Tomorrow Trello

Life Skills

How Tomorrow Uses Trello

by Erik Berg

It’s fun to imagine how a company came up with their product name. When the name is made up, I wonder if it was just that the 6 letter domain name was available. But then, the part of me that loves narratives, stories, and solving mysteries, invented my own rationale. So here is mine for “Trello”.

Trello is what linguists call a “portmanteau” which is a French word that means a two-part suitcase. My hypothesis is that Trello = Trellis + Hello.

Trello — A place where you start your day and see a beautifully organized lattice of tasks that help your team work better together.

(If anyone knows the real story, will you let me know? K, thanks!)

Tomorrow uses Trello in several ways, with different boards for each part of the business. The flexibility of Trello helps different teams use it the way that works best for them. As the product-lead at Tomorrow, I get to pull from our product roadmap and customer feedback and tee things up for engineering.

Rather than creating one big backlog of tasks for the week, we use Trello columns to organize how features map to Tomorrow’s business model. This gives every member of Tomorrow’s engineering team two things:

  1. Deeper insight into why a feature matters to the business.
  2. Wider flexibility to choose to work on a feature that matters to them.

The columns on the “Tomorrow Dev” Trello board are organized like this, including a couple of real cards as examples.

AcquisitionThese features might make people want to use Tomorrow for the first time.

  • Blended families
  • Full demo mode

DelightThese features make people happy when they experience Tomorrow.

  • Icon animations
  • Scrolling speed

RetentionThese features increase how often people might use Tomorrow.

  • Completion badges
  • Push notifications

RevenueThese features might help Tomorrow make more money.

  • Transparent pricing
  • Fewer options

Churn Without these features, some people might quit using Tomorrow.

  • Cash & percentage gifts
  • Variable percentages

RegressionsThese features used to work, now they don’t.

  • Icon stroke color
  • PDF viewer header color

LegalThese features help Tomorrow users make sound legal decisions.

  • State configuration
  • Role notifications

(I hope you notice an intentional touch of humility in the tone. It’s there on purpose. Product roadmaps are hard, and this helps us be more user-centric with how we invest our time and money.)

When Tomorrow does its weekly planning, after our Friday demo day, our engineering-lead Rambo (if you get that chance to have someone named Rambo to lead your dev team, take it!) lets each member of his team pull a card from any of the columns and add it to next week’s planning.

If you are an engineer who is tired of being assigned tasks without understanding why they matter to the business or are having a hard time getting excited about what you’re building, try using Tomorrow’s Trello framework at your company, or join us — we’re hiring.

If you’re wondering what on earth a company called Tomorrow could be about, it’s pretty straight-forward: Tomorrow is the world’s first mobile app to transform wills, trusts, and life insurance into a beautifully unified experience. We’re on a mission to bring financial security to every American family.

If you don’t already, your team should Try using Trello.