Tuesday, July 21, 2015
Wednesday, July 1, 2015
STEP 1: Create a "Templates" Board
Let's start by creating a Trello board where you can keep the cards you want to reuse. Open up Trello and click Create new board. Give the new board a title, such as "Templates," and click Create.
That's it. That was easy enough, right? You now have an empty board, waiting for your cards.
STEP 2: Create a ListNow that your board is ready, it's just sitting there empty. An empty bulletin board isn't particularly useful unless you pin something to it, and the same is true of your Trello board. Unlike the blank slate of a bulletin board, though, Trello expects you organize your cards in lists. The kinds of lists you create on your template board depend on the types of templates you want to keep there. For this demo, let's keep it simple. You can always take what you learn and get fancy later. Let's create a single list.
That's easy enough. Turns out, your board is not exactly empty. Turns out there's a box waiting for you, where you can type a name for your first list. Let's call it "Novel Cards."
Click Save (or just hit Enter) and you'll have a list, ready for your cards.
Step 3: Create Cards
Your cards can be anything you want, but because we're keeping it simple for this demo, let's go with something high level, like the following:
Step 4: Add Details
Wednesday, June 10, 2015
I guess I should start at the beginning. What is Trello? Trello is a task management system, which is a fancy way of saying it's a way to manage your To Do list.
Trello is set up like a bulletin board where you pin cards with each task into a list. Typically, you might have three lists: To Do, Doing, and Done. When you start working on one of your To Dos, you move it to Doing, and when it's completed, you move it to Done.
Of course, the cool thing about cards on a bulletin board is you can make the cards whatever you want them to be, and you can arrange them however you want. That means the ways you can use it are limited only by your imagination.
Trello is very easy to use, but there are some tricks and tips that add extra power, which you can use to improve your writing processes. If it were just about making cards and moving them around on a board, this would be a short post.
In this series of posts, we'll look at ways to use Trello to manage a writing project. We'll use it as a kind of sketching tool to map out our plot, start developing characters, and build our fictional world. I'll also show you how you can use Trello as a way to organize your actual written documents, and to collaborate with others, whether it's a co-writer or your crit partners. And once you have everything written, you can, of course, use Trello to track submissions.
The first thing, of course, is getting it for yourself. That's the easy part. Go to trello.com and sign up. Trello is a web app, so you can use it anywhere you have an Internet connection. In addition to the web app, you can get free apps for iOS and Android. The mobile apps let you do almost everything you can do on the web, except for a number of customization options and some advanced management. You'll probably want to use both the web and the mobile apps.
Trello is completely free. You can create an unlimited number of boards and cards without paying a cent. There are a couple of paid versions, but you probably don't need them. The paid versions give you a few extra features, like emojis you can use as stickers on your cards and the ability to create more personalized backgrounds for your boards. The one bit of functionality that is nice in the paid version is that you can attach bigger files to your cards--the free version limits you to attachments that are 10MB or less--but unless you work with very large files, this really won't make much difference to you. Everything I will show in this series will take advantage of the standard functionality in the free version.
I recommend that you download Trello and get familiar with the basic functionality. Create a test board and some cards and lists. We'll start digging into the details in the next post.
But for now, I've finished this post, so I can move my Intro card to the Done list. Moving a card to Done always feels like a reward!
Saturday, May 23, 2015
Sunday, May 10, 2015
Wednesday, May 6, 2015
With these kinds of changes and under these kinds of pressures, some groups might collapse. Not us. We're changing though. We're more about support, providing feedback when needed and not necessarily in scheduled get-togethers, cheering each other on, pushing each other to write in scheduled or impromptu writing sprints, and encouraging the two members who are still trying to join the success party.
This creates some growing pains, but we've been together long enough that, so far, we've weathered the changes. It's almost a new group with the same people, and we continue to make adjustments so we can keep helping each other. It's been interesting to watch, and it will continue to be interesting as the group matures and evolves in the face of success.
For those of you who have been through similar changes in your groups, what advice do you have? How have maturing and success affected your groups?
Monday, April 27, 2015
Yamile Saied Méndez was born and raised in Argentina, but has lived in Utah half of her life. She's a mother of five, lover of futbol, Irish dancing, and books. She's a free lance writer and a MFA candidate at the Vermont College of Fine Arts. Her musings can be read at www.yamilesmendez.com