Trello is redesigning its project management platform for a remote work future


Productivity app Trello, a virtual whiteboard-style platform for organizing and managing projects, is announcing a major redesign today in addition to new features for helping businesses manage third-party integrations. The platform is getting a visual overhaul, both to its logo and the illustrations it deploys across its website and apps. It’s also getting multiple new ways to both customize cards and view your workload beyond the core whiteboard column view.

“During the pandemic, Trello became many people’s new offices in a remote-first world. The overnight shift to distributed work coupled with the frantic adoption of digital tools led to an exponential increase in digital work artifacts scattered across apps, some of which now resemble a graveyard of ‘tried-and-tossed’ tools,” explains Trello co-founder Michael Pryor, who leads up the platform at enterprise software giant Atlassian following its acquisition in 2017, in a blog post published on Tuesday.

Pryor says Trello has accumulated well over 50 million users, and the company wants to expand the way Trello works with third-party services like Google Drive, ticketing platform Jira, and Slack. “Today, we are unveiling the beginning of a whole new Trello, built specifically to support teams as they usher in a new era of work. These features, along with our plans for the future, will give users a central vantage point from which to view, plan and tackle their work.”

The new cards include both mirror cards and link cards, which the company hopes will make it easier to manage other apps and services from within Trello. Link cards, for instance, can now display previews if they contain a link to a third-party service like Dropbox, Google Docs, and YouTube. Another new card type, mirror cards, will let you pair together cards across multiple boards, so changes to one are reflected on all the others. Trello says this should help cut down on confusion and unnecessary interoffice updates, because more basic information about the status of a project will be automatically available instead of having to be manually communicated.

Trello is also introducing five new board views that deviate from the standard column layout the platform helped popularize. These include team table view for turning multiple Trello boards into something more akin to a spreadsheet for easy viewing; timeline view for organizing a complex project by upcoming deadlines; calendar view for tracking projects and even simply individual to-do list items on a monthly basis; map view for organizing projects that incorporate information (like real estate); and dashboard view for visualizations of data and other project information into bar, line, and pie charts.

These changes may help Trello, which is celebrating its 10th anniversary this year, stay competitive against alternatives like Asana, as well as the scores of smaller project management apps all vying for a coveted spot among the ever-growing list of software tools used by small startups and large corporations alike. Key to that, Pryor says, is acknowledging that Trello can’t be the one app that does everything you want it to do, but rather that it needs to be flexible enough to let companies and small teams connect to the tools they do need and have it all be accessible.

“‘Hey, we’re just going to get everyone to use our tool, we will be the project management tool to rule them all.’ When you look at how people work, that strategy is a little myopic,” Pryror told The Verge in an interview last week. “There’s a lot of different tools people use to get their job done and they’re not all the same thing to different people.”

The goal for Trello going forward, he added, is figuring out “how can we expand the card metaphor to different tools and to give you a perspective on all the work that’s happening.” New types of cards, and new ways of visualizing Trello’s signature whiteboard, could help expand those metaphors and, Pryor hopes, make people more productive in the process.


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