Board, not Bored

2020 was a bit of a blur – I think like many, I was just going through the everyday motions of life, doing what I should be doing (work), trying to “stay safe” and attempting to maintain my sanity.

At some point, my eyes must have glazed over from looking at my FIRE and investment spreadsheets too much (what else was there to do back then?) and I decided to make things a bit more visual (and interesting).

I set up a ‘Countdown to FIRE’ Trello board.

Trello is a free to use collaboration tool, generally used for projects – an online equivalent of a whiteboard with a load of sticky notes.


Anyway, I forgot all about it until recently so here’s the updated board in all its glory.

I’d never used one before (for work or other) so it’s pretty basic; I’ve just muddled my way through trying stuff and making the most of copy and paste but I think it might be useful for me to view my goals in a different way, instead of them being hidden away in various spreadsheets.

I use the term ‘useful’ loosely, it’s more a motivation tool, rather than anything which is helping me reach FIRE, or even measuring my progress in a meaningful way.

Interestingly, the goal ‘Buy a home?’ had originally been in the ‘Future Goals (3-5 years)’ section so as mentioned previously, it was always part of my overall plan – it was just brought forward unexpectedly.

Anyone else use Trello or other visual tools to track their progress to FIRE?

12 thoughts on “Board, not Bored

  1. Hey weenie,

    I have used trello before at work as part of a project go live, we used it to track issues being reported by end users but I haven’t used it myself otherwise.

    I just use one spreadsheet on my iPad that has one tab for the FY expenses and budget which includes all my totals in my cash baskets and investment funds, this also has my possible routes after/if I hit my Project 2235 target of £250,000 next dec. I like to look at this sometimes for motivation and to to feel grateful to be fair for just having even the possibility to do this stuff. My second tab has my actual expenses that I record each month, so one is the yearly and monthly budget in essence and for the tracking of my funds and the other records what I actually spend. After each month, I update the first tab. This has worked well for me. I do enjoy checking this spreadsheet but I don’t look at it as much as I used too.


    • Hi TFJ

      I think I have too many spreadsheets (and tabs/worksheets) and with me updating monthly (FIRE and investments), I get a little bogged down with the numbers – I could have done with keeping things simple like you have!

      I don’t mind the updating but sometimes, it’s hard to visualise progress etc. Trello just made my goals a little easier on the eye, to broadly show me what I needed to achieve.

  2. Used trellis at work once – Badly ……but nice to see you are giving it a go

    Always enjoy reading your blogs . Trust the house move is going ok and not too stressful, it always is but try and not worry about it ,it all works out in the end and the fact you had buy house on your trellis board is a win the money is the money but you always need somewhere to live and with interest rates being so low and a good dose of inflation this will be a good investment and diversification for your fund

    • Hi Vespa boy

      Thanks for reading – just trying to keep a lid on the stress at the moment and it seems to be ok. Yes, I think it would have been a disaster if I hadn’t have even considered the house purchase in my plans.

  3. Hey Weenie, I love it!

    I currently have…. 22 personal Trello boards! And a lot more at work.

    We use Trello for absolutely everything, my wife and I even have one for things we are going to do in the up coming half term as we both have the week off where we’ve been adding tickets to that list like ‘clean the fridge’, ‘sort out the cutlery drawer’ and, ‘make a wreath’.

    Some of the other boards are things like our weekly meal plans (along with meals sorted into different categories), Fulfilment, App Ideas, we even created one called ‘Do You Really Need This Holder’ to stop impulse purchases where if we really really want to buy something, we’ll add it into the board and it will have to progress through the lanes until we either delete it, or buy the thing.

    And, of course, boards for SavingNinja and all other projects! Trello is awesome for thinking of post ideas and saving resources. The app is really cool and works well offline too. It’s such an awesome project management tool, note taker, and anything else 🙂

    • Hey SN

      I had a feeling you used it but 22 boards – hah incredible! I recall being so impressed with how you and your missus planned your wedding and thought back then that I needed something to help me be more organised.

      I hadn’t really thought about using it for more than my FIRE journey but I see now that it could be useful for other aspects of my life so I will consider create at least another board – seeing tickets like ‘clean the fridge’ and ‘sort out the cutlery drawer’ should I think help me keep on top of those kinds of chores!

      I love the idea of your ‘Do You Really Need This Holder’! I’m not currently inflicted with impulse buying right now but will bear it in mind for the future! 🙂

  4. Hello Weenie, I have been ill over the last 2 weeks and read your blog from beginning to end like a story book. Admire your optimism and focus. I have been fortunate enough to be well paid so my own journey has progressed well, but I love my job and don’t actually want to pull the plug! It is more of an insurance should I end up on the redundancy scrap heap!

    • Hi Donna

      Firstly, I hope you have recovered from your illness. Secondly, wow, thanks for reading – I’m humbled that you read it from the beginning – even I haven’t looked back on those old posts! Some of those early ones could have been better but I was just finding my feet in the blogging world!

      It’s great to hear that you love your job – having a FI(RE) plan in the background won’t do any harm to cover for unexpected scenarios (eg redundancy scrap heap!) and in case you for some reason change your mind about your job. All the best with the continued progress of your journey!

  5. I have never used Trello, but we have found ourselves saying ‘we should make a list’ a lot lately; places to visit, trips to take, jobs to do around the house. I’m going to check it out. I like the idea of something more visual than a spreadsheet or whiteboard.
    I love a list, so I think it might be right up my street

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