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2016: Trello Predictions… What’s coming?!

2016 will be a year for driving productivity apps forward…

In 2015, productivity apps and tools have been starting to think more towards being “insightful” with the feedback and output of information. As well as forming collaborations with other tools on the productivity block.

To start with, here are few examples of intelligent activity in 2015:

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Evernote’s contextual notes

Contextual notes allow you to go deeper when inside a note. The Evernote technology will scan over your note using AI (augmented intelligence) and feedback with related articles, LinkedIn accounts and relevant material across your Evernote account that matches your potential next actions after being within this note.

This was announced at November 2014’s Evernote conference and rolled out in December 2014 on Android, iOS, Mac and PC applications.

I’m not entirely sure how many people are using it however after chatting hours with people on social media. I’m not sure this is a very focal point for the service. If I’m asked “what’s the best feature in Evernote” and reply with “contextual” services… I actually tend to be forgetting about this one as it sits at the bottom of my notes.

Todoist & Wunderlist’s Intelligent Input

This “Intelligent Input” feature within Todoist & Wunderlist allow you to take advantage of your keyboard laziness and lack of time.

Essentially you can input activity by adding shortened versions of the task name, task dates and context (project priority, labels and more). It’ll instantly categorise this and put it into your feed of activities.

I’ve done a video on both of these and how they are used in practice - Todoist II and Wunderlist II.

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Fantastical 2

Another service Fantastical (review attached), a calendar application for organising appointments and activities allows you to

In the same way you input short sharp inputs into Todoist, with Fantastical 2 you can add your events, it understands and blend them into your system. It’s very neat and such a time saver in the scheme of things…

https://flexibits.com/fantastical

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Today I wanted to take a look at Trello.

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Brand Logo

Trello is a tool that I have been using for around 1 year now, on and off across the year, however with a strong focus. It has always been on my radar. On September 15th 2015, they announce 10 million users which is a very well achieved benchmark in their 3/4 year history.

Trello Inc. were previously called Fog Creek Software, however in 2014, Trello was born.

Trello, for those who are unable, allows users to populate Trello with their tasks, activities and content allowing them to organise, monitoring and plan all of their day-to-day activity.

Here are the three predictions I have for Trello:

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PS — Dear Trello Team, I’m sorry if I ruin anything here… Thank you for the Gold for 1 year!

A Complete re-design of service

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This is almost guaranteed.

Although I’m not sure I can find one person that will complain about the current Trello experience. I can bet that in 2016 they’ll have a complete design overhaul. I’m a really big fan of the current design but as they have always innovated with “Kanban” style design I think they need to make the design less “fluffy” and more “edgy” as an approach to get more business and enterprise users on.

The current state of the market is that all productivity apps need to work out how to attract users that will be paying for Business pricing or Enterprise pricing. Companies like Evernote has worked this out and acquiring these sorts of customers requires making a more robust, consistent and smart looking design. At the moment, as I look at my Editorial Calendar board for Trello I see that it has no issue with design. It works well, it works effectively and manages to pull of what I need it too… however I just think this re-design will be site wide and go smart with it’s look and feel.

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  • Friendlier font — I think the font can be a little more “Gothic or Grotesque”.
  • List view access to all tasks — more features allowing you to customise view.
  • Reward system attached to cards — with Todoist, you seem to have Karma. We need a Trello equivalent.
  • Stronger interlink between Boards — being able to connect boards and interlink activities and tasks.
  • Introducing “Templates” — there needs to be a centralised place to get started with Trello.

Integrations outside of “Business Class” Trello

Trello announced Business Class a few months ago. This allows business users to go deeper with their activities by connecting the tools they already have.

With this new set-up, integrations to other tools only seem to be available in Business Class. I think that Trello will start allowing non-Business class users connect to their other services as they build value in their Business Class offering.

Here’s an example how Trello connects Slack:

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A smarter iOS Application

I really think they need to take a new approach on the iOS functionality of Trello. At the moment, it definitely does the basics but I think they could go a little deeper in allowing you to edit offline, interact with boards and cards from a distant view/summary view.

If Trello can master their Offline experience for iOS and Android, that doesn’t simply allow you to view cards they have a fantastic product. Another issue seems to be with “sync” abilities of Trello. They don’t seem to be consistent on this point…

I think they are working on a refined version of the Apps that allow you more access and more control of summarising your content at a glance as well as being able to edit with ease.

BONUS:

Deeper functionality inside each “card”.

Although Trello seems to allow you a host of access of features, I believe they should be offering some deeper functionality inside cards. This probably ties closely into the integration mention above.

At the moment looking at the open card experience, I think Trello in 2016 will add more customisable backgrounds, access to member’s individual progress on items inside the task as well as stronger calendar view so you can see the card in context to your workflow. Essentially I think Trello will take this card feature to allow you more windows into your work, at the moment, it seems to take you away from the experience a little too much, for some people that might work fine however I think in the long run, inside a Kanban system you need to see task in context consistently to other tasks.

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In 1963, Toyota began using the Kanban system as a way to manage their progress on tasks. (see image below). Trello has now taken over being the leading Kanban tool in the world, with that raw Japanese approach to monitoring activities I think Trello really have the ability to take everything to the next level!

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What do you think?

What predictions do you see for Trello in 2016?

Thank you!

Francesco :)

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👨🏻‍💻 Host of Keep Productive — talking about the future of productivity software here on Medium 👋🏻

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