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The inability to move cards between boards has pushed me into fragmenting my work.

For instance, I've found myself creating more boards for things like

  • product 1
  • admin/general
  • website (mini-project)
  • marketing/promo
  • etc...

As one friend and Trello user pointed out that design is core to product development and shouldn't be a separate project (board) in Trello. Given we can't currently move cards between Trello boards, I'm wondering if there's a better approach.

If I could move cards between boards, I could have a Design Ideas board with a progression of lists. The last list could be To Implement, and I could move cards from that list to the main product board.

But since that feature doesn't exist, I need to know what is the "sweet spot" for what should be a board and what should be a list? What has been the most successful for other users.

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I've edited your post to make it potentially more useful for other users. I hope the moderators will approve the edit. Sorry you got closed. Normally, they would give some kind of constructive criticism. This question doesn't have one right answer, but is still valid. Other users might offer differing successful approaches, but it's unlikely to invite argument or extended discussion. I should point out, though, that Trello is a young product and a lot of these questions are still open issues. It might be best to just wait a bit for new features to shake out. (I'm a member of the Trello team.) –  Rich Armstrong Oct 28 '11 at 13:23

2 Answers 2

I agree with your friend about not dividing up into separate boards by type of job.

With your examples such as 'Design ideas' etc, I think they really do fit naturally within different lists on the same Board. It's exactly the sort of usage that Joel demoed in multiple videos about Trello.

The only thing I can think of, to help manage very long lists, is to use Trello's Labels system to put categories on cards, and then use filtering. You should definitely give meaningful names to the default labels.

I wrote up some tips on how to use labels recently.

Having said that, fairly early on the Trello on Trello board got huge, and eventually they reduced the scope of it. So it's does seem to be a well-known problem.

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Scope is effectively constrained by what you can see on the screen in a Trello board view. To maximize scope for a collaborative project, or to figure out when the board has reached a threshold that requires splitting it into two or more, the following approach may be helpful. [Note that boards can be copied and cards can (now) be moved to other boards.]

Since cards can be filtered by a max of 6 colored labels ('plus' one no color-no label default) and by members (names of people assigned to the card), when starting a board it's important to start labeling with these limitations in mind - before you put in a lot of effort.

In the absence of a status field for each card on a collaborative project board, the colored labels can indicate the status of what needs to be done; for instance no label (default) = to do, orange = doing, red = priority, purple = needs sprint, green = done etc. Then your cards can be filtered by what needs to be done and who needs to be doing it.

Choosing labels that can be the same on all your different boards makes them more efficient for team members to collaborate on; and if desired, for clients to keep updated on progress. Note too that when checklists are used in a card, a status bar will appear to indicate progress as items are checked off.

When creating a template board for projects, progression can be displayed by organizing the lists as project stages. Cards can organize tasks chronologically within each list, or by priority from top to bottom (per the Trello team's demo board).

On my laptop screen, 'maximum scope' potential then works out to be only about 8 lists and 6+ cards. These are effective chunks of information to perceive, track and manage from a cognitive science perspective (no more that 2x4 chunks) along each axis. This may seem small but one of the benefits of Trello is that it forces simpler, cleaner project collaboration and organization.

If much larger scope, greater detail, more fields, resource accounting, time management or sequential paths for tasks are required for your project, then you may have to ante up for more complex and powerful project management software or apps.

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