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Creating a master board with Butler that doesn't duplicate cards when they move between lists Edited

Hi everyone

I've started experimenting again with a master board, this time using Butler (as I can't justify the crazy pricing of Unito top end). 

Currently each project ifhas its own board with Inbox > Next > Doing > Waiting etc. My aim is as follows:

- when I move any card into Doing (in any project board), I'd like it to appear in the master board's Doing list

- when I move one of those cards from Doing to another list (in the project board), eg Waiting, I want the card to be move from the master board's Doing list to the master board's Waiting list. 

- and so on for all other project board lists

But when I do this, it seems I can only use the master board to look at the lists because if I move cards around then those changes are not reflected back in the respective project boards ... and if I add comments etc in the master board cards then they don't show up in the original card on its project board.

So I have to kind of click through from the master board to each project board and make my edits/moves there to keep things kind of sync'd.

Here are a couple of rules I'm using:

when a card is added to the board, copy the card to the top of list "Backlog [Inbox]" on board "Master" and link the cards together
when a card is moved into list "Next", find the first card linked in the attachments, and move the card to the top of list "Next" on board "Master"
when a card is moved into list "Doing", find the first card linked in the attachments, and move the card to the top of list "Doing Today" on board "Master" 

I'm thinking there must be a better way of managing cards from the master board? Am I doing something wrong?

FTR, I've tried other copy rules but they end up creating multiples of cards on the master board each time they're moved.

Any help appreciated.


PS changes to labels, custom fields, dates also don't sync between project board and master board - I have to click on the linked card within the card to see that kind of info. Clunky. 


2 answers

0 votes
Iain Dooley Community Leader Apr 30, 2020

@Simon Perkins doing a comprehensive synch between boards is pretty difficult. Even with Butler Bot the number of rules required was high, I'm not even sure it's entirely possible with Butler as it stands now, but you can approximate it as you've done there.

One tip would be to use wildcards so you just have a rule like:

When a card is moved into list "{*}" find the first card linked in the attachments and move it to list "{wildcard1}"

In your sub-boards you can copy comments, but this can also create double notifications if a user is mentioned. 

For my clients that have "board of boards", they don't have a comprehensive synch from each board to a master, but they use my BenkoBoard product which gives them an overview of all their cards and notifications in an easy to prioritise format.

If you want a really comprehensive synch including comments, checklist items and so on, you're best to just pay for Unito.

Thanks Iain


Yep, it looks like too many rules need to be created to set up some form of mirroring that isn't entirely stable. Reckon I could break it too easily. 

Unito looks good but I have a lot of boards and no way am I paying their top end figures even if it works seamlessly. 

Will look at ways to streamline other areas.

0 votes
Esme Crutchley Community Leader May 01, 2020

Hi @Simon Perkins 

Welcome to the Community!

@Iain Dooley is right, it's really difficult, if not impossible to mirror boards without Unito (which I've never used). 

The rules that you're using at the moment seem ok, but you might want to add something like this:

Screenshot 2020-05-01 at 10.06.50.pngWhich will mean that any comment added to the duplicated card will replicate in the MASTER BOARD - now there might be a problem with this - I have no idea if you have this set up on both sides (the master board and the secondary board) whether this will create an infinite loop. So if you want to add comments to the card, you would be better off doing it in the copied card. 

If you're trying to move cards into different lists in the 'child' boards, then you need to ensure that the rules are enabled on those boards as well as the master board - otherwise, you'll only be able to move cards in the master board and have them move in the 'child' board - if you want a 2 way sync on moving cards between lists - you need to enable the rules on each 'child' board so that when you move a card into another list, it'll move it on the master board. 

If you want to replicate labels, the rule is pretty similar, however, you're going to have to create this rule for all labels:

Screenshot 2020-05-01 at 10.11.31.pngCustom Fields are a little bit more tricky though! You might be able to use {triggercardcustomfield} but I'm not 100% sure on that one because I've never used it! Might be worth having a play around with though?

Hope that's helpful

Esme :)

Thanks Esme

As per my reply to Iain, it seems like I'm going to need a lot of rules to set up and maintain (and debug when things go wrong).

Am thinking about using the master board for overall visibility then 'double-clicking' through cards that need attention so I end up making edits on the source card, ie the card on the project board. Can see this working-ish in my head, and is probably something to try to see if it has any longterm buy in.

Esme Crutchley Community Leader May 01, 2020

No worries Simon, yeah, there are a LOT of rules that are necessary to create as much of a mirror as possible, and because of a that, a LOT of things can go wrong!

Personally, I've got around it using quite a simple process:

I copy the card to where I want it and link the 2 cards together 

Then in the description field I have this (please excuse the fact that this card is for one of my dogs!):

Screenshot 2020-05-01 at 12.49.44.png

It's really basic, but it means that I can see in the description in bold - that I shouldn't be adding things to this card, and letting me know that the original card is attached, and should that attachment disappear - the board that the card came from!

It's a bit of a pain to do every time, but once it's done it's a copy & paste job!

I don't know if that smoothes some of the problem, but I just thought I'd let you know what I do personally!

Esme :)

That's pretty much what I was referring to by my loose 'double-clicking' through each card. 

Not ideal but not too clunky.

However, have tried it with a few live tasks and the process does seem quite jarring and takes away some of the fluidity. Unsure Butler has a better way.

Have also experimented with Unito and just got it working with one board to a master. Pretty cool actually. But with the delay on sync times and number of syncs, it's likely I would need to go with Business tier at $125/m (for an annual commitment). That's a crazy figure and not something I would do.

Thanks for illustrating the above though :)

Esme Crutchley Community Leader May 01, 2020

I've actually just created a rule that I thought I might share with you:

Screenshot 2020-05-01 at 20.36.49.png

I record my workouts on Trello, they all include the Release (because I subscribe to LMOD and they all have a release number or name), and they're all in a specific list, so I can be really specific about the comments that I want to copy over to the main (parent) card. Because I sometimes add comments in the individual cards (because I have a card per day), I don't want it to copy over all the comments, just the workouts, this rule works like a charm! I actually did a bit of a happy dance when I got it working!

So basically, this rule works on one board, but it would easily work across 2 boards (or however many you have) because it's just finding the first card linked in the attachment.

Thought I'd share it, just in case it was useful :)

Thanks for the share Esme. Have just a play with rules based around comments and I feel this is another thing that will need ongoing maintenance. 

It's great that Butler is helping me with some cool stuff but reliably/intuitively syncing core content across various boards is beyond it methinks.

All ideas appreciated though. 

Esme Crutchley Community Leader May 03, 2020

I've tried for months to get it to work, with various levels of success (or not!)

My Team (my husband and I) are trying something new at the moment. I can't keep track of all the boards and bills and things going off all the time. I end up with 2 or 3 notifications for the same card on different boards, which is a right pain!

So we've decided to link every board with a different calendar on our joint Google Calendar and see if it's easier to manage that way. 

We use Cronofy, the paid version at around $23.99 (which ended up around £18) for a year, which allows us to link each board with a separate calendar. I worked on the free version of Cronofy for over a year, before we made the leap to the paid version. So we're trying to see if it's easier to manage with everything feeding into Google Calendar, rather than trying to have everything feeding into one board and making a right mess of things!

I used Cronofy for 2-3 months a year or so ago. I think it was the 2-way sync that got my attention. Found it useful for seeing the bigger picture of certain aspects, but it also made me realise that I don't work off of calendars for individual tasks. That might sound odd to some people, but I think what I've realised recently is that I only want to see what I need to focus on now or in the next few days.

Cheers for the heads up. 

Esme Crutchley Community Leader May 04, 2020

No worries Simon, it's horses for courses! 

We all use Trello in different ways that are personal to us, while I want to 'live' in my calendar and be able to see everything from all boards in different calendars so that I get a birds eye view of everything (rather than trying to get everything into one board like I had previously), I know that this might not work for everyone!

I know that some people never put due dates on their cards, when they're done they archive them. Whereas I always put due dates on my cards and never archive them!

Like Simon Perkins likes this

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