Using Trello to track progress

If you follow any other custom pinball blogs you will realise that building a custom pinball machine is a long process, with many of life events halting progress. As I have two little ones that will always take priority over building a pinball machine, it is totally inevitable that I will have down periods. Which will only ever lead me to forget where things are up to and what items remain. With this in mind I have decided I should use tools to track my progress.

It is no secret that I work for Atlassian and while I use JIRA day to day to track my work I don't need something so structured to track things at home. Since we acquired Trello at the start of the year it makes perfect sense for me to use the tools we make at work. Trello has the benefit of unstructured workflows, providing a simple to use Web and Mobile interface to just do what is needed, keep track of things.

The first thing I setup was the lists (or swimlanes for those familiar with sprint style agile development).
The lists I chose were:

List NamePurpose
Not StartedTasks I have not yet started
WaitingTasks that are waiting for (something like a delivery etc)
In ProgressTasks that I am currently working on
BlogItems I have not yet added to this blog so you get to follow along
CompletedAll the stuff I have completed

Next, I created tasks in the form of cards under each list. The idea here is to make cards for some complete piece of work. Like painting the cabinet. Inside the card I can then create a checklist of the individual tasks that make up that piece of work, like sanding, undercoating etc. Ideally make the items in the checklist something that can be completed in one go and not something you will leave half done. While the whole card might take many weeks to complete.

With the Trello mobile app I am able to quickly take progress photos and attach them to the card tracking that phase of the build. I can update cards on the run and if I think of something I have not yet added to the board I can create a new card in moments. I can store attachments and links to relevant items inside the card giving me a way to organise all these resources under the task they relate to. When it comes time to blog about the progress I can use the photos and details inside the cards to pull together the information for you to read.

My FAST equipment should finally be on its way with a order of parts from PBL :)
Stay tuned.


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