Go back a year in our Manchester based design studio and you would see just how much paper we used in an attempt to organise ourselves and our projects. Small stacks of paper neatly (sometimes less neatly…) lined up on our desks, all colour coded to show which is an ongoing project, awaiting a response from a client or ready to be invoiced. Sticky notes cover parts of our desks and screens so we can keep up with our creative projects and each other – picture the scene in Bruce Almighty where he covers his apartment in sticky note prayers. We didn’t know at the time that this system could be vastly improved, not just to help each of us organise our workflow but to also reduce our office paper waste.
Looking at our desks today, we have so much space we hardly know what to do with it. We now look to our screens to check on each of our projects, as we use Trello to organise every area of our studio. Not only can we now check our own projects with a few clicks but we can also look over each others work if they’re on holiday or in a meeting.
Our stacks of paper have been replaced with lists and cards within Trello, all of which we can easily move around the board to the relevant section, from ‘To Quote’ all the way through to ‘To Invoice’. An even bigger bonus to this new system is that we can all access it on the go within the Trello App.
The next step to reducing paper waste was to get rid of our addiction to sticky notes. This fix was an easy one, white boards! As much as we love to use technology, typing up notes when you’re on the phone is a tricky one-handed nightmare; this is when we now grab a whiteboard pen and get writing. Once we’ve finished taking notes, we type them up into Trello and wipe them away.
Our move to Trello was so effective that we ended up implementing it within a local business, helping them keep track of all areas within their company as well as removing a lot of paper-based organisation and waste. We also convinced the team at Brayn, a design agency in the Netherlands, to move away from their paper based system and onto Trello.
Whilst this all reads like a big sponsored advert for Trello, we could only wish. But you should give it a go if you’re surrounded by paperwork and sticky notes, or find something similar that works for you.