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8 min read

How to customise your boards: ten top tips

Two users customising their board graphic

Welcome friends, and happy Monday!

We're back with another hints and tips blog to read over your Monday morning coffee. 

Say goodbye to the Monday blues and hello to seamless, customised board designs by following these top tips to add some colour and fun to your workflows!

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Getting started

At this point, needs no introduction - it's the world's leading Work Operating System.

One of our favourite things we've found using it here at Adaptavist is discovering its many customisable features.

Whether you've boards set up to keep track of weekly to-dos for your team synchs or to manage ongoing projects and plans, doesn't employ a 'one size fits all approach' - far from it! Its boards are fully customisable to meet your specific team and individual needs.

However, with so many features available, it can be difficult to know where to start.

If you're new to boards, we definitely recommend checking out our previous blog, Tips for getting started with boards.

Once you've got to grips with the basics, you can start exploring all the different features available and choose which ones you'd like to incorporate into your board designs.

Without further ado, let's take a look at our top tips to help get the ball rolling.

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Two users customising their board

1. Add some colour to your groups

While will apply default colours to your boards once they've been creative, you don't have to settle for those. Perhaps you'd like to colour code your boards based on month, team, tasks etc., or maybe you just want to make your boards a bit more personal by incorporating your favourite colours and seeing which ones work well together?

By changing the group's colour scheme, your chosen colour will appear in the group's name, the timeline column, and next to each item in the group.

There are several colours to choose from, so start exploring and building them into your board designs today! It's fun and will really brighten up your board designs, while also making it easier to distinguish between your different boards at a glance.

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GIF showing how to add colour to boards

2. Don't stop there; add some to your labels too!

Take your colour creativity to the next level by choosing from 40+ colour options to add to your labels (used in the status column).

I've found these useful when looking to easily show what stage a piece of content is in. For example, 'red' can show if an item you're working on has stalled, yellow to show it is 'in progress', lime green to show if it's 'in review' and green to show when it's in our favourite place, 'Done'.

Depending on what you've named your labels and what you intend to use them for, you can choose the colour scheme that best suits your specific needs - so don't be afraid to go wild!

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GIF showing how to colour your labels

3. Use 'Dark' mode to give your eyes a rest

We've all been there. Hours on end spent staring at a screen, to the point where words and numbers all seem to mesh into one, and your head starts to ache! has you covered.

Use Dark mode to change the display of either your entire account or just your views and dashboards to a dark display colour palette. Your text, icons and graphics will use a light-coloured scheme set against a dark blue background. This will give your board a cool, sleek look and make viewing your board a little easier on the eyes.

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GIF showing how to enable Dark Mode

4. Go even darker with 'Night' mode

Looking for an even darker backdrop, with more of a contrast between the colours on your screen and the background?

We recommend using Night mode.

Similar to Dark mode but employing a much darker background colour palette, Night mode is an excellent feature for working comfortably in low-light environments and will really make the vibrant colours you've used for your groups and columns pop off the screen!

Use Dark and Night modes to make working in front of a screen less of a strain. Your eyes will thank you.

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GIF showing how to enable Night Mode

5. Use conditional colouring to add emphasis to your data

Remember conditional formatting in Excel, folks? Well takes that feature to the next level.

Keeping with the colouring theme, use conditional colouring to apply colours to cells that match your specified criteria. This will help you to easily separate the information on your board or add visual emphasis to your data. 

3 example uses for conditional colouring

  1. Set the colour to green where an appointment is due to take place today; all appointments with the due date today will now appear in green.
  2. Set colour to purple for all meetings that are due to go over 60mins; all meetings scheduled to go more than 60mins will now appear in purple.
  3. Set colour to orange to show all items assigned to specific team members. Any items assigned to x or y team members will appear in orange.
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GIF showing how to use conditional colouring in

6. Make sense of your board by renaming your items

Item 1, Item 2, Item 3, Item 4 etc. These are the first things you'll see when creating a board from scratch.  

Not only are they not very imaginative, but they're not very useful either (I'm not sure letting my manager know I'm working on Item 3 this week would make much sense in our weekly synchs).

It's because wants you to customise them, and start incorporating your own terminology into your workflows.

For example, if you're a sales team and using your board to keep track of new leads, you can customise your items so that the rows on your boards will no longer appear as 'Items', they'll instead appear as 'Leads'.

This is a great way to embed the language you and your teams use to communicate every day into your workflows.

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GIF showing how to rename items in

7. Resize your columns and items

Customise the width of your board columns by simply clicking and dragging your columns to resize them precisely as you like. A handy feature for highlighting columns that contain important information or a lot of text.

Similarly, if you have an item with a longer name and you don't want the text to be cut off, you can resize it to display more information. Choose between single, double, or triple item height! 

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GIF showing how to resize and drag and drop columns in

8. Tidy up your board by reorganising columns and groups

When adding new columns or groups to your board, they will first appear at the far right or bottom of your board. As you continue to add more columns and boards you add to your board, leaving them in their automated starting place can lead to things getting a little, messy. 

Luckily, it's easy to reorganise your board's columns and groups. Simply use the drag and drop function to move your columns and groups around the board so that they appear in whatever order works best for you! Whether that's chronologically, in order of relevance, or priority - it's easy to keep your board neat and tidy with this tip.

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GIF showing how to reorganise your boards

9. Hide, collapse and expand your columns

Another way to keep your workspaces from feeling too cluttered is to use the 'Hide' feature to keep selected columns hidden from your board view.

This is a handy feature to use if there is important information you want to keep in your workspace but don't necessarily need to see there all the time. 

And, like the other cool features we've looked at here, it's super easy to use!

  1. Open any of your boards and click on the 'Hidden Columns' icon at the top of your board.
  2. This will automatically select all of your columns, meaning they are currently displayed on your board. 
  3. Select the ones you do not want to appear on your board to hide columns.
  4. Alternatively, you can deselect 'All Columns' and choose the columns you want to display.

You should now see only the columns you have selected to remain visible, keeping column clutter itself - hidden.

Use collapse and expand if you want to quickly refer back to column information without keeping it completely hidden. This will keep your board looking tidy while allowing the column to remain a part of your main board view.

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GIF showing how to hide columns in

10. Use summary tools to review your data

The more you continue to add data to your board, the more you'll need a way to quickly view that data at a glance. There are a couple of different ways you can do this.

Column Summary 

Column summaries can be added to any of the columns on your boards.

You may need to see a quick overview of how many new leads have been contacted, total revenue over the last month, or how many pieces of content are stuck in review, for example.

To do this, simply click on the 'Show Column Summary’ option from the column settings to get a quick numerical overview of your column data. 

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GIF showing how to use column summary in

Group and board footer

Look at the bottom of your board once you've collapsed your groups for an even higher-level overview of all the columns with column summaries.

There you'll find a footer showing overviews of all of the columns with column summaries, giving you a high-level overview of the collapsed data in each of your groups.

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GIF showing how to use group and board footer in

Would you like some more hints and tips?

Voila! Now that you've had a glimpse at some of the many customisable features available with's workspaces, have a go at customising your own boards using some of the tips we've covered above. 

If you're still not sure where to get started or would like some more hints and tips on how to customise your boards, please feel free to get in touch, and one of our friendly Adaptavist colleagues will be happy to reach out to help better understand your needs, and customise your workflows around them.

Visit our hub page for all the latest news, resources and tools to help you supercharge your workflows.

And as our friends and like to say, 'Done'.

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About the authors

Charlie Courtney

Charlie Courtney

Charlie is the Content Marketing Manager for our New Ecosystems Team at Adaptavist, with over eight years of experience in Marketing and Business Development in B2B and B2C. Charlie is responsible for planning, creating and implementing integrated content marketing campaigns to help promote our and Slack products and services.