Working Out Loud

  • This Year Something Was Different

    I know you’ve been crying into your tissue sodden hand for the last week when this blog did not arrive.
    Sorry, but, well, you know bloody Christmas happened so I took full advantage of the hysteria.

    This year something was different.
    I dread this time of year, I was bracing myself to plunge back into a God-forsaken pit of despair and depression and it never arrived.
    Every day I have woken up and double checked I am in the right life, right family and right blog.

    I love therapy and therapy loves me
    I started to feel better in 2016 I was ready to give up therapy on Tuesday afternoons.
    I had a couple of drab sessions and then BANG – we started talking about topics I’d thought about every day of my life.
    Long ago thinking about these things had become a habit, routine, and unresolved like a dripping tap you can’t find in a very quiet house.

    Now I am encouraged
    In the second half of 2016, I looked forward to being with people for the first time in years.
    My mouth, head, heart and physical location started to be synced for the first time since I was a child.
    I could not wait to get up in the morning.

    Who Has Time To Panic?
    The anxiety, the panic, the dread, the idea of sticking one of our Argentine steak knives into my wrist, of jumping in front of the 66 bus as it thundered down the A-12 or leaping in front of a central line train at Liverpool Street just melted away sometime in 2016 and never came back.

    So What Did I do?
    Everyone asks this. “Bernie what was the one thing that made the difference?”
    I hesitate, giving advice with a sense of “this will make the change you need” is an arsehole thing to do.
    The good people who give direct advice will always take the time to highlight that “you need to do the work, not flick a switch.”
    I am still doing the work and I would say the ONE THING I did was to work out HOW to do the work.
    This WAS the hard bit.

    Doing The Work – Never Ends.
    In order to be able to do the work, which I might add will NEVER END, I had to find more time and the best way to find more time was to shut up.
    I started asking questions rather than TELLING people.
    (I Still TELL people – if you catch me doing it punch me.)
    Please don’t tell anyone but the main reason I do a weekly newsletter and write blogs is so I talk less in real life.

    Parrot Fashion
    I was more than a little horrified at how much of my conversation was me TELLING people what I had just read in a blog or book, followed shortly by an app recommendation.
    There are things that I consider important, call them principles or values, and I repeat the words of others because I don’t feel I can make up my own version.
    So I needed to get my own version.

    Everyone Has A Plan Until They Get Hit In The Mouth – Mike Tyson
    In September, I started reading the “12 Week Year” book that advocates planning in 12 Week chunks.
    So a week is worth a month and a day is worth a week.
    Since September I have read part of this book every day, I did miss a couple of days!
    There was my grand plan, I got hit in the face, had a couple of weeks of ‘Groundhog Day’ and-and-and-and “suddenly” time passed and everything was working.

    So Are We Done Here?
    No, we are not done. January 1st, 2017 is the first day of my third round of 12 Weeks.
    If someone asks me what I do this year I will say “I am a freelance writer” – I’ve got clients, customers and everything.
    I knew this earlier in 2016 and spent a few months dicking around and trying to run away from this “writer thing” I have always wanted to be.
    I am addicted, inspired, I’ve found my grit and know what I am doing every hour of every day.
    2016? This year something was different, I don’t know where it started but I know where it ended and I loved it.

    Three things I stuck to this year that I recommend with cast iron confidence.
    1. 12 Week Year- The Book
    2. Rainmaker Platform – WordPress Website with a blog, email, podcast, and online course building. Also, includes ongoing training and tech support.
    3. Fizzle – Online learning community for Indy workers, freelancers and micro businesses.

  • Simon Sinek, Your Phone And Deep Work

    You would be right if you were thinking I leapt into the 12 Week Year with HUGE success goals, money goals and I-need-a-new-iPad-Pro goals.


    I ended up with less money than I started, but I carved a solid path out as a freelance writer and know what I need to do daily.

    Time spent on courses in Fizzle, Creative Class, Collaboration Superpowers and Rainmaker deeply helped define this.


    Where To Start?


    Have you ever thought about something so much that when the time comes you are paralysed?

    It’s called decision fatigue and I think it’s happening right now so I will write like this.

    If you have ever been a bit worried, anxious or depressed you will know that deciding between tea and coffee can knock you out for the day, seriously!

    While I was engaged being depressed a couple of years ago I wouldn’t wash up for three days because I couldn’t decide where to begin, of course, the pile of washing up only added to the torture of being on my own at home, #Supercoolwife and #Babybernie sought sanctuary at friend’s house for a few days because I was like a Dementor from Harry Potter, actually, I am sure they are more chirpy than a depressed Bernie.


    This sounds a bit of a ramble Mitchell….


    Ah, sorry.

    You will have noticed it’s November and Christmas is coming fast.

    Given the chance, we like to flee to Poland or Argentina at this time of year.

    I hate Christmas in the UK I hate Christmas full stop. But this year my mood is stable, I am almost uncomfortable with how ‘un-pissed-off’ I am at this moment in time.


    Mitchell, the title of this post had Simon Sinek in, I don’t see much Simon….


    Ok mood vs focus is where I am going with this.

    You will have heard our tribe ranting about Deep Work and 12 Week Year (s) and this is where we have ended up.

    We sit down and focus support each other as we do, most of this year I have spent doing a daily meeting with Emily, Phil or Nils to keep going and this week started a Working Out Loud group here @WorkHubs so all get to follow a 12 step program, sorry 12-week programs.


    I had to stop some things to make room for all the other good bits. 


    Being a victim

    Like a monk I read 12 Week Year daily, one of the lines is ‘stop being the victim’ as you can imagine this isn’t the first time I have heard this.

    I am ashamed at how much of my life is other people’s fault, particularly Kenneth Baker who was the Secretary of Education in the UK when I was a child, my Grandmother for not letting me watch Rent-a-ghost because she thought the guy with the beard was Kenny Everett. Both these people affect my ability to function 30 years later, even if they were here now I wouldn’t let them apologise.

    So no more victim. Ever.


    Yes, Yes I gave up podcasts, and inserted courses.

    I have to learn a few skills at a deep level. I listened to podcasts by people I know personally because I enjoyed them, not because they were helping me hone a skill.

    I couldn’t decide what to listen to so I cut them all out, yes even yours.

    My Phone – this is the Simon Sinek bit…

    Bernie, you gave up your phone?

    No, I have gone cold turkey on pressing the buttons on it every 10 minutes. I took off ALL the social media apps, restricted email and now use it to track my progress and listen to books.

    In Simon Sinek’s RSA talk from last week and the presentation talk that you can watch below, there’s a theme of connectedness and dropping your phone, this theme is also strong in both the ‘Deep Work‘ and ‘12 Week Year‘ books.


    What Is Easier Than Quitting Your Phone?


    I found it easier quitting smoking, drinking and cocaine than I have leaving my phone alone. You would ask me a question and I’d look in my phone instead of thinking or asking you a clarification question.

    #Babybernie would look out the window on the bus and I’d check my phone or type something in – that I’d never look at again.

    I leave it off most of the day now, a small amount of people who would need to call me know how to get to me or an SMS comes to my computer, I am actually a bit dejected at how unessential I am.

    Result? I am doing less work, in less time and it’s much better.

    This week is 12 Week Year number two AND we have a Working Out Loud group in our coworking space, and I am looking forward to my new found career.

    So that is the link between Simon Sinek, Your Phone And Deep Work – but you knew that.


      This Weeks Links  
    To Work Better, Work Less


    To Work Better, Work Less


    Between 1853 and 1870, Baron Haussmann ordered much of Paris to be destroyed. Slums were razed and converted to bourgeois neighbourhoods, and the formerly labyrinthine city became a place of order, full of wide boulevards (think Saint-Germain) and angular avenues (the Champs-Élysées). 


    Poor Parisians tried to put up a fight but were eventually forced to flee, their homes knocked down with minimal notice and little or no recompense. The city underwent a full transformation—from working-class and medieval to bourgeois and modern—in less than two decades’ time. Read The Full Article Here  
    Simon Sinek | Together is Better | RSA Replay

    Simon Sinek | Together is Better | RSA Replay

    Together is Better with Simon Sinek. Best-selling author and TED talk sensation Simon Sinek is fascinated by the people that make the greatest impact in their organisations, and in the… Watch The Talk Here  
    Content Curation With Trello And Publicate #LLBS 92 -...

    Content Curation With Trello And Publicate #LLBS 92

    In this episode, a VERY excited Chris (founder of Publicate) shares how people are using the new Trello / Publicate Power Up.


    How to use Trello, Publicate and Mailchimp in the same workflow to make resource hubs and plan content.  Find Out Here
    A focused weekly club for writers to engage in

    A focused weekly club for writers to engage in “deep work”

    Our weekly Write Club ‘Deep Work’ is ideal for anyone who writes and needs a block of time to write and gain the inspiration from being around other writers.


    Join authors, students, comedians, Doctors, freelancers, developers, musicians and people like you for a deep session on writing. RSVP Here    
    created in Publicate


  • The End Of My First 12 Week Year

    On Tuesday we start our Working Out Loud (WOL) group at our coworking space, it’s also the end of my first 12 Week Year.

    Oddly, I feel an imposter when I write about “productivity” part of me wants to tell you ‘I did the 12 Week Year now have a million dollar start-up and run a marathon daily.’

    Those of you who run marathons or become parents know things don’t happen in the flick of a switch, so I don’t know why I think you might expect me to turn life around in 12 Weeks.

    It’s tempting to joke my goal for the WOL is to stop dicking around.

    Becoming a Dad in 2011 and being depressed made me stop dicking around.

    The horror of not being able to get off the couch and feeling suicidal followed by the gift of wanting to wash up and meet other human beings showed revealed to me the difference between depression, learned helplessness and being a spoilt brat

    I Blame The Parents

    Turns out I have more spoilt brat than I’d like, not Veruca Salt type spoilt – more of an inner subconscious compass with a warped take on responsibility.

    I was tempted to blame my parents, after all, they brought me up.

    My Dad wasn’t Nelson Mandela, George Orwell or David Bowie those guys were off doing other work.

    My Dad worked with what he had, right where he was and he certainly wasn’t out to fuck me up or create a spoilt brat.

    My Mother, died before she was scheduled to, I miss her but her timing was inconvenient for me emotionally.

    Stopping blaming my parents – easy.

    Admitting I was blaming them – hard.

    I can’t even tell you what they did wrong.

    I know other people blame their parents, but this isn’t something I’d stoop to doing.

    12 Week Grit

    As I beat depression over the last two years I realised we don’t wake up one day and immediately become free from debt and depression.  

    In the last 12 weeks I have developed a level of grit and determination I’ve craved all my life. Building a tiny little bit daily is where the real pay-off is happening.

    Ten years ago my friend Mike would joke about how I’d jump between extremes in my life.  

    I’d start the month as a T-total juicing marathon runner and end it eating fish and chips while hoovering up a lethal cocktail of class A drugs at a music festival, the weeks in the middle were a void.

    I am interested in a better use of the time I have now. I guess I attempted to speed up space and time and instead discover slowing down and being myself is a better way to live.

    Make Permission 

    At the peak of my break down my mate Daniel would feed me Argentine food and encourage me to ‘give myself permission to relax’.

    At the time being married, being a parent and having a mortgage seemed less of a commitment than ‘giving myself permission to relax’.

    The horror lay in stopping to look around, even more fucking scary was working it all out  a way forward. These days I rage about coworking and food because these two things combined made the solid foundation to getting my life back.

    You Don’t Have To

    Just to be clear, you don’t have to eat avocados and coworking space to prevent a shit life, this is what worked for me.

    My faith in the next 12 weeks is high, I mean my faith, not my expectation is high.

    I have faith I’ll be in an even better place on 26th January 2017 when the next 12 weeks ends, even with all the changes that will happen on the way.  

    Next Sunday I’ll share a few simple things that worked for me on this first 12 week journey, below are a few things I have been using.

    1. This Worked The Best

    My Miracle Morning


    My Miracle Morning
    I have been working on this 'Miracle Morning' thing for ages and now I have it down to a fine art. I know the title sucks and sounds like a coked up TGI Friday's waitress called Polly Anna, but it works.

    2. This Also Worked Best

    Productive - Habit tracker - Daily Routine


    Productive - Habit tracker - Daily Routine
    This app  is SUPER simple to build daily routine & reminders for goals & resolutions. You can see how you are doing and be honest with yourself about what is really working and where you are kidding yourself.  Beware come near me and I'll MAKE you download it 😉

    The 12 Week Year: Get More Done in 12 Weeks


    The 12 Week Year: Get More Done in 12 Weeks
    You will NOT pick this up, read it and have everything work.
    I read A LOT and chose to commit to this book with blind faith, so watch out for my evangelical tone on this.
    I have to stress that it is not the first 'system' I have ever encountered, also I am sure that everything else I have learnt makes this work for me.
    It is worth pointing out that there is no cult to join, $100k cruise to go on or other wanky upsell's to endure for following this books program.

    4. I Liked This. Not Everyone Did.

    The Full-Time Job Is Dead


    The Full-Time Job Is Dead
    The full-time job, used to it as we are, is not some natural state of human existence.
    Before the 1800s, few people worked a structured “work week.” That conceit was dreamed up by early industrialists, who needed to bring workers together in a factory at the same time to efficiently make products. For the past 100 years, the 40-hour job has been the centerpiece of work life because there was no better way for people to gather in one place at the same time to connect, collaborate and produce.

    5. Work Alone. Together.

    A focused weekly club for to engage in "deep work"


    A focused weekly club for to engage in "deep work"
    When Philip from @WorkHubs put this on Meet Up the whole dynamic changed, every week a mixed group of people who need to write something come together for a couple of hours and write.
    I have 'grown up' about making time to write at every session I have taken part in.
    "Our weekly Write Club 'Deep Work' is ideal for anyone who writes and needs a block of time to write without being distracted."

    created in Publicate

  • Bernie’s Newswire – Where I Went Wrong This Week

    Ok, I am about to enter week seven of my 12 Week Year and the needle is certainly moving more and more each week. 
    Think about it how many books and programs have you bought and ready that have actually given you results?
    In the opening paragraph, the author outright promises that results are available in a very short space of time, which immediately got my 'self-development bollox' radar on red alert.
    Of course, it is not one book, it is everything diet, family, coworking space and just growing up.
    Where I went wrong this week.
    - Not planning the week properly (and I paid the price at the end.)
    - I slacked off meditating in the morning and lost the delicious clarity I get with this practice.
    - 'Working' at night and pissing about with my phone in the evening.
    - I ate sugar to feel better and, well feel shit.
    Even with this I kept going and made more podcasts, blogs, sold more Trello course places and sent more UpWork proposals than last week.
    Where I have found the most time.
    You may recall I said I was not going to share goals what was coming up. This has saved me HOURS of listening to my own bollox, and I am sure other people are delighted to be spared my ill thought out whining.
    Every week I sit down to write this email and the first thing I want to tell you is 'my goal this week is to sell 10 sailing boats and write 100 blogs.'
    All that 'I'm going to dreaming' energy has gone into execution and working out where I am falling short.
    App For That
    Hence the recommendation of the writing app below, for a load of technical reasons this has helped me sort out the app wanking I was doing everywhere else.
    It is built by someone who is a writer as a side project so really works, I mention this as the place I was losing the most traction and focus was actually writing and sending it somewhere.
    The speed and enthusiasm that I write with means two strong posts a day are easy for me.
    What has not been easy is checking and proofreading and organising the results of my research.
    One last thing...
    Every Thursday 09:30am - 11:30am we have our 'Write Club' here @Work Hubs in Euston.
    Come and geek out, if you a pro or just want to try and get a blog post onto your site more often this is a great place to hang out and I'd love to welcome you.
    Have a GREAT week and thanks for reading! 
    Love Bernie!
    P.P.S. - Don't you hate people who have a photo with someone big and then use it every chance they get?

    Self Awareness

    Straight Outta @Work Hubs Episode #37 - Debbie Huxton
    Straight Outta @Work Hubs Episode #37 - Debbie Huxton
    We are now 37 episodes into our Coworking podcast and we have had to get a little help in.
    Well, include other people, as Phil and I have fought our way out of depression, mid-life crisis and avocado overload Debbie has been there to kick us in the shins.
    In this episode, we laugh our socks off AND dive into self-awareness and how it can save us from ourselves.

    Free Writing App

    Draft. Write Better.
    Draft. Write Better.
    Write better with Draft. Easy version control and collaboration to improve your writing.
    It also has a transcript mode, sync with Google Docs, publish to WordPress, iDonethis, tumblr, it also has 'Hemingway mode' and has a smooth clean look and feel.
    I have been in and out of it since 2012 and it has never been so good!
    Try it and let me know what you think.

    The Actionable Article 
    What Is a Content Marketer?
    What Is a Content Marketer?
    A content marketer is responsible for the planning, creating, and sharing of valuable content to attract and convert prospects into customers, and customers into repeat buyers. The type of content the content marketer shares depends upon what he sells. In other words, he educates people so that they know, like, and trust him enough to do business with him.

    You'll Love This Podcast

    Simon Sinek On Leadership With Mitch Joel
    Simon Sinek On Leadership With Mitch Joel
    Welcome to episode #492 of Six Pixels Of Separation.
    Simon Sinek created something much bigger than a splash when his TEDx Talk in 2009, How Great Leaders Inspire Action, garnered over twenty-five million views (and continues to grow). Around this time first business book, Start With Why, took hold and more recently, he published his second book, Leaders Eat Last. He's an optimist. He believes that business leaders can (and should) do more to make our world a better place. This is his mission, and he's working diligently to get all leaders to think about purpose... or their "why."
    Enjoy the conversation...

    Limited Offer Trello Course Signup
    Limited Offer Trello Course Signup
    Everybody around you seems to be using Trello. You want to become more productive and stop missing important tasks.
    To be honest, though, you still can't really see what all the fuss is about. Isn't Trello just a list of lists? How is something so simple supposed to help you get organised?
    Won't you and your team stop using Trello after the initial excitement has died down?
    How much faster could you become more productive if you could watch someone else use Trello to great effect?
    Many individuals, teams, and companies use Trello day in day out to organise their projects.
    We have seen time and time again that making even small changes to your Trello setup can significantly change your habits for the better.

  • What Do You Wish Other People Knew About #Trello?

    POC 21 -

    “What do you want to know about Trello?”

    You would think this would be a good question to ask:

    “How to connect Trello to slack?”


    ”Does it work on mobile?”


    Like this


    “Yes it does”


    The Real Tough Trello Questions

    The REAL juicy areas are revealed when we ask people:

    What do you wish the people you use Trello with knew about Trello.


    “I wish Maggie would put links in cards rather than upload the file.”


    “Basia always starts a new card for features instead of adding them to an existing card.”


    Rajesh is the ONLY team member who archives a card properly, I wish the others would do this.

    The Best Part About Trello Is

    Nils and I spend our Trello work time in very different places.

    Nils is leading small teams of developers while I am with other Freelancers making web content or workshop projects.

    No one ever taught us how to use Trello, we just worked it out for ourselves.

    The best part about Trello is how it is a blank canvas and you can do what you want, it took us a while to appreciate that, so with this post and the workshops we run in our coworking space we are out to help people “find their Trello voice.”

    How We Can Help You

    Type your “Trello wish” in the comment box below this post.

    Or you can email us here if you don’t want to be public.

    When you leave us an answer we can write a blog post or answer the question in a future podcast so you can share the answer with your teammates.

    Acts Of Love

    Just to be double-double clear — this is an act of love — not a “Trello bitch session” 😉

    I’m in, take me to the questionnaire!

    We’d really appreciate your help sharing this post, especially in the freelancer, coworking, maker, content creator, collaborative dudes-type areas of the world.

    Thanks for reading Bernie & Nils!

    Photo Credit POC21 –

  • Keep Going: Building Daily Habits & Scrum

    Keep Going

    These days I am beyond the horror, drama, darkness of depression and I have dived fully into never getting there again.

    As a reader of this blog or my personal weekly email, you will have watched this unfold with both the joy and the crap.

    Habits and Comfort Zones

    My “deliberate practice” mega mission is to develop habits that will get me doing what matters.

    This made me identify the exit out of my real comfort zone. I thought my getting out my comfort zone was running fast, a cold shower or waking up early.

    I can do all those things and they are physical, I make them look hard (a waste of energy in itself) and some people go “aren’t you good Bernie!”

    Or “I don’t know how you do that, I couldn’t!”

    To which I go “oh it’s nothing” just to look sweet, but I am a fucker, it really is nothing to me.

    Snuggle Blankets and Energy Drinks

    Some nasty and upsetting shit happened to me but as I talk in therapy these days I can see how I hung onto it like a snuggle blanket.

    Getting out my comfort zone is making myself thrive on creating stuff, embracing responsibility and following through on my promises to family and coworkers.

    This is energising.

    Really energising.

    A super sugary energy drink is not energising it is a pacifier.

    I had been drinking too many energy drinks.

    Now I eat good protein, avocados and caffeine free bulletproof coffee.

    Building Habits & The Compound Effect

    This is so easy I am dumb for not doing it sooner. It is so easy you probably did this years ago and I am the only dickhead who did not get the memo.

    Just do the same thing every day until it becomes a habit.

    This works, how hard can it be?

    Most of us wake up, have a shit and eat every day without thinking about it – it is a habit.

    So it can’t be that hard to chuck write 750 words and don’t eat crap food into the mix?

    Turns out it is hard, I have come to think that it is so hard because it is so easy, maybe at some perverse level I resent that something so easy could be so effective and I think it is beneath me.

    I am too good for that.

    I have no more bandwidth for “I am too good for that” – I never woke up with the intention of thinking things are beneath me so this might be hard to shift.

    I’ll go into more mind-numbing detail in future posts, here are the headlines for now.

    Do the same things every day. I track and remind myself every day with Productive and an app called Momentum.

    These are both enabling me to fine tune my day. Emily and I talk about it in our daily scrum stand-up meeting to nudge each other along with organising our day.

    People are inclined to say, you can do that with a bit of paper, I don’t need a daily meeting or you can write in Google Docs for free, why do you pay for 750 words?

    In six months of stand-ups with Emily and nearly three years of spunking $5 a month on 750 words, I have made the most life changing progress I have made since I learnt to walk as a baby.

    Having everything out of my head and into Trello or my mind mapping app before writing about it is exhilarating.

    I wish I’d had this arsenal of software when I was a frustrated dyslexic teenager, but that’s another blog for tomorrow.

  • We get it– you like the idea of less email. Conversations can be concentrated within certain apps (whichever it might be–of course we like Trello ;)), but your team isn’t complying. The email threads continue. And continue. Ad nauseum. How do you get them to ADAPT, already?

    Fortunately there something truly simple you can do to make them stop the email nonsense forever.

    In our lifetime, the social skill of setting and maintaining boundaries has been all but lost. This isn’t done by enforcing discipline with punitive measures, or by becoming a paranoid dickhead and watching over everyone’s shoulders. It’s actually quite amazingly easy.

    All you need to do it remind them of the app you use for communication every time they start a new email thread. Every. Single. Time. Trust me, you won’t have to do it for long. If someone resists for longer than a few weeks, you’ll know they aren’t being a good team member by hijacking communication, and can choose how to act.

    To make it even easier, have a copy-paste swipe file ready on your phone and desktop containing a phrase expressing the following sentiment:

    “STOP. This email thread stops now. Whoever started this thread must immediately go to (add link to your conversation app here) and restart this conversation there. All participants in this conversation must also repaste their comments in the app.

    “The purpose of using (the app) is to make your job easier in the future by making it easy to follow, find, and recreate what happened during the workday. Thank you for your compliance!”

    What do you do when no matter how many times you remind someone, they will not comply?

    Ask the team during your Review & Retrospective what to do about that person’s noncompliance. Make sure that person is present in that meeting. Allow them an opportunity to change their habit, perhaps a Sprint or two. Keep their noncompliance on the agenda for each Sprint and discuss it as if it were a new issue every time. If they still don’t comply after a few Sprints, add to the discussion agenda the possibility of removing that person from the team. The team decides what to do together.

    The only person you can control is yourself. You’ve set up a way for your team to streamline communication. Encourage them to use it. Ask them not to use other methods. This is how self-organizing teams learn how to adapt.

  • We’re going to take it back to the bare essentials with this tip. And that’s to answer the age-old question: What do you need to work on right now? How can you become more productive and focus on the most important tasks in your to do list?

    Here’s a scenario you might be familiar with: You diligently add all tasks into Trello. After a while you have so many cards on your Trello board that it becomes really difficult to know what you should be working on next. You are constantly playing catchup, trying to reduce the growing mountain of Trello cards. As a result you feel stressed and become inefficient. If that is your situation right now then this tip is for you…


  • The Win: Make your meetings, phone calls, Skype calls massively more productive. Keep track of what is decided during meetings, phone calls, Skype calls. Easily create tasks and assign them to members of your team.

    The Problem: During a call, it’s easy to make decisions, plan the next move, come up with a brilliant strategy. Everybody agrees on the next few steps. Some may take notes. But often the details are forgotten, nobody takes action afterwards and the meeting ends up being an unproductive waste of time that doesn’t move things forward.

    A possible solution: After several years I think I’ve found a good solution that I’d like to share with you.

    It all starts with me creating a Trello card for that particular meeting. This is already really useful because it goes in my calendar and reminds me that the meeting will take place. I then use 3 checklists:


    The agenda I fill in ahead of time, so that there is a clear list of topics to cover. Items get ticked off as the call progresses. Sometimes someone has another idea, it gets added to the end of the agenda.

    You can assign people attending the meeting.

    In the comments, I make quick notes of the things that were said.

    In the actions, I make specific notes of things that need to be done as a result of the meeting.

    After the call is finished, I take a few minutes to look over what I’ve written. It’s written in a hurry, so spelling / grammar needs adjusting + put into plain English. I then tick off each comment as I write it up properly.

    The Action points are converted into cards, assigned to team members and moved to the appropriate board.

    I then @mention everybody who attended in a comment, “Here are the notes from today’s meeting, I converted the action points into separate cards on the appropriate board.”

    The result: Minimum overheads using existing tools. The notes practically write themselves. Specific actions are recorded and created in a way that makes sure they will get done.

  • The Win: You’ll be able to keep track of all your projects at the same time, across multiple Trello boards and gives you back a feeling of control.

    The Pain: Once you start using Trello in earnest, you automatically end up with lots of boards. It can become difficult to keep track of what you should be doing where and to get insight into all your projects without having to switch between boards all the time. As a result you miss important tasks and become an inefficient manager.

    Possible solution(s):

    This question comes up time and again in conversation and during our Trello workshops. I personally have about 80 Trello boards and it can get a bit overwhelming.

    Without going into a complete overhaul of your personal planning, project management and time management philosophy, here are a few simple things you can do to get on top of the situation:

    1. Start assigning cards and use due dates. This will greatly help Trello help you find what you and others in the team need to work on next.
    2. Use your profile view to get a quick view of all your cards across all the boards. This will only work if the cards are assigned to you! Can also filter by due date.
    3. Become a Trello search guru and let Trello help you find the right cards. By member, by due date, across all your boards. In combination with starred boards this works even better. And if you use Trello Gold or Business Class, you can save your searches! This could become the de-facto organisational hub for your work.