Blog Entries

Project Management Tool

trello screen capture

The life of a designer can often feel overwhelming. You’re likely working on multiple projects at once, all with different deadlines, needs, clients, etc. Having found myself in this position constantly, my OCD organizational skills demanded some type of system to manage my work. My favorite so far is Trello. I find it great for the projects I work on as an in-house designer, but Trello could also work for students to manage assignments while keeping track of due dates and course requirements.

Trello has an intuitive web interface and a free iPhone app. The basic gist is that you create items, called cards, and then organize those items in columns.


I use cards for individual assignments and projects. Within each card you can specify categories, due dates, add comments or create checklists. The up-side of categorizing your cards is that you can filter by those categories to get better views of what you have going on. You might use categories for different clients, media, courses, etc.

Depending on how advanced you want to get, you can assign other Trello users to different cards, add comments for team members, and upload documents and images relevant to a project so that everyone can see quickly the files associated with that card.


Columns are just as customizable as cards. You can create as many different columns, name and reorder them. I use columns to help me keep up with where projects are in the process. I have a column for projects that I am waiting on content for, items that haven’t begun, those in process, those waiting for approval and ones that are finished.

There are a lot  more purposes Trello could suffice and plenty of other things you can do with it. These are just a few of the things I have found useful. Check it out and let me know if you have another good project management system.


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Freelance Contracts

Inevitably, as a designer, you will be asked to do freelance work by a friend or acquaintance. One lesson I have learned through experience is the importance of having your clients sign contracts and receiving a deposit up front. You have to protect your time and assets as a designer and a contract is a simple way to define expectations at the onset and prevent issues later on. For help on drafting your contracts, check out Smashing Magazine’s article on Contract Do’s and Don’ts.

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Ed Fella on Getting it Wrong

Fella talks of design, art and taking chances. He says “I am interested in graphic design as art”. Check out the full article to read more about Fella’s view on the  relationship between design and art.

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