Project management is an essential skill for almost everyone. For maximum efficiency, one needs to lay out a road map to accomplish just about any task they undertake; be it studies, vacations, weddings or a major design project. As such, project management cuts across every class of people; students organizing their semesters, engineers undertaking projects and managers managing their departments.

Even better, it is indispensable for teams who want to accomplish tasks efficiently and effectively.

However, project management, especially for major projects can be quite a daunting process. Planning, organizing, leading, and controlling requires a lot of effort for teams and project managers. Luckily, a lot of people have taken the trouble to make project management quite easy for everyone.

Through technology, several parties have come up with very intuitive software solutions that enable you to breeze through projects. Just to mention a few, Trello, Asana, Google Apps, and Podio among others are some of the project management tools.

Trello is a powerful project and task management collaboration tool. It is a web application that organizes your tasks into boards with the ease of visualization. It tells you who is working on what task, shows you the progress of a task or what task is being worked on. With Trello you can organize a lot of tasks ranging from family chores, work projects, vacations and even weddings.

To make Trello even better, Trello in August 2016 announced free Power-ups for every user on the platform to increase efficiency. Power-ups are features that make Trello adaptable for different individuals. Essentially, they are add-ons and integrations onto Trello from third-parties such as Slack, GitHub, and Evernote among others.

They help customize the experience on Trello boards to fit the business needs of every team. There are several Power-ups available today, but I am going to list three of the most helpful power-ups:

The Card Voting Power-up

Imagine a decision that needs to be made by a team. There definitely are going to be many opinions and views on the subject matter. Be it features to be included in a software update or how much money and time should be allocated to a design project and so on. The card voting power-up comes to the rescue in such a situation. The subject matter is listed in a Trello card, and the team members vote according to what they think should be done and make a decision. For as long as team decision making exists, this is one essential tool.

The Calendar Power-up

The calendar power-up is essential for people who are conscious of the time aspect of their projects or tasks. Trello comes with a due date and deadline monitoring capabilities. The power-up, however, is on steroids including an iCalender feature for your cards. With the calendar, you can:

• Schedule your tasks and projects.

• Set reminders as deadlines approach after setting due-dates for a task.

• View the progress of your current task and what you should be working on next.

• For anyone in the deadline-oriented industry, this is a must-have.

The Card Aging Power-up

When working on projects, you may end up neglecting some tasks over time. The card aging power-up is there to help you detect when you are giving too much attention to some tasks and neglecting others. It accomplishes this by making the colors on the untouched tasks fade. The longer you take before working on a task, the more faded it gets.

Trello implements card aging in two modes. Pirate mode is when cards appear torn with inactivity. The longer the card is inactive the more they get torn. The second mode is the regular mode which uses colors. Cards become more transparent and become less visible as the time they are inactive increases.

When Trello made power-ups free, they limited the number accessible to users on the free tier. Initially, you could get up to three free power-ups, but with their recent announcements, you can only get one at a time. Users in the business and gold tiers, however, have unlimited access to whatever power-ups they like.

It’s, therefore, useful, if you are a free user, to first analyze your project needs when using Trello. This will guide you in choosing the best-fitted power-up for your projects.

Do you have a favorite power-up? Let me know in the comments below and as always thanks for reading.