Managing Your Personal Sprints w/ Trello

wordswithchung profile image Chung Nguyen ・3 min read

Screenshot of Trello board

Your hyper-organized developer is back to share something I've been using since August 2017 that has kept me extremely productive and put-together. 

Background: I work in a team of about 12 people (as part of a larger Engineering Department) and we develop using the Agile Scrum framework. This means there are these meetings:

  • Sprint grooming
  • Sprint planning
  • Sprint retrospective
  • Sprint Telecommunications

Okay, maybe not that last one. But lots of ceremonies and such surrounding the framework. The thing that matters most to me is that I know EXACTLY what I need to do and get done in any given sprint so that I can deliver them on-time and on-spec.

We manage our sprints with Jira, which works fine for managing at the team / department level, but for personal use, I find it misses some very key things:

  • Easy searching of tickets
  • The ability to take personal notes (and, let's be honest, to gripe about 💩)

Enter: Trello.

Here's a Trello template board for you to use!

Main uses:

  1. I keep a lot of deployment notes and IDE keyboard shortcuts on this board. I don't deploy every day but when I do, I like having my deployment links and info in one place. Also, I jot down all of my test accounts as well as their respective environments here.
  2. Each ticket I have on Jira corresponds with a Trello card. I have a template card ticket that I copy and make for every new ticket in the sprint. It's relatively optimized because I just need to copy+paste the entire ticket number and name from Jira over to Trello. There's also a link to the Jira ticket in the Trello card for when I need to refer back or to update my entire team on progress.
  3. I try to kanban it and have only one card in 'doing' state. This helps me stay focused on seeing the task through to its conclusion.
  4. I also keep tabs of my merge request (MR) in the Trello card itself. This has helped me a lot in finding code from previous implementations quickly and easily. Feature X that I built in November 2017? Yes, I have the link to the MR so I can quickly recall what specific code was introduced.
  5. And I basically use the browser Ctrl + F to search the Trello board all the time. Whenever someone asks what happened with XYZ, it takes me about 5 seconds on my Trello board to give them more info.
  6. Most importantly, I can keep private notes on my Trello board / cards. Comments on Jira tickets are 'public' and can get ridiculously confusing for folks when a ticket is in-progress. Do CS, PMs, other devs, and the entire company at-large really need to know the five things I'm investigating right now to fix this problem? Most likely not. I had no other place to note these things and Trello has been such a lifesaver in this regard. And, as a hyper-organized person, being able to put down what I think will be the to-do items in a checklist and marking them as done as I go along? Satisfying AF. ✅

Hope this info and the Trello template board are helpful for you to stay organized!

Posted on by:

wordswithchung profile

Chung Nguyen


I'm a software engineer living in the San Francisco Bay Area. I love dogs.


markdown guide

Interesting, but when I tried to see that Trello template board it said that the link is private.


I like Trello. I have over twenty boards for diary, ideas, tutorials, configurations, hobby, fun, etc. My base structure of boards is Kanban: BackLog, ToDo, Doing, Done and IceBox. I use attachments, links to other cards, hyperlinks, etc.

Your Inspiring Board inspired me. Thanks!


Hmm I never saw the point of Trello but mentioning the private notes now makes me curious.

Does anyone know why Atlassian maintains both Jira and Trello? I think I'd be sold on trying it if it didn't feel like they'll sunset it any day now.


I like Trello for its simplicity and functionality. I don't deny how useful and powerful Jira is, but the feeling and experience I have is it gets kind of slow sometimes. 😕 I usually see loadings for many actions I take.
I truly do hope Trello continues to operate.


Jira is Atlassian's and then they acquired Trello, so I sure hope they don't ever sunset it. Trello has a decent user base and seems pretty self-sufficient. :)


Great tip! Do you replicate Jira tickets by hand or is there some fancy automated script for importing to Trello?


According to the post, it seems it is done via manual copy pasting. I did a quick search and found there are some integrations which synchronize Jira to Trello, but that probably requires administrator privileges on Jira's side to install...


Correct. Done manually.

Trello has a number of ways to make cards (including emailing, with lists, etc.), but I like having my template on new Trello cards.

How to make Trello cards out of lists: trello.com/c/M56M90xj/16-create-ne...


I've always used trello for managing personal projects but never had a good structure in place. The template definitely will be using this template. Thanks!


Nice idea, I'll try to implement it myself!

I was wondering how do you handle the cards once you finished developing them?
Do you archive them?


Great question! I make a list on the right side for every release and move the cards there. So if you have a numbered release, you can make a list called "Release Alpha 2018-07-24" and move the card there.

This actually helped me a lot in completing my self review in the annual review cycle because I knew exactly what I delivered in each release.


Awesome idea, I'll trying hdnalde with my personal tasks in my job in this way..

A note: the Trello Template is private..


Whoops! Updated: trello.com/b/XOp2dx3t/template-per...

...I have Trello boards for all sorts of things!


Board not found.
This board may be private. If someone gave you this link, they may need to invite you to one of their boards or teams.