I enjoy using Trello but oftentimes I explore similar tools and find new features that I wish were in Trello. They’re usually not compelling enough for me to switch, but I always end up thinking “wouldn’t it be cool if Trello had that feature.” In this post I want to explore a few similar tools that use the kanban metaphor, the one cool feature I like from each tool and how best to implement it in Trello. This post will link to a few Chrome extensions and I feel that Chrome is the best browser to use for Trello power users.
KanbanTool – Color Coding
Taking a quick look at Kanbantool shows how simple the individual cards look:
The one cool feature here is that the use of color saturates the entire note card, allowing for quick recognition via color alone. I often think simple visual cues like this are underused: when you have a large number of cards you want to be able to pick up meaning without having to read even the titles. To implement this in Trello, we can get all the way there but we can make the color labels in Trello much more visually striking by using the Chrome browser extension: Card Color Titles for Trello. If you like to track time like in the KanbanTool screenshot above (right column), then you can do that too in Trello using a tool like Toggl.
Progress Meters for Your Boards & Lists
I was looking at BrightPod and although it didn’t really resonate with me, I noticed that the progress meters would be real helpful for tracking projects (a ‘pod’ is basically equivalent to a Trello board):
To get this in Trello, you have a couple of options. The first is to use List Progress Bar for Trello which counts each of your checklist items as a story point. It will also display a time remaining to complete the list if you set deadlines for your tasks.
The limitation of that extension is you’re tethered to your checklists which might not fit your workflow. Here’s another combination that will give you a progress bar for Trello while allowing more flexibility:
• First install Scrum for Trello. When you have a card open, click the title of the card which will allow you to click one of the duration choices to estimate how long the task will take:
The selections are editable and the default follows a Fibonacci sequence (the next number is the sum of the last two) to account for the fact that estimates become more vague the further out they are in the future.
Now we’ll add the Progress for Trello Chrome extension which gives us the following:
- 1. You now have more options on what you’d like to track (for this example we’ll track points).
- 2. Select which is your ‘Done’ completed column (usually your last column).
- 3. Points added from the Scrum for Trello extension.