There is no "right" way to be an author and write your novels. Some things work for some authors while others things don't - and that includes the systems you employ.
But if you've long grown frustrated with the limited capabilities of traditional word processors, paper notebooks, and planners I would love to introduce you to the epic tool that has revolutionized my author life over the past several years: Trello.
Today, I'd love to share my top ten favorite Trello features so you can get a taste of why I've come to love all that this tool has to offer. Let's get started!
What is Trello, you ask?
Trello is a free digital project management and organizational tool that helps you keep track of everything and anything that you could really think of. Everything from the big picture ideas to the tiny minute details and things that you need to be paying attention to. It helps you create an organizational framework to manage the different parts of your life, business, and your writing which then can help you free up more time to get more things done and with less stress.
The program itself is 100% FREE - whaaaat? Seriously.
If you think you may be interested in giving Trello a spin, take a look at some of my favorite features that will help manage #allthethings AND streamline your writing process:
1. Keep EVERYTHING in one place
Let's start off with a bang! One of Trello's best features, in my opinion, is in its core set-up. Your content inside of Trello is set up inside of something called boards, not documents, because a board itself can house endless content from simple text notes to checklists to document attachments and photos in an organized system.
Gone are the days of housing your manuscript here, your editorial calendar there, your outline somewhere else, and having to shift between dozens of notebooks and pieces of paper to find the right set of notes. Every last part of your workflow has a home in Trello, making organization and productivity a breeze.
2. It’s visual
It’s often called the “Pinterest of Project Management” tools. You have a visual representation of your projects, assignments, and what you are working on.
You can add images and stickers, highlight priorities, and at a glance be able to see what’s being worked on, what’s finished, and what has not been started yet.
3. Set deadlines for ANY project
Do you thrive off the healthy pressure a few goals and deadlines can provide? Trello will hold you accountable by setting target dates for individual tasks or projects as a whole! You can even see your progress (in percentage) as you check tasks (or chapters) off to help you keep on track.
4. You can plot your entire novel within Trello
Get organized and capture all of those wayward thoughts while you plot your novel by creating your outline inside of a Trello board. From synopsis, to character development, to story beats, to scene planning!
5. Unlimited attachments
With Trello, you easily house your first draft, editing notes, and #allthethings for easy access while you write or reference documents. It's basically the virtual version of spreading notes across your desk!
6. Add endless research and reference files in the SAME location you keep everything else
Beyond housing all of your chapters, scenes, and notes for your project, Trello can become your visual arsenal for inspiration, allows you to import and organize nearly any form of media, including text documents, images, audio and video files, and webpages.
7. For more than JUST writing
Unlike something like Scrivener, Trello can (and totally should) be used for more than just writing your novel. Trello is a POWERHOUSE tool that you can harness for just about every aspect of your life and business. See here how I use Trello as an authorpreneur.
8. Powerful strategizing tool
Trello gives you all the necessary tools to plan every. single. piece. of authorship. You can use it as a daily planner. You can plan your annual author strategy inside of it it. You can house your editorial calendar there to plan out blog posts or authortube videos. Whatever needs planning - Trello's got your back!
9. Super portable
With the help of the mobile app, you can use Trello on your desktop, your laptop, your phone, or your smartwatch! No matter where you are, you always have access if you want it meaning your notes, strategies, and to-do list are just a tap away!
10. There are extra cool features you can explore once you’re comfortable
Once you get over the learning curve there are so many options to dig deeper into the tool! With integrations and powerups and extensions, you can personalize Trello to work for your writing, business, and life in ANY way you want.
It really is a great tool that you never have to worry about losing your work or losing your mind with. I think we could all use a little less chaos and a little more clarity. Don’t you agree?
Looking for even more guidance as you work in Trello?
Trello for authors will help you organize both your working and non-working life, and simplify the day-to-day management system. Check it out.