How to plan with Trello? Part 1 – backlog and sprint board

I recently shared this with a friend that is constantly getting lost with Trello and how exactly to structure his software project plan. I shared my experience with him and he kind of liked it so here is my story and the few rules that are keeping me sane for the past 2 years of following them.

Main issues with planing a software project with Trello is to decide

  • are different features in different board,
  • why do you need lables. Are different features marked with labels
  • are different features in lists?
  • how do you set the priority for a task. Do you have a list for priority, or label for priority.

Because of these questions for the last 4-5-6 years I’ve started and stopped using Trello many times.

These are all difficult questions. Here are my simple solutions.


Create two boards. Backlog and SprintXX. In the SprintXX you have three lists. XX is the number of the sprint. “SPXX Planned“, “Ongoing“, “Done SPXX December 01- December 15“. When the sprint that is two – three weeks finishes you archive “Done SPXX December 01- December 15” and create a new “Done SPXX+1 December 16-December 31” list. Then you rename list “SPXX Planned” to “SPXX+1 Planned” where XX is the number of the Sprint.

This keeps the Trello clear.

Create two boards

Board one is the Sprint board
Board two is the Backlog board

If you are currently not working on the task and there is little to no chance to work on it in the next 3-4 weeks that it is in the Backlog. This means it will be handled later.

Sprint Board

The Sprint board has the name of the current Sprint. I like sprints that are 2-3 weeks long. It has three lists

SPXX Planed

The list has all the tasks that are planned for the current sprint or probably the next one. These are tasks that you are genuinely planning to do something about.


These are all the tasks that we are currently working on. If we have even a single line of code for this task than we are working on it.

Done SPXX December 01 – December 15

These are all the tasks completed in the spring XX. Note that the list has the name “Done SPXX December 01 – December 15”. This is the full name of the sprint.

At the end of the sprint

When the spring ends you archive “Done SPXX December 01 -December 15”. You do not archive the tasks. You archive the whole list. This gives you a chance to get back to the list at the regular reviews that you are having with the team and actually review what has happened in this sprint.