Managing a project is never easy, especially when you have to collaborate with different people. However, Trello, a popular project management tool, offers a user-friendly platform where team members can share responsibilities, communicate efficiently, and work towards a shared goal. Trello utilizes boards for a more visual way of managing a project. The boards can be split into swim lanes called lists, each depicting the status of the project, and the lists can be further divided into tasks called cards. Cards are moved from one column to the next as work progresses.

After adopting Trello, whether, for work or organizing personal tasks, it’s easy to get into a routine of always using the same features over and over again. Yet, Trello is infinitely customizable, and there are many powerful features you may be overlooking. One such feature is the privacy settings. These controls can be fine-tuned to instantly improve and secure your Trello board and match your unique workflow. Don’t forget Trello can also be combined with a number of Power-Ups to expand its features. For instance, if you’re looking to bridge Trello’s reporting and exporting gap, you can try out the easy-to-use Bridge24 for Trello tool. 

Trello Privacy Settings

There are three privacy controls in every Trello board. They include:

  • Private 
  • Team Visible 
  • Public

Regardless of how you use your board, each of these controls can be useful in different scenarios. Let’s dive into how you can take advantage of these settings.

How To Select and Tweak Privacy Settings In Trello

When setting up a new board, Trello offers two default privacy settings. If you are creating a personal board that isn’t placed within a team, it will be Private by default, and only you can see it. If you set up a board that is held within a team, the privacy setting will automatically be Team Visible. Here’s what the settings mean:

  • Private – Only members added to that particular board can access it.
  • Team Visible – Any member of that team can view, join, and modify cards.
  • Public – Anyone who has access to the link can view the board.

When setting up a new board, you can see what the default setting is, and you can change the control by clicking the ‘Change Link’ button. On the top left of every board, you can see a symbol and text that tells you the board’s current privacy setting. You can press it any time you want to change the settings.

Which Privacy Setting is Best for What?

The three privacy controls can come in handy for different reasons. Here’s how you can deploy them:

Private Setting

This is the most secure setting. When you put a board in Private mode, you can better protect your Trello data and workflows. Managers can use this setting to keep sensitive information secure. E.g., When having a one-on-one meeting with team members on a report and you don’t want others to learn the contents of the discussion.

Managers can also use the Private setting when compiling agenda topics that will be used in a later discussion or creating lists of items that need to be followed up after a meeting. Also, if an employee wants to discuss a personal issue, such as a promotion, the board holding the discussion can be kept Private.

If you have a Trello board where you house personal to-dos, you can use the Private setting to prevent others from seeing your personal data. With this setting, no one will see the fitness goals you have set, your shopping list items, or any other personal details you place in Trello.

Team Visible Setting

Just a reminder, A Trello team is composed of members that have access to a grouping of Trello boards placed in that Team. In Trello, users can see the teams they are in and all the Team Visible boards. Inside Team Visible boards, you can view all team members and team settings.

You can use the Team Visible controls in a number of ways:

  • Employee Onboarding –  A Who’s Who board contains details of who is who in the team. This board is usually visible and accessible, and it helps new hires acclimatize with their new environment quickly. By clicking on a card that has a face, the new employee can know the name, responsibilities, and other details of the team members. Instead of going around asking people’s names, which is quite embarrassing, this digital directory comes in handy.
  • Goal Planning –  Every team sets goals. They could be monthly, quarterly, or annually. Since they aren’t individual plans, they need to be accessed by team members to keep everyone focused on the target and enhance collaboration. With the Team Visible settings, team members, managers, and involved stakeholders can easily reference the plans, compare with current progress, and ensure they are on the right path.

Public Setting

Public boards can be viewed by anyone who has the link, even if that individual isn’t part of your company. The board may even appear in search engine results, and anyone can see the contents of the cards. However, only members of the public board can edit or move cards. Here’s how a public board can be useful:

  • Public Roadmaps – Large companies like Twitter, Slack, and even Trello need a platform to communicate with users. They use Public boards to inform people of new features updates or other essential changes. Some companies allow comments on cards to see what users are saying, while others have integrated the Voting Power-Up to allow users to vote what feature additions they would love. Companies use this information to learn what they need to prioritize, improve on, or abandon.
  • Resources and Templates – If you have resources or information that you want to share widely, the Public setting can come in handy. The public board is commonly used by online educators, bloggers, productivity professionals, and even individuals who want to demonstrate how they use Trello to handle specific tasks. 


The visibility setting of a Trello board dictates how the board will function. Thankfully, Trello is highly customizable, and it allows you to have full control over the visibility of your board’s data. Learning how to use Trello’s Privacy Settings will help you transform your workflow. As mentioned earlier, many tools can be used alongside Trello to get the best out of your collaboration efforts. 

Bridge24 for Trello gives you a new perspective of your Trello tasks through interactive charts and graphs and detailed reports that you can export in formats like Excel and CSV so you can get a bird’s view of your decision-making process. 

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