Have you heard? Since Santa started using Trello, he only has to make the list once and DOESN’T have to check it twice.
I bet you’ve often wondered how Santa stays organized this time of year. We can hardly keep track of 20 people to buy gifts for and the four holiday parties we’ve been invited to. How does Santa do it?
I have been wondering for years, and as a productivity enthusiast, I just had to know: How does one man do more in one night than most of us do in an entire year? So for my wish this year, I asked Santa to tell me how he stays organized and gets everything done. And since I’ve been particularly good this year, he gave me my Christmas present early and told me all of his secrets, and said I could share with the whole world!
Turns out Santa uses Trello. (Are we even surprised?) He showed some of his boards and we’re going to host a virtual Christmas party on Dec 16th to deep dive into all of them, answer questions about Trello, and help you learn how to use Santa’s workflows to make your own life less chaotic!
But in case you can’t wait until then, here’s a sneak peak and some examples of Santa’s Trello boards.
Keeping Track of Kids’ – And Adults’ – Wishlists (Crmble)
Of course, this is the main job Santa has, and it’s a pretty important one. He has to keep track of millions of people in the world and make sure that they get exactly what they want. He uses Crmble for Trello and has a card for each person that has their name and what they want for Christmas. (He can even use the comments and checklist features in Trello to add more details, and give the elves more specific instructions and clarify details if needed.) He uses Crmble’s Typeform and Zapier integrations to get each person and their wishlist into one board so it’s easy to manage in one place.
While Santa prefers everyone use Typeform to share their wishes, he knows not everyone can (or will) or do that, so he uses the Unito Power-Up to sync data from other sources. Santa still loves people even if they use Asana, so if they add their list in there, Santa can set up a workflow so that when something is added to a list in Asana, it’s automatically added to his list in Trello.
Thanks to Butler automation, the elves can be round robin assigned to the cards so they can start making toys for “their” people. It’s easy to filter the board to see only cards by each elf. Santa even adds due dates sometimes to make reminders for the elves so they can get a card done ahead of time, and by connecting to gmail, they can sync emails about the toys and the toy making process right to the Trello card, all thanks to Crmble!
Santa also uses the Countdown Power-Up, because literally, everything on this board comes down the Most Important Day of the Year.
He has lists for each part of the process, from Wishlist Received, to Toys Being Made, to Out for Delivery, and Delivered.
He uses the Bulk Actions Power-Up on Christmas Eve when he has to move all of his cards to the “Out for Delivery” list. (Takes too long to move 7 billion cards over at once.)
Santa also uses the Time In List Power-Up to make sure the Elves aren’t backlogged on making toys and to ensure everything is being processed in a timely manner. It’s also great for reporting how long it takes to go from “toys being made” to “ready for delivery”.
To get added to Santa’s board, you just need to send Santa your wishlist with this Typeform! (This really works! Try it out for yourself and see!)
Santa also wanted to make sure that I was very clear about the fact that even though he starts this process early, kids must keep being nice, even after they’ve been added to this board. He has a Zapier automation where if he gets an email from the parent at any point saying that someone has been naughty, they are removed from the board and will not get their present. Santa also uses the Approvals for Trello Power-Up to make sure parents sign off and confirm their child has definitely been nice and not naugty. So, kids, be good for goodness sake.
Parents, feel free to share this board for your kids. I’ve created it to be interactive, so as soon as they fill out the Typeform, they’ll see their name on Santa’s List. (Don’t worry, I only ask for first name and the item they want, feel free to encourage them to use a nickname because Santa knows who they are!)
Your kids can check this board as often as they want until Christmas! (Not to ruin the magic, but I use Butler automation to move all the cards to “Out for Delivery” on Christmas Eve, and “Delivered” on Christmas Day, so it will look like Santa is really working on the presents!)
Christmas Parties He Has to Show Up for (Calendar View)
Santa uses Trello’s calendar view and Map Power-Up to keep track of all the parties and appearances he has coming up.
He uses the Calendar view to see everything in one place and make sure he isn’t double-booked, and then he clicks into the card for more details such as what he needs to bring, the location, and if it’s virtual, drive-thru, or an in-person appearance.
Check out Santa’s Christmas Calendar template here and create one to manage your Christmas events!
Kanban To-Do List
As far as keeping track of his non-gift delivery tasks, Santa has his own personal To-Do List board where he organizes all of his other tasks. He has a list for his ideas, and then To Do, Doing, and Done for keeping track of the status of all the things he must do.
He uses checklists inside the cards when he needs to give more details, and with Trello’s Business Class, he can even assign due dates to specific items inside the checklist.
Keeping Track of the Elves Schedules (Planyway)
Everyone deserves a break around the holidays, even elves! Santa uses Trello and the Planyway Power-Up to keep track of the dates the elves will be out on a break to make sure that there are elves on duty making toys at all times!
He also has the elves use the board to keep track of the hours that they work, so that they are fairly paid for any overtime they incur. Keeping track of time is easy with Planyway, just click into the card, log the time, and Planyway will add it all up. You can see hours worked spaced over a timeline so Santa knows if anyone is working too hard over the holidays.
See Santa’s template if you want to create a board to keep track of your elves’ – er, employees – work time and holiday breaks!
Ready to make your own boards?
In case you lost track, here’s a list of Santa’s template boards, and how you might want to use them. Feel free to copy and utilizee as you see fit!