Switching to Trello

5 minute read

I recently gave the Trello another try and was impressed.

I’m very interested in productivity apps. Every few month, I look around for new trending ones and give them a try for a while most of them fail to impress me, but some find their place in my pipeline.

For time tracking, there is no competition, Toggl has been the winner for a long time, and I don’t see any serious rival on the horizon. For personal to-do lists and task management, I found TickTick very featureful and user-friendly. Oddly, TickTick is not as well-known as many of its counterparts, e.g., Wunderlist and Todoist. Finally, for project management and online collaboration, I have used Asana for awhile which is very featureful, but somehow I was not happy with the accessibility of the features.

Major Lessons

Recently, for collaboration on an over-the-time-zone project, I gave the Trello another try, after my first attempts few users ago. I was impressed with the quality of the phone app and the number of available new features (Power-Ups). So I left the TickTick for my personal use and moved to Trello for to test it for a week, the result was auspicious.

The general feel of the board1 is very positive. You see a summary of things that need to be done altogether, without scary details and at the same time with one click you can get the gory details of each task. In TickTick you always see all of the other lists and tasks of your current list which is scary and distracting.

Another important feature for me is the possibility of having more than one checklist for each task/card. There are many situations that this feature comes handy.

You can also leave comments and chat with the other team members2 on each card. I use this option to converse with myself! It is helpful in recording the findings, report on performed steps, and explanation of the state that you stopped working on the task for a future resume. It helped me a lot to context switch between different tasks and to resume exactly where I left without wasting a minute.

Finally, each card description supports MarkDown! I use it to write a final report for the card. For example, if a card is for a meeting, one checklist may be the agenda and people can write their main points as comments and finally, the decision and conclusion can be summarized on top of the card with rich MarkDown formatting!

There are many other features (and Power-Ups) that I want to use and didn’t manage time to try, but even in this state, I’ll cancel my TickTick and join Trello. I hope Trello doesn’t end up like other cool startups turning crippled after the acquisition.3

  1. This option is also available in Asana, but Asana (like many other “board simulator” apps) is not built with this philosophy, and I found the board-view of Asana projects less flexible. 

  2. This option is also available in Asana. 

  3. Trello was acquired by Atlassian in 2017. 

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