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Organizational Tips

How to Use Trello to Manage Your Life



How to Use Trello to Organize Your Life

It’s time to add another application to the short list of resources that you use to make life as a working mom more manageable. Learning how to use Trello alongside Slack and Hashtag Todo/Google Calendar will take you one step closer to clarity and an organized (busy!) life.

How to Use Trello to Organize Your Life

I’m sure your first question is why do I need to learn how to use Trello and add another tool to my arsenal? Can’t I get by with the other resources I’ve implemented into my routine?  

Let’s outline how you are using those other resources –

  • Slack: If you’re a small business owner, you are using Slack to organize your communication. You’re keeping resources handy, business decisions logged and developing overall brand management in a collaborative tool that your team can utilize to move forward with your business.
  • Google Calendar: As a working mom of any kind, you are using Google Calendar to organize your time. You are developing your “virtual brain” by setting reminders for important tasks that often go overlooked, scheduling purposeful play/downtime with your family and friends, and categorizing your personal, professional and family calendars for easy access and big picture view.
  • Hashtag Todo: You’re taking your Google Calendar one step further by organizing your day. By using this handy, auto-updating to do list, you are keeping a constant tally of daily tasks that won’t slip through the cracks if your time shifts elsewhere. It’s for simple, short bits of activity that provide direction and forward momentum.

We are going to use Trello to organize your todo lists. That’s right, all 100 of them. One place. Go you!

There are a couple of ways to approach Trello. (NOTE: Trello can get powerfully complex as a business owner when you utilize “organizations” as your starting point when using the app to organize your company, but for the purposes of the everyday working woman, we’ll keep it simple for this post.) You have three major places to organize communication –

  1. Boards: Boards are full page “buckets” where you keep a series of lists.
  2. Lists: Lists are developed within a board to organized a series of cards.
  3. Cards: Cards are added to lists for tracking specific tasks.

I’ve created a sample board for us to use called Chaos & Kiddos Blog Post Board. This is our home base – My real life home base (master board) is called To Do List.

How to Use Trello

On this sample board, I’ve created a series of lists. These are separated by topics that would be relevant for a working mom. (In my real life board, my lists are separated by brand or personal priority.)

How to Use Trello

Each list has its own series of cards. So far, we’ve used boards and lists to organize the different arenas in our lives. Cards will be where we get started with “doing.”

How to Use Trello

How to Use Trello

Within each card, you have several features to take advantage of:

  • Checklists – A to do list within a to do list! Outline the steps required to complete each card.
  • Attachments – Attach documents, images and other important work related to your card.
  • Due Dates – Set due dates that will mark your cards when you’ve failed to meet your deadline.
  • Members – Share your board with other family members or employees for shared work.
  • Labels – Color code cards for easy, at-a-glance big picture clarity (In progress, pending, unassigned).
  • Subscribe – Set up notifications to keep you up to speed with team updates.
  • Activity Log – Store history, phone call notes and updates to track progress and communicate.

How to Use Trello

How to Use Trello

How to Use Trello

Move cards manually within the card by reassigning to a different list (move cards to “Done”) or drag cards from list to list in your main board view. Another great way to label lists would be to have a master “todo list” and then other lists labeled “assigned,” “in progress,” “in review,” and “complete.” Drag cards from one list to another as it moves through your workflow.

The great thing about Trello is that you organize the information in the way that makes the best sense to you. I’ve shared the way that works for me, but it’s my way. Make it your way! Consider everything you need to accomplish in the various facets of your life and what would help you most when it comes to breaking down your responsibilities into manageable portions. Develop your own creative stage and learn how to use Trello your way.

Have a Trello tip to share? Post it in the comments below!

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  1. Danielle @ tiny-trots

    September 7, 2015 at 4:59 pm

    I may need this eventually. I’m a paper and pen kind of gal, so I’m not sure I’m ever going to let this go. If I decide to move on, I will give this a shot!

    • Katy Blevins

      October 9, 2015 at 8:04 am

      I still use my paper and pen too! Trello is my all encompassing home base, but I use my paper and pen for immediate clarity. I love that feeling of scribbling an action plan down!

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Organizational Tips

Top 10 Family Safety Tips from @GetReadyNowPack



Family Safety Tips

Life as a busy working mom is more than hectic! The best way to combat the crazy and chaos is to do our best to prepare in advance whenever possible. Emergency preparedness is one area we often skimp in, leaving us stressed and scrambling when disaster strikes (sometimes even by our own doing!). Our friends at Get Ready Now have a few simple routines, habits and family safety tips that will keep us in control when life strikes back.

Family Safety Tips

Regular Car Check Ups

We’ll admit, guilty as charged! We often overlook the basic maintenance that keeps our car running and in tip top shape. Then, when our car decides to bite back with a little reminder about how much we’ve been neglecting it, we’re stuck in all the wrong places at all the wrong times. If you have trouble remembering to give your car some much needed love, be sure to download our Google calendar reminder list!

Keep Your Phone Fully Charged

Oops…guilty as charged again! We hate hunting down our phone chargers and have a really bad habit of tossing our phones under our pillows instead of plugging it in at night, which usually means it’s teetering near death right when we want to make an important call the next day. Invest the few dollars to keep phone chargers handy. One in the kitchen, one in the office, one in the bedroom, one in the car. Do your best to stay charged up so you have some mileage on your phone’s battery when you need it!

Stay Tuned to Weather and Disaster Warnings

We all have our phones within reach around the clock, so be sure to sign up for phone alerts or download your favorite weather app to stay in the know and be ready to move and take action when regional warnings are issued!

Have an Evacuation Plan in Place

This is a big one. Whether it’s talking about your family plan to exit the house in the event of a fire or learning your local evacuation routes and shelter locations, take time to sit down with your family and make sure everyone, young and old, understands exactly what you’ll do, where, when and how should you need to evacuate your home for any reason. This can feel like a scary conversation, especially for little ones, so we often avoid it and then reality is much, much scarier when emergency strikes and we are not prepared. Bite the bullet, map out your routes and practice it as a family!

family safety tips

Know How You’ll Reconnect With People Who Matter

If your phone died right now, would you know how to reach the most important people in your life? Yup, us too. Busted. Memorization not your thing? Make sure you store contact information safely in a few different places so you can reach out to friends and family in the event of an emergency from wherever you are. When it comes to evacuation and fire escapes, set up family meeting points where you will all head should you get physically separated. Plan for the worst case scenario!

Learn What to Do if You’re Caught Away From Home

This is more about having a plan A…through double ZZ. Emergencies breed fear and fear breeds panic, so our best defense is a good offense. Spend some time thinking through the different scenarios that might result in your being stuck somewhere you don’t want to be, unable to get somewhere you do what to be. What will you do? Where will you go? Confronting your fears, establishing plans and considering your options will empower you to act with clarity and purpose when life goes awry.

Have an Emergency Kit (or Ten) and Know How to Use Them

An emergency preparedness kit is only helpful if you know where it is, can easily get to it, know what’s in it and how to use it. Thankfully, our friends at Get Ready Now can help us there. They have vehicle packs, grab and go packs and have thought about everything you’ll need in an emergency from start to finish. Their bags are waterproof (win), clear (double win) and the supplies inside are good for 5 years (triple win!). Their website has complete lists and even videos detailing exactly what is in your pack and why it’s important. Use the code FREESHIP for free shipping! Woot! Woot!

Don’t Forget to Plan for Your Pets

Many of us overlook preparing in advance for what will happen with our pets in an emergency. We adore these beloved family members and can hit a wall of panic when disaster strikes and we realize we have not accounted for their needs along with our own. Make sure your emergency kits have extra pet food and include your pet care in evacuation planning and practice.

Stay in the Know and Sharpen Up on Your Emergency Skills

Are you CPR certified? Do you know how to safely perform the Heimlich Maneuver? Do you know how to start a fire outdoors? Consider signing up for a local safety or survival skills course. When disaster strikes, our knowledge base fuels our ability to stay calm and act effectively, which can save crucial time in an emergency or even save somebody’s life!

No Cheating! Check Those Smoke Detector Batteries Regularly

Admit it. We’ve all done it. It starts beeping, out of love to let us know that something’s up and it’s not in prime shape to save our lives. And we beat it to death with a stick, rip out the batteries, and cuddle back up in bed. And then leave it. And then leave it. And then leave it some more. NO MORE. Get those batteries in, set calendar reminders to test all smoke detectors regularly and keep your family safe, starting in your home, today.


Use the code FREESHIP for Free Shipping on Your Order!



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Blogging Resources

How to Add Custom Facebook Tabs to your Business Page



Custom Facebook tabs are a great way to spiff up your business page with touches all your own. In a visual flow format that’s mostly controlled by the social media platform itself, making the most of these tiny advantages and calls-to-action can be pivotal to expanding your reach. Take steps to prompt your audience to actively engage and direct visitors on your business page to your areas of greatest interest (i.e. subscribing or following you on social media). Custom Facebook tabs give you the opportunity to plant a tiny seed of interest by highlighting applications that otherwise tend to be ignored.

Implementing custom Facebook tabs starts with activating the appropriate applications on your business page. Connect your TwitterPinterest and Instagram feeds directly to your business page (Did you know you can set up your Instagram to post directly to your Facebook business page?). Explore your email subscriber tool for Facebook integration. If you’re using LeadPages via WordPress, activate the auto-Facebook tab (amazing!).

Search Facebook for App


Your next step is to order your Facebook tabs so that your top 3 (the ones you plan to create custom Facebook tabs for) are at the top of the list. You can do so easily by navigating to your business page, clicking “More” on your top tab bar, and then selecting “Manage Tabs.” From there you can drag up or down to order your list and even delete tabs that serve no use for your page.

Click -More- and -Manage Tabs.- Then

Now we are ready to create your custom Facebook tabs. This feature is kind of hidden…which is why most people don’t customize their tabs! The phrase we hear most often when introducing this to our clients is “Wow! I never even knew that existed!” Click on your page Settings and then navigate to Apps, which should show a complete list of the programs you just integrated with your page. Click “Edit Settings” on one of your apps and there it is! You can accomplish two special customizations here. You can change the tab name (i.e. from LeadPages to Free Motivational Planner) and upload a custom tab image. Yay!

The appropriate size for custom Facebook tab images is 111 pixels wide by 74 pixels high.


Customize your Tab Name AND your Tab

And there you go. You now have custom Facebook tabs that can drive traffic to subscriber portals, other social media profiles and more. Make sure your custom Facebook tabs are in line with your brand style and message. Maybe try a few different styles to see if any convert more than others. Take the opportunity to make the page your own and entice your audience to take the next step by clicking through.

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Blogging Resources

How to Make Custom Pinterest Board Covers and Upload Pins



There are so many little ways you can personalize your online profiles and increase engagement with your market simply by improving your visual presentation. This week, we’re introducing a few ways to sharpen your Pinterest profile. The most visual of all the social media platforms out there, and second only to Google for searching for just about anything…Pinterest is an application that no small business owner can ignore. The case for Pinterest and how to maximize market engagement could be a whole blog in and of itself. We’ll have more tips and tricks to share later, but for now, let’s start small. Today, let’s talk about how to make custom Pinterest board covers and how to manually upload and edits pins (without hitting the “Pin It” button).

Custom Pinterest board covers create a strong visual consistency in your profile that can help visitors understand your brand, intent and authority in your area of the business (or blogging) world. To create them, you’ll need to understand how to manually upload and edit pins, so we’ll start there.

Log into your Pinterest account and open one of your boards. See that nice little “Add a Pin” button? Click it!


Once you click that button, you’ll have two options. Add from Web or from your Device. When you click from Web, it’s going to remind you that you should just use a “pin it” button (and they’re right). For this lesson, let’s click from your Device. It will prompt you to upload a photo and you’ll browse your device (in this case, my computer hard drive) and choose the image to upload. It will automatically trigger the pin box and you’ll be able to choose your board and add a pin description. Voila!

What does your head shot say about you-

You’re probably going…something is missing! Where does the newly created pin take you? And you’re right. We’ve got one more step. Once the pin has been created and uploaded. Click to edit the pin and then add the URL that you want your audience to click through to in the Source box. Now…ta da!!! Voila!! You’re done!


The process for adding custom Pinterest board covers is 90% what you just learned and 10% PicMonkey fun. Click “Custom” to get started.

The magic dimension size for custom Pinterest board cover is 217 pixels x 147 pixels. 

Once you have your board covers created, you’ll upload each of them via the process above. You don’t have to add a source URL to click through if you’re just going for Pinterest pretty, BUT…our recommendation is to take the opportunity to link through to your website wherever you can! So, if you have a landing page on your website that relates to the items on your board, link your custom board cover through to that page! You never know who might click! To assign the new custom boards as the cover images in your profile, click “Edit” and then “Change Cover” and you’ll be able to scroll through to the new cover image. Click “Save Changes” and you’re done!



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