Trello: Is It Just Another Collaboration Platform — or Something More?

A Look at Trello Basics

Trello is an online colloboration platform that gives you the tools you need to successfully manage projects of any size.

Trello is a project management and collaboration platform that utilizes the concepts of boards, cards and lists for efficient task management.

The tool allows users to discuss a task or a project in real-time while keeping all team members informed through activity logs, task assignments and email notifications.

Here are some of Trello’s key features.

Trello Basics


Trello is made up of three main components — Boards, Lists and Cards. Let’s start with the big picture — Boards.

You can keep up with projects by organizing them into boards. Boards are for broad subjects, topics or categories and they are the largest organizational group within the platform.

A Look at Trello Basics


Each Trello board is broken down into smaller units known as lists. They are great for setting up different “buckets” to organize your tasks.

A Look at Trello Basics

Use lists to represent different phases in a project or use them to assign tasks to specific individuals within your team.

Using lists to assign to-do items helps with accountability as it points to the person who is ultimately responsible for the completion of a task.

However, as you set up your lists, remember to separate the “to-do” from the “doing” list as it provides a better visualization for the team.


Cards are the smallest organizational feature and are used to represent ideas, tasks, etc. Cards can easily be moved from one list to another.

A Look at Trello Basics

You can attach files and images, add checklists, comment, assign members, color labels and add deadlines to cards. Depending on your needs, you can keep cards highly detailed or simple and easy to read. It all depends on what’s best for your business.

How it Works

Trello allows you to create as many boards, lists, cards and teams as you wish — all for free. Simply drag people from the sidebar and drop them on cards to assign them tasks. The beauty of it is that all team members are able to see the same board at the same time.

You can quickly start a discussion with comments and attachments. Mention a team member in a comment to make sure they get notified. You can also add files directly from your computer, Google Drive, Dropbox, OneDrive or Box. Liven your activity with emojis.

Trello sends out instant notifications once something happens on the board. The notifications are sent via email and can also be accessed from within the tool.

All of Trello’s activity takes place in real-time. When you move a card, for instance, your team will be able to see the changes in real-time regardless of the device they are using.

If you have a lot of people and boards in Trello, use teams to keep everyone connected. You can create as many teams as you wish.


Trello is a highly safe and secure platform. You get to have full control over who sees your boards. All data is transmitted over a secure SSL/HTTPS connection. This is the same encryption technology that most banks use. You also get off-site backups of your encrypted data in case of disasters.


Trello offers three plans. The Free version, Business Class and Enterprise plan. The free version gives you a whole lot of functionality, including the ability to attach files up to 10 MB from your computer or link any file from your Dropbox, Box, OneDrive or Google Drive. However, if you are looking to attach files larger than 10 MB’s and also get priority email support, among other features, then you should consider using the $9.99 per user per month Business Class plan. The Enterprise plan is also available for larger companies that are looking for the highest levels of support and security.


Trello’s simplistic and open-ended interface makes this a perfect tool for collaboration. There’s really no end to what you can do with Trello. The fact that it’s affordable makes it a perfect tool for startups.

Images: Trello

Antony Maina Antony Maina is a staff writer for Small Business Trends and has been a member of the team for 8 years. Antony covers business and technology and is also a successful freelance writer.