How I use Trello to organize long term travel as a digital nomad

Previously I wrote about how I organize long term travel and how I organized my move to Germany.  One thing I didn’t go into depth was how I use Trello to help with organizing these details.

Rather than go into wordy detail, it would be better to add some screenshots.

Organise one list per country, one card for each major item to look into

For each list (in this case, a country), I create a new card for each major item to research (such as Accomodation), visa type, and also for any important detail that needs to be taken care of.  For example, to live in Slovakia for a year, one of the paperwork details that I need to provide

Some countries require far more documentation. For example, WHV in Slovakia requires a letter of government support.

For each major item that requires a series of actions to be done, create a checklist

Anything that touches burecracy will end up having a corresponding website or PDF to look into, plus a translation if the content is not already translated.

This is important since details can easily chance, so when I create a checklist I usually link to the corresponding information.

Looking into the French micro-enterprise programme requires some further documentation to provide and look into.

For each country that I end up living in, a new board is created

This card is another example where checklists are useful. But notice that I have a new board just for this country.

Example of the paperwork required to apply for permanent residency

For each country that is my optimal choice, the list is moved close to the landing screen

Countries that are on my radar have a bit more research involved in advance.

For each country that is not my optimal choice, the list is moved away from the main landing screen

The detail on each card also states the main reason why I will no longer research them.

Now, I may change my mind, which is why I do not archive my list.

Other notes about my use of Trello

I don’t use it extensively for short term trips

Trello is good for long-term organization, but for keeping trip details for shorter trips I do not have much of a process since I am usually for minimal with the details.

I also prefer to have an offline/print version of my itinerary, and Trello has no way to export it to a print friendly format.

Not centralized

Trello is not the central hub for all info. I still have notes that I keep elsewhere. This is fine. For example, I may have a long conversation thred wtih a landlord but I would only want the final notes. I also do not want one place to hold all info.

Even though access to Trello is via accounts with 2FA, I still don’t hold all info on this site.

Not a lot of integration set up with other services

I don’t have any integration set up, but I may start looking for some tools to make populating the content on the board easier.

I haved used it (loosely) within a Kanban context

So, I am experimenting with the Kanban concept.  In a way, I have done so when I moved to Germany where all the research involved was in the list, then as soon as I had my visa then all of the list was converted into a board.  So, in a way, the research that I do in the lead up of obtaining the visa is the ‘manufacturing’ part and the ‘production’ part is when I implement it.

I also experiment with having Backlog, Doing, Done type of lists but I would rather organize the actions/research based on main topics of interest.

Trello is good for sharing certain boards with certain people.

For example, if I wanted to share my research in the lead up to a trip, I can share with certain people.

The downside is that Trello is a system where a lot of people are introduced to it via their workplace and so it takes a bit of time to get used to.  The upside is that it should be easy to pick up (compared to other alternatives out there).

It can be easy to forget about the other boards / other lists

Right now, I have a lot of other boards and lists floating around and I probably spend most of my time on a few boards.

I think this is fine – it’s interesting to see what my thought processes were a few months or a year ago and to see how my ideas and planning have changed over time.

Anyway, I would be interested to know how other people use Trello or if there are project management tools out there.