Ever got lost in email or text threads with your band members over tasks you should be doing?
In this post I want to talk about how we can organise our music projects with an app called Trello.
What is Trello?
In its basic form, you can think of Trello as a chart where you’d move around sticky notes to show progress of tasks, but in a digital form.
Trello in their own words, is a web-based project management tool. It’s free to use, although you can pay for some upgrades if you like (I’ve never had to). I think it’s a great tool to use if you’re in a band, collaborating with other musicians or even on your own working on individual projects.
How Can it Help?
It helps you keep track of tasks at hand so you use your time more efficiently. We’ve all been there where you’re within endless email threads with other people and the focus on the main task (recording music , finding gigs or promo tasks) get lost.
Well with this tool can help you organise those tasks by introducing a trackable workflow. Let’s get into it.
Let’s Get Started
To get started it’s just a simple case of creating an account and away you go.
So head on over to trello.com and hit the Sign Up button. You can then fill in the form and be ready to start using Trello.
So this is our first Trello board. Let’s go ahead and name it ‘My New Board’ for now. As you can see I’ve already gone ahead and created three ‘lists’ to our new board ’To Do’, ‘Doing’ and ‘Done’ just to get the concept across.
You can easily move around these lists by clicking and dragging them into each of the columns. You can also create a new list, like the ‘archive’ list I’ve added. Obviously make any list you’d like, there are no rules!
Let’s Add Some Cards
Now we’ve got our layout sorted, or flow as I like to call it, you can go ahead and start adding ‘cards’ to each list. Think of cards as tasks on your ‘to do’ list. I’ll just go ahead and create a bunch of them now so you get the idea. I’ll skip ahead a little while I do this.
OK now we’ve got a bunch of cards, let’s have a look at how we can add some more details to them. We’ll just click on this top one for ‘Write a Song’ and from here you can see its title and what list it’s currently under.
Let’s start by adding a bit of info about the tasks for this particular card, followed by selecting the checklist option from the right menu.
Now we’ll go ahead and add some items to the checklist such as lyrics, music and recording, just for this ‘write a song’ example.
And Now, we’ll choose a label for the card which we’ll rename to ‘Songs’. Labels are really good if you need to group certain types of cards.
Last thing I’ll mention in here is that you can also add comments to the card which is really ideal if you’re collaborating with somebody else, for example any band members and they need to ask a question about the task at hand.
Finally, clicking out of that, let’s have a look at how we’d use this card in our flow we’ve set up. If I was working on it I’d move it over to the ‘Doing’ list and start going through the items in the checklist. OK, now imagining I’ve done all of that, I’d then move it over to the ‘Done’ list, as I could with any of the other cards.
A Visual Representation of Progress
Now I could go into way more details about all the little awesome things you can do with the cards and the board itself, but I just wanted to get the main idea across.
What you’re getting here is a visual representation of all your tasks progress.
The cool thing is, you can invite other members into your trello boards, so it can get really useful and efficient to see how everything is going at a glance, rather than being lost within email threads or texts.
Now remember you can use it any way you like but here’s some practical examples. See video above for visual examples.
- A Band planning out the recording of an Album
- A Band planning promo tasks (Emailing websites for example)
- Finding Gigs
- Blogging tasks
As you can see it’s can be pretty versatile.
I tend to use it for some of these videos & posts where I need to do a bit of planning so it’s easier to have everything in one place where I can also plan ahead for future ideas.
Some may find a workflow that’s more suitable. It might very well be better than the examples I’ve shown here. It all depends on well, what works for you.