BUSINESS STRATEGIES

How To Merge Trello And
The Full Focus Planner
(The Ultimate Productivity Workflow)

July 14, 2021

Kimberly Ann Jimenez,
Digital Strategist & Founder

If you’ve ever wondered how to combine a productivity system that makes the best out of a digital productivity tool and a physical planner, then this episode is for you.

I’m going to break down a very simple system that you can get out of your digital tools as well as your physical planner. 

Let’s go!

This episode comes from a question from a lovely subscriber.

I love this question, Irene.

Partly because I receive it all the time from our students in The Business Lounge and partly because in my experience, having a hybrid productivity system (part digital, part analog) solves so many workflow/focus problems.

Most people start managing their productivity workflow with either a digital tool or a planner and get stuck as their needs evolve.

And here’s the conundrum…

Digital tools provide so much flexibility, it’s easy to lose focus.

And analog planners provide tons of focus, but very little flexibility due to their physical form.

So why not leverage the best of both worlds?

That’s where The Ultimate Productivity System comes in (IMO) – a hybrid workflow that addresses the needs of both focus and flexibility.

HOW I USE THE HYBRID SYSTEM

My favorite tools are Trello and Full Focus Planner.

Keep in mind that you can substitute these for whatever planner you enjoy or whatever digital tool you like the most. Tools like Asana, Podio, or Notion, all work, it really comes down to your preference.

I love starting with the Full Focus Planner. That’s where I lay out my entire goals for the whole year. I write my goal details pages, and I break down my intentions for each plan. It is where I keep track of all major big-picture projects that we’re working on in a particular month or quarter.

And then, I can take that information to my weekly preview pages and plug it into the individual days of the week. That creates a system for me, which helps me stay focused.

Since there are so many moving pieces in the company, I have a digital tool to collaborate with my team. And that’s where Trello comes in. It’s helpful for me to have a place where I can disconnect and use the analog form of my planner to jot down specific details of what I’m going to work on that quarter, that month, that week, and that day.

MY WORKFLOW

I first create an entire plan for the week inside my weekly preview. I think about the things that I need to get done in the next week. And that includes small tasks as well as big picture tasks.  

After listing all of the big picture projects and little things that I need to get done daily, I then organize what days I will be working on those particular tasks. I assign that specific date to that task. 

Now there’s time carved out for bigger projects that include multiple steps. And I break down an entire project into particular steps.

So I already know that whenever I’m creating a big project, something that requires multiple steps, I will go to Trello, and I’m going to break it all down there.

In this case, I’m going to show you my Big Fat Projects board, and you can get this inside our Trello Template Pack.

So I have an entire Trello card with all the links, and all resources attached for this particular project. And it also has my to-do checklist.

The To-do list has a certain step. It takes a couple of days to go through each individual, so this will take a while to complete. And I need to break down the step-by-step process because I’m also going to be collaborating with my team on it.

So anything that is a multi-step project will go on my Trello board. And in my planner, I plan what I’m going to be working on without a specific step.

MY DAILY PAGES

I already showed that I planned my week ahead of time and then assigned a specific date. So let’s say we’ll start on Monday; I’m going to open up my daily pages and I will look at what I’m going to be working on that day based on my plan. I may or may not be working on a big-picture project that day, and that’s okay.

On the Other Tasks section, I jot down things like post on the community tab, check in with my team, pay the team and finish your executive meeting.

Most of the things on this to-do list are smaller tasks, and they only take 30 minutes to an hour. Plus there are usually things that are on repeat, something that I do every single week.

So these things don’t necessarily have to be on my Trello project board because they don’t require multiple steps.

So I hope that you’re starting to see how you can leverage both your digital tools and your physical productivity tools to create some great cadence between both of them.

I already showed that I planned my week ahead of time and then assigned a specific date. So let’s say we’ll start on Monday; I’m going to open up my daily pages and I will look at what I’m going to be working on that day based on my plan. I may or may not be working on a big-picture project that day, and that’s okay.

On the Other Tasks section, I jot down things like post on the community tab, check in with my team, pay the team and finish your executive meeting. Most of the things on this to-do list are smaller tasks, and they only take 30 minutes to an hour.

Plus there are usually things that are on repeat, something that I do every single week. So these things don’t necessarily have to be on my Trello project board because they don’t require multiple steps.

So I hope that you’re starting to see how you can leverage both your digital tools and your physical productivity tools to create some great cadence between both of them.

LET’S RECAP

Here’s the basic gist: I use my physical planner to stay focused and plan how to allocate my time and energy on particular days. And also to make sure that the things I’m working on daily connect to my big annual goals so that I can continue moving forward and leverage that momentum.

My digital tools, on the other hand, are mostly related to project management. I keep myself super organized because those projects have multiple steps that require either detailed attention or team collaboration.

Project Management is best done via digital tools. We use them a lot for planning things like content creation, new company initiatives, sales processes, reporting, etc.

Over to you – what’s your productivity system? A physical planner, digital tool, or hybrid system like me?

Let me know in the comment box!

I hope this was helpful.

 

X,

Kim

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