How to Use Trello as a CRM

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By Alice Smith

Last Updated on April 21, 2023 by Ewen Finser

If you’re looking for a CRM that’s affordable, easy to use, and versatile, you should definitely check out Trello. Although it’s not a traditional customer relationship manager, Trello is a project management tool that can be used for a variety of purposes, including as a CRM.

If you’re looking for a comprehensive guide on how to use Trello as a CRM, you’ve come to the right place. In this blog post, we’ll cover everything from what Trello is and some of its best features to example workflows and a step-by-step guide on setting it up as your CRM.

So, whether you’re just starting out and are curious about how Trello can be used for CRM purposes or are already using it but want to make sure you’re making the most of its capabilities, read on.

What Is Trello?

So, before we dive into how to use it as a customer relationship management platform, what exactly is Trello? Well, put simply, Trello is a visual tool that helps you organize your projects.

It’s made up of boards, lists, and cards that allow you to create a workflow for any project imaginable. You can also add people to your boards as members, give them different permissions, and attach files or images from Google Drive, Dropbox, or Box.

How Does Trello Work?


Trello works by allowing you to create a board for your project. Boards can be divided into lists, and each list can have multiple cards. Cards contain all the information pertinent to your projects, such as due dates, checklists, images, and files.

You can also add members to your boards, give them different permissions levels, and attach documents from Google Drive, Dropbox, or Box.

What Are the Different Types of Trello Workflows?

So, when you’re using Trello as a CRM, what kind of workflow could you use? Well, there are many different types of workflows that can be used for various projects. We’ll cover some common ones here:

CRM Workflow

The first and most obvious is the Customer Relationship Management (CRM) workflow. This will allow you to track all your customer interactions in one place. You can add cards for each customer, and then track the following information:

  • Contact information
  • Notes
  • Interactions (phone calls, emails, meetings, etc.)
  • Products/services they’ve purchased
  • Quotes or proposals sent

This is a great way to stay on top of your customers and make sure you’re offering them the best service possible.

Project Management Workflow


Another common workflow is the Project Management workflow. This allows you to create boards for each project and then add cards for individual tasks within those projects. You can also assign due dates, attach files, and add checklists for each job. This is a great way to keep all your projects organized in one place.

Kanban Workflow

The Kanban workflow allows you to visualize your work as it moves through different stages of completion. You can create boards for each project type, then divide them into lists for the various stages of completion.

For example, you might have a list for “To Do,” “In Progress,” and “Completed.” You can then add cards to each list as the work progresses. This is a great way to keep track of your progress and make sure everything is moving along smoothly.

Scrum Workflow

The Scrum workflow is perfect for software development projects. It allows you to create a board for each project, and then add cards for individual tasks. You can also add checklists, assign due dates, and track the status of each card. This is a great way to keep your development team organized and on track.

Agile Workflow

The Agile workflow is ideal for teams that need to constantly adapt and evolve their processes. It allows you to create a board for each project, then adds lists for different stages of completion.

You can also add cards as tasks within those stages, assign due dates, attach files or images from other online services (like Google Drive), and track the status of each card. This is a great way to keep your team organized and on track.

As you can see, there are many different workflows that can be used with Trello. It’s perfect for any project imaginable!

How Can You Use Trello as a CRM?

Now that we’ve covered some common workflows, let’s dive into how to use Trello as a CRM.

Start with the Workflow


First things first, you’ll need to decide on a workflow and how you’re going to layout your Trello. The CRM workflow we outlined earlier is a great place to start. It’s preferable to start your CRM with a list for each stage of your sales pipeline.

You’ll need to consider what is the structure of your funnel? Is it based on first seeking contact, consideration, and then purchase? Make a list of each touchpoint with your potential new consumers. Each touchpoint will be represented by a Trello list.

If you don’t have the right flow, it’s impossible to know where to place your contacts. You may need to experiment with a few different configurations before anything makes sense.

Plus, when you discover a new step in your funnel, add it as a list. If you feel two stages, such as “Consideration” and “Decision,” are too similar that there isn’t enough activity in your pipeline, condense them or redefine the stage names.

This is one of Trello’s greatest features: You can always create a new workflow step or update one as you go!

Add Your Contacts

Next, you’ll need to add your contacts. Start by creating a new card in the “Contacts” list, and then fill out all of the information about that person. You can include their name, email address, phone number(s), title, company, and even their social media links.

With Trello as a CRM, instead of having specific contacts, each contact is represented as a Trello card. Trello has a lot of features that make keeping records simple and organized.

However, if you have a lot of contacts, adding each of them manually can be rather time-consuming. But not to worry, you can easily set up a Zapier connection to automatically create new cards in Trello from new contacts in your CRM.

This can also automatically send incoming leads into Trello from form tools like Jotform, SurveyMonkey, or any other type of form-filling software you can think of. This will save you a lot of time and effort by allowing you to add someone each time you receive a lead via a form.

Organize Your Contacts Efficiently

Next, it’s important to organize your contacts efficiently. You can do this by creating labels and assigning them to each card. For example, you could create a label for “Prospects” and another for “Customers.” This will help you quickly find the contact information you need.

Create Checklists and to-do Lists

Another great way to stay organized is via checklists. Trello does a great job of utilizing checklists, which is perfect for task management. You can create a checklist for each stage of the sales pipeline or even for individual tasks.

Simply make a checklist on the card if there is a to-do list you usually go through when following up with leads. You’ll only need to create it once, and then you’ll be able to duplicate cards with the checklist, or just the checklist, to other cards!

Following this system will mean that, when you look at each card, you will be able to see, at a glance, which tasks you have completed, and which are still outstanding for that customer.

Additionally, when you’ve completed all of the specified items, the count will go green, which is a fantastic visible indication that you’ve finished everything in the funnel stage for this lead. This will help you make sure that everything gets done and nothing falls through the cracks.

Don’t Forget about due Dates

How to Use Trello as a CRM

Due dates on cards are a great way to keep track of when something needs to happen. You could set a due date for when you should follow up with a customer or send them an email.

Maybe you wrote one of your clients an email today, and you’d want to contact them again next week. You can simply set a due date for each card on your Trello board. That way, instead of leaving a note for yourself (and hoping you remember), Trello will ensure that you are reminded.

You can also set up multiple repeating actions on the same day by using this feature. In addition, you may change the due date to your next deadline after executing the activity. This will help ensure that you don’t miss any important steps in the funnel.

Work with Your Team Using Comments

One of the best parts about Trello is that it’s perfect for working with a team. Because each card has its own comments section, you can make sure your whole team knows what’s going on. If there was an issue with a particular lead, assign it to someone and leave them a comment explaining what needs to be done next.

Keep All Customer Information in One Place with Attachments

Another great way to keep track of everything is by attaching files. You can attach anything – I mean, literally ANYTHING – from PDFs, Excel sheets, or even images. You can keep proposals, decks, contracts, and other important papers. Then, you’ll be able to access the attachments from your Trello board on any device with a simple click.

Plus, if you want to really make the most of this, you can also integrate it with Google Drive or Dropbox, so you can attach files from there as well. This way, all of your customer’s information will be in one place and easily accessible.

It will help you and your team have all the information they need right at their fingertips. Plus, it makes collaborating a breeze!

Use the ’email-to-board’ Feature

Of course, many CRMs will allow you to easily sync your emails with the platform. This way, you don’t have to manually copy and paste all of your emails into the tool. Trello has a nifty feature that allows you to send an email directly from your inbox to one of the cards on your board.

You can also use the subject of your email to personalize each Trello board’s email address, which will then create a new card when you send an email to that address. Each Trello board has a specific email address.

In fact, each individual card on Trello has its own email address. So, you might simply want to forward all of your lead communications to a single email and then organize the Trello cards on your board.

Simply set up “email-to-board” for each card, and then forward any important messages to those addresses.

Use the ‘snooze’ Feature to Set Yourself One-off Tasks


Similar to setting yourself a reminder on a traditional CRM, you can use the card snooze feature in Trello to set yourself one-off tasks. For example, if you know that a particular customer always responds to emails on Tuesday mornings, you can set a reminder for yourself to reach out to them then.

This way, the card (including its due date alerts) will be hidden until a specific day and time that you choose. When that specific time and date approaches, the card will automatically reappear in the list you’ve designated.

Use the ‘repeater’ Feature to Set Yourself Repeating Tasks

This can also work for recurring tasks. For example, if there’s something that you need to do every Monday morning, you can set the card repeater to go off every Monday at a specific time. This will generate a card that will repeat on the same day and time at your discretion, complete with all of the information (or checklists) you’ll need.

The best part is that you can also customize the number of times it repeats, so if there’s something that only needs to happen once a month, you can set it up accordingly. Whether it’s a monthly maintenance reminder, a monthly check in with a client, or something else entirely – you can set it up to repeat accordingly.

Don’t Forget to Nurture Your Customers

This is one of the most important things that a CRM helps you to achieve. By keeping track of your customers’ data, you’ll be able to better understand what they need and when. You can then use this information to create targeted marketing campaigns or even just send them a quick email to say hello.

The best part is that all of the steps that we’ve already outlined above will do wonders for helping you nurture your customers.

From using the email-to-board feature to set reminders for yourself, to adding attachments and information directly into your cards – as long as you use Trello in a way that works for you and your specific business, it can be an incredibly useful tool.

Don’t Forget about Reporting

Last but not least, don’t forget about the importance of reporting. A CRM is a valuable tool for understanding your business, and Trello can be great for this as well. There are no built-in reporting alternatives on your Trello board by default. However, there are a few different ways to gain insights into stats, data. and trends from your Trello data.

The Chrome browser plugin “Original Card Counter for Trello” can be used to keep track of the number of cards in each list. You can easily see how many contacts are in each step of your funnel with this.

Another way is to use integrations to link Trello to other tools. For example, tools like ‘Harvest’ will allow you to see exactly how much time you’re spending on each individual contact. This is a great way to understand the ROI on your time and how you can use it in a more efficient way.

One of my personal favorite ways to gain insights from Trello is by using the aging card power-up. This will display all aging leads in a different color from the fresher stuff, meaning you’ll be able to get an ‘at a glance’ overview of which leads are going stale. From this, you can either nudge the lead, try to re-engage, or lose it as lost.

The Major Difference Between Trello and Traditional CRMs are


There are plenty of differences between Trello and other CRMs.

Trello is more lightweight and doesn’t have many of the features of a traditional CRM. However, if you’re looking for something to help with organization and contact management specifically, Trello can be a great option.

It’s customizable, user-friendly, and integrates well with other tools – making it perfect for small businesses or solopreneurs.

The Advantages of Trello

Some of the advantages of using Trello as your CRM include:

  • It’s free – The basic version is free and you can upgrade to the paid version at any time.
  • User-friendly – It has a simple interface that makes it easy to use even for beginners.
  • Customizable – You can customize the board with power-ups, integrations, and team members to fit your specific needs.
  • Integrates well with other tools – You can easily connect Trello to other tools that you’re using in your business, like Google Drive or Harvest, to get a more complete view of your data.

The Disadvantages of Trello

There are a few disadvantages of using Trello as your CRM.

  • It doesn’t have all the features of a traditional CRM – Trello is more lightweight and doesn’t have as many features or integrations as other CRMs like Salesforce, Hubspot, Pipedrive, etc. But it does what it’s supposed to do well!
  • You need to be organized – It can only help you be organized if you’re willing to put in the work (and time) yourself.
  • It’s not good for large teams – Trello is great for small businesses, but it doesn’t scale well as they grow larger and larger. If your company has over 50 people or so on staff, this may not be a good fit because the sheer number of cards could get very confusing.


Question: Can Trello work as a CRM?

Answer: Yes, Trello can work as a CRM. It’s not as full-featured as some of the more traditional CRMs on the market, but it’s great for small businesses who are looking for an affordable and user-friendly way to manage their contacts.

Question: What are Some of the Features of Trello that Make it Good for CRM?

Answer: Trello has a lot of features that make it good for CRM. It’s user-friendly, customizable, integrates well with other tools, and is affordable (or even free). You can also use power-ups like the aging card power-up which will display all aging leads in a different color from the fresher stuff.

Question: How Do I Use Trello for Client Management?

Answer: You can use Trello to manage your clients by setting up boards that have columns for each step of their journey. This way, you’ll be able to see where they are in the process at any given time and know what needs to come next (e.g., follow-up call).
You can also keep track of important details about each client by using labels or attaching documents such as contracts directly on their card so you’ll always have them handy when needed.

Question: Can You Use Trello as a Database?

Answer: Yes, Trello can be used as a database. It has many features that make it great for storing data and keeping track of important information about your customers, clients, or projects. You can also use labels to keep things organized so everything will always be easy to find later on when needed the most!

Question: How Do I Create a Workflow in Trello?

Answer: Workflows in Trello can be created by creating cards and then moving them between different lists or boards as their status changes. You can also use integrations with other tools to create more complex workflows that include multiple steps and tasks.
For example, you could connect Trello to your email marketing tool so that new subscribers are automatically added to a list in Trello when someone signs up for your newsletter!

Question: How Do I Use Trello as a Project Management Tool?

Answer: There are many ways to use Trello as a project management tool. You could create boards for each of the teams on your team and have them manage their own projects within those boards or assign tasks directly from one board to another (e.g., a developer might assign something for design).
It’s also possible to connect Trello with other tools like Jira so that tasks flow seamlessly between them without any manual work required from anyone involved in the project!

Question: Which is Better, Asana or Trello?

Answer: Asana is a great tool for collaboration, but it doesn’t have all of the features that Trello has. It’s also more expensive than Trello and has fewer integrations available with third-party tools such as Slack or Jira Software Server.
If you’re looking to collaborate on projects within your team then Asana might be better suited for you than Trello.

Question: Which Project Management Tool is Best?

Answer: It’s hard to say which tool is best since there are so many different options available today. Some common choices include Trello, Asana, and Jira Software Server; each one has its own pros and cons!
The most important thing when choosing between them would be figuring out what features matter the most for your team (e.g., if collaboration is key, then Asana might be right up your alley!).

Question: What is the Cost of Trello?

Answer: Trello has a free plan and 3 different paid plans. The paid plans start at $5 per month and go up to a custom-priced Enterprise plan depending on how many users you have.


Overall, Trello is a great tool for managing clients and leads, but it can also be used to keep track of your projects. Workflows in Trello can be created by creating cards and then moving them between different lists or boards as their status changes.

You can also use integrations with other tools to create more complex workflows that include multiple steps and tasks. For example, you could connect Trello to your email marketing tool so that new subscribers are automatically added to a list in Trello when someone signs up for your newsletter!

We hope this guide will make sure you always know how best to use the platform – whether you’re using this blog post as an introduction or if you already have some experience under your belt. It’s time for planners, project managers, and other professionals to start using Trello as their CRM!

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