Image of a calendar

How I use trello for project management

I use Trello exclusively for project management, with all of my clients. Trello is a great tool to help organize and manage a project from beginning to end.  With a few simple tips, you'll be using Trello in no time to help manage your projects.

If you are an individual contributor, Trello can be an invaluable tool to help you stay on top of project deliverables and pending tasks. If you work in a team, Trello is an excellent resource for tracking who's doing what on the project. This article will outline how to leverage Trello for managing consulting projects.

Trello is free to use for the basic features. If you need more attachment storage or want to use some additional integrations, then there is an upgrade to Trello Gold for an additional fee.

The Trello Project Board Setup

Let's start with the simplest project board setup for every project type. This project board setup follows a basic KANBAN project board. Every client project board should consist of the following four lists:

  • Todo
  • Doing
  • Waiting on client
  • Done

In Trello, these project lists are organized as follow in your client project board:

Image of a Trello board

The Todo List

The Todo list is where you create and queue everything that needs to get done for the project. Create a new item for each milestone or deliverable in your project plan. Order them in sequential order, starting from the top of the list.

The Doing List

As you start any task, move it from the "Todo" list to the "Doing" list. Open the item and add more detail, including checklists of discrete sub-tasks to complete. See the image below for more detail:

Image of Trello sub task

The Waiting on Client List

For my projects, this list is the most critical in keeping a project on track. With multiple projects and multiple clients at the same time, it can often be difficult to context switch between projects. This list is where I keep myself informed about what clients owe me. Often, I need to remind clients that I am waiting on a deliverable or approval from them, this list is where I can quickly check what's needed, without having to search through email archives.

The Done List

That brings us to the Done List. This where you park tasks once they're completed for the project. If a project depends on specific date deliverables, be sure to mark the task with a note as to the completion date.

Closing Thoughts

Trello works really well if you want to invite your customer to join the project board. They'll be able to see everything in the project, and be able to contribute to tasks and deliverables.

Trello Rating




Ease of Use

Web based tool. Runs in any browser. App for mobile phone and tablet on both Android and iOS.


Trello has dozens of integrations, but the most important (IMHO) are: SLACK, Google Drive and Dropbox. There are also calendar integrations which enable you to tie Trello tasks directly to your calendar.


Basic level is free. Trello Gold is $45 per year.

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About the Author Mike Oitzman

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