How do you deal with a sequence of tasks that need to be done by different people?

I may simply be asking too much of Trello. It's a great service, but not really a Project Management application.

Use Case:

  1. Adwords manager needs to update our ads and provide a list of our ads to our marketing person.
  2. Marketing person needs to tweak the ads.
  3. Marketing person needs to create alternate ads from the Marketing person.

I can see where you could put the person's name next to each task (in a List within a Card) but then how does each User know whenthe "ball is in their court". Conversely, if I make each task a Card then how does each user know when their Card is "next".

1 Answer 1


There are a number of ways to accomplish what you want. Experiment to see what works best with your team.

We use recurring tasks to manage these (we had one board with lists for Daily, Weekly, Monthly and Annual/Once tasks)

Method One: Each person assigned to a card will be subscribed to the card activity and therefore receive an email notice of activity when each person steps through their items (checks the list item box inside the card). Each person will learn what list entry completion entry means something they need to start next.

Example: Paul knows to start step two (list item 'Tweak the Ad') when Julie completes step 1. Julie could also add an activity entry starting with "@paul Ready for you to start step 2" in the card activity. The "@paul" code in the beginning of the activity notice generates a specific message to the user Paul.

Method Two: Create a separate board for "Ads/Adwords/Campaigns" Then create lists for each task or person/team. Moving a card from list to list would move the task on to the next person/team.

List 1 might be "Ads waiting for approval" Each new Ad/Campaign would start here as a separate card waiting to be approved for the next action.

List 2 might be called "Marketing" where the marketing team tweaks the ads. Approved cards would be moved to this list. The most important ads (cards) would be at the top, least important at the bottom. The marketing team would have a list of their tasks here, in priority order.

The final list would be "Delivered Ads" (completed). This kind of board would give you an at a glance view of all open ads and, by list placement, show you what stage they are in.

In this way each List represents a person or team and the cards the list contains includes only the ads they are assigned to work on now.

Trello is very much a project management tool, it's just not a traditional "chain of due dates" PM tool. Once your team starts using it to get things done they will come up with even more ways to use it.

  • In method 1, how doul Paul knwo to start Step 2 when Julie completes Step 1? Would he be checking the card every time he sees there is an update, then looking at the card to see : 1. What's next and 2. if his name is on it? With Method 2, how do you keep track of the Sequence in a project? I.e., "next action" sort of thing. And I dont' see a way to assign a List to a person. So I assume that Bob just keeps an eye on the Bob card? Mar 25, 2014 at 15:11
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    In Method 1: Paul, Julie and Steve are assigned to the (each) card. Check List Item #1 labeled "Task 1 (Julie, Paul Next)"; Item 2 "Task 2 (Paul, Steve Next)" and checklist item #3 is "Task 3 (Steve)" By reading the checklist you can see who does each step. When Julie finishes and checks the box for item #1, everyone will receive an activity email saying "Julie completed 'Task 1 (Julie, Paul next)'". Paul can take this email as notice he is up next. When Steve checks his box, he can move the card to a "Completed" board list. And, Yes, anyone can open the card and review what is next. Mar 25, 2014 at 16:36
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    With Method 2: The Person/Department name is the List Title. The board would contain a list for each. List 1 title would be "To Do or Approve", List 2 would be "Task 1, Julie", #3 "Task 2, Paul", #4 "Task 3, Bob". #5 "Delivered / Completed" (or the next). Each Ad (mini project) would have a card and each card would be moved to the list (Who) is working on it now. When a card is moved from "To Do" to "Task 1, Julie" she is now assigned the card. When Julie finishes and adds an Activity notice, she moves the card to Paul's list. Cards at the top of a list have priority over lower Mar 25, 2014 at 16:49
  • In method 2 all Bob (or anyone) needs to do is open the board and look at her list of cards. Mar 25, 2014 at 16:50

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