Until about two months ago, I had never heard of Kanban, nor had I ever heard of Trello. I did my job as a Network Systems Administrator, but I wouldn’t call myself productive. I was coming off the tail end of over twenty years of undiagnosed and untreated depression. Being depressed for that long changes a person; it takes away your ambition, your motivation, your short term memory, and your desire to learn new things. When that began to change I was looking for new ways to increase my productivity, get organized, and get my professional life back on track.
One of my first moves in this new journey was joining the Reddit sysadmin chat. This room is frequented by hundreds of my peers, who work in the very roles I would like to have one day. I began talking to people and was very honest about my recovery – and the impact it has had on my life overall. During one such discussion I mentioned my lack of organization and desire to improve on organization and productivity. A few people mentioned Kanban and eventually Trello as a free Kanban tool.
Within about two days I had set up a preliminary board on Trello, watched a video series, and browse this write my thesis legit service to get some more in depth learning. For those unfamiliar with the way these tools work, they are infinitely customizable and scalable. Everything begins with lists. On my board I utilize seven lists to organize my tasks. Everything is based around the concept of: to do, in progress, and complete. I also have templates for cards or tasks I’ll use in the future also. Underneath these lists are cards. For every task you need to perform you create a card. This is where the simple beauty of Trello comes in, on a card you can add a description, due dates, colored labels, team members, checklists, comments, links to external resources, documents, images, and the list goes on and on and on. Below is a card I use weekly to make sure I stay on top of our printer supply status. As you can see this is quite in depth.
Over the last two months, my board has continued to grow to about sixty cards. Many are simpler than the one displayed and some which are far more complex; used for tracking problems that need to be resolved. I can detail every step I’ve taken, store files in Google Drive and links to webpages I might need to reference while doing whatever repairs I have ahead of me, and link them all to the card.
In two months I have gone from sitting at my desk all day – most days getting very little to nothing done – to hardly sitting down. I know what needs to be done, when it needs to get done, if I’m asked to look into something poor short term memory and lack of motivation don’t allow it to become lost in the ether. Thanks to Trello, my productivity has gone up exponentially, and my organization is concise and accessible from my desk or mobile device to be updated as needed.
If you are in a role that changes quickly or involves a lot of outside collaboration and is very detail specific, I highly recommend looking at Trello, it’s free and will work this well for anybody.