Trello is one of my hands down favorite applications! I use it for a wide variety of use cases, and very frequently as well. One of the interesting applications I’ve found for it, is using it to run a Napoleon Hill style mastermind (which you can learn how to run here).
1. Create a Trello account here for free if you don’t have one
I highly recommend using your Google Account to sign up as it simplifies the process and makes things easy in the future. Don’t worry, they are very privacy minded and don’t ask for hardly any information when you do this.
2. Create a new Organization
You can view a sample of the finished organization here.
A. Click the + button in the corner of the screen
B. Name the new Organization what you’re calling your mastermind (if you want to skip this, simply call it “Mastermind”)
C. Add a description of the organization so you remember, (if you want to skip this, simply add “A Trello organization for the mastermind”)
D. And click the green Create button to finish
Your new Trello Organization should look something like this. You can add a lot to this if you want to spruce it up a bit (such as add a nifty Organization picture and polish the description and add a web link etc (this is especially helpful if you want to market this as a paid service offering and want it to look top notch).
3. Create the board
You’ll need to create some boards to put your lists and cards on (for use in and around your calls). If you’re new to Trello and need help understanding the hierarchy of Trello’s features and options, this picture should explain it further.
A. Once you’ve created the new organization, and it routes you to the new page (looks something like this), click the “Create new board…” button
B. Name the first board Weekly Goals, or whatever the consistent time frame that you’re meeting in is (e.g. “Weekly Goals”, “Monthly Goals”, or “Quarterly Goals”). If you’re not meeting consistently (I recommend you do though), you can simply call it “Goals” or “Accountability”
C. Make sure this first board is set to “This board will be org visible” so that only members of your mastermind can see it
Optional: Create a second board for administrative purposes such as new leads and possible members, or tracking strikes if someone violates the terms, etc. To do this, create a new board in your organization called “Administrative”. Just be absolutely sure that you set this one to “This board will be private” so that only you can see this. You can see an example of this here.
Optional: Create a One-One board for a one on one mastermind model. Or you could even have a one-one board for each member, so that if you meet monthly, you can meet weekly individually with each member and have a private mastermind. I recommend that these boards are set to private and that only you and the other member are a part, although for group accountability you could leave them org-wide visibility. You can see an example of this here.
4. Create Lists
Now, this step involves some decisions as to the style of mastermind you want to create. I personally find masterminds with 3-4 people total to be the most valuable, but masterminds of 10-20 people can be very valuable as well! But what style of mastermind you want to build changes what type of list system you use.
Small Masterminds (3-4 people total):
You can see an example of what this looks like here.
A. Create a list for each member and add their name to it
B. Create a “Done” list for the done items
– Make sure each member is added to each card so you remember who’s item it was and search by member through the cards
– Make sure that if you’re using a time based mastermind (i.e. weekly/monthly/quarterly) they add a due date to each card that does not exceed the time between meetings. So an example is if it’s a weekly mastermind, the due date should be at least less than one week, which is the time when you’ll next meet.
Larger Masterminds (4+ people):
You can see an example of what this looks like here.
For a monthly mastermind:
A. Create 4 or 5 lists for the 4 or 5 weeks of the month
B. Title them accordingly
C. Create a Done list
– Be absolutely sure that each card (item) that’s added has a member tagged to it so you remember whose it is
– This layout means that each month you meet, you can add goals to each week of the month for weekly things or things that might take 2 weeks
5. Create the cards
Next, the card creation process. I recommend your cards follow the SMART goal process:
– Specific: Use the Title and Description of the card heavily
– Measurable: There’s enough clarity that you and the group can tell whether it’s ‘done’ or not
– Actionable: Use the Checklist function to make sure their action steps are clear
– Realistic: The member will actually be able to accomplish it
– Time-related: The Due Date is set to at least before the next meeting
Cards can be created by the members while on the mastermind call, or they can be written down in notes and created after, or a specific person (normally the mastermind facilitator) can be in charge of adding the items to the Trello Board.
6. Putting it all together
It’s preferable to have each mastermind member join Trello and you add them to the Organization and then add them to the Board as well.
I recommend that you have the mastermind Board open while performing the call, and it’s great for each member to have it open as well as it makes things very tangible, visible, and keeps transparency high.
7. Bonus tips
– Zapier is a fantastic resource for this, as it can help you easily and automatically create boards, add members, and handle all sorts of other amazing things!
– You can use the “Administrative” Board to set due dates for things like reviewing potential members, and follow up items with existing members.
I love Trello, I use it almost all day long, nearly every day. And I hope that this guide will help you bring more and more clarity, productivity, and results to your mastermind groups. And that if you don’t have one now, you’ll start a mastermind and use these tips to make it successful!
As always get in touch if there’s anything I can help or assist with!