Why you should use the Trello desktop app instead of the web interface

Jack Wallen not only explains why you should use the Trello desktop app but also how to install it on your operating system of choice.

Ryazan, Russia - April 29, 2018: Homepage of Trello website on the display of PC, url - Trello.com.
Image: sharafmaksumov/Adobe Stock

For Trello users, the web interface makes for a workable solution for interacting with the service. Given the web UI has been very well designed, it makes sense that so many opt to go that route.

But what if I told you that you might get more out of the desktop app? That might help you work more efficiently? Does that spark your interest? I thought it might.

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Some of the benefits are obvious, while others are a bit more esoteric. On top of that, all of the benefits don’t work on every operating system. Let’s take a look at what might make you want to migrate from the web to the desktop version of Trello. Hold on to your hats, because it’s going to be a subtle ride.

Benefits of the Trello desktop app

It’s all about perception

Let’s kick this off with the more esoteric reasons to adopt the desktop client. I get it, most everyone works primarily within a browser these days. If you’re like me, however, that often makes me feel like I’m not being as productive as I might be with a specific application. Maybe that’s just my age speaking, but if given the choice between a desktop app or a web-based app, I’ll take the desktop app any day.

One reason for that is due to my propensity to work with a lot of tabs open in my browser. Yes, I do use a good tab management solution, but it’s not always enough. Even with my tabs separated into workspaces, my browser still sometimes becomes overcrowded. When that happens, it can take me a bit of extra time to locate the tab I need to work in. With a desktop app, I can either quickly glance at my desktop dock and bring the app back into focus or use a keyboard shortcut to quickly cycle through my open apps.

I’m big on efficiency, so I’ll do just about anything to give that a boost. And if going with a desktop app makes me even slightly more efficient, that’s a win.

More notifications

This is one of the aspects that only applies to certain operating systems. With the Trello desktop app running on macOS, you benefit from app icon notifications, which can alert you when there’s a new Trello notification without having to first look at the app. This is a feature you won’t find in the browser version of Trello.

More keyboard shortcuts

If you use macOS, you’ll also find there are more keyboard shortcuts to be had alongside the ability to create custom shortcuts.

When using the macOS desktop app, if you hit CTRL+OPTION+SPACE you can set both a name and description for your card, and you can even define the board and list that will house it. Other keyboard shortcuts that are specific to the desktop app include:

  • CTRL+ALT+T: Launch Trello.
  • CTRL+SHIFT+B: Open the board’s page.
  • CTRL+SHIFT+D: Set the current board as the default.
  • CTRL+D: Go to the default board.
  • CTRL+1-9Jump to one of your nine starred boards.
  • CTRL+ALT+C: Copy the URL of the selected card.
  • CTRL+ALT+V: Open the URL of the selected card.

If you use a MacBook with a touch bar, you can do things like bring up starred boards, create new cards, and open boards in new windows with a touch.

How to install the Trello desktop app

If you’re using either an Apple or Windows device, you’ll find the official Trello application in their respective app stores. On Linux, however, you must install the app using Snap packages. All you have to do is open a terminal window and issue the command:

sudo snap install trello-desktop

That’s it. Open the app, log in to your Trello account and start managing those projects.

I would recommend you give the Trello desktop app a try and see if it doesn’t make interactions with your boards a bit more efficient. If not, you can always uninstall and get back into the web browser.

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