When you’re a mom and you run a business, it’s always a good idea to stay organized. But when the holidays come, being organized is the only way I get anything (and everything) done! Since I know what a challenge this can be, today I’m sharing the only tool I need to control the holiday chaos. Check it out to see how it can work for you!
My favorite organization tool
If you’ve been reading my blog for a while, you know I love Trello. I talk about in my posts about my favorite free tools for small-business owners, organizing the WAHM life, and using Trello for my small business. So it makes sense that I use Trello to keep on top of everything for the holidays!
If you aren’t familiar with Trello, it’s a FREE project-management tool with so much flexibility that you can use it to plan and organize pretty much anything. You organize projects in boards that are broken down into lists that are full of cards. It’s possible to add images, links, and people to boards. It’s possible to integrate Trello with other apps and the possibilities are endless. Small-business and huge corporations use and love Trello for their planning and executing projects.
If you haven’t started using Trello yet, you can sign up here (Affiliate link)! Remember, it’s free.
Creating the Trello board to control the holiday chaos
As with all the Trello boards I create, it was important to consider what I wanted to organize with my holiday Trello board. I realized that I needed the board to include every aspect of holiday planning to really be effective. I also wanted it to include all the tasks for home and business.
I identified the following lists that I needed for the board:
- Holiday Special Events – Besides the work parties, school parties, church events, and family holiday dinners, our family has four birthdays and an anniversary before January 1. What were we thinking?
- Gifts to Buy – I wanted a card for each person who we buy gifts for. That includes family, friends, teachers, etc. I can make a note of gift ideas, what I buy, attach the receipt, and note what wrapping paper I’m using.
- Holiday Giving – Each charitable organization that we donate to has a card with details.
- Holiday Food – Includes everything from the cheese cubes I have to buy for my son’s Thanksgiving meal at preschool to the Christmas cookies I am taking to my friend’s cookie exchange!
- Holiday Business Tasks – Have to prepare for the holiday rush with client gifts, special deals, and social media graphics.
- Holiday Supplies – All the extra things we need for the holidays, including party decor, wrapping paper, and SO MUCH TAPE!
- Holiday Cleaning – This is my least favorite, but it’s so necessary. There are so many tasks that have to be done before the holidays. We have to sort toys to make room for the new ones, clean for parties, and get ready to decorate. #imtiredalready
- Extra Notes – I think I included everything, but you never know what extra information you might need. The nice thing about Trello is that I can always add extra lists if I need them.
After I chose the board background, made the list covers (because I love them), and created the card templates, my board was done!
Adding to the Trello board
To make it as easy as possible to add to the Trello lists, I created a template card for each list. On the card, I added the details that I would want to be included on each card and a checklist to use as I finish each part of the task.
Trello makes it so easy to create these templates because I could copy the template to the next list and then change it for the specifics of that list. I also customized the labels to show who was involved and what stage I was in for each one. Creating the whole board, including the board covers, took about an hour. I consider it time well-spent because I knew how useful this board would be to control the holiday chaos!
Using the holiday Trello board
Once I finished creating the board, it was time to starting adding our personal events to the board. I already had some events in my calendar, so I added those first. As I found out about other events, those were added. The first list of the events was the easiest to complete. As I went through the events, if they had tasks for the other lists, I created those cards, as well.
The templates I created make it simple to add to other lists. I copy the template card to the position where I want the card to be and then I update the card. It takes less than a minute to update a card. When I need to add information, I open the card in the Trello app on my phone and add it.
What’s even more amazing about Trello is I can add a card to the board when I’m walking or driving through Google Assistant. I tell Google Assistant what I want the card to say and then select the board where it goes. Since I think of a lot of things that I need to set reminders for while I’m driving, it’s a good thing I can be safe.
How to make Trello more powerful
Trello becomes even more powerful with power-ups and Butler Bot! These can help integrate info from Trello to other platforms and automate parts of Trello.
With a free Trello account, you can use one power-up. For this board, I like the calendar power-up. It shows all of the due dates on a calendar to make it easier to see what’s coming up.
I even linked the calendar to my Google calendar to get reminders on my phone. I used directions from Trello on how to link Trello to a Google calendar. It was super easy and so helpful!
I also added Butler Bot to my board. Butler Bot can automate many things within Trello to make it easier to use. Notice the little blue circle at the top of the Trello board that shows that Butler Bot is a member of the board. I give him directions and he follows them.
Trello provides a Command Builder to help develop the commands for Butler Bot. There are multiple triggers to choose from and several actions that he can complete when the trigger occurs. You can build multi-step commands if you really want to put Butler Bot to work for you!
For me, the most helpful thing that Butler Bot does is automatically copy cards for events that are happening in the next few days to the Upcoming list in my weekly planning board. I can then see the event when I do my weekly planning without having to switch between boards. I can then move the card to the correct day of the week and I’m ready to go!
If you want to see my weekly planning board, check out my post on how I use Trello for organizing the WAHM life. Trello has truly changed how I organize everything!
Final thoughts on using Trello to control the holiday chaos
Easily, my favorite thing about Trello is how versatile it is. There isn’t a right or wrong way to use it! I’m simply sharing how I use it to organize the holidays. You might need to use Trello differently to work for you.
No matter how you decide to use Trello, you should:
- Identify the purpose or project for the Trello board you’re creating
- Make lists for the categories that are needed for the identified purpose
- Create cards for every step or part of each category
- Use templates, power-ups, and Butler Bot to simplify using your Trello board
- Implement the actions on your Trello board for organization success
Of course, by now, you should know that I wouldn’t let you leave this post empty-handed. I’m sharing my Organize the Holidays Trello board so you can control the holiday chaos, too!
To grab your own copy, use the form below to subscribe to my email list. Once you’ve subscribed, you’ll get the link to the board and information on accessing the May Virtual Assists’ Resource Library.
The Organize the Holidays Trello board has directions for how to copy the board and links to more resources about Trello. I even included a link to a You-Tube video I made showing how to get started with Trello.
After you’ve copied the board, make it your own! If you don’t need some of the lists, delete them. Do you need to add other information to your templates? Change the template to what you need. Don’t like the background I choose? Find one you like better.
And when you’ve set up your board the way you like it and you’re using it to organize the holidays, I want to see it. I would love for you to share a screenshot on my Facebook page or tag me in a tweet (@mvirtualassists).
That’s it for today. Good luck putting Trello to work to organize the holidays!
Until next time,