How we use Trello to communicate research

Using Trello to Communicate Research

Condensing and visualising research for us involves lots of coffee and cappuccinos (literally and figuratively speaking…). In this blog post, we take you behind the scenes to show you how we use Trello to communicate research.

Our projects need a Project Manager (PM), a Research Communicator (RC) and a Graphic Designer (GD).

The PM ties everything and everyone together by:

  • Communicating with the client
  • Collating feedback
  • Ensuring quality control and high standards
  • Managing and assigning tasks to the RC and GD using Trello


Trello to communicate research

We use Trello internally to communicate research by centralising information and managing our projects. Trello has allowed us to optimise our processes and improve communication. But what exactly does that look like?

Step 1: Create a project Trello Board

The first step for a PM is to create a generic project Board.

Trello to communicate research

This project Board includes four lists that make up the entire research communication process:

1. Project Details

2. Project Management Workflow

3. Summariser Associate Workflow

4. Designer Associate Workflow

Trello to communicate research

Step 2: Populate the project Board

The next step is to populate these lists with the tasks (i.e. ‘cards’) that each team members has to complete (i.e. workflows):

Trello to communicate research

These workflows have been mapped out with the experience of completing 20 research communication projects. While the tasks are not always the same, they follow a similar structure:

– Admin (i.e. signing contracts, Skype, joining Trello, using Slack, invoicing)

– Research communication work: condensing or visualising research

– Feedback: client feedback intertwines with the text and design work

Step 3: Personalise the project Board

After inserting these generic tasks, the PM personalises the Board with specific details and tasks about the project.

This personalisation includes:

– Adding specific team members to the project Board

– Adding relevant documents to each card

– Assigning tasks to the team members

– Adding deadlines as confirmed with the client

– Adding/Removing any steps as necessary

– Adding emojis 🙂

Trello notifies the team members via email and everyone sees the BIG PICTURE of the project.

Trello to communicate research

Step 4: Update the Board during the project

As members complete the tasks, the PM updates the Trello Board and makes the necessary changes.

The live updating of the Board helps the PM to:

– Manage the research communication process

– Track progress and tasks

– Build a repository of information for the team

– Open communication

– Build transparency


Trello is a fantastic project management tool that is free and easy to set up and use. When communicating research, it can be easy to get confused about ‘What version is the latest?’, ‘When was that due again?’, or ‘What is the next step?’.

Trello makes communicating research easier for us by having everything and everyone in one centralised place of action.

Are you familiar with Trello? How do you use it in your line of work?



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