How I use Trello

I've introduced dozens of people to Trello. I remember when it launched at TechCrunch Disrupt, and I signed up, day 1. They even sent me a shirt early on. Those were the days...

Then, not so long ago, Fog Creek cashed in on a ~$400 million offer from Atlassian to buy Trello, and I've been holding my breathe, hoping they don't Jira-fy the simplicity out of Trello.

Most recently, I introduced my a small, online publishing company to Trello, as a way to manage their contacts and coordinate distributed publishing processes.

A Card is a doable piece of work

I like to use the INVEST model when thinking about Cards.

  • Independent
  • Negotiable
  • Valuable
  • Estimatable
  • Small
  • Testable

  • Cards should generally move left to right, and rarely move right to left again. If a card does move left, it should be considered an Exception case to the overall flow.


  • Members on a Card should be the Owner of a Card - the person responsible for moving the Card along in its particular lifecycle.
  • If the Card will be touched by many people, remove yourself from the Card once you're done with it.
  • At any given time, Card filters should reveal who owns a Card at any given time.

  • Subscribe

  • If you ever owned the Card, or simply want to watch the card, Subscribe to it. If you become a Member of a Card, you automatically become Subscribed to it. Consider un-subscribing from a Card if you don't want notifications about it.


  • Use Labels as you see fit
  • Labels usually require a team to have a conversation about how and when to use Labels
  • For example, I use labels to estimate time
  • Beware of too many labels - they can be overwhelming and tend to become less useful

About Afomi

Afomi is the digital sandbox of Ryan Wold, who is always evolving this to better share inspirations and aspirations.

About Ryan

Ryan is a systems-thinking Product Developer and Designer who practices agile, test-driven, and lean continuous software delivery, while solving problems with people.

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