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How to shave 3 seconds off your admin on every Trello card (in the future)

Hi Trell users + team

Background: I use Trello most days for project management and task tracking and love it, however I would like to save time managing my card labels.

My discussion is:
Can we code our own rules using if-else statements? For example, in my Waiting list, I use the colour yellow for waiting, and when the item is completed I move it to the Done list and un-check the yellow label. I have found colours are really helpful for me to identify priorities and group tasks.

If I could use if-else statements, then upon adding tasks to my Waiting list the yellow label could auto-appear, and upon moving tasks from the Waiting list to the Done list, the yellow label could auto-remove.

My experiment:

To remove the yellow label from Waiting, then drag and drop the card into the Done list it takes me 6 seconds

Note: the Waiting and Done lists are right next to each other (see image below).

Screen Shot 2018-11-09 at 11.18.30 am.png

Assuming the feature was implemented (or already exists?) and I had wrote the if-else statement previously, to drop the card from the Waiting list to the Done list takes me 2-3 seconds

Minus the implementation time to the user, this feature could save us humanoids 3 seconds off every card! :-O


It would be really helpful to have this feature available!


What are you experiences?

Does something similar in Trello already exist that I'm missing?


Thanks, C

2 answers

Kudos @Iain Dooley, you've answered my discussion and then some. Cheers for the detailed examples - it's helpful to know these two tools exist - thanks again!

0 votes
Iain Dooley Community Leader Nov 09, 2018

@Chelsea adding in features like this to Trello is what the API is for!

Butler does a great job of putting this sort of "if-else" power into the hands of non-coders. It comes as either a power up or as a "bot" (a user that you add to your boards that does stuff for you).

The two conditions you identified would be translated to Butler as follows:

"Upon adding tasks to my Waiting list the yellow label could auto-appear"

is the Butler command:

When a card is added to "Waiting" add the yellow label

And the following:

Upon moving tasks from the Waiting list to the Done list, the yellow label could auto-remove.

is the Butler command:

When a card is moved to "Done" remove the yellow label

For basic operations like this Butler is the best choice, however if your mind starts to explore the truly incredible potential of automating Trello, Butler quickly becomes difficult to maintain, both as a power up and as a bot.

That's why I created Trellinator, which is an open source framework for automating Trello with Google Apps Script.

The above code in Trellinator would look like this:

It's obvious that for the particular use case you identified Butler is the better choice, but you can also see that Trellinator gives you a similar level of simplicity in creating the automations for coders, but has the advantage of being a fully fledged programming language with the ability to integrate more readily with other systems and more robust deployment and version control.

It's also deployed within your Google Drive, so you own the code and it doesn't contribute to your power up count.

So Butler is a great choice for the tech savvy power user to automate certain aspects of their board behaviour while Trellinator is a better choice for building business critical automations into Trello that are capable of achieving similar functionality to custom software.

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