I am an author, business strategist, and success coach for other authors. I run multiple businesses from home while managing stay-at-home mom responsibilities. Today I’m going to be letting you in on my little secret on how I managed to run my business and my life and all the things with my very favorite tool Trello for authors.
Want to watch the video version of this post, instead?
So before I really jump in here, I want to give you a short story about my life just to sort of let you guys get a feel for who I am and what I deal with on a day-to-day basis. I have two kids. One is currently going into first grade and the other one is nine months old. My husband, Cody, is in the US Navy and he has gone on deployments for long stretches at a time – sometimes for many months, sometimes it’s for a week or so at a time. I also homeschool our children. Of course not the baby, but in a few years, he’ll be included into that. But, I homeschool my daughter and I own my own businesses. Both of which are based completely on online at the moment. or at least on a computer because when I write I also write on a computer.
Pretty much, I’m on the computer a lot. I am also working on starting up a second business as well as another blog somewhere in the background of everything else. So I have a lot going on at any given moment in my day because of course as a stay-at-home / work-at-home mom, I also have all of the household stuff that I’m also dealing with. I get a lot of questions every now and then like, how the heck do you get everything done? How do you do it? Because it does take a lot of grit and it takes a lot of grace to get everything done nice and neat and tidy and in a productive way. So there are two things that I like to tell people that helps me get everything done.
Number one is coffee, and number two is Trello.
Life As An Authorpreneur
But seriously, in order for me to be productive and organized and put together and have all of my workflows going on and all my business systems in check and not scattered around crazy-like, I knew I needed to put together a system. A motherboard, of a sort, that helps me keep everything nice and tidy in one place and is also super helpful for my systems, productivity, workflows, and for getting everything done and letting me know what I’m working on this day, next month, this whole year and all of those things. And Trello has been absolutely amazing for me. I literally run my entire business and my entire life, pretty much, on Trello. It’s the most used app on my phone. It is the most used tool that I use ever. And so I want to share that with you guys today because if you’re feeling overwhelmed and like you’re trying to keep track of the business part of being an author or even just keeping up with all of the things that comes with writing a novel – your world building, your character charts, your outlining – all of those things, it can get really overwhelming and it’s easy to lose things. It’s easy to let things just get crazy.
What Exactly Is Trello?
So you’re probably asking yourself right now what the heck is Trello? And I’ll be honest that I am a total geek about my love for this system. I get really excited about it because it has just been that amazing for me. I could sit here and gush about it all day long, but I’m going to try to keep this nice and short because ain’t nobody got time for that right now. So in a nut shell, 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 and your business, which then can help you free up more time to get more things done and with less stress, which that is honestly the best part.
How To Use Trello For Authors
Here are my boards on Trello. This is just a birds-eye-view, but for a peek inside watch the video above. But, for now, I’ll just show you different ways that you can also try to use Trello for yourself.
Here are my boards on Trello. This is just a birds-eye-view, but for a peek inside watch the video above. But, for now, I’ll just show you different ways that you can also try to use Trello for yourself. I’ll walk you through my main boards I use on a day to day basis. First thing’s first – I’ve got my boards separated into a few different “sections” or as Trello likes to call them – “teams”. The top section is the most important one. It’s all of the boards that I have “starred” and this is where I practically live out of.
This is the board I pretty much spend every day of my life in. I list out all the things I need to do personally and in my business, then I assign them throughout the week to keep me on track. I assign due dates, add check lists, add descritptions, link directly to my files – whatever I need to get the things done.
When I first got started with using Trello it was to have an organized, efficient way to manage my online business. I have a few boards to manage the different pieces of my business, and I honestly don’t know how I would keep up with it all without Trello! I have
- Editorial calendar – which is where I have all of my workflows set up for all of the content that I am pushing out on a monthly basis.
- Videos, blog posts, newsletters
- Batching schedule
- Newsletter workflow
- Social Media Management
Just to name a few.
This is the section that houses everything to do with my novels. There is A LOT going on inside each of these boards but the three main ones are:
- WIP Board – for my current WIP. It houses the outline, notes, scene list, and much more.
- World building board – anything to do with the world, universe, magic system, laws, history, and setting to do with my novel. This is also where I have my character bank with detailed descriptions of each character that lives within the world.
- Master outline board here – this is home to the general plot that covers the entire series. What will go on within each book to drive the plot, and so on.
These three boards together can easily be considered my virtual novel binder. I also have a Book Nursey board where all of my under developed plot and story ideas live.
There is really no limits to what you can do with Trello once you figure it all out. Trello is essentially built on three different features.
A board = Your project or topic
A list = What has to get done (steps) for that project or “categories” within your topic
Cards = Tasks for each step or content, notes, links, etc.
There are a plethora of features you can use within each of those including due dates, attachments, and comments. For a closer look inside, watch the video above.
Simply put, Trello has radically transformed the way that I live my life on a daily basis. As I said, I am in and out of Trello all day long and it has helped me simplify and streamline in this season of life that could easily be overwhelming with everything that I have going on.
Funny story, though, when I was first introduced to Trello, I hated it. I thought that it looked like a jumbled up mess and I would never be able to get the hang of it or how I could even make it work for me in my life and my business like I saw everybody else did for them. So I actually set up my account and just left it there for months. I didn’t do a single thing with it. I think the main issue there was that I had all these high expectations in my mind about Trello. So, when I created my free account and was staring at these blank boards and these blank cards and I had the task of setting it all up and personalizing it for myself – I just felt so completely lost. Fast forward to today and I really believe that Trello is the answer that you have been looking for as an author, as a human being, to help you feel more control of your daily life and your business, managing your books, and all of the moving pieces that you have going on.
But I do not want you to have the same experience that I did when it came to setting up Trello and to get it working for you as an author. So, to make sure that this does not happen, I created a course called Trello 4 Authors. It walks you through all of the ins and outs of getting started with Trello and customizing it for your specific needs as an author.
But I’m not just going to give you an overview of how to use Trello, in this course I’m actually going to be walking you through my exact workflow of managing my business, and writing my books with Trello. So this means that you get a peek inside of the systems and the strategies that I use to strategize my year, plan my content, outline and write my books, and so much more. So if you are an overwhelmed writer, if you are struggling with productivity and direction, and you have things all over the place, then Trello 4 Authors is going to literally change your life.