Some people use Trello as a Kanban board (i.e. a task management or workflow app) and that’s a great use for it.

A different way is to think about Trello as a structured whiteboard that you can use for online workshops or even distributed, asynchronous sense-making and problem solving.

Unlike a dedicated task management tool like JIRA, Trello is much more flexible in how you organize your columns and what you put in individual cards.

Unlike a dedicated whiteboard tool lika Jamboard, Miro or Mural, Trello allows for just enough structure that let’s you make sense of a large amount of items but is also easier to use for people who are new to it.

For example Trello cards are individually adressable. You can link directly to a specific idea that was born during a big workshop. You don’t have to wade through all the other stuff that happened there, but it is close by if you do need some context. A very important trait for integrating the stuff you do in Trello into the wider context of your team’s information flows.

Here’s a sneak peek at a part of the board that we used for a recent workshop about reducing meeting overload:

Here’s a board used to collect and share a catalog of great ideas collected over the whole year by Andrei Gavrila. Notice the amazing scanability of the ideas. I dare you to create a better summary in a regular blog post or wiki page:

And finally here’s the article by Paul Klipp that introduced me to the idea many years ago. It’s a description of how to use a Kanban board for remote retrospectives.

It uses a different app called Kanbanery, but the same ideas can be easily used in Trello. Thanks Paul!

* Blackboard photo by Jason Leung via Unsplash