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How I Destroyed My Procrastination Using Trello: An INSANE (Free) Productivity Tool

Procrastination has been the bane of my existence for as long as I can remember.

As someone with ADHD, being an ENTP personality, and having a multipotentialite nature, much of my life has been a whirlwind of jumping from one interest or business venture to another, getting bored quickly, and struggling to keep my ideas and tasks organized.

I’ve always assumed it was some sort of combination between boredom and a lack of motivation.

Atomic Habits book by James Clear

But then I watched a great keynote presentation by author of Atomic Habits – James Clear – where he said something that really stuck with me:

“Most people think they lack motivation, when what they really lack is clarity.”

James Clear

Atomic Habits is an incredible book by the way.

If you haven’t read it, I highly recommend doing so (and if you hate reading as much as me, I suggest doing what I did – listen to the audiobook instead)!

Moral of the story: procrastination doesn’t come from a lack of motivation, it comes from a lack of organization.

My Chaos Train of Scattered Thoughts

An image representing the concept of a 'train of thought' with scattered and disorganized thoughts.

“Overwhelm leads to indecision. Indecision breeds inaction.”

I’ve been there, trying to bring all my scattered thoughts and ideas into one place.

I experimented with Google Docs, inspired by Alex Hormozi’s unique use of Twitter as his note-taking platform.

I dabbled in Dan Koe’s writing setup using Notion as well as his 7-day writing challenge.

I created trackers and planners, made calendars and schedules, used Google Drive extensively, and even tried to adapt an AI-powered calendar into my workflow.

Despite combining several of these methods, along with many others, my efforts often felt like trying to mix oil and water – they just didn’t blend well for me.

Nothing seemed to stick.

Consistency and productivity would always end up as elusive as a mirage in the desert.

Then, the Universe (and what I believe to be the Law of Attraction) finally decided to step in. 

A Serendipitous Discovery

The concept of 'A Serendipitous Discovery' and the idea that 'where focus goes, energy flows', depicted with a person in a moment of realization surrounded by a flow of energy or light.

“Where focus goes, energy flows.”

I began doing what I always do:

Starting yet another NEW project.

I convinced myself that in order for me to get a system that worked in a way that would work for me, I’d need to build something myself.

So I started researching how to build my own website or app that I could integrate with A.I., in the hopes I’d find a way to streamline and automate my process and flow as much as humanly (no pun intended) possible – all within one single location, rather than feeling like I had all my resources and information scattered.

Then, as fate would have it, I stumbled upon a YouTube channel I’d never seen or heard of before: Starter Story.

More specifically, an interview conversation with Brett Williams, the founder of a subscription-based design company called DesignJoy.

It was a great interview, and I was immediately fascinated by his business model.

But as he was explaining his business model to the channel host, he mentioned one thing in particular I’d never heard of before that piqued my interest: Trello.

Screenshot of Trello Homepage

Not knowing what it was, *que shiny object syndrome* I allowed my curiosity to get the better of me, and dove headfirst into researching it.

14 hours of Google searches, ChatGPT conversations, and YouTube videos later – I was blown away!

Not only could I not believe the fact that this tool existed and I had never heard of it before (considering how much personal development, business, and productivity content I consume regularly)

But I was even more shocked to find out that it had pretty much EVERYTHING I had been looking for when I was planning to build my own!

The fact it was also FREE was just icing on the cake!

So What is Trello and What Can You Do With It?

So, if like me you’re unfamiliar with Trello, let me break it down for you.

Trello is this incredibly powerful, user-friendly, (FREE) web-based tool designed to help you organize, prioritize, and track your work.

The core components of Trello are simple: boards, lists, and cards.

A board typically represents a project or a major area of work.

Within each board, you can create multiple lists, which often represent stages of progress (like “To Do,” “In Progress,” “Done”) or categories.

Each list contains cards, where the actual tasks or items are detailed.

A visual representation of how boards, lists, and cards are nested within a Trello workspace.

It is incredibly powerful, flexible, and customizable.

You can add things such as labels, due dates, attachments, checklists, descriptions, and more to each card.

Screenshot of a Trello Card
Screenshot of My Trello Card for This Blog Article

This flexibility makes it suitable for a wide range of projects and workflows.

For example, some of my personal uses include: 

  • A Content Creation board for tracking all of my social media content.
  • A Task Manager board for tracking my daily, weekly and monthly tasks.
  • A Health and Fitness board to track my workouts, macros, diet, and weight goals.
  • A Music Production board to track my raw song ideas, lyrics, notes, drafts, etc.
Zyler Kade Trello Boards
Screenshot of Some of My Trello Boards

It’s also great for collaboration, because you can add team members, which is why I’m also integrating it into both my digital consulting agency and the Apex Haus Free Business Builder program.

You can assign tasks to specific team members, leave comments, and get notifications about project updates based on when users take actions.

Trello can also integrate with various other applications like Slack, Google Drive, Dropbox, and my personal favorite: Zapier; enhancing its functionality and allowing it to fit seamlessly into your existing workflow.

The drag-and-drop feature makes it extremely easy to move cards between lists, and adjust your project flow as needed.

Lastly, being web-based makes it accessible from any device with an internet connection, and it also has mobile apps for on-the-go access.

All in all, it’s changed everything about my process and workflow, having an incredible impact on both how I’m building my digital consulting agencies as well as how I’m planning, outlining, creating, and distributing my entire social media and digital marketing strategy.

Needless to say, I couldn’t be more happy about it – which is why I am making this, in the hopes it can help you too.

How to Get Setup and Organized with Trello

Setting up Trello boards effectively can greatly enhance your productivity and organization, and setting up your first board is a breeze.

Powerful, user-friendly, web-based tool designed for organizing, prioritizing, and tracking work, featuring elements like task lists, calendars, and progress trackers.

Once you’ve created your free account and logged in, the first thing you see is your Workspace Dashboard.

Your Workspace is where all of your boards exist.

Think of your Workspace, Boards, Lists, and Cards like a nested-stack:

  • Your Workspace Holds All Your Boards
    • Each Board Has Its Own Set of Lists
      • Each List has Its Own Set of Cards

You can either choose to Create a New Board from scratch, or you can use one of Trello’s free templates designed for specific types of projects or purposes.

I personally chose to Create New Boards from scratch.

Here’s a step-by-step framework to help you plan and set up your Trello boards, considering different use cases like content creation tracking, task management, and long-term goal planning.

Step-by-Step Framework for Setting Up Trello Boards

1. Define Your Purpose

  • Reflect on Your Needs: Before you start, think about what you want to achieve with Trello. Are you managing daily tasks, tracking content creation, setting long-term goals, or just focusing on one specific project?
  • Identify Board Categories: Based on your needs, identify different categories for your boards, such as ‘Content Creation Tracker’, ‘Task Manager’, or something like ‘Big Brain’ for long-term goals or multi-phase projects.

2. Create Your First Board

  • Sign Up and Navigate: Sign up for Trello and navigate to your dashboard (a.k.a. Your workspace).
  • Create a New Board: Click on “Create new board” and name it according to its purpose, e.g., ‘Content Creation Tracker’.
Creating a New Board on Trello for Overcoming Procrastination

3. Customize Board Settings

  • Choose a Background: Select a visually distinct background for each board for easy identification.
  • Set Visibility: Adjust the board’s visibility settings depending on whether it’s personal or for a team.
Setting the Title and Privacy Settings of a New Trello Board

4. Design Your Lists

  • Create Lists for Workflow Stages: For a content creation/tracker board, you might have lists such as:
    • ‘Idea Inception’
    • ‘In Development’
    • ‘Ready to Publish’
    • ‘Distributed’
Screenshot of Creating a New List in Trello
Screenshot of Creating a New List in Trello

Screenshot of New Trello Lists
Screenshot of New Trello Lists

  • Task Manager Lists: For a Task Manager board, you might create lists like:
    • ‘Daily Tasks’
    • ‘Weekly Tasks’
    • ‘Monthly Tasks’
    • ‘One-Time Tasks’
  • Long-Term Goals Lists: For a ‘Big Brain’ or long-term projects board, lists could look something like:
    • ‘One-Year Goals’
    • ’Three-Year Goals’
    • ‘Five-Year Goals’

Again, there is no right or wrong way to set these up. It should be built entirely based on how your personal flow and mind operates. Feel free to experiment!

5. Add Cards to Lists

Detail Each Task or Item: Create cards in each list representing individual tasks, ideas, or goals.

Adding new cards to a Trello list
Adding New Cards to a Trello List

Add Descriptions and Due Dates: Provide details and set due dates where applicable.

Adding description to a Trello card.
Adding a Description to a Trello card
Setting a due date for a Trello card.
Setting a Due Date for a Trello Card

6. Enhance Cards with Features

Labels for Quick Identification: Use color-coded labels for easy identification of tasks or projects.

Adding labels to a Trello card
Adding Labels to a Trello Card

Attachments and Links: Add relevant attachments or links to each card (if applicable).

Checklists for Sub-tasks: Use checklists within cards for breaking down tasks into smaller, actionable items.

Adding checklists to a Trello card
Adding Checklists to a Trello Card
Adding items to a Trello card checklist
Adding Items to a Trello Card’s Checklist

8. Organize and Prioritize

  • Regularly Update Cards: Move cards across lists as you make progress.
  • Prioritize Tasks: Use the drag-and-drop feature to prioritize cards within lists.
List of Cards in Trello Board
List of Cards in Trello Board
Using the Drag-and-Drop Feature to Prioritize Trello Cards Within Lists
Using the Drag-and-Drop Feature to Prioritize Trello Cards Within Lists
Moving Trello Cards Across Lists as You Progress
Moving Trello Cards Across Lists as You Progress

9. Invite Team Members (If Applicable)

  • Collaboration: For team projects, invite members to collaborate, assign tasks, and share feedback.
Inviting Team Members, Clients, or Other Users to Join Your Trello Board
Inviting Team Members, Clients, or Other Users to Join Your Trello Board

10. Review and Adjust

  • Regular Board Reviews: Periodically review each board to ensure it aligns with your current goals and workflows.
  • Adapt as Needed: Don’t hesitate to modify the structure of your boards as your projects or goals evolve.

Personal Triumphs with Trello

Trello has absolutely transformed my workflow.

It has become my digital haven where all my ideas coexist without chaos.

Now that I can easily prioritize tasks and keep track of my myriad of interests and projects, for the first time ever, I don’t feel scattered or disorganized.

Instead, I feel like I’ve made more progress in the last few months than I have in the past few years!

It’s been amazing to finally have a system tailored to my ADHD and multipotentialite tendencies, allowing me to set realistic goals, track my progress, and stay motivated – which I believe will be super important if I’m to reach my goal of building a $1,000,000 solo online business in 2024.

I hope you can see just how powerful this tool can be for helping you get organized, productive, and closer to your goals – both personally and professionally!

With that being said, as I began to get more comfortable, I started exploring Trello’s advanced features, which is what we’re going to dive into in my next article.

Between Power-Ups and automation, on top of Integrating Trello with other apps to streamline my workflow even more, it’s been like discovering hidden treasures that help everything feel interconnected and smooth!

So stay tuned!

#EmpowerYourself

-Z

P.S. If you have this helpful, please share it to help more people!


This article is part of our Getting Organized and Staying Productive Free Training resource.

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