I am a longtime fan of checklists, especially for repetitive types of things like packing, teaching prep, weekly planning, etc. Recently, Trello added template cards, which as the name suggests allow you to create new cards from a template, rather than a blank card. Trello cards also allow you to add checklists, which means that this is the perfect system for creating checklists for repetitive or recurring tasks! So, I thought I’d use this post to discuss all of the ways in which I use template cards for checklists in all areas of my life.
Because I make checklists that include really basic and mundane things (like putting the Can-Do Statement for my lesson on the powerpoint slide), people sometimes ask me why I do this. The answer is simply that I’m terrible at remembering these types of mundane details, but I can follow a checklist. This is especially helpful if it is something I don’t need to do frequently, as I don’t have to recall the steps months later. Knowing that everything is on the checklist reassures me that I’m not missing anything, and if I discover that I am missing something, I can just add it to the checklist for next time, which prevents this in the future.
I have task lists that need to be completed on a weekly, monthly, and semesterly basis for various areas of my life (work, home, dance). Some of these are things that have to happen (e.g. paying bills, setting up the LMS for my classes) and some of these things are ones that are less painful if I do them on that schedule (e.g. updating my CV, making a monthly spread in our family photobook). By putting these into template cards starting with the work Week, Month, or Semester, when a new one of these rolls around I just have to click on the template icon at the bottom of my Trello list and add all the cards that start with that time period. Here are the recurring task templates I use:
- Weekly Planning, Weekly Inputs (who knew there were 25 physical and digital sources I could get todo items from until I did this!)
- Monthly Work Admin (things I should do on a monthly basis)
- Semester Planning, Semester Beginning, Semester End, Semester Stock Office, Semester File Purging
- Teaching (these go on the class boards, not my work board): Class Prep, Grading, Weekly Schedule, Semester Setup, Semester End
- Weekly Home Admin, Weekly Family Popcorn Planning, Weekly Bags (prepping activity bags)
- Monthly Cleaning, Monthly Cleaning Supplies, Monthly Home Admin, Monthly Photos
- Semester Craft Supplies, Semester Home Admin, Semester Home Seasonal (varies Spring, Summer, Fall), Semester Stock Makeup, Semester Stock Medicine Cabinet, Semester Stock Travel Toiletries, Semester Planning, Semester Travel Planning
- Weekly Dance Admin
- Monthly Dance Admin
- Semester Dance Admin, Semester Beginning, Semester End
Once these cards are added to my Trello board for that area, I don’t necessarily complete them in one sitting, but work on them throughout that period (semester, month, week).
The second type of task I find Trello template cards extremely useful for is tasks that are repetitive, but that don’t necessarily repeat in a regular time frame and aren’t big enough to require their own board. This includes things like packing lists and planning dance demonstrations. Here are the repetitive card templates I use (none at work actually thought maybe in the future!):
- Packing list for me (for conference travel)
- Packing list for me
- Packing list for each kid
- Family Trip packing List
- Cooler packing List (for road trips)
- Holiday lists
- Kid birthday lists
- Dance Demonstrations
- Packing list for me (for competitions, judging)
- Packing list for my daughter (for competing)
- Dance Competition packing list
- Outdoor Dance Competition packing list
- Cooler packing list
Writing this all out . . . this is a lot of lists and things to keep track of! I think this is exactly why I like/desperately need all of these lists! Do you use recurring checklists? If so, what do you use to track them?