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How can I trigger an automation when a card reaches the top of a list?

dennis.muldoon August 21, 2023

I want to use Trello to manage queues on a board where each column represents a different shared resource. Ideally, I would like an automation to ping a card's creator when it reaches the top of a list. I can't seem to find any way to use a card's position within a list as a trigger, though. Is there a way to do this that I'm missing?

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Mutya A
Atlassian Team
Atlassian Team members are employees working across the company in a wide variety of roles.
August 22, 2023

Hi Dennis!

Currently, there is no Trigger that looks for any changes or movement to a card position in a list. There might be another way, but it depends what your workflow is prioring to the card reaching the top of a list. When does this reach the top of the list? How is it sorted? Is this done manually or through another automation?

For now, the closest I can think of, if this is part of your workflow, is to create a card button to move any card to the top of a certain list. You can add a second action to notify people who belong to the card by using these:

Hope this helps, otherwise, look forward to your reply! 

If this post helps your query, then please consider Accept answer to help the other users find it more quickly. 

dennis.muldoon August 24, 2023

Thanks. I was hoping to find something that didn't depend on a manual click, but a button to make it easier is a good suggestion. In this case, we have a column that is essentially a waitlist to use a shared resource. When someone wants to use a resource, they add a card to the bottom of the list, and when they get to the top it's their turn. When they are done, they remove their card, which would then make the next card down the new 'top' of the list. I was hoping to be able to use that as a trigger, because it would then not depend on the person in the first card remembering to click the button for the next person.

Mutya A
Atlassian Team
Atlassian Team members are employees working across the company in a wide variety of roles.
August 27, 2023

Hi Dennis, 

Thanks for providing the full context! Unfortunately, that still means that we will need to depend on the card moving to the top of the list when a card is removed from the top. We still do not have a Trigger for that card movement. 

I don't know how to implement this one but if it's a waitlist kind of system, my suggestion is linking the cards together in a chain where the card includes the link to the next card below them. Once they are removed out of the list, this is where you can track the next one that goes on top of the list like this:


For more information on syncing cards together: 

Hope this helps!

dennis.muldoon August 28, 2023

Thanks for the suggestion. I think manually linking each new card as it comes in will probably be more trouble than it's worth in this case, at least in our current process; unless there's a way to automate that linking when a card is created (and I can't see how, since Trello doesn't seem to have any notion of where a card is within a list).

Sounds like I just have to hope that they eventually add a trigger for a card reaching the top of the list, and come up with a process solution in the meantime. It's a little disappointing, because that seems like pretty obvious functionality.

Mutya A
Atlassian Team
Atlassian Team members are employees working across the company in a wide variety of roles.
August 29, 2023

I hear you and I can see that this is very useful feature to have! We currently do not log changes to card position within a list. I understand how this can be difficult to track/audit, especially as lists get large. Here's how some users address this:

  • Use labels to distinguish between priorities, and limit the highest priority to only a handful of cards
  • Use sorting of lists to sort by date created, alphabetically, etc
  • Use due dates on cards to ensure high priority items are addressed
  • Create distinct lists for highest priority items

Use the above with the automation to look for cards and link them together when creating a new card, if possible. You might also find a Power-Up that would suit your situation. If you haven't already, we invite you to check out the Power-Ups library to see if there is a Power-Up that will work for your team.

This isn't the best solution but hope it helps in some ways! 

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