Last week we talked about how setting reading goals can help you to read more. If you’re convinced and ready to give it a try, I’m going to share my method with you! I’ve begun using the website and app called Trello to plan my reading as well as other things in life. Trello is a very simple tool that can help you keep track of just about anything you can dream up. For now, I’ll be showing you specifically how I use it to set and track my reading goals.
First, create your free Trello account and follow the guided setup instructions to become familiar with its tools. Their mascot dog, Taco, will walk you through everything you need to know.
Once you’ve explored a bit and are ready to create your reading board, click the plus (+) button at the top of your Trello home screen to start setting up a new board. You’ll then need to enter a title such as “TBR 2017” or “Reading” or “My Books” or “David’s Super Amazing Reading List.” You get the idea.
Now that your board is created, you’ll be adding and naming a few lists. I start with one master list on the far left and add a list for each month following that.
Next, start creating a card for each book you’re thinking of reading this year under your master list. If you already know which month you plan to read a book in, click on and drag the card over to that month’s list. Continue to assign books to the months until you’re satisfied with how it looks. It’s a good idea to leave some spaces open for spur-of-the-moment reads or books you hear about later in the year. If you’re not sure where a book belongs just yet, keep it in your master list to revisit later.
The nice thing about this system is that you can make changes to it at any point without having to scratch out or rewrite your list. It’s an easy way to visualize what your reading year is going to look like. I’ve already made significant changes to the order I plan to read things in and it’s only January. I imagine I’ll be flipping things around frequently for the rest of the year. With a Trello board, it’s easy!
And you’re all set! See how simple that is? Throughout the year you can switch the books around with ease. Let’s say you want to postpone reading A Midsummer Night’s Dream until June and instead read To Kill a Mockingbird next month. Just drag and drop their respective cards into the appropriate month lists and you’re done!
Another feature I like to use for my reading list is Trello’s label system. It’s very simple to personalize the label colors and descriptions. I like to have a few categories for my books so that I know I’m getting a good mix of genres in each month.
For example, you might choose to simply sort your books into fiction and nonfiction using two different colored labels. Or you could get more detailed and include a label color for each genre you plan to read. I’ve also created labels for things like author gender, whether the book is part of a series, as well as a label identifying a graphic novels and comics.
This is just one way to use Trello. If you like it, you might find yourself making boards for all kinds of things, as I did. Use it to keep recipes handy. Use it as a planner instead of carrying one. Keep track of other goals like savings and health plans. The possibilities are essentially endless!
Even if you choose not to try out Trello, set some reading goals for the next month or two and see how you like it! For more on tracking goals and reading more, visit last week’s guide to setting reading goals.
How do you track your reading? What else do you use Trello for?
This is not a sponsored post nor have I been compensated by Trello in any way for it. I am sharing my honest opinion on a tool I find helpful in my personal experience with the hope my readers will benefit.