Best practices for ensuring top-notch collaboration
with your whole team.
One of the hallmark features of Trello is that it’s really easy to collaborate and work with others. Whether it’s co-workers, a spouse, or some friends, Trello boards give everyone a shared perspective. You can view everything you need and access all of the information in one place. That’s right: never get lost in an annoying email chain again. You can thank us later.
Make It (Team) Visible
When collaborating with a team in Trello, first make sure that your boards are associated with the team, then let the collaborative juices flow by making your boards “team visible.” When a board is team visible it means everyone on the team can view and join the board without needing to interrupt an existing board member for access.
In a world of asynchronous communication, changing board visibility access is an easy way to add transparency and end the information silos that plague so many businesses!
The More The Merrier
There’s no limit to the number of members you can add to a board. Feel free to bring in the entire team, or just the core crew that’s essential to the task at hand. When members are added to a board they will receive a notification in Trello, and by email.
Follow these quick steps to add members to a board:
- Go to the sidebar menu on the right-hand side of a board and you’ll see a section towards the top called “Members.”
- Click the “Add Members” button and enter their name (if they’re on Trello) or their email address (if they’re new to Trello).
- You can also share the handy invite link at the bottom of the “Add Members” window to let people join a board.
Adding Members To Cards
An essential aspect of collaboration is knowing who is doing what. Don't risk redundancy where multiple people are accidentally working on the same thing.
Create clarity by adding board members to the cards for which they are responsible: ``
- Drag a member’s avatar over from the sidebar onto a card.
- Click the “Members” button on an open card and select the members you’d like to add.
- You can easily add yourself to cards by mousing over a card and pressing the spacebar.
- Add as many members as needed to a card so that everyone knows who is doing what.
When someone is added to a card they will receive a notification and be able to get to work in one simple click. Card members are automatically subscribed to the card, which means they will receive additional notifications for any actions that occur on the card, due dates, or if the card is moved. 👍
Add A Member Vs. Watch
Here’s a common scenario: You’re the board maestro orchestrating collaborative masterpieces. You always want to be in the know on all the board’s activity so you add yourself to cards left and right. Hold on a minute, Mozart—there’s a better way.
The trouble with adding your avatar to cards for which you are not directly responsible is that it could remove the clarity of others having the ability to see in a glance who is working on what. Instead, you may want to try just watching relevant cards to receive all of those same, juicy updates.
In fact, you can even watch individual lists or an entire Trello board, which can be a real productivity enhancer for some workflows.
- Managers of a team or a project who want to be notified when tasks are completed can watch the “Done” list on the board.
- If you are a critical part of a workflow like a copy editor for the blog or a QA tester on a development team, watch the appropriate list. Sure, you’d expect to be added to the card or mentioned in a comment, but why not have your bases covered?
- Watch an “Incoming” list if you are in sales and a hot new lead comes in that should be contacted, or if you are in support and there’s a new ticket. Whatever your workflow, the possibilities are endless.
Comments, Mentions, & More
Collaboration often leads to great discussion around the work getting done, constructive feedback, and (deserved!) congratulations on a job well done. Here are some quick tips to get the dialogue going:
- Leave a comment on a card to provide a status update for your team. This way they know what’s been worked on and won’t have to bother you later.
- Want to grab someone’s attention? @ mention them in a comment to send them a notification that will direct them right to the task at hand. This is a great way to request input, share information, or pass a task to the next person in the workflow.
- Mention everyone on a card or an entire board with @card and @board, respectively. Be careful with your newfound @ mention powers!
- Feeling... emojinal? For times when emoji speaks louder than words, click the 😄 at the bottom of the comment box and let your “voice” be heard.
Mark It Done
The funny thing about effective collaboration is that sometimes less can mean much more. When everyone knows what’s being done without having to ask, time is saved for all involved. Here are some effective ways to spread the good word on your work:
- In a single click, mark cards with due dates as done and let everyone revel in that green symbol of success.
- No due date? No problem! Create a “Done” checkbox with the Custom Fields Power-Up so that any card on your board can be marked as done.
- For the label lovers out there, apply a “Done” label to a card and move on to the next great thing in the pipeline.
- Or, simply drag the card over to a designated “Done” list. For all the productivity powerhouses who need more than a single done list, break them up by week or month.
Be A Leader
A productive team often has a great leader. If you are that leader, the board creator and visionary, share your outlook with your fellow band of merry board members so that everyone has a common goal and sense of direction:
- Get everyone on board with a “how-to” card that is easily accessible at the top of the first list on the board. Add goals, timelines, resources, and links to relevant Slack channels to this card. It might also be helpful to explain the workflow here.
- Instantly see what’s not getting done with the Card Aging Power-Up, which sets the color of cards to fade out over time if they have had no activity in a while.
- Have a dedicated meeting spot accessible on a board with the Google Hangouts or appear.in Power-Ups. Host regular standups with board members so that everyone can share what they’ve done, what they are working on, and anything that’s blocking their work.
Make sure that communication across different apps doesn’t become siloed.. For example, connect your Slack team with your Trello team to easily share Trello boards and cards in Slack and collaborate on Trello boards without having to leaving Slack. The Trello app for Slack also lets your Slack team members join your connected Trello team and boards so that they can get to work without any hassle. It’s simple and free to set up!
There you have it, the keys to the collaboration kingdom. Go forth and get more done!
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