Trello

Trello is a collaborative task and project-management tool.

Setup

Account creation

Because Trello is a web application, there’s no installation necessary. You will just need to set up an account.

Trello accounts support multiple email addresses, so you can use an existing account (if you have one) by adding your GSA email address. Otherwise, you can sign in with your GSA Google account. Make sure to set up two-factor authentication.

Requesting access

To get access to the 18F Trello team, ask for an invite in #admins-trello with the following script: “Please invite my Trello account “YOUR_USERNAME” to Trello at https://trello.com/18f3/members.” NOTE: If you don’t have a Trello account, feel free to ask us to invite your GSA e-mail address to create one.

There is no 18F-wide access to paid Trello features or add-on services yet. If you’re interested in those things, you may have to work it out with your team.

Rules

Abide by the TTS Code of Conduct. If you see anyone violating our Code of Conduct, see the reporting section.

Usage

People use Trello to track ideas from conception through execution. It’s common to see a working group using Trello to collaborate in creating documentation. Sometimes we track business development leads on a Trello board. Some individuals use Trello to help track and prioritize their own queue of work. Most commonly, Trello is used by 18F teams applying agile processes like Scrum and Kanban to deliver software.

Tips

  • Check out Trello’s extensive keyboard shortcuts. Trello has a notion of a “card focus” attached to your mouse, so you can just point at a card to highlight it, then press a single key (not button) to interact with it in common ways. It’s like you have a hundred-button mouse! Definitely check out (E)dit description, edit (T)itle, (N)ew card next, ar(C)hive, (L)abel, (M)embers, and the most critical of all, Space (to quickly toggle yourself in or out of the card member list).

  • Set a board background (Show Menu > Change Background) to easily distinguish that board in bookmark favicons, when flipping tabs, and generally make people happier. (Trello’s paid-but-cheap Gold plan allows you to set custom backgrounds and stickers if you’re bored with the ones that are there.)

  • Use stickers (Show Menu > Stickers) to indicate cards that are blocked (exclamation point), need clarification (uncertain orange face), waiting for something (clock), represent a milestone/launch being reached (rocket).

  • Doing prioritization within a labeled set of cards (an epic)? Use the filter (keyboard shortcut ‘F’) to show just that label, then sort cards, then turn the filter back off.

  • Are there GitHub issues or pull-requests associated with the work you’re doing for certain cards? Check out the GitHub power-up in Trello’s (paid) Business Class plan. It allows you to “attach” Issues, PRs, and Commits to a card. Summarized details from the GitHub side will be surfaced on the Trello card. (Sadly, there is no way to map GitHub issues and status directly to Trello cards and vice-versa. (You might prefer waffle.io if that’s what you’re after.)

  • Looking for feedback on card priority? Turn on the card-voting power-up and set the voting permissions appropriately (eg to allow non-members to vote on a public-facing roadmap board). Note that there’s no easy way to clear votes, so only use this for collecting long-lived data, eg votes on items in your backlog. Also sadly, there’s no way to sort by votes; you have to do that by hand.

  • Want to create a bunch of similar cards easily? Make one “template” card and label it clearly. When you want to make a new one, copy that card to the appropriate location. Want to do it quickly? See the “Shortcuts for Trello” Chrome extensions tip below.

Chrome extensions

GSA OCSIO-approved Chrome extensions can dramatically increase the usability and functionality of Trello. However, at this time, no Chrome extensions for Trello have been approved. If you would like to use an extension for Trello on your team, you’ll need to complete this form to request an extension for review.


Still have questions?

Ask in Slack: #admins-trello