7 Ways to Use Trello as a Blogger

There came a time in my blogging life where I needed to change a few of my processes, get more organized and start using digital tools.  I physically love the act of writing, but trying to keep all my thoughts together in various notebooks and on random sticky notes was starting to impeded on my blogging process.  I realized that using a digital tool to keep everything together was going to be the way to go. Fast forward 5 years and I’m an app, tools and systems junkie.  I love the productivity and organization apps that I use to keep my blogging life (and even personal life) in order.

I talk about Trello often on my blog because it’s the main hub for all of my content, products, projects, etc.  When I talk to others about Trello, I sometimes get a glazed-over look or am told that it was overwhelming to learn it so they stopped trying.  Since I want you to know and love Trello as much as I do, today I will be discussing the great features of Trello in hopes that you get a better understanding of how to use it as a blogger.

Trello Training Blogger

Trello is a project management and organization tool where you can create tasks and plan out processes.  Trello is made up of a board structure where you add various lists and cards to each board. So imagine it like a big whiteboard where you have a horizontal list of categories/topics and subcategories under each.


There are so many great features of Trello.  Here are a few of my favorites:

  • You can schedule due dates for tasks

  • Cards can be moved to another board by simply clicking and dragging it around

  • Checklists can be added to cards

  • Integrates with other programs and apps directly in Trello using Power-Ups (ex: calendar, Google Drive, Asana, Evernote, Mailchimp, Twitter & much more)

  • Integrates with Zapier so you can created automated tasks (either actions from Trello cause a reaction in another program or actions in another program cause a reaction in Trello)

  • You can add members to boards for collaboration

  • Easy to use mobile app (the app also has an offline mode which is golden!)

  • Customize the background (totally not productivity related but can make for a visually pleasing board!)


Since task lists and project management are such broad subjects, I will the focus on how you can use Trello specifically as a blogger.

Ways That I Use Trello as a Blogger


1 / Editorial Calendar

When you blog, you have to keep everything organized so you will know what to work on, what’s due when and all notes related to each piece of content.  This is why you should have an editorial calendar. You can use Trello to keep track of all future posts, add a due date, keep track of tasks that are needed to complete the post, and so much more.  When you have a central location for all of your blog contents, you are instantly organized and feel more in control of your blogging life.

Related: 5 Reasons Your Blog Needs an Editorial Calendar

2 / Monthly Planning Session

You know the saying “Plan to plan”, right?  This is incredibly important when it comes to your blog.  Nothing is worse than wanting to work on a blog post but having no clue what to write about.  Planning out your content in advance sets you up for success. I have one day a month where I plan out all content for the following month in what I call my Monthly Planning Session.  When planning content, add it to your editorial calendar since this is the central hub of your blog.


3 / Plan out major projects

If you have a large project to tackle (new product/service, website redesign, online course creation, etc.), it’s a great idea to dedicate one Trello board to all of its tasks and steps.  Whenever I create a new product or service, I create a Trello board so I can plan it all out there. For example, when I rebranded at the beginning of 2018, I dedicated a Trello board to it so I could keep track of all that I needed to do to get the rebrand completed.


4 / Plan out small projects - break them out in Sprints

Sometimes a project isn’t a huge one and won’t take long to complete.  This is where you can use one board for all small projects. For example, you might want to DIY a coffee table.  Instead of making one board to keep track of what to do, you can just create a list called “DIY Coffee Table” and list what to do in each card.  I like to think of these types of projects as Sprints. Sprints are when you dedicate a two week period to one task. At the end of the two weeks, you start another small project.  The idea behind Sprints is that you can focus your time on one project at at time to prevent overwhelming yourself with your entire list of projects that you need to complete. When you focus all of your energy on one thing for two weeks, you are more likely to complete it rather than having bits and pieces of multiple projects in progress and potentially not completing any of them.  I have a Sprint board and I break mine out into Quarters.


5 / Establishing Workflows

Planning out things to do is nothing if you don’t have a workflow.  Workflows are a way to streamline a process and spend less time trying to remember each step.  When you have a workflow for a process, it’s great to make a board documenting it. This can be for your reference or if you enlist outside help, they can view your workflow board to know your standard operating procedure. This is also great if you work with clients and have an onboarding and offboarding process. By documenting the flow in Trello, you can easily keep it organized and make quick changes when necessary.

6 / Blogger Collaborations

If you work with other bloggers for collaborations, using a Trello board for the project is a great way to keep everyone on track and on the same page. There are no surprises when everyone involved has visibility into the same system. You can add people to boards and assign cards/tasks to them which is helpful because everyone will know what’s complete and still pending.  You can also leave comments on cards if you have feedback or notes to include for all to see. My friend Katrina and I use Trello to plan our collaboration blog posts together and to plan our Girlfriend’s Guide series weekend trips.  It’s very helpful for keeping all details organized.

7 / Personal Organization

If you want to keep your blogging life in order, you need to keep your personal life in order as well!  I use Trello for personal organization for life events such as planning out trip itineraries, birthday party planning, holiday plans, etc.  I also use Trello at my 9-5 to keep work projects organized in one central location. There are so many possibilities when it comes to Trello.  A good rule of thumb in my eyes is if you start writing out a list of some sort...put it into a Trello board instead!

These are a few ways that bloggers can use Trello.  Depending on your niche, you can create boards based on what you blog about.  So for a Fashion blogger, you can create inspiration boards including images so you can have more of a visual board.  This would be the same for a Home Decor blogger. Trello boards would be a great way to keep home decor projects organized.  The sky truly is the limit!

What do you use to keep everything in your blogging life organized? Let me know in the comments!

Why You Need a Monthly Planning Session (+ what to do in it)

I’m a huge advocate of planning. It’s one of the things that attributes to keeping me sane in this world of blogging. Without a plan, a lot of wasted time happens (something that I’m not interested in - hence my love for automation). I love planning things out as best as I can and though I know that things don’t always go as expected, at least having a plan will provide a good sense of direction.

When it comes to serious blogging...like if you want to start making money from blogging...you have to be organized and strategic.  Finding the time to plan out your blog content can be challenging especially if you are already spread thin in your personal life. This is one reason why I’ve implemented a monthly planning session where I plan out all of my blog content for the following month in just a 2-3 hour time frame one Saturday a month.  Today I will be discussing the benefits of this and what I do to get one month of content planned in just a few hours.

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I first started monthly planning a little over a year ago after I got tired of getting behind with blogging due to not making time to plan out my content. Well, let me rephrase...I used to plan out content on a weekly basis.  I had no idea what topics I wanted to post about for the week, so I would decide randomly on Sunday or Monday, add the post to my content calendar and immediately find myself in struggle mode. Struggle mode meant I was trying to pull ideas and content together for a post that would be publishing in a few days.  This often lead to not posting at all or a quickly thrown together post (not a good look!). This was all due to a lack of proper planning. Planning is one thing...proper planning is another.

Around this time, my daughter was 1 year old and I rarely had me time (this is still true today actually, ha!).  My Mom offered to watch her one Saturday a month to give me a set time to have me time (my husband often works weekends so there’s little opportunity for Lauren time!).  It was then that I decided to dedicate a few hours of the day to begin planning my content out for the following month. This way, I could have a better hold on what was going on, felt more at ease about being consistent posting and it was just good overall for sanity sake!  I posted up at a Starbucks for a few hours and got all of my content planned out!

Now that you know a little background info on how this all came to be, it’s time for you to start implementing your own monthly planning session into your life! Here’s how-

The Tools:

1 / A blogging editorial calendar

I use Trello for my editorial calendar, but you can use whatever works for you.  I used to use Asana before Trello, Google Docs before Asana and good old pen and sketchbook before Docs. Editorial Calendars are so important to have when running a blog is mainly because they keep your affairs in order.

Related: 5 Reasons Your Blog Needs an Editorial Calendar

2 / A running list of content ideas

I keep my ideas for new blog posts in Trello.  Before that I used Evernote and before that...a very unorganized notebook, lol! Where can you get ideas for new content?

a. Market Research- I have an automated task set up that searches for a specific hashtag on twitter and saves it to a Google Sheet.  I find lots of content ideas from this spreadsheet. If there is a niche specific hashtag or other keywords that your audience uses on Twitter when asking for help, you should definitely set up the automated task that I created to do the searching for you!

Related: 3 Smart Reasons Why You Need to Automate Market Research

b. Your random ideas- I get blog post ideas randomly sometimes.  They tend to also be at the most inopportune times (in line in the grocery store, while doing laundry, in the middle of the night, etc.).  To remedy the possibility of forgetting these ideas, I created a widget on my phone to type the idea into and it is instantly saved to my Trello board.  Minimal effort on my end, maximum asset in my blogging process. If you want to set a similar widget up on your phone, here’s a post about how to do it.

c. Your audience- the Instagram Stories Questions sticker was a game changer for the blogging community because it gave you the opportunity to ask your audience a question and get a response in an easy format.  Easy is the key. Surveys are awesome and have such great benefits, but the longer a survey is, the less likely it is going to be completed. If you just have a series of 1-3 questions to ask, put it on a Story and see what you audience says!  Even better than that, if you want to increase your chances of getting a response, use the Poll sticker because all the follower has to do is tap one answer. These two tools can easily give you content ideas.

d. Your Inbox - Does your audience tend to ask you the same questions all the time?  These are the types of things to keep track of so you can create content surrounding it.  The questions that people are always asking are questions that people who haven’t come across your blog are also wondering!  This applies to blog comments, social media comments, etc. also. Find out what your audience already wants to know!

3 / A place to work away from home

Your planning session needs to be away from home so you can eliminate distractions and focus 100% of your time on planning your content.  I know this is not always possible, but if you know that you have one day a month to plan, you should get babysitters, etc. scheduled out in advance as well. Also, being in a different surrounding always helps the creative juices flow better!


The Process:

  1. Pack up all of your electronics to take with you - Laptop, iPad, chargers (major key!), notebooks, etc.  Get all of your things together in advance so you don’t forget anything. You could even create a packing list if you want to ensure you don’t forget anything.  Also, make sure your electronics are fully charged.

  2. Pick a place to work from - I generally go to a coffee shop because caffeine equals productivity on 1000 for me, ha! You can also go to a library, a park, a cafe, etc. Bonus points if the location has free WiFi!  If the place you go doesn’t have WiFi and you don’t want to use your mobile data, there are things you can still do with no connection if you use apps that offer an offline mode.

  3. Find a place to sit that’s next to a plug - this is also a major key! These are the spots that are most popular, so you may have to get there early to get a good seat.  If you know the place you want to go to is busy between 12-4, you may want to get there at 11 or 5. If you still find yourself with no plug availability, if your electronics are 100% charged you can begin working and make a move as soon as someone next to a plug leaves.

  4. Review the previous months content on your calendar - is there anything that you wanted to post that you didn’t get around to posting for some reason?  Do you really want to post it? Move it to the next month.

  5. Begin focusing on the content for next month- this is where I start to really get into it. You will be planning out things based on the focus for your blog.  Maybe you do video content. You will be planning out video topics.  Perhaps you have a podcast. You will be planning out show topics.

    There are three things that I plan out in my session:

    • My main goal for the month - This is something that everyone should have.  You want to have goals to hit, so you should consciously include them on your editorial calendar so they can stay in the forefront of your mind.

    • My blog posts for the month - I search through my post ideas that I have sourced from the various locations mentioned above then add them to the list for the month. Sometimes I will have a theme for the month, so my posts will all be related to a specific topic.  For example, in January I focused on blogging organization as it was a new year and that’s what people do in the new year. If you decide on a theme for a month, it can make it easier to choose post ideas as well.

    • My email marketing contents for the month - If I plan out the emails that I want to send to my list, it’s easier to keep up with it and not neglect them!  Often times we tend to get all of these email list subscribers but end up forgetting about them and rarely email them. What’s the point of having a list if you never communicate with them? I look at my list as a place to provide exclusive content, so I tend to send them information that isn’t shared with my social following or even on my blog because I like to make them feel special :)

6. Schedule the content on your calendar - Once you know what you want to post you just need to decide when to post it.  The awesome thing about Trello is you can plan and schedule all in one card. I add a due date to the card for each piece of content and since I have the Calendar power-up activated on my board, I can switch to a calendar view to see when all of my content is due.  Again, you can do this in whatever editorial calendar you choose, I just like to keep mine digital because it’s portable and easier to organize.

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There it is!  This is what I do for my monthly planning session.  Sometimes it may take less than 2-3 hours, but I still keep the timeframe dedicated to blogging.  If I finish planning early, I start writing blog posts or working on other tasks for that month. I encourage you to do the same.  Maybe you don’t have the option to have 2-3 dedicated hours, but even if you can find one hour a month, it’s better than nothing!

If you like to plan on paper, I have created a free pdf download to use when having your monthly planning session. Click here to get it!

So tell me, do you plan out your content in advance?  If so, what is your process and how far in advance do you plan?  I’d love to know! Let me know in the comment. Happy planning!