How to use Trello’s Add Card feature from your desktop’s system tray

When you want to work as efficiently as possible with Trello on macOS, the Quick Card feature is the way to go.

Image: Julio Ricco/Adobe Stock

My goal is to work smarter, not harder. This should always apply to project management because otherwise things can get out of hand. When you have a project with many moving parts, numerous teams, and an endless stream of tasks, even the act of opening Trello, navigating to the project board, and adding a new card can become cumbersome.

SEE: Recruitment kit: Project manager (TechRepublic Premium)

That’s one area where the Trello desktop app comes in handy. I preface this by saying that it’s not perfect and really only removes a couple of steps from the process. But, those missing steps can add up. Also, anything you can do to simplify your workflow should be considered a must.

One feature included with the Trello desktop app is the ability to add a new card from the Quick Card feature. This feature is found in the system tray on Linux and Windows and in the menu bar on macOS.

If you are using macOS, you need to enable the feature first. But once this works, it makes using Trello on your desktop significantly more efficient. Let me show you how to set up and use the Trello desktop app on macOS, so you can use the Quick Card feature.

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What you’ll need to work with the Trello desktop app system tray

All you’ll need is the Trello desktop app installed on a macOS device and connected to your Trello account. You can use a free or paid Trello plan, as the feature is available for both.

If you haven’t installed the free desktop app Trello yet, you can find it in the Mac App Store. Open the App Store, search for Trello, click Get, and then click Install. That’s all there is to the installation.

How to enable Quick Card in macOS

The first thing you need to do is open the Trello desktop app and make sure you’re signed in to your Trello account. At the top right of the Trello desktop app window, click the gear icon (Figure A).

Figure A

Access to the settings window of the Trello desktop app.
Access to the settings window of the Trello desktop app.

In the resulting window (Figure B), find the Window Style section and click the associated dropdown menu. From that dropdown menu, select Dock & Menubar extra.

Figure B

Enabling the Trello menu bar option in macOS Ventura.
Enabling the Trello menu bar option in macOS Ventura.

With Dock & Menubar Extra selected, close the Settings window.

How to use the menu bar feature

There should now be a Trello icon in your menu bar. If you right-click, or tap with two fingers, that icon, a menu will appear that includes Quick Card (Figure C).

Figure C

The new Trello menu bar dropdown in action.
The new Trello menu bar dropdown in action.

Click Quick Card and a pop-up window will appear where you can fill in and select your new card details (Figure D).

Figure D

Add a new Trello card to the Amazing Kanban Project board with the Quick Card feature.
Add a new Trello card to the Amazing Kanban Project board with the Quick Card feature.

A simplified Trello workflow

If you’re looking to simplify your Trello workflow, using the desktop app on macOS is a great way to go. By using the Quick Card feature, you don’t even have to bother calling the Trello app to add a card, so you should be able to work more efficiently.

To make this even more efficient, you can always call up the quick card with the quick add shortcut, which is set up in the Trello Settings app. By default, the keyboard shortcut to call the Quick Add window is [Control]+[Option]+[Space]. Press that keyboard combination and the Quick Add window will open, ready for you to add a new task.

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James D. Brown
James D. Brown
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