How I Use Trello

I am not exactly a Trello power-user, but I use it on a regular basis, especially when I am juggling multiple tasks and projects.

I keep a separate board for each side project I am working at the moment and the main board for my 9-to-5 work. For the most part, I use them alone.

Basically, I start new boards the same way: a To-Do, Doing, and Done lists. After a while, I start breaking down the To-Do list into different lists, depending on what the work is about. If I am going to use a particular board alone, I eventually drop the Doing list. Otherwise, I keep it for visibility.

For example, for my Python & Django blog I have a Posts Backlog list for ideas for future posts, I also have a Improvements list for existing posts I need to address some issues (some changes on Django or someone suggested some improvements that could be done on the post).

For my 9-to-5 work, I have a list for my Ph.D. related tasks, a list for the project I’m currently working on, a list for tasks related to papers I’m working at the moment, and another list for general administrative tasks.

I try to always set a deadline for all the tasks. Except for cases that do not make much sense, for example, my ideas backlog for the blog, I usually just pick one idea and write about it.

So far so good. But here is where the problem arises: What to do with a card once it is done?

Here is what I do:

I use Trello Power-Up called Butler. It is a utility plugin to automate tasks. I create two simple rules:

  • When the due date is marked as complete in a card, move the card to the top of the list “Done”;
  • Every Sunday, archive all the cards in the list “Done”.

Butler: Trello Power-Up

It works pretty well for me. The process of clicking on the tasks and marking them as complete give me some sort of energy boost and a perception that I’m progressing and achieving something. It is like a small victory in my day. I used to archive the tasks right away, but keeping them on the “Done” list for the week is incredibly motivating. It gives a good overview of how the week progressed. Then after the end of the week, Butler will archive everything in the “Done” list, and on Monday the board is ready for a fresh start.

Practice Over Natural Ability

Each man practices as he feels inclined. It is said the warrior’s is the twofold Way of pen and sword, and he should have a taste for both Ways.
Even if a man has no natural ability he can be a warrior by sticking assiduously to both divisions of the Way.
— Miyamoto Musashi in The Book of Five Rings

This book was first published over three centuries ago, by the Japanese famous Samurai Miyamoto Musashi. Short read, great book. Many concepts and ideas are still applicable nowadays.

One does not need a natural ability or innate talent to become great at something. Practice is what makes all the difference.

How to Change macOS Default Screen Shot Folder

That’s something that has always bothered me. Unfortunately there is no way to do it via a user interface. But it can be easily achieved running the following commands in the Terminal:

defaults write com.apple.screencapture location ~/Desktop/Screenshots/
killall SystemUIServer

Change the ~/Desktop/Screenshots/ with the desired path you want to save the screen shots. It is important to note that you need to create the target folder before changing the path.

Hello, World!

I’ve never been much of a writer, but since I started pursuing a Ph.D., you sort of not have a choice anymore. You gotta put the work and write a lot. That was one of the reasons why I started a blog about Python and Django a couple of years ago — to write more on a regular basis.

Without much expectation, after six months posting every week, the blog took off. And I gotta say, I’m very proud of the results so far. I still love publishing new articles and tutorials and engaging with the audience. In fact, I have big plans for the next semester.

In the very beginning, I sort of had more freedom on the content I published there. But as the blog started to grow and other sites started indexing its RSS feed, and people started subscribing via email, I felt some pressure regarding the quality of the content (and what) I publish there.

To write about anything else, long or short texts, with no commitments or a particular subject, I created this blog. Probably I will be writing about tech stuff for the most part, but I might also share some personal thoughts every now and then.

See you around!