Reviews

Hello, Trello

Used Trello yet? From the website:

Trello is a collaboration tool that organizes your projects into boards. In one glance, Trello tells you what’s being worked on, who’s working on what, and where something is in a process.

It was launched a couple days ago by Fog Creek Software, and I’ll admit it: I’m sold. I’m not huge on the collaboration/workflow scene, but I was looking for something simple to manage a few ideas I’ve been working on, and Trello came at exactly the right time.

The idea behind the app is solid: add or edit tasks — or cards, in Trello-speak (Trellish?) — in phases (lists) for your project (board), and Trello will magically update them in realtime for anyone else viewing. It’s kind of spooky to see something you just typed appear on three different screens almost simultaneously. And the best part is that it was designed from the ground up to be cross-platform compatible, so any device with a web browser can participate.

That’s the general idea. The first thing you’ll notice on login is that the site still feels very much like a late-cycle beta. Which is fine; I’m a big believer in “launch early and patch often,” just be prepared for some tarnish on the chrome. With that said, Trello knows what it wants to be when it grows up, and provides a very solid core that the devs will be able to expand on. And expand they are; they’ve even set up a Trello Development board and are being very transparent about the development process, allowing users to vote and comment on bugs, ideas and issues — if that’s not meta, I don’t know what is!

In conclusion, Trello is awesome, and rocked my world by being the right tool at the right time and in the right place (let’s be honest, the web is the right place for everything these days). Going forward, there are definitely a list of features I’d like to see to make it more usable — like a better due-date system (currently the highest-voted card on the dev board), a way to filter visible activity on a card (I don’t really want to scroll through 100+ votes to find comments), and so on — but even so, I’m confident that given a little time, Trello will grow out of its awkward teenager phase into the powerhouse that it is promising to be.

So go on! Go check it out. It’s free, as private or public as you want it to be, and it’s simple to get started. And, added bonus, you can sign up with your Google account; one less username and password floating around that you have to remember. Have fun!

4 thoughts on “Hello, Trello

  1. I saw this concept (project board) implemented before by smartQ (www.getsmartQ.com). Same concept, just more flexible – there is a way there not to only customize your workflow but even create custom ticket fields – makes it very powerful. We used it on our sales pipeline.

  2. There is something to be said about drag and drop! I’m a huge fan. The visual connection is is clarifying.

    Not to mention Fog Creek has got it goin on! Have you seen Kiln?

    I look forward to watching Trello develop.

  3. I also recently found out about Trello and it’s the only project management app that actually does what I need it to in a nice UI.

    I especially like the checklist and voting features. Checklists help you know how much work you’ve already completed (that percentage bar is genius), and the voting feature is great for idea submissions, known issues, etc.

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