Finally, An APP That Gets Me: My Love Affair With Trello

Dear Trello, you get me. You really, really get me. I think I’m in love...

I am a tech girl and I’m not. There is a part of me that loves gadgets and I won’t lie... When the new cell phones used to drop, pre-iPhone days, I was right there, the first day, getting the latest-greatest model.

Remember the Chocolate phone?

I think it was LG who put it out. That was the early 2000s, as I was teaching in the classroom, and can still remember my students oohing and aahing over the new model with me.

But in reality, I bought it for the name. And the flashy new-ness of it. But the name had me at chocolate!

I’m easy like that.

Well, I was.

From phones to new software to marketing tools to project management software, I started to develop a love/hate relationship.

Why the hate? Well, I saw the waste of time… and money.

In chasing the latest and greatest, I was constantly learning something instead of implementing what I learned.

And that was a hard lesson to learn (for me)… a love of learning!

It took me a while. And some aging. Like a fine wine, we get better as we age… as long as we’re cared for properly!

But in jumping from phone to phone and platform to platform and shiny new tool to… yep, you got it, I got lost in the mastering of any.

So, thankfully, I put an end to my crazy… well, at least that side of my crazy and said no more.

In fact, as I type, I missed upgrading my iPhone by at least two if not three, oh gosh, Jessica is saying FOUR generations.

My palms are starting to sweat.

Thank goodness my addictions are chocolate, green tea and (recovering) tech!

I’m also no longer into the shiny, new object and that’s why I’m sticking with the APP that just gets me...really really gets me.

Ah, if I could only write a love letter, this would be it.

Its name - Trello - and for this visual girl, it’s my

Trello is definitely for those who like to SEE things and for me, it rocks because I am so very visual.

When I started tutoring, I knew that I wanted to keep things simple. I was very adamant (with myself) that I wasn’t creating a new JOB for myself, which is probably one of the reasons I treated my tutoring as a hobby for the first few years.

But that’s another story.

My tutoring business could have easily gotten loaded down with files on each student, documents for this and that, detailed notes and copies of work or [gasp] lesson plans for coming sessions.

Just no.

[If that’s how you tutor, just stop! I can help you get off the J.O.B. wheel you created…reach out.]

That is what I did as a TEACHER and I was determined to keep my tutoring business simple.

As in, I use my iCalendar to track my appointments and payments.

My tutoring was mostly a check and cash business. I rarely took credit cards, because one, there is a cost to processing and two, if someone can’t write a check or hand you cash when the tutoring was done in-person, my thoughts (at that time) were simply no.

Another way I kept it simple.

But soon, I needed a place to track session notes and referrals — more than just a contact card in my iPhone. Because remember, if you’ve been with me for a moment, you know I built my entire tutoring empire (ha, always wanted to say that) on a $20 bill and (free) referrals.

I developed an entire system for keeping records to a minimum and I’m going to share a bit of it with you right here.

My Simple Intake System for New Students:

1. A One Page Registration Form 

2. A First Meeting with the Parent/Student (together) for maybe 10 minutes (and this is key) of the FIRST SESSION and I’d take my notes on the back of their completed registration form

3. iCal for scheduling sessions 
- and noting the number of the current
session of a package or monies due/paid

4. Trello for Referrals (and later to track student sessions/packages)
5. Trello as a Simple System I showed my “adult” students who wanted to
start a tutoring, mentoring or coaching business.

And that’s it.

When I teach keep it simple, I mean it. Too much complexity means we spend our time in the APP or the tool instead of with the student.

And I am all about putting my student and clients first.

That’s why I love Trello.

Trello is first and foremost visual.

Trello is also simple.

With Trello you can create lists and these lists or columns can be a workflow. Meaning, first leads to the second and so on, as seen here in my tutoring board.

Or each column can be a stand-alone list.

I am by no means a Trello expert but there are plenty out there who are. All I know is this APP works for me and maybe it can work for you.

Here’s the thing - Trello can be used absolutely FREE. So, it’s a no-brainer to try as long as it’s not going to send you down the rabbit hole of another shiny object.

If what you use now works, keep it. The old saying is there for a reason - If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it!

But if you are searching and wanting something simple, easy, visually appealing and free...well, jump on into Trello.

And to sweeten the free-ness-of-it-all, you can access my Center 4 Learning Tracking Board that shows how I used this very APP in my tutoring business.

Or you can have a look-see at my Program Client Board that I use with my coaching clients and to track testimonials from a paid course I offer on how to start a rocking tutoring business.

Use these boards to check out the APP or import them right into your very own free account and put them to use with a few personalized tweaks.

This is my rocking online program affectionately known as the Center 4 Learning Tutoring BIB or Tutoring Business In a Box. I put all my 1-on-1 coaching clients into this board and it works brilliantly.

You can discover more via my free audio class right here, if you’re interested in having an amazing tutoring business.

Again, my basic thoughts are always to keep it simple.

It’s kind of like Marie Kondo-ing your business. You know who I mean; the author of the bestselling book on simplifying your life (joyfully), The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up, and most recently the star of her very own Netflix series. How cool!

And I tell you what, it’s worked for me. Simplifying.

Keeping my business simple, my systems simple and my tracking simple.

Why get bogged down in the crazy when you don’t have to?

And that’s why my love-affair with Trello continues… there’s simply no crazy!

Remember to learn something today that you can share with someone tomorrow.

And while you’re add it give us a heart below, share a comment on how this topic resonates with you, if it does, and share it with a friend or two or ten today.

Education Lady | Jill Stevens

Educator. Writer. Life Long Learner. Jill has a passion to help the next generation and improve learning across the board. She’s here to change the world, one mind at a time. Right now she does that through words with purpose and by training up remarkable, rockstar tutors.