useful tool to organize things, not just for scrapbooking, but for bigger, for bigger things as well, which I guess we'll get into in a little bit.

Jennifer Wilson 15:22

Yes, for sure. Well, you know, that class was such an experiment, and for the reasons you mentioned, like I wanted to be this, we're gonna just throw you in the water, and you're gonna have to sink or swim, to figure out how it works. And there were certainly cons to doing that. And so we move the class outside of Trello, because of some of those cons, but for those who did thrive with it, it was because you just had to.

Anandi Raman Creath 15:47


Jennifer Wilson 15:48

Yeah. Okay, Alissa, how about you? How long have you been using it?

Alissa Williams 15:52

Um, well, you know, I, we've established that we are the same person. So at my basically just what Anandi said, you know, I, I really got familiar with it during the Bucket List class. And so it's been about two years.

Jennifer Wilson 16:06

Okay. And so are both of you using the free plan? Are you paying for any of the features?

Anandi Raman Creath 16:13

I actually paid for Trello Gold, which they've now discontinued. It gave me some features around automation, like being able to set up an automated rule that assigns all the cards to me. So I think Trello is built a lot of times, and a lot of people use it as a team project environment. So cards can be assigned to individual people. So it doesn't automatically assign them to the person who made it. But for me, I just use it as a as an individual. So I need all the cards to be under my name. So I can see them, you know, in the different views they have. So it let me set up that automation. There's another cool, sort of built in automation that I could use with the subscription that has a little Done button. So when I click it to done, I can say what I want the steps to be to close out the card and where to put it when it's done. So I kind of click Done and magically, all the things get set and it moves to the place I need it to go. Which is kind of fun and very satisfying. So I did, I was paying for it, it was pretty inexpensive. I think it was, you know, 30 bucks a year or something. So it was definitely worth it. And I kind of in general feel like with tools like this, I do want to pay the creators for things that I find, you know, have value for me, and for sure Trello is worth it. But I think I've been bumped back to the free version now that they no longer offer the Gold version. So and it's still working fine. So yeah.

Jennifer Wilson 17:36

I love that you mentioned paying the creators because really, you know, sometimes we certainly enjoy that there are a lot of these free or freemium type products. But when you do invest in it that helps to make sure the product is going to be there in the future.

Anandi Raman Creath 17:51


Jennifer Wilson 17:51

When you want to continue using it.

Anandi Raman Creath 17:54


Jennifer Wilson 17:56

Okay Alissa, what about you?

Alissa Williams 17:58

So I've only been using the free version. And I had a bunch of like, upgrade offers, because I will talk more about how I've been using it, but I, a lot of people joined, because I recommended it to them. And so I had all these credits, but I guess, I guess they've gone away, since they'e not offering Trello Gold anymore. I never used them. So I never signed up for.

Jennifer Wilson 18:22

Yeah, I actually never use Trello Gold either. And they've kind of changed the naming a lot of things this past year. But as soon as they started with advanced checklists, you had to upgrade a single workspace with that. And so I upgraded the Simple Scrapper workspace and it dramatically changed how we manage the business. And so I was willing to invest for that reason. And now Advanced Checklists are in just the $5 a month standard version. So for that alone, I feel like it's worth paying, you know, and that's less 60 bucks a year. And I'm sure there's a discount if it's billed annually. So the Advanced Checklist allows you to put a due date on individual tasks.

Anandi Raman Creath 19:06

Oh, cool.

Jennifer Wilson 19:07

Like in a checklist. It's just so amazing. But Okay, before we get more into features, I'm curious, what did you use prior to two years ago before you uses Trello? Anandi did you want to go first?

Anandi Raman Creath 19:21

Sure. So nothing similar. So I work in software engineering. So I'm kind of familiar with the whole the idea of boards like Kanban boards and the way Trello is built. You know that structure. But I never really had a tool that I use that was like this, like I am generally a notebook and paper kind of person. So mostly I had a Bullet Journal for things. I also have a digital OneNote notebook. And it's pretty, I mean, it's huge. It has many sections. It's sort of my life OneNote and it's great to have everything in one place. And it's great to be able to search it, but it's kind of unwieldy. I mean, it's just text, right? There's just, I dump lists, I dump quotes, I dump everything in there. And so kind of switching to Trello and having it be a little more organized and having their you know, being able to see it in this visual way has been, you know, a huge advantage for me, for sure.

Jennifer Wilson 20:23

What about you, Alissa?

Alissa Williams 20:25

So, I have used primarily for my personal life, just, you know, I used to Get To Work planner. And there's also some other features in that planner that allowed me to kind of manage projects. In my, at work, I used a tool called Nirvana HQ, that was recommended for people who use the Getting Things Done methodology. And so I was using that at work. And it was another kind of list tool and somewhat visual, but I, Trello was definitely, there's more satisfaction to that method.

Jennifer Wilson 21:01

For certain, I think that was one of the big factors for me in switching. And because I was always very list focus, I used Asana before and yes, I was able to collect all the information. But when something changed in Trello, and something maybe changed in me, and I wanted to have a really visual representation of being able to see the lay of the land. And I think that's one of the things that Trello does really well, what else do you guys think it does? Well, or maybe not so well?

Alissa Williams 21:29

Well, I think it really does help with group collaboration and projects. And when you have multiple people trying to work on things, and I can talk more about this in a later question about how I'm using it now. But to me, that's really one of the strengths of it is the collaboration tools that we have. But I also I enjoy the satisfaction of moving things from you know, my doing or in progress card to my done card. And so I, you know, aside from when I write a hand list, and you know, check it all off with red checks. It's, you know, I do like the moving it to done and then especially for my work being able to be like, Okay, this is what I've done this month. And having like all those cards stacked up, as opposed to flipping through my planner each week and being like, oh, there's some check marks there. I know. But just having it all grouped in one place, is really satisfying.

Jennifer Wilson 22:34

For sure. What about you, Anandi?

Anandi Raman Creath 22:35

Yeah, for me, it's the visual layout, like I never really thought I was a visual person, I've always been like a texty, listy sort of person. And so I didn't think that Trello would be as impactful as it has been. But just this idea of like having a card for a whole project, and having, you know, different lists that they go on, just being able to sort of put things in their categories. And Trello itself is just very pretty, like the user interface is really well designed. And so you can use, you know, your own photos or stock photos for the background of your whole workspace, you can add a photo to the cards themselves. And it just makes it look really pretty, because I use they use Unsplash, which is those free stock photos. And so you can search for anything and find a really pretty photo that will kind of work with your card. And it sounds I don't know, like a waste of time to do this on your, you know, productivity tool. But it really makes a difference. I have it open every day. And I'm always looking at it. So it makes a difference to have it be pretty and you know, look pleasing. And I want to go in there and look for stuff and, and work on things. So really that visual aspect. The thing that I struggle with, though is the mobile app, while it is functional, I think just the way Trello is laid out horizontally, it's very wide, and I use it on a big monitor. At home, it doesn't translate very well like to your phone, for example. It's not horrible on the iPad, but on the phone, it's just tiny and and so it's kind of hard to see things. And I can't really do much in there except maybe just add a quick card for something I don't want to forget about or, you know, click something off as done. I can't really get in there and make you know, checklists and things because it's just a little bit hard to do that in the mobile app.

Jennifer Wilson 24:28

Oh, I totally agree with that. And I would also say that in terms of like checking things done, even on the desktop, I feel like they're still struggling with how to show everything you need to do across all your workspaces and all your boards.

Anandi Raman Creath 24:44


Jennifer Wilson 24:45

Because I love to, I love to to have the granular organization. But at some point I just want to know what is all the stuff I need to do. And as of right now you have to go to two different places to see checklist items and cards that are assigned to you. And I would like those in one place.

Anandi Raman Creath 25:05

Definitely. And that's one of the reasons why I have only one workspace. So I know a lot of people talk about splitting their different lives or parts of their lives into different workspaces. And that makes sense for sure, especially if you're doing a lot of collaboration, and you need different people for different parts. But since it's just for me, I have my entire life, scrapbooking, kids stuff, house stuff, it's all on one workspace. So I mean, it's somewhat helpful, then, because I know everything is there, I'm not flipping back and forth. And that was part of why I chose Trello. Because I could have, you know, a giant workspace like that and have, you know, 100 cards on it, or whatever. For my for my things, but I know it's all in one place, I don't have to look at another board as well.

Alissa Williams 25:51

So do you limit your list, your columns? Or do you just keep scrolling over to the columns on it? Like, I'm just curious.

Anandi Raman Creath 26:00

Yeah, so I have a setup that's, I read a book, called Everything in Its Place. And it basically talks about how chefs kind of prepare their day and set up their work before their shift starts. So that when it gets crazy, they can just do the things that are in front of them. And so somebody had basically made a Trello template based on this book, and I loved the book. So I grabbed that template, and then I customized it to what I wanted for that. So I have basically a set number of column lists. And there are basically what are sort of my, I don't know, bigger bucket goals in life. So one of them is take care of myself physically and mentally. One of them is be a great mom, Wife, Daughter, and friend. You know, another one is educate my children while we were homeschooling. So there was more stuff in this column than there is now that they're back in actual school. And then I have one that's just have fun scrapbooking, and then a list of things. So it's sort of my higher level, I guess, roles and things that I'm interested in. And then I have cards underneath those. And there could be a lot of cards like basically every project that I have, I stick in as a card under these categories. And then I have sort of the functional categories like what I'm going to work on this week. I have one for this week. I have an inbox where I just throw stuff, you know, if I think of a task or a project I need to deal with, I'll put that in the inbox until I'm ready to to deal with it and put it where it goes. And then I have the done category that Alissa was talking about where things go when I've completely finished them. And so every now and then I'll clear that out by archiving it, just because it gets long, but it's nice to see the actual completed items there as well. And then I have another column for things that I'm waiting for someone else. And another one for templates, which are basically repeated cards that I do like for my weekly review, I have a checklist. And so I use a template in Trello. To go through that every, every week, I just make a new one. And then I check off the things for that week and mark that week's as done, but I don't have to keep recreating those lists. I use the template feature in Trello, which is another one of my favorite things.

Alissa Williams 28:17

I yeah, I like the template feature too. I just I remember you're talking about that book on Instagram, and it's on my to do list I'm gonna have to, I'm gonna have to, like make it a priority now. Yeah, I like it. I love stuff like that.

Jennifer Wilson 28:31

And I love how you've taken your personal priorities, your values, your goals, and use that as a structure for your tasks. I mean, that's, that's a very kind of intuitive, heart centered way to start something that tends to be more left brain organization tactical. As a way to unite those two aspects of our lives together.

Anandi Raman Creath 28:52

I saw it somewhere. And I don't remember, like it was a book or something where people talked about them as being kind of their life missions. And so I made them kind of complete sentences so that I'm reminded of it when I see it. Like I could have just made one for house. But it's actually called create a welcoming cozy and organized home. Right, which is very wordy. But when I see it, I'm like, Oh yeah, that's what I'm here to do. So it also helps me when I'm adding stuff figure out if it's relevant, like do I really need to do this? Is this really important? So it's, it's helped more than I thought when I first set it up.

Jennifer Wilson 29:28

Yeah, 100% I can see that every time you're adding a particular project you can audition whether or not this is in alignment with the direction you want to head in your life.

Anandi Raman Creath 29:37


Jennifer Wilson 29:38

Or not and say okay, then why am I adding this project? Why am I putting this expectation on myself? Why did I say yes to doing this thing that now I don't want to do because it doesn't fit?

Anandi Raman Creath 29:47


Jennifer Wilson 29:50

All right, so maybe we could talk a little bit about you know, we talked kind of trying to scope out what we use Trello for, can you outline a little bit more of what you use it for what you don't use it for. Alissa, why don't you jump into that?

Alissa Williams 30:04

Okay, well, I started trying to use Trello for like everything. And I don't actually use it now for my scrapbooking, I don't use it as my Creative Hub. I had started at the beginning of the year with that idea. But I just find that my actual Bullet Journal style Creative Hub works best for me, and I wasn't checking in on Trello. Kind of like what I do said, you have all these different and you've said to Jennifer, you have these different boards, and that just doesn't, I would forget to go there. So I don't use it for that. But what is the sweet spot, I have found it very useful for tracking both my work stuff, especially because I seem to be waiting for so many things. And then also for these, I guess, basically their fundraisers that I'm involved in, so I'm involved in two fundraisers, one for my school and one for a board that I sit on. And they've been a great collaborative tool to track you know, like, where we are in the process, as opposed to just using a spreadsheet. You know, like, I love that I can assign people to, you know, follow up with this business. I can have the list of businesses who want to contact, I can move that, that card to okay, we've contacted them. And then I can move it to okay, we've confirmed them, okay, we've picked up their donation. Like, I love that it's very easy to see where we are in the process, you know, I can hit the cue button and find out how many cards we have. So I know how many donations we have. Like it just it's worked really well for that collaborative process that I've been doing with these groups. And I've introduced it to several people. And for one thing, one event I'm involved in we have, we do the same thing. Every year, we were kind of reinventing what tools to use, but now I feel like with history and Trello we can we can use that in the future. So...

Jennifer Wilson 32:03

Anandi, what about you? How does your experience kind of compare or contrast with Alissa's?

Anandi Raman Creath 32:08

Yeah, so I have one big difference in that I am not allowed to use Trello for work, because my work doesn't want confidential information stored on somebody else's servers. So that's kind of the one place that I'm a little disappointed because I personally, I need like, I would love to have everything, I would love to just have one column that is my work things as well. And so when I'm going through my weekly review, I can figure out these are the things I need to do for work. And these are the things for you know, my, my the rest of my life. But since I'm not allowed to use it for work, it's interesting because Microsoft actually makes a very similar product called Planner, that is pretty much the same thing. So I use that at work. And that's so I basically have a similar setup, it's a little more granular. So instead of just having a work column, I have my actual separate projects at work. So maybe it's better that it's separate, because I can be a little more granular with the work, the work stuff over there. So that's the one, I think the one thing I wish I could kind of combine them and just have everything, but on the other hand, there's good things that that come from having them be completely separate. But in general, like for neither one, you neither the work one nor the, my personal Trello I don't use either one for collaboration with other people. I think my husband would leave me if I tried to add him to a Trello board and assign things to him. So that that is not something that would work for us. So yeah, it's it's all it's just for my own personal, personal things.

Jennifer Wilson 33:50

I you know, considered a huge life win when my husband said, can you assign me a task in Trello for that?

Anandi Raman Creath 33:56

Oh my gosh. Oh, amazing.

Alissa Williams 33:59

That is like, oh, good points for Steve. I guess I should mention that so I use it primarily for these two projects I'm working on but I've also found it to be useful for my own projects when I need to break something big down. So I know Jennifer on a previous episode, we talked about how we used it for the the Christmas, the holiday break plan. And that was super like when I that that was super successful. And that's that was when I really found my my Trello sweet spot. Was that that plan that I did in Trello for this long break I had at the holidays last year. And then I have a board for my personal stuff but it's more of just like referencing material. I don't really, when my life gets busy I find that I will use Trello more for bigger projects but Like right now things have kind of, I can use my paper planner, my Get To Work Book more for managing stuff. Because I just at the end of the day, I really am a paper and pen kind of girl. But I do like, I do like having, you know, I get a new planner every year. So having reference stuff, like I have a, I have a list of like vacation Bucket List idea places we want to go. And I can kind of move stuff around, I have a list, I was working on some our Christmas tree ornaments and like figuring out some I don't know organizing the ornaments, ornaments, which I know sounds like really crazy. But I was actually at, we had our Pumpkin Festival and I was at the Pumpkin Festival store. And they had old past years ornaments for the festival. And I knew I had some of them, but I didn't have all of them. And so I quickly pulled up the mobile Trello on my phone, I was like, Oh yeah, I am missing this year. And I would like to fill in that gap. So I like it for I like it for reference stuff in my life, as opposed to like active day to day project management, or life management life admin kind of stuff. I think it works better for my personal life as sort of more of a reference tool or a long term projects tool. And then I do use it daily at work. And I have I have a weekly review card that I did, I have a template that I also use. So yeah, that's primarily how I'm using it now.

Jennifer Wilson 36:36

I want to specifically highlight how, when you're creating a Trello board, you could have different like intentions behind it, different intended lifespans for it, whether it's this is going to be like long term slash permanent storage of information. This is, you know, for the lifespan of a project or a work activity, or it's going to be you know, I have one right now I'm going to a retreat next weekend for a scrapbooking retreat. And so I have the list of here's all the things I need to do before it, when I leave, I'm going to archive this board, because in theory, everything is going to be crossed off. But I wanted to have a place where I could just dump in every single little thing I have to do because my none of my sticky notes were big enough, and I was gonna need a really big sheet of paper. So that's what Trello is, for me is that really big sheet of paper where I can identify all the projects, and then even granular subtasks under there. And you know, there is some duplication to other boards that I have. But I really wanted to focus on, here's this one list, let's not get distracted.

Alissa Williams 37:42

I agree. I like it for that for sure. Where you can create a board that's just for a specific project.

Anandi Raman Creath 37:48


Jennifer Wilson 37:49

So we've identified that Alissa, you're not using Trello, specifically for scrapbooking. But Anandi you are, so can you kind of give us the scope of how you use it.? Kind of in context of your process, maybe?

Anandi Raman Creath 38:02

Yes, so I have two. I actually do have a second board. And this is kind of how I started using Trello on my own and then it morphed into my whole life admin tool. But I have a second board that is just my online classes. And I wanted a place where I could make a card for each class because I have this bad habit of purchasing classes and then not finishing them.

Alissa Williams 38:26


Anandi Raman Creath 38:26

Yes, I like I always it always looks great, and then I never finish. So I wanted to gather all of that information in one place. And I'd had it in various notebooks and I'd start a list but then I would never go and dig up the rest of it. And then I'd move to a different notebook. So I wanted a digital place where I could put it all together and you know, find the links for the class and put them in there so that when I'm ready to work on it, everything that I need is right there. And as I work on it, then I put in all the lessons and check them off as I'm done. So I can really know how far I am in those as well. And that really helped me start using some of the stuff that I've paid for, which is great. So when I saw that working for me, that's what sort of morphed into a bigger life admin Trello board. And so on that board, one of the things as I mentioned, you know, one of my whatever life missions, if you want to call it that, is have fun scrapbooking. And so under that is listed all of the projects that I have, you know, projects I've started or projects that I want to do, things like my nine year old baby album that has not been started. But things that I've started like I took a trip to China in 2019. And I'm like halfway through that. So I have a card for that as well. And so just I make a card for big album projects, as well as minor items that are crafty that I want to check out. So I have one that's play around with printing Project Life cards on heavy cardstock. So I wanted to see if I could replicate you know, the nice cards that you get when you buy a kit. I bought some of that really heavy cardstock to see if I can print cards that are that nice at home. I haven't done it yet, but it's on my list. So this scrapbooking list has a lot of things on it because I have pretty much anything that occurs to me that I think I want to do is on this list. As well as I have a Story Kit, Ali Edwards Story Kit wish list. So sometimes she sells the the older story kits, you know, the ones that she's got leftover. And so I'll make a list. If I see somebody and that is doing projects with one that I don't have, and I really want it, I'll put it on that list so that when her sale comes around, and she does sell those, I can buy the ones that are on the list.

Alissa Williams 39:20

That is so smart!

Anandi Raman Creath 40:45

Thank you. But it's great for like you said for reference, right? So I have it somewhere because I'll be thinking that in my head, oh, it'd be great if I could go buy the Rest Story Kit, but I'll never remember that when she actually puts them for sale, because it's only twice a year. So I, I have that as sort of my shopping list or wish list. And I'll add to it whenever I see something that I come across. But I also have bigger projects. So I have one card, that's called 2021 photos. And it's got a checklist that has every month. And it's got a list in the description of each of the to be done with my photos for that month. You know, I have to download them from my phone, I, you know, cull and edit them in Lightroom. I export them to our server, you know, I publish them on our website, and then I copy them to the backup folder. So those steps need to be completed before I can say that that month photos are done. And so I use this as the checklist for the year. So as I do each month, I check those off. And it's sort of just like I would do that anyway. But it's a reminder to me, Oh, look, I haven't done this since June, I need to go back and finish up those months. And I have the same thing for Project Life. I just have a checklist by month so that when I finished that particular month, I can check off and say okay, that Project Life, I'm done through September. And so it's just to kind of remind me, I mean, these are not things I would forget, because they're kind of top of mind when I'm scrapbooking. But it's also to help me remember I have these ongoing projects don't start new ones, because there's also these other things that need to be done. So it gives me a good 50,000 foot view of what are all the things I have going on with scrapbooking. Let's not add another project.

Jennifer Wilson 42:32

Well and I love how you didn't just bring in like album projects, that you really considering everything you do in your hobby as a project and making sure that that is there because that takes time and energy to work on those things, not just the specific album.

Anandi Raman Creath 42:47


Alissa Williams 42:48

I love that. I'm going to I'm going to create, I think I'm going to create No, I like the class list idea. Because I think I, I need that list. I could put that on my personal board and have like all the classes that I keep meaning to go finish.

Anandi Raman Creath 43:06

Yeah. And it's awareness to like when I see someone releasing a new class, I'm like, Oh, do I need a new class, I have 15 that I haven't finished yet. Like, right, what makes me think this new one is going to be different. So it is really, you know, it's easy to sort of forget about all those things, unless you see them. For me seeing them in this visual way, I'm like, Oh, look how long that list is I should probably not add more things.

Alissa Williams 43:30

And see, I don't I don't have as many like ongoing album projects and stuff that you seem to have. So, you know, I I think it also is like what are your needs, like you this really helps you stay on top of it, but but I can see the need for like a list or a card that just has all my classes on it so that I remember what I signed up for and, and realize not to overcommit myself. Like he said, and really can evaluate when an opportunity comes up to take, you know, take advantage of it or not because like you said, I already have 15 that I should be working on. So...

Anandi Raman Creath 44:11


Alissa Williams 44:11

That's really, that's good. Because like for when you were saying like you have your checklist for Project Life, I'm doing Project Life monthly. So I have a checklist in my Creative Hub because that's where I really trained myself to go for everything related to scrapbooking. That's I think because I was so ingrained in my Creative Hub, even though I tried to set up a Trello board because I do like those checklists. It just it wasn't it like I forgot about it because I've trained myself to go to my Bullet Journal so and that's okay, you know.

Anandi Raman Creath 44:42

I mean, I, I didn't even think about having a Creative Hub until I took that Bucket List Project class with Jennifer. Like it didn't occur to me that you would sort of put all your creative things somewhere like they were just sort of random to do's that would show up on my other To Do List of personal stuff. So I really liked the idea having that sort of creative list of things all together, because then when you're feeling creative, you can also pick and choose what you want to work on. You don't have to just do the thing that randomly came to mind.

Alissa Williams 45:13

Yeah, that Creative Hub has been awesome for my scrapbooking. And just knowing, you know, there's one, I have all kinds of things in there. It's the bullet journal, Bullet Journal format. And, and it works so well for me and to keep me on track. And, and, yeah, so sometimes you just need to, you know, when I was first setting up Trello boards, I was like, oh, I need a board for this and a board for that. And sometimes you just have to stick with the tools that are already working for you.

Anandi Raman Creath 45:41


Jennifer Wilson 45:42

Well, I think no matter what tool you're using, whether you're using Trello, or using something physical or a completely different thing altogether, the conversations we're having, specifically about the types of things that would be a great idea are very helpful to record. I think some of the most valuable, like, the idea of this is my wish list for Story Kit, or, and those are some of the conversations we've had inside our community to about, okay, here's how I'm using Trello, because I felt this need to keep track of this thing. And then somebody else will say, Oh, that's brilliant. I've always wanted to keep track of that thing. But I never thought to put it in this particular place.

Anandi Raman Creath 46:18


Jennifer Wilson 46:18

And so I think some of those are some of the most helpful. So kind of going back to specific Trello features, Anandi you mentioned a couple in the beginning that I don't even know how to do myself. So what are each of your favorite features of Trello?

Anandi Raman Creath 46:36

I think, for me, I know Alissa said she likes to physically move the card to her done list. But I have a little, I added a button. And I don't know, I think someone else actually wrote this automation. I know I didn't write it. But you can add a done button to your card and then tell it where you want it to go when you're finished. And so I find that super satisfying to just click that Done button. And that actually translates from desktop also to mobile. So I can do it on mobile as well. And that card just like kind of disappears and flies on over to the Done column. And so that, just having that happen automatically and having myself being added automatically to a card so that when I look at my list, I can see for the day, these are all the things I mean, everything is mine, but Trello doesn't recognize that if you don't actually add yourself to the card. So just having those little automation steps has been helpful in making it useful for me and not tedious. Like I'm not manually adding myself to each card. So I can see my list and things like that.

Jennifer Wilson 47:44

I want to do more of those things, too. Sorry Alissa, go ahead you like more of the...

Alissa Williams 47:50

I like that. I like the fact that I can add multiple checklists onto a card. So...

Jennifer Wilson 47:56

I'm kind of obsessed with those too.

Alissa Williams 47:58

Yes, sorry.

Jennifer Wilson 48:01

Well and even like I will, I think having the checklist has helped me write better checklists and think about how I actually do things. Like I don't sit down to just like edit a podcast episode, there's certain steps that I have to do. Like first I you know, I do what I call like the audio engineering part. And then I have to listen to the episode and do cuts. And so those are all separate steps that don't, that aren't always done in one setting. And so having the checklist has helped me, I think even be more productive because I really am able to itemize what I actually do.

Anandi Raman Creath 48:35

Right. And that checklist feature, I use that on my weekly review template. And at some point, I had a list for that weekly review of like 25 things. And I was like, checklist happy and adding Oh, I should do this every week too. And then it was getting to a point where I was dreading my weekly review because I didn't want to do all those things. So I could go back and revisit and now I've basically I think just put a star next to the things that really have to happen every week and move those to the top so that if I am really not feeling it that week, I can just do the star things and get out of there. So it's I guess the checklist is a double edged sword because you can go a little crazy. I mean just like this whole tool, right? You can make a million cards and then you can't find anything and you know you can get pretty disorganized. But I I like the checklist but have to be a little careful with it too. So...

Jennifer Wilson 49:35

Well and I think there's been certainly been times where I have to do a major cleanup. I realize I have too many boards, similar things in different places and I need to sit down and usually it involves Okay, create a new board and then I merge everything into that. Tidy it up, get rid of all the junk that's no longer relevant and but that's what I love about it is that I can't really do that with paper without starting over.

Anandi Raman Creath 49:57


Jennifer Wilson 49:58

And you know, it's totally fine to just start some new pages and cross some things off. But I like the the fresh reset button, I guess you get with Trello sometimes?.

Anandi Raman Creath 50:08


Jennifer Wilson 50:11

I wanted to talk specifically about adding this button. So it's a feature called Butler, which used to be a power up. And now it's just under this little automation tab inside of Trello. And it's included with all the accounts I believe.

Anandi Raman Creath 50:24


Jennifer Wilson 50:25

And so you can use automation features to perform these different tasks, as you said, so adding, adding buttons to your cards and making them do things automatically, which is really handy.

Anandi Raman Creath 50:36

It is really handy. And they have a lot of rules that are kind of like already set up for you. So you just have to fill in what you you know, your personal things, like send it to this board or send it to this list. And so they kind of walk you through how to do it, it's not as intimidating. I mean, you can create stuff from scratch, but they have a lot of helpful, sort of helpful ones already set up that might, you know, you can just look through the list and add things as well. And that's why I paid for the Gold as well, because there was a limit to how much you could use this, if you weren't paying for it.

Jennifer Wilson 51:11

Yes, yes. And so it's I think the model they've gone to now I think is really approachable, that you can still do a lot for free. But the the features that you do get for even just that $5 A month is they're kind of really attractive features. I feel like they've done a decent job of paying attention to what people you know, obviously wanted and willing to pay for, and they're continuing to develop it to make it even more useful. I wanted to kind of close here with talking about any ways that you personally would like to use Trello. Better, like maybe things you wanted to start using it for maybe even things you want to stop using it for, like how do you want to use Trello in a more efficient way? What about you, Alissa?

Alissa Williams 51:53

Well, I think I could be better at, I've kind of gotten off track with my Trello work. So I need to since it's almost the end of the month, I need to kind of clean it up again, like you were saying. And then I really think this conversation has helped me clarify that aside from work. For my personal life, I'm seeing Trello more as like my reference material, kind of like how people use I can't think of that app that they use. Oh, I can't remember what it's called.

Alissa Williams 52:25


Alissa Williams 52:26

Yes, that kind of like how people use Evernote. I feel like that's how I'm using Trello now is more of reference lists. And, you know, I want to create this list now, that Anandi has inspired me to do about, you know, classes and that kind of stuff. So I'm liking this idea like it, this is for my reference for my personal life, and then it's active for my work life.

Anandi Raman Creath 52:54

I like that idea. I think on mine, I wouldn't mind having a couple of reference things because I have my reference stuff in One Note, but my One Note is, like I said, kind of huge and unwieldy. And so looking at it on my phone, it's actually pretty difficult to find what I'm looking for. I know it's in there. But it's you know, flipping through the digital pages on mobile is not super, not a super pleasant experience. And just having it on a card that I know where it is. And Trello would probably be useful for, you know, a handful of very specific things. The other thing I would like to do better. So I have in my Trello, when I go through my weekly review, I put a bunch of tasks under the column called this week. And that's the stuff that I'm supposed to work on for the upcoming week. And somehow, it gets out of sync with my planner, because I do have a daily actual hardcopy planner, where I kind of plan out my days. And this is what I'm going to do today. And I get, you know, obviously, I get tasks throughout the day from wherever, for both work and personal. And I'll write those in my planner, and they don't always make it back into Trello. And so I need to do a better job of keeping those in sync. I mean, obviously, if I just do it that day, and it's in my planner, and I've checked it off, I don't need to put it in Trello. But if it's something I want to think about later, I would like to be better about getting those things in Trello. And vice versa. Like sometimes I'll put stuff in the this week column and I'll forget to transfer that to my planner. And so it comes to the next week's review. And I'm like, Oh, I never even looked at that. So getting, being in sync better between Trello and my daily planner would make me a little more productive for sure. And I know that the template that I originally started with that was provided by Trello. They had a very planning focused layout. So they had today I will do these things like and the person who had created this template was basically running their life out of Trello and even putting like calendar things in Trello. And for me, I use Outlook for work so I don't need to do all of that in Trello but they had it very much as their planner. They I'm sure did not have a separate planner. So I think if you do plan on paper, you kind of have to make sure that your electronic thing is in sync with your actual planning tool as well.

Jennifer Wilson 55:14

Yeah, that's one of the things that we do in The Trello Habit course inside the membership. Is really help you think about, okay, here's my suite of tools, you know, maybe presently or future, like, here's what the tools that I want to use, and then what is the function for each one so that you're not duplicating, and you can find more of that sync in between them. Because I would say, for most of us, we're not going to be using one single tool, because, you know, we want to have that tactile experience of crossing things off. And obviously, Alissa is using Trello really heavily for work, but not as much for her scrapbooking and her personal things because she likes to have her Bullet Journal and be able to cross things off. So there's no right way or no wrong way to do it. It's just you know, your way, which is why this podcast is called Scrapbook Your Way. All right, any final thoughts on Trello, or tips you have for our audience?

Anandi Raman Creath 56:07

I would say I think it's very forgiving. If you hate what you've built, or it gets out of control, you can just start over. No one is looking. And I think it really does help to get in and you know, maybe pick a small part of your life first that you think you might want to use Trello for instead of kind of abandoning your current system and going all in in Trello. Just try one little thing and see if that interface works for you. Is it easy for you to look at? Are you not in front of a computer most of the day, and so it's not, you know, it's not super easy on mobile, maybe before you kind of make that decision to go all the way into Trello and spend a lot of time in it. But it does definitely help to kind of get your hands dirty and really work with the cards and give it some time. Before you you abandon it. I think it can pay off if you find it useful.

Jennifer Wilson 57:01

Yeah, I think it really took three tries for me to really get into it. I tried it once. And I was like, No. And then I tried it again. I'm like, oh, gosh, no, definitely not. And then the third time, I was, you know, it's like the angels were singing, it's like, oh, my gosh, you know, I email my whole team, we're moving to Trello. And they're like, finally, you caught up with the rest of us, because they were already all on Trello. And, you know, you know, as I say the rest is history. And it's really, it's been so amazing. So...

Alissa Williams 57:30

Yeah, I think I would echo of course, because we're the same person, what Anandi said, to really to pick an area that maybe you can't get your brain around. Kind of with your example, Jennifer getting ready for this retreat, you know, what's, what's a project or what's something that maybe has multiple steps, or that you just need to kind of brain dump about and and try using Trello for that project. And, and really play with the different tools, because it is pretty forgiving. I mean, that's what I tell the people who I've made join Trello for the these different fundraisers we're participating in is, you know, you really can't break it. Like you, don't you, the people that I've been working with, they can't even figure out how to archive a card because it's not super intuitive. You can't accidentally delete something, you know, it's like, it's a multi step process to really get rid of it. So, you know, it's very forgiving, as you said. So I just try it, pick an area and try it. And there's some great templates out there that you can start with. So you don't have to start, sometimes I know the blank page can be intimidating. But there's some really good templates to get started for.

Jennifer Wilson 58:39

Well and I love that idea of just picking something like one specific project. Like don't try to move your whole life into there at once. Start with one thing that you really have wanted to have a home for and then see where that leads you.

Anandi Raman Creath 58:55


Jennifer Wilson 58:57

All right. Can you guys share each where we can find you online?

Anandi Raman Creath 59:01

So you can find me at Instagram. I'm Anandi RC A n a n di RC and then you can also see my layouts in the Simple Scrapper Spark magazine.

Jennifer Wilson 59:13

Awesome. Thank you. Alissa, what about you?

Alissa Williams 59:16

I am also on Instagram at Alissa recommends and I don't share as much of my scrapbooking because I scraplift basically everything so um, but I do like to share creative process thoughts. And I share a book recommendations a ton. And so that's where you can find me probably getting ready for Christmas book recommendations and things to buy for the holidays.

Jennifer Wilson 59:41

Oh, awesome. I'll include the links to both of your accounts in the show notes for this episode. Thank you so much for spending time with me today.

Alissa Williams 59:49

Thank you for having us. It was super fun.

Anandi Raman Creath 59:51

Thank you.

Jennifer Wilson 59:53

And to all of our listeners please remember that you have permission to Scrapbook Your Way. Don't forget to visit Simple to RSVP for the 2022 Planning Party so you don't miss out on our biggest event of the year.

How to Subscribe

The best way to listen to Scrapbook Your Way is with a podcast player on your mobile device or with iTunes on your computer. You can subscribe via Apple Podcasts, Google Podcasts, or by searching for “Scrapbook Your Way” in your favorite podcast player in order to receive new episodes automatically.

If you’re enjoying the podcast, we’d love if you left a review on iTunes.

Did you find this post helpful?

We believe simple is not how your page looks, but how your scrapbooking hobby works. We have a free workshop called SPARKED and it is the best way to learn more about Simple Scrapper and start creating consistently.

1 Comment

  1. Carol Eason

    Thanks for the information but if you could have included the exact meaning of ‘granular’ in referencing databases — giving the definition would be helpful as you all use this word a lot throughout especially because the definition is not clear even in the context of the discussion.


Submit a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Notify me of followup comments via e-mail. You can also subscribe without commenting.


The Simple Scrapper community will encourage and support your unique creative journey.