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Can I extract certain data from a card emailed to a list?

The workflow I am trying to accommodate uses email as a starting point. That may change in the future, but for now it's what I am working with. 

The short version is that I am trying to extract two specific pieces of information from an inbound email using Butler. Both of these appear to be common requests, but the example documentation on this topic appears to be out of date (pre-acquisition). 

First, I would like to extract the sender's email address from the email and add it to a custom field so that the sender receives updates as the task moves through the workflow. I would prefer to be able to extract the email from the "FROM" field of the email itself, but I can also search for a text string in the description if necessary.

Second, I would like to extract a date from the subject line to assign to the Due field (directly or via a custom field). Older documentation suggests that Butler can do this, but the configuration options for today's version of Butler do not appear to (?) contain appropriate options. I suppose I could pattern match as well, but that's a less useful scenario given the multitude of date formats a sender could use.

I would appreciate any suggestions.

1 answer

0 votes
Iain Dooley Community Leader Aug 21, 2020

@Crawford Long When you use Trello's email to board feature, you don't see the sender's email address, so unless the email address is reliably included in the body text of the email you won't have access to it. Not sure if the same is true for the outlook/gmail plugins that automatically create cards from emails.

To address that problem, you could use my BenkoDesk product that lets you use Trello as a Gmail client:

http://www.benkodesk.com/

There's also the SendBoard and Hipporello powerups that do similar things:

https://hipporello.com/
https://sendboard.com/

Although in those cases, they're powerups so I'm not sure if the sender information is present in the card title or description, you'd have to test it out. BenkoDesk puts the from email in the card title by default.

Once you have the info in the card somehow, you could use this Trellinator function to extract the data:

https://gist.github.com/iaindooley/4502c581c67275ffd6bdfb821dc73fe3

However, if you were using BenkoDesk, the need to have their email stored in a custom field would be obviated because you could always just post a comment like this to give them an update:

@reply
Hi there,

Your thing is up to {listname} and will be ready on {duedate}.

Thanks,
The team

You can read more about Trellinator here:

https://community.atlassian.com/t5/Marketplace-Apps-Integrations/Introducing-Trellinator-Automate-Trello-with-Google-Apps-Script/ba-p/925271

I appreciate the reply, but unfortunately this will not help us given our operational restrictions. Google integration is not possible at this time. It looks like I will have to (for now) ask users to include their email in the subject line.

Any thoughts about the date question? Does the current version of Butler have the ability to recognize an arbitrary date, as the earlier version seems to have been able to? Or do I need to tell users to include the date in a specific format?

Iain Dooley Community Leader Aug 23, 2020

@Crawford Long doesn't look like it. There's no "name containing due date" option anymore. You also can't set the due date based on a variable anyway. You could set the text value of a custom field to the date in a specific format in the card title, but you couldn't set the date value of a custom field or a due date on the card based on card content without using the API.

I do have a non-Google Apps Screipt version of Trellinator (a "hosted" Trellinator) called BenkoBot that I've just released:

https://app.benkobot.com/

That public facing version currently only has "one off" code execution, but I have a closed beta that handles notifications, so you could use something like the above Trellinator function to get the date out of the card title. The Trellinator.parseDate() function can cope with a range of date formats, you can see everything it's tested with here:

http://docs.trellinator.com/trellinator_Trellinator.js.html#line1229

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