Your business is growing, so you’ve decided to bring on a virtual assistant.
It made sense at the time, but you’re worried that setting up a workflow might take up another big chunk of time, and you’re already running low on this finite resource.
There IS a way to quickly delegate tasks to your virtual assistant.
In this post, we’ll show you three ways you can work with a virtual assistant using Trello.
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Why did we choose Trello?
Unlike other project management platforms, it’s quite easy to grasp, even for a newbie. You can start using it as a to-do list for yourself, then smoothly onboard other team members.
When you’re just running a small business, and not a multi-team company, it can be overkill to start with a project management software that does more than you will ever need it to.
Sure, it comes with all the bells and whistles, but you’ll often have to pay for features that you’ll hardly ever use in a small business.
Trello is an excellent choice if you’re bootstrapping your business because the free version can go a long way.
You may decide to upgrade down the line, but I’ve found that even multi-team projects can run smoothly with just the features offered in the free version.
The beauty of this software is its flexibility – you decide how to use it. Whether you’re using boards for separate teams, or boards for separate projects, or boards for different sides of your business (content, social media, affiliates, sponsorships, etc.) that is totally up to you.
If we’ve convinced you to give Trello a try, here are three ways you can use it to organize the workflow with your virtual assistant.
But first, here’s a little bit of Trello jargon.
We’ll try to keep it simple in the examples below, and just talk about how you can use a single board. Remember that you can create as many boards as you want, so don’t go overboard.
1. Daily task workflow in Trello
How it works: You create a list for every day of the week, or for the days of the week that your virtual assistant works with you.
For every day, you create tasks for your VA to do – which you add to what Trello calls “cards.” At the end of the day, your VA labels the tasks that they have completed as done. (You’ll have to assign a label just for “done.” I’ve marked the red label with the word “Donezo” so every time I finish a task, I add the red label to it. That way, I can easily see at a glance what projects are finished and what’s still pending.)
Once you’ve reviewed the task after completion, you can simply archive the card. The card will disappear from your list, but you can still find it in Menu > See Archived Cards.
If your VA has to do the same task week after week, you can simply remove the label from the card. No need to archive it. This way, you won’t have to add another card with the same task for the following week.
Let’s look at the example below. Let’s say you’re working with you VA for email management for four days a week. Then once a week, you’re also paying you VA to schedule your Facebook posts, and you’d prefer them to do this on Mondays. On top of that, they have to proofread your newsletters on Thursdays.
This is how your board will look like.
Trello integrates with Unsplash, so you can add a nice photo as a background for every board. I usually do this because it helps me keep track of what board I’m on when I’m working on multiple projects at the same time.
2. Project workflow in Trello
Setting up and managing projects can turn into an organizational nightmare pretty quickly. With multiple moving parts – and with many of them needing to be done at the same time – projects usually require the assistance of an organized mind.
What do I mean by online projects? A few examples would be: a website redesign, producing a podcast, publishing a new course, launching an ebook, setting up sales funnels. So basically anything that has a beginning, an end (with measurable results), and concrete milestones to hit along the way.
Any online project can be broken down into small tasks, which you can then assign to your virtual assistant.
Let’s say your next big goal is to redesign and relaunch your website. It’s an intricate project which could take months, and you’ll probably want to delegate a few of these items on your to-do list to your virtual assistant.
Here’s how a website redesign Trello board might look like.
There are clearly a lot of things that you need to juggle at the same time. Trello makes that easy because you can see everything at a glance. The cards with an orange label are for the VA to take care of; the ones labeled blue are for the designer, while the ones labeled green are for the webdeveloper. As you can see, we’ve also added a due date to some of the content-related cards.
3. Event planning in Trello
You can use the Project management workflow described above to organize events, of course, but I want to show you another way you could do plan your event.
Let’s say you are planning an in-person networking event where you offer lunch. You’ve also invited one subject matter expert to speak about the latest trends in your field. Here’s how you can set up your event timeline in Trello.
You’ll notice that I’ve used labels differently in this example. Yellow is for all tasks related to the event venue. Purple is for everything related to the speaker. Red is for marketing activities. And green is for cards that have to do with volunteers.
I can add more than one label per card. For example, “set up welcome desk” is something that needs to happen at the venue, but also something I’ve assigned to the volunteers. While “Announce speaker on social media” is a task that has both the Marketing label and the Speaker label.
You can also break down these tasks into sub-tasks in the form of checklists. For example, under Promote event on social media, you could have a checklist that breaks down what you mean by that.
These are just three ways to work with your virtual assistant via Trello. There are probably hundreds of ways to organize your work in Trello. And since they’ve recently reached 25 million users, I’m sure the number of possible setups will only continue to grow.
But one thing to keep in mind, as with any piece of software, is that you can personalize it to better fit your needs. Your current needs.
I’ve been using Trello to organize my work for about three years now. I’ve taken breaks once or twice because I hadn’t yet figured out the best way to fit it into my new life circumstances. But I always came back to it, improved my processes, and tweaked the way I used it. (I’ve even used it to organize a transcontinental move.)
Even though it can be a set-it-and-forget-it kind of platform, you’ll probably find ways to fine-tune it as you keep using it. And that’s a good thing. We’re constantly evolving as professionals and it’s only natural to use technology to better suit that purpose.
What about you? Are you using Trello? What are some of the tools that you use for organizing your business? How easy is it to delegate to your virtual assistant using those tools?