KONSKIE, POLAND - JUNE 02, 2018: Trello website displayed on smartphone hidden in jeans pocket
Image: piter2121/Adobe Stock

Trello does kanban and does it quite well. Given the purpose of a kanban board is to offer a visual representation of where a project stands in its progress, the best services make it very easy to view and manage those boards. Sometimes you don’t need to just see a board to gauge the progress of a project. To bolster what you glean from the board, you need data visualization. What better tool for gleaning data than a good dashboard?

SEE: Hiring kit: Project manager (TechRepublic Premium)

If you have a paid Trello subscription, you too can add dashboards to your project management efforts. Trello dashboards are easy to use and easy to adapt to your needs.

What you’ll need to create a custom Trello dashboard

The only things you’ll need to create a custom dashboard in Trello are a paid Trello account and at least one project being managed in said account. That’s it. Let’s get to those dashboards.

How to access your dashboard

If you have a paid Trello account, you’ll first need to add the dashboard view. To do that, log into your Trello account and open a project. Once you’ve done that, you should see a drop-down arrow near the center of the window. Click that arrow to reveal the views pop-up (Figure A).

Figure A

The Trello views pop-up on the desktop client.

Make sure that Dashboard is checked to enable the view.

How to edit a dashboard card

Once the dashboard view has been added, click the Dashboard button near the top center of the window to open the view. You should see several default cards, such as Cards per list, Cards per due date, Cards per member and Cards per label. Those cards will all be displayed as bar charts.

Maybe you want to keep those cards but change the type to either pie or line charts. To do that, click the three-dot menu associated with the card, and then, from the pop-up (Figure B), select the type of chart you want to represent the data.

Figure B

Changing the chart type for a dashboard card.

You can then customize the timeframe and type for the chart (Figure C).

Figure C

Making further changes to our default card.

How to add a new dashboard card

Scroll to the bottom of the dashboard and you’ll see the + button. Click that to add a new card. The process of adding a new card is the same as editing one. You’ll be asked to choose a chart type and choose the type of data you want to be added.

You can add and remove as many cards to the dashboard as you like, but you are limited to the following data:

  • Cards per list
  • Cards per label
  • Cards per member
  • Cards per due date

And that’s all there is to create a custom dashboard in Trello. Although these dashboards aren’t nearly as customizable as you might find in other project management services, they are certainly good at giving you a quick summary of where your project stands on multiple fronts. Give the feature a try, as Trello has made dashboards temporarily available to the Free plan, and see if you don’t wind up keeping the view just a click away.

Subscribe to TechRepublic’s How To Make Tech Work on YouTube for all the latest tech advice for business pros from Jack Wallen.