My new favourite software

Not long ago, I did a round up of online project management software.  Since then I have discovered a great team collaboration tool.

It is not strictly project management software, but it is a great asset to any team collaborating on a small, informal project.  It is, effectively, an online Kanban board.  But it is a marvelously well executed one.

The software is Trello – available at https://trello.com/.  It was developed by Fog Creek Software.

Trello

Screen grab of Trello

It allows multiple users to be invited to contribute in real time to a shared workspace that seems to be hugely configurable. The two best ways to assess its capabilities are to watch the video on the homepage, and then to set up a free account.

You can set up as many boards (one is illustrated) as you want, and invite collaborators.  On each board, you can set up your lists (three shown). Then you add cards to each list and drag and drop them from one list to the next as the tack progresses.  Each card can also store a great wealth of information in the form of files, pictures, comments, checklists, labels and voting.

Pricing: It’s Free

I don’t know what their future pricing plans are, but when I set up an account, it was all free – all you can eat and no advertising.  I assumed they are figuring they will win some fans and some serious users by then – and they deserve to.  But no; here’s what they say on their blog:

Are you going to screw me later and make me pay for something I got hooked on?

No. You have my word that we will not give away our *free* service to
you as a trick and then later make you pay. First, we make good money
on our existing suite of products already, so we have no temptation to
change our minds. Also, that sort of trickery would cost us all of
the goodwill we’ve built up over the last 11 years of running this
company.

We do eventually plan to monetize the service when we have a bazillion
users, but it won’t be by charging you for what we’re offering now.
Think freemium, or app store models…

It is easy to use and very practical.  And, the iPhone/iPad app is great too.  I don’t know if there are apps for other mobile devices, but as long as the have a browser, you’re there.

Agile?

Finally, if you are into agile (which I’m not), here is what they say:

Is there a way to generate story points to use with my Agile team?

Kind of. I guess story points are an estimate of how long something will take to do. This falls into the idea of a custom property for a card that you’d like to have meaning. For example, if your Trello board was a Sales Leads board, you might want all your cards to have potential deal size $$$ on them. Right now we don’t want to cram Trello into any specific use, so something like this would have to be provided by a custom plugin (see the API question).

The “so what?”

I don’t know if Trello is any use to you, but my guess is it could be and my advice is to check it out straight away – it’s free: what’s to lose?  I love it.

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2 thoughts on “My new favourite software

  1. Gtdagenda (@gtdagenda)

    If you’d like a tool for managing your time and projects, you can use this web-application inspired by David Allen’s GTD:

    Gtdagenda .com

    You can use it to manage your goals, projects and tasks, set next actions and contexts, use checklists, and a calendar.
    Syncs with Evernote and Google Calendar, and also comes with mobile version, and Android and iPhone apps.

    Reply

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