Penelope Rance

My UX research & design ramblings


Anyone who knows me, knows I like a list. And I’ve found Microsoft OneNote perfect for most of my organising needs, but there was still one thing that wasn’t quite working for me - my craft project list.

My craft projects fill my head, but remembering how much wool or fabric you need for a particular project, never mind all the other stuff like zips, buttons or thread, is really hard, especially if you haven’t planned a visit to a shop and just find yourself in one.

A screenshot showing my craft projects set up in cards with images
My craft projects Trello board

I’d created lists in OneNote for the four different types of project I tend to work on at the moment - Knitting, Crochet, Sewing and Paper, but I was struggling to keep them up to date - it was really hard to see if something was already there, without reading a list that might already have 50+ items on it.

And even if I knew it was on the list I couldn’t remember if I had the pattern yet or had already bought materials.

Prioritisation was also really hard as I changed my mind about what was important.

I was feeling uninspired and overwhelmed, knowing there were lots of projects I wanted to work on but with little idea of what I should be aiming for next.

I was talking to a colleague about something unrelated and they mentioned they were using Trello to organise their project. I’ve used Trello before, but I’ve never quite got it working to its full potential. However I had a light bulb moment and it occurred to me that this would be the perfect platform for my projects.

Trello is a free platform that allows you to have different swim-lanes, in this case Knitting, Crochet, Sewing and Paper, and then each project can be a card. Each card can hold as much detail as you need, for instance a description of the project, amount of wool or fabric needed, an image, the pattern, and labels - to do, in progress, done, etc.

I’ve also set up some checklists, some are for every project, for instance do I have the pattern, materials and the equipment needed to complete the project?, while some checklists are for individual projects, for instance a knitted bear needs legs x2, arms x2, head, body and ears x2.

And I can change the priority in a moment by dragging cards up or down the lists depending on what I’m thinking at that moment.

As I was filling it in I found lots of things that I was interested in but didn’t have to happen any time soon. Most of these were on open tabs on my ipad and getting in the way. So I created another swim-lane called Ideas for the Future and added cards here with links to the pages of interest. It means it is really easy to move them across to the working lists if I suddenly want to work on them and I can declutter my ipad.

The other thing I found on my ipad were tutorials or help pages about certain techniques or methods. Another swimlane was created titled Tutorials and links added.

I now have a comprehensive list of things I want to work on all in one place. If I’m in a shop I can easily see how much fabric I need (Trello has an app for my phone) and if I’m wondering what to work on next I can scroll through the list and see images to inspire me, instead of trying to read a massive list.

I’ve only just started so I’m interested to see how it works going forward, but so far it feels like I’m on the right track and I’m excited to see it grow.

[Originally posted on my creative blog - Wild Creations]

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