Board Basics

A crash course on all the essential elements of Trello, to help you reach organizational zen.

The Basics

Let’s go over some board basics. A new Trello board is like a clean slate, ready to organize any of your life’s projects: Basics of a Trello board

  1. Boards - A board represents a project. Whether you are redesigning a kitchen or launching a new website, a Trello board is the place to organize your tasks on lists and collaborate with your team of friends, family, and colleagues.
  2. Lists - Lists keep cards organized in their various stages of progress. They can be used to create a workflow, or act as a repository of ideas. Cards can be moved across lists as tasks go from start to finish.
  3. Cards - The fundamental unit of a board is a card. Cards are used to represent tasks and ideas: something that needs to get done, like a grocery list, or to be remembered, like a book recommendation. There is no limit to the amount of cards you can add to a board.

Creating a Board

Once you’ve set up your Trello account it’s time to create your first board, and get started on the journey to getting things done.

  1. Click the “+” button at the top of the Trello homepage, then select “New Board” from the menu options.
  2. Name your board after your project. Perhaps it’s “Sales Leads” or “Vacation to Italy.” Don’t worry, you can always rename your board in the future. (We hear Paris is nice, too.)
  3. By default boards are set to “Private” but you can also set boards to “Public” or “Team Visible.” (Click here to jump to more info on Teams.)
  4. Now it’s time to take that tabula rasa and get your project started. Add a list to your board by clicking the “Add a list” button on your board. Name your list something that will represent the tasks that you are going to add to it, perhaps “Ideas” or “To Do.” You can add as many lists to your board as you like.
  5. Now add your first card. On your list, click “Add a card,” name your card and then click “Save.” Congratulations! You are one card closer to a more organized you.

Editing Your Cards

Of course a task or an idea is not just as simple as a witty card title. That’s why cards can be customized to hold a wide variety of useful information and facilitate collaboration with anyone, anywhere. Just click on a card to view the contents within.

We call this area of a card the “card back” and it has four main sections that are worth getting to know:

  1. Card Descriptions - To add details to your card click “Edit the description” at the top of the card back. In the description field you can add more specific information about your card, links to websites, or step by step directions. You can even format your text with Markdown. Card description
  2. Comments and Activity - Comments can be added to cards when communicating with team members about a task. You can also @ mention a member of your board to notify them in a comment. The activity feed shows the history of actions that have taken place on a card and creates a timeline of events as progress is made. Activity section
  3. Add - The add section provides you with more tools for the back of a card.
    •  Add Board Members to cards to assign them tasks or keep them in the loop
    •  Add Labels for filtering and data visualization
    •  Add Checklists for cards that require subtasks
    •  Add a Due date to cards for projects that have deadlines
    •  Add Attachments from both local drives and many cloud storage services like Dropbox and Google Drive Images that are .jpeg or .png will become a card cover, and they will display on the front of the card as well.

    More on attachments: Images that are .jpeg or .png will become a card cover, and they will display on the front of the card as well.

  4. Actions - A card can be moved around to a new board or list, and it can also be copied. Any board member can subscribe to a card to receive notifications for actions that occur on that card, and finished cards can be archived. Don’t worry, archived cards can always be retrieved at a later date.

Next Up: Customize →