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Best subscription type and way to set up my trellos boards?

I run a property management firm that does community mgmt (Homeowner associations, condo associations, etc).  There's 4 of us on the community management team. We have roughly 20 communities we manage.  We currently use a spreadsheet to track each communities maintenance and other operational issues.  Each tab on the spreadsheet represents one community. I have it so I can share out read only access for each tab to each board of directors of the respective community.  This way they can gain visibility into where we are with each issue we're working on.   Short story, the spreadsheet is becoming a mess.

I want to use Trello boards to replicate what we're doing.  Organizationally, having 1 board per community would work. Then I can invite the board of directors for each community to be an observer to their community's trello board.  

However, where it gets confusing is how or if these observers count toward the subscription cost.  I need to give the 4 of us at the company access, so I'm fine with paying for the 4 of us for business class, but I see in some literature that even observers will be charged as a full user.  Visibility into what we're doing is merely a value-add so they can see updates on issues as they happen and don't have to rely on emailing/calling us and/or waiting for a response. 

I'd prefer not making the Board public as there are financial info and sometimes private information being disclosed on these issues lists. 

Thoughts? Suggestions? 

Thank you. 

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Iain Dooley Community Leader Sep 02, 2020

@James Hsu observers will be treated as non-billable "single board guests" if they're only a member of one board in the business class team. You will only pay for observers who are members or more than one board.

You can also look at some of the options for integrating email into Trello so you can send updates to people directly from Trello cards:

1) My own product, BenkoDesk lets you use Trello to share a Gmail inbox:

2) SendBoard lets you forward emails into Trello and reply directly from Trello cards, as well as start new outbound emails:

3) Hipporello is similar to SendBoard but also lets you create forms that people can fill out to make an enquiry:

Ah! that's where I was getting confused. Do Observers have to create a trello account?  Trying to lower the barrier to get these people to participate in management of their community.  The fewer barriers, the more likely they will help. 

I'll take a look at the email integrations. ...that would be useful. 

Iain Dooley Community Leader Sep 02, 2020

@James Hsu yep they'll need to create a Trello account

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