A low-level board is a great tool to manage all of the important aspects and details of your tasks! Unlike a high-level board, which is intended to give more of a project overview, low-level boards track a project closely. They can be used to manage time, shifts, resources, and can even be used as a to-do list for daily or weekly tasks. This article will show you how to make and manage the low-level board for all your needs!
Build your board
Divide into groups
Our groups are a really central part of our board because they help us categorize our board's content. There are unlimited ways to group our items! For example, at Byron's Bicycles, we group our boards by client or project!
If we want to manage shifts, we can group our items by shift or date! We can manage projects by grouping by project phase or department responsible for each stage. If we want to create a weekly to-do list, we can group our items by day of the week! Or, we can group our board by clients, campaigns, or accounts!
Columns are the building blocks of our board, and they are super diverse! Each column can be used in a variety of different ways! Browse through the Column Center to preview all of the options, and start to get inspired to see which ones can work for you best!
We'll discuss a few examples in the next section. 🙌
Subscribe team members
Finally, let's get our team members subscribed to our board so that they'll always be in the loop! We can see who's subscribed to our board by clicking the little people icon at the top right corner of our board.
A pop-up window will display all of our board's subscribers! We can remove someone by clicking the "x" next to their name, or make them an owner by clicking the crown icon! If I want to add someone new, I can just type their name or email into the search bar and click the right teammate to add them!
Manage your board
Now that we've learned how to build a low-level board, let's take a look at an example of how to apply it to our workflow!
At Byron's Bicycles, custom refurbishing and repairs are done daily! With so many customers and so many special requests, we love to use a low-level board to manage all the little details throughout each project! We have a low-level board for each month's projects, and one high-level board to give us an overview of everything!
Manage your team
The People Column allows us to assign an engineer to each bicycle project! With one person responsible for each task (item), we can assure accountability and ownership within our company!
When we click a cell in the People Column, we can select anyone from our account to assign as "Engineer". We can select more than one person or even an entire team!
Manage your progress
Sometimes, our projects require special-order parts, paints, or waxes. We like to keep track of these orders using a Status Column! The column, "Parts to Order", shows us which parts need to be ordered, have already been ordered, or do not need to be ordered. We also have a label letting us know when a part is "Not Available" so that we can update the customer regarding possible delays in the bicycle repair's timeline.
We also use a second Status Column to track the status of each task! We use labels to always keep the shop up to date regarding the progress of each project by marking tasks that are "Not Started", "Waiting for Parts" we've ordered, or already "Done" and ready to go!
To keep track of the costs of each project, we track the cost of each test individually using the Numbers Column! We even use a column summary to calculate the total cost of the entire project!
We can even use the Formula Column to keep track of more advanced calculations, or to let us know when we're over budget on a project!
Manage your time
We find it really useful to track how long each task takes our engineers to complete. This helps us to assess our practices so that we can constantly improve ourselves and our business! To achieve this, we use the Time Tracking Column! Our engineers can press play, pause, and stop to track the amount of time it takes them to complete each task! They can record a few entries if they are working on something in intervals, and can even enter a time period manually!
Take a step back
- Connect your high and low level boards together
While our low-level board does a great job at managing details and daily tasks, we need a high-level board to pull everything together! A high-level board allows you to see a quick overview of one or more projects so that you always know where things stand. This kind of board is a great tool for managers and team leaders who need to see how the project is progressing but don't necessarily need to see every detail. They can also be used by an entire team as a hub for collaboration and updates!
At Byron's Bicycles, we use a high-level board to keep track of all of our past, current, and future projects. Each group represents a month, and each item represents a project, which is broken into smaller tasks in our low-level board.
Since these two boards are dependent on each other, it is important to have a connection between our high-level and low-level boards. To achieve this, we've used the Link to Item Column on our high-level board! We use the Link to Item Column to link each of the projects on our low-level board to the item on our high-level board it belongs to!
For example, "Xtreme 3400" is one of our big projects in the month of May, and it is broken into 5 smaller tasks, which are listed in our low-level board. We used the Link to Item Column to link each of these small tasks from our low-level board directly in our high-level board. This way, when we click a cell in our "Link to Byron's Bicycles" column, we can see a list of all the items linked to the item on this board!
- Display information from your low-level board right inside your high-level board
We took this one step further by adding a Mirror Column! With the Mirror Column, we can display specific information from our low-level board right inside our high-level board! This way, we can see everything we need in one frame, rather than flipping back and forth between two boards.
We've chosen to mirror our low-level board's Status Column. Because each item on our high-level board is linked to all the corresponding items on our low-level board, the Mirror Column, it generates a battery-style chart, showing us a breakdown of all the statuses from each project! When we hover over each color, we can see which label from the Status Column it represents. When we click a color, we can see which items have that label!
This really helps us to review the status of the whole project, rather than each individual task. It also helps us track how we're doing over the entire month, and throughout the year.
Using a combination of a high-level board and several low-level boards is a super popular workflow that can help you get started managing your projects with monday.com. If you are looking for more tips and solutions to amp up your workflow, you can check out our guide section right here!
If you have any questions, please feel free to reach out to our Customer Success Team 24/7! We're happy to help :)