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  • April

The Executive Mom's Secret: Harnessing the Power of Project Management Tools for Family Organization

Trello project board

As a working mom, I know firsthand how challenging it can be to keep your home organized while juggling a career and family life. It often feels like there are never enough hours in the day to get everything done. However, I've found that implementing project management tools I use in the office can make a world of difference to stay on top of things at home.

That's why I love using Trello for staying organized at home. Trello is a free online tool that allows you to create boards, lists, and cards to organize your tasks and projects. Here are some tips on how to use Trello for at-home Project Management for moms to stay organized with home and family life.

Project Management for Moms: Using Trello to stay organized at home

Trello Kanban board

Trello allows you to create different types of checklists and project boards to help you stay organized, formatted in a variety of ways based on your preference. I personally love their Kanban Board view, but you can also use their Table View or Calendar View. (They also have Workspace, TImeline, and Dashboard views, but I personally find those more helpful at work than at home). And honestly, one of the reasons I prefer Trello to some of their competitors is the ability to set the background to a beautiful image :) It's the little things...

I currently have 1 main "To Do" Board, and then because we're building a home right now, I have a separate "House" Board to organize all of that. You can totally have different boards for different purposes though, e.g. if you wanted one just for Birthday party planning, kids school stuff, new baby planning, meal planning, etc. And then you can use the Workspace View to see your tasks across all your boards. However, I personally like using just 1 board for everything home-related.

Here are a few ways to organize the columns (or sub-todo lists) of your board:

  • Traditional Kanban: What is Kanban you ask? Kanban boards are a visualization tool that enables you to optimize the flow of your work. They are divided into several columns, each representing a specific stage in the work process. While the specific headers can vary depending on the nature of the project, a basic Kanban board will typically have these three headers: To Do, Doing, and Done. While I find this format helpful at work, I actually don't use this at home much.

  • Temporal View ("When"): Column headers are something along the lines of: Today, This Week, This Month, This Quarter, Someday. I actually use this format at work quite a bit, but given how fluid my home life is with two toddlers running around, I don't use this much at home either (other than the Someday list).

  • Location View ("Where"): this is the view I use at home, and I loosely based it on a principle named in David Allen's book Getting Things Done. The idea is that you have a to-do list for wherever you are, so you can make use of this little gaps in time we all find ourselves having each day. For me, this looks like a Computer list, a Call list, a Home list, and a Husband list. So no matter where I am, I can check the list that I'm able to complete in that moment to knock things off, without being mentally taxed by reading all the other tasks on my long list that I can't complete because of where I am or what I'm doing.

Additional board columns I always include, whether at home or at work:

  • Waiting on Others: this column allows me to park tasks that I've done everything I can with but still need input from others on. So I feel like I'm "done" and it's off my list, but I'm still keeping tabs on it so it doesn't slip through the cracks. You can add due dates and reminders and even assign tasks to others so they get done on time too.

  • Later / Someday: this column lets me park ideas for the future that I review periodically to see whether it's time to act on them or not. They are a helpful parking lot area so I feel like I can jot something down quickly without feeling the need to act on it anytime soon. Notion is another great online tool for this.

Re-usable To Do Lists to Never Lose Track of Things

woman writing checklist in notebook at cafe

Of course, you can customize literally all of this. You can have board columns be whatever makes sense for your family's workflow, or even make cards into their own mini-projects with sub checklists, descriptions, comments, labels, other members, etc. Some other ideas for you on how to use Trello or another similar project management tool at home:

  • Weekly meal plan: Create a checklist of meals that you plan to make for the week. This will help you save time and money by ensuring that you have all the ingredients you need. You can use and reuse the same list, and even use ChatGPT to connect your list into Instacart for instant ordering!

  • Event planning: Do you find yourself starting from scratch every time you have to plan a kids birthday party? Keep it all in a Trello board (or card) so that you can use the same list each time as a starting point, and archive it when you're done for reuse later!

  • Packing: Everytime we go somewhere, my husband asks me what he's missing while we pack. I'm like hello just make a list once (in Trello or really wherever, I use my Apple Reminders app for this) and just use and reuse it each time for flawless and fast packing. I also have separate repeat packing lists for my boys.

  • Kids activities around town: Ever find yourself trying to figure out how to entertain your kids on a rainy / snowy / too hot day? I spent an hour one day researching online for activities I could do with my kids and put them all into a list (well, sub-lists for indoor, outdoor, morning, afternoon, etc.), which I now just add to as I find out about new stuff in town. Definitely helps in a pinch when I'm dealing with my yelling toddlers and trying to plan something quick.

  • Restaurants: I have a somewhat famous restaurant list for my city that I share with one and all - helps me quickly grab a reservation from the latest local hotspot since I have it all logged in one place!

  • Gifts: I suck at gift giving. Things are a bit easier now that I can consult AI for gift ideas, but I've also recently started keeping a running list of gift ideas for various family members, so that when a birthday or holiday rolls around I am ready to rock!

  • Hurricane readiness: yes I have a list for this... I live in Florida :)

Delegating Tasks

woman looking up at chalkboard that says Delegate

One of the best ways to stay organized as a working mom is to delegate tasks. It's important to recognize that you can't do everything, and that's okay. And I'm honestly horrible at it, but hopefully by writing about it I'll start to do it more...? Enlist the help of your family members and consider hiring outside help for tasks that can be handled by others. For example, hiring a cleaning service to come in twice a month can free up time for you to focus on other responsibilities.

Another way to delegate tasks is to involve your children in household chores. Assign age-appropriate tasks such as folding laundry or setting the table. This not only helps you stay organized but also teaches your children responsibility and valuable life skills. I was pleasantly shocked to find that my 4-year old son actually loves to help me out with errands and chores around the house (usually), so we make it a fun game or something to look forward to, and it also gives me some time back! Just try not to micromanage their sweeping job...

Parting Thoughts

I can't emphasize enough how invaluable tools like Trello have been in streamlining my family's chaotic schedule and keeping our household on track. By treating my home life a bit like a well-orchestrated project, I've gained a sense of control and efficiency, without losing the warmth and love that makes a house a home.

Remember, the goal is not to be a perfect exec mom—because there's no such thing—but rather to be an empowered one. By leveraging these project management tools, you're not just organizing tasks—you're creating space for what truly matters: being present for your family, and for yourself. So dive in, explore, and don't be afraid to repurpose these business tools for your home. You've got this, Executive Mom!

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