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Trello + planyway

Booking I'm New Here Aug 26, 2020

I'm trying to use trello In my work as a booking manger for a big company. I have a some problem with my client often have multiple projects at the same time, some are continuing over time and some are only for a couple of days.

I need to use a calendar to keep track of it sll so I tried planyway but it gets disorganized because I have too many cards that are recurring and some that I need only for 1 day, and then I archive it, but when you search for a card later, you get everything with that client or adress. I also book all my staff out to different projects, different days.

But I can't invite them to the board where all my clients show (like planyway) I've tried to use a master board and then sync what I have booked for that day to a board where I can invite staff. But I still gets disorganized. I don't want to use 1 board for every projects ( it can be up to 30-50 a day) and change from day to day. Please can someone help me.. if you have any questions to understand more about what I need , please ask. 

3 answers

1 accepted

1 vote
Answer accepted

@Booking perhaps you want to list the (1) top 3 painful areas you want to avoid (2) top 3 benefit you would like to gain (3) what you want to keep as status quo

So point suggestions (and they can be off the mark) would be : (1) automatically archived cards to another board, (2) have company users do their own bookings via forms for simple booking (3) simpler way to create cards (ie new request) and move cards around (assignment)...which checklist to card conversion, use of labels, CF ...through automation.

My apologies for over simplifying the difficulties and challenges you are facing.

PS I read somewhere that if you 300-400 cards on a board, performance will suffer. So at 30-50 a day you are going to reach those numbers in a few days. 

Is it possible to set up a meeting? Its a lot. I just wrote a replay. But it didn't post .. 2 hours gone..

I can write the top 3 again..

 

What I want to avoid

1. Staff seeing what projects other staff are assign too  

2. Card being viable in search after archived (but i still need them) 

3. Recurring cards getting duplicated if I change anything on that one card 

 

What I want to benefit

1. A schedule for staff where they can see the card and the information they need  

2. A calendar where cards/projects can be stuck on that date/time If I want, and then take some information to follow through out the project period  

3. an overview of where staff are on that day (where they were yesterday) and who are done if I need to assign them on a project getting booked last minute 

 

The status quo: Planning for a Big business, tons of projects and staff secluded from each others

 

Im the only one who can book staff and projects, so this is not for my clients to book by them self, it need government permission and the right legal documents that is not something my clients have any insight in unfortunately. 

 

I maybe try to write the whole explanation again tomorrow, but it was  A LOT of text and I really would like ta have an meeting (skype or whatever) where I can share my screen so you get an understanding on what I really need. Im going to need the business model, right now have 12 days left before my free trail runs out. And I want to have something to show for my administration before that.

Thanks for trying to help 

 

Sincerely

 

Christina  

@Booking  I am sorry that I made you type the whole lot out. I am hoping that you get the help you need. On status quo, are you saying you can already staff seeing the assignment of others. It seems to contradict pt 1 in pain. 
@Iain Dooley would you be able to help Christina ?

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Thank you so much, I think I messed up in my translation when I was rewriting it after losing the "real" answer. What I really want is that the card/projects I assign to my staff,  should be the only card they can see.  The main problem I have is that I probably need 1 board for each project for this to work, but I will answer @Iain Dooley  below and try to test some of the solutions . Thank you so much for helping me out. :)

2 votes
Iain Dooley Community Leader Aug 27, 2020

@Booking these are pretty common needs in Trello. The most significant is that you want Staff to be able to see what they're working on, and to be able to see what they're working on too.

Since you can't add someone to a card unless they're a member of a board, the best way to do this is to assign work to staff by label, and then have an automation that copies and links to a card in a personal board for them. You can then filter your overview board to show what a particular staff member is working on. When they archive the card from their board (or otherwise indicate some change in state) you can automatically reflect that back on the overview card.

The other issue you have about scheduling your projects is not so clear cut to me. Basically, you have 2 options: put everything on one board, or put each client on their own board. If you put everything on one board, you can use labels, lists and due dates to filter and sort. It's advantageous because you have a single overview board. HOWEVER, it can get messy, and it means that anyone who you add to that board can see all the client stuff.

If you have one client per board, you have a cleaner space for each client and more flexibility about how you deal with their work, however you should then have a "board of boards": an overview where you have one card for each client, linked to their board:

https://blog.trello.com/related-cards-related-boards

You can automate the creation and linking of those boards, and you can also automate some sort of "overview reporting", for example taking all cards with a due date today and creating a linked checklist for them on the overview card, which saves you time going into each board to see what's on for that day.

Some of these automations you can do with Butler, but some require custom API work, for which I would typically use my Trellinator library:

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

In terms of planning, I prefer Placker to Planyway, but that may be my bias showing (I'm not a big fan of calendars as project planning tools). Placker allows you to slice and dice your view of cards across multiple boards by label, list and member to create Gantt charts.

Lastly, if you want to streamline the communication with your clients out of Trello, you have some options about emailing directly from your Trello board:

1) Firstly there's my product BenkoDesk which lets you use Trello as a Gmail client:

http://www.benkodesk.com/

2) Then there's SendBoard which lets you forward emails to a special address and then reply directly from Trello:

https://sendboard.com/

3) and Hipporello which lets you use Trello as a HelpDesk with clients filling out forms or sending emails:

https://hipporello.com/

If you'd like to discuss further feel free to email team@benkoworks.com and we can jump on a video chat to see what (if any) of the above solutions make sense for your organisation.

Hi @Iain Dooley  Thanks for trying to help, I think my text was a bit confusing. So great job of understanding it :)

My job involves booking staff to projects for traffic management, we have around 80 employees and have a lot of projects in summer, spring and fall and not so much during winter time. So the staff are hired by the hour and are really competitive to get the "best" (most hours and best payed projects) that is why I cant have them all looking in to all projects coming in, and what other staff are assign to. 

Day to day basis are okay if they can see where other people are, but it get out of hand if they see how much someone work during a whole week :P

My projects needs government approval, we have one department that only help clients get all the paperwork in place. When its approved, I set up a team that close off roads with the right road signs and help the clients/company that performs the road constructions to be safe, and to not have any traffic jams and accident. Our job is to rerouting traffic, and help out with following the safety regulations from states and governments.  

We have one department who makes all the road sign for the projects in strict overview from the governments advice,  I manage the contact between all the department out to the staff, because of the legal documents we need before a project can even begin, it is a lot to sync together like information , road signs, cars, suppliers contact information, deadlines, and syncing different companies together and have it all set up in time. 

 

One problem I have is the due dates in trello, because I dont want to have a new card for every day.

I usually have to change teams on a projects every week, sometimes every day even if the project continuing for several weeks.  The shorter projects are not as much of a problem, lf it is only one week, I'm okay with having 5 card for every work day (then I can use list for every day of the week) It is when the project need new staff every day and goes on for months it start to become a problem. 

I use planyway. Because I can have one card with all the information I need, what car that team will use that day/week, all the legal documents attached and information specific for that project and update it over time. I make the card recurring for as long as I need to.

Right now I try to use staff as Cards, so all of the staff is in one "staff board" with all the names(not yet invited), and I attached the  staff card in the Project card.

But if I switch team every day I get a new card for each day. And I dont want to search through 365 archived card for one project, if that projects runs every day for a year, it gets too messy. I need to keep the archived cards so I can back track on where staff have been before and so on.

 

I have looked at placker, but I haven't really tried it out.  I like the calendar look, as I am using it in my work today (in paper form) I really like the overview in planyway, but you are saying I can have that in placker too?  

I also use the tool to send email when I get a booking from a client in a email, I send it to my "master board" where I have list like, "booked projects" "up next" "ongoing projects" "in coming projects"  "follow up" and "done" 

 

I have tried to use the "booked project" list to sync/copy cards that I assigned/attached to staff (staff cards) in the future I'm planning to assign the staff card to the employee named on that card, so that they can look at the Card/project and get all information through the card. However I send the booked card by putting it in the list and then it shows in the "staff assigned to project board" 

This way I dont show all projects in my "master board" to the staff, where only my administration have access. This might work.

 

I think the advice you gave about trellinator is to advance for me, even tho I think I can learn over time I dont have the time right now to convince my boss trellinator  is the most effective and easy way to go forward with our booking solution. 

I need trello to work for me soo bad, I can't continue to use an old school calendar and post-it's and searching through emails to collect importen information from 5-10 different departments/companies and then sum it all up in a group text to send out to every team each day , not in 2020. ..

I'm up for a video chat if I can't solved this with the advice given by you so far, I'm thankful for the help and I will try to see how far this will take me. 

 

This answer (a bit better put together) hopefully has given you a better idea of what I do and what I'am looking for. So just hit me back if you come up with anything else I should try. Thanks again :)

Sincerely Christina 

Iain Dooley Community Leader Aug 28, 2020

@Booking I'll go through and add my replies in-line with your original text where appropriate:

My job involves booking staff to projects for traffic management, we have around 80 employees and have a lot of projects in summer, spring and fall and not so much during winter time. So the staff are hired by the hour and are really competitive to get the "best" (most hours and best payed projects) that is why I cant have them all looking in to all projects coming in, and what other staff are assign to. Day to day basis are okay if they can see where other people are, but it get out of hand if they see how much someone work during a whole week :P

Okay so you can't add anyone as a member of a card unless they are also members of the board, which means they can see everything. So you need to use an automation that will copy a card (and link the two) into each team members' own board when you add a label in your project boards.

You would probably have something like:

 - Staff overview: one card per staff member, each card linked to the staff members' own boards

 - Projects overview: one card per project, each card linked to the project's own board

 - When you add label that matches a staff board name to any card in any of your project boards, you want that card copied to the relevant staff member's board and the two cards linked together

You can do this with Butler, but you won't be able to automate the creation of boards with that functionality. You'd have to create and link the board, then go and enable your Butler commands on each one.

Trellinator as I linked to above, does have "global command groups" so you can have a group of boards (staff, projects etc.) that share functionality without any manual setup involved, and you can also automate the creation and linking of cards with their corresponding boards.

My projects needs government approval, we have one department that only help clients get all the paperwork in place. When its approved, I set up a team that close off roads with the right road signs and help the clients/company that performs the road constructions to be safe, and to not have any traffic jams and accident. Our job is to rerouting traffic, and help out with following the safety regulations from states and governments.  

We have one department who makes all the road sign for the projects in strict overview from the governments advice,  I manage the contact between all the department out to the staff, because of the legal documents we need before a project can even begin, it is a lot to sync together like information , road signs, cars, suppliers contact information, deadlines, and syncing different companies together and have it all set up in time. 

When I hear "departments" my initial "go to" strategy for board design is to have one board per department with one shared email per department, then each person from that department uses their corresponding board to communicate with people externally via email (using the options I referred to above for Trello email).

This also then allows you to move tasks between departments. I assume that these staff in these departments don't have the same constraint as your hourly staff in that you don't necessarily need to worry about them seeing each others' work.

One problem I have is the due dates in trello, because I dont want to have a new card for every day.

I usually have to change teams on a projects every week, sometimes every day even if the project continuing for several weeks.  The shorter projects are not as much of a problem, lf it is only one week, I'm okay with having 5 card for every work day (then I can use list for every day of the week) It is when the project need new staff every day and goes on for months it start to become a problem. 

I use planyway. Because I can have one card with all the information I need, what car that team will use that day/week, all the legal documents attached and information specific for that project and update it over time. I make the card recurring for as long as I need to.

Right now I try to use staff as Cards, so all of the staff is in one "staff board" with all the names(not yet invited), and I attached the  staff card in the Project card.

But if I switch team every day I get a new card for each day. And I dont want to search through 365 archived card for one project, if that projects runs every day for a year, it gets too messy. I need to keep the archived cards so I can back track on where staff have been before and so on.

This sounds kind of similar to a job I did for a construction company where there is a site foreman, and one or more team members who can be assigned for particular days. The way I have this set up is like this:

- For each project there is a board where all the relevant documentation lives, and 2 "site diary" boards: Site Diary and Site Diary History

- On the Site Diary and History boards, there is a list on the left called "Team" with one card per available team member for that project, each card is linked to a "source contact" card in the Contractor Directory board, so when a team member is present on multiple projects we have a history of it

 - The second left-most list on the Site Diary board is today's date, with each list stretching out to the right being one day in the future

 - The second left-most list on the Site Diary History board is *yesterday's* date, with each list stretching out to the right being one day in the past

 - Each day at 5am, the lists are rotated: yesterday's list is moved to the history board in second position and one more day is added to the right-most position in the Site Diary board

 - In order to plan teams on given days, the foreman drags a team member card into each list, and as he does that, a copy of that card is made on the relevant day. So he will drag the card to, say, 7 lists on the right to state that this contractor will be on site for the next 7 days, he doesn't have to wait for the thing to copy, he just drags the card to each list he wants to populate, then the copies are created and once the final copy is processed, the team member card is automatically moved back to the Team list

 - If he missed some days, he can retroactively do the same from the Site Diary history board

 - Custom fields are used to indicate start/finish/break times and he can upload photos to demonstrate work from that day to each card

 - Each fortnight, the history is processed into a timesheet for uploading into their invoicing software

 - Each month, the history board is archived and linked from an "archive card" so that they have a full history of all dates on the project, but without slowing down the board

I think the same basic system would work for you. They don't currently have a board for each contractor, but in your case, you could add some automation in that when someone is assigned to a given day, that card shows up in their personal board and they just go to their board to see where they have to be on a particular day, they can do any data entry or comms with you and other management teams through their Trello board and so on.

I have looked at placker, but I haven't really tried it out.  I like the calendar look, as I am using it in my work today (in paper form) I really like the overview in planyway, but you are saying I can have that in placker too?  

The advantage of Placker is Gantt charting with dependencies, so you can see how your resources are planned and how they interact with each other. This might be useful in your case to show availability when populating contractors onto a given day, but the same could also be achieved in the automated system I described above by having a 'next available day' custom field on the Contractor card that gets updated as you drag them onto a given date/location, and it could detect/alert you to scheduling conflicts if you accidentally drag the same contractor onto 2 places at once that conflict (if someone works in multiple locations on a given day, you'd need to use custom fields to indicate their scheduled start/end times).

I think doing it as an automated system might be smoother than using Gantt charting ... 

I also use the tool to send email when I get a booking from a client in a email, I send it to my "master board" where I have list like, "booked projects" "up next" "ongoing projects" "in coming projects"  "follow up" and "done" 

Again, one of the email solutions I mentioned above (perhaps especially my product BenkoDesk if this is for your individual email) would be a good fit for this.

I have tried to use the "booked project" list to sync/copy cards that I assigned/attached to staff (staff cards) in the future I'm planning to assign the staff card to the employee named on that card, so that they can look at the Card/project and get all information through the card. However I send the booked card by putting it in the list and then it shows in the "staff assigned to project board" 

This way I dont show all projects in my "master board" to the staff, where only my administration have access. This might work.

I think I addressed this above. I think the "site diary" model would work well.

I think the advice you gave about trellinator is to advance for me, even tho I think I can learn over time I dont have the time right now to convince my boss trellinator  is the most effective and easy way to go forward with our booking solution. 

I need trello to work for me soo bad, I can't continue to use an old school calendar and post-it's and searching through emails to collect importen information from 5-10 different departments/companies and then sum it all up in a group text to send out to every team each day , not in 2020. ..

I'm up for a video chat if I can't solved this with the advice given by you so far, I'm thankful for the help and I will try to see how far this will take me. 

Yeah Trellinator is a coding platform. You either need to be a coder or you need to hire a coder, but ultimately that's what I've found to be the most powerful thing about Trello: even though Trello doesn't create lots of its own features, the API is so good you can use it as the basis for building what would otherwise need to be completely custom software built from scratch (which is what my company BenkoWorks does :)

You can kind of get some of the way to where you want to go using a mix of existing powerups, integrations and Butler, but ultimately to get the solution you really want in order to manage this stuff reasonably effortlessly and have everything "just work" you'll need custom code.

Back when Butler was Butler Bot (before the Trello acquisition) I used to write similar systems for clients using Butler, but in order to make it more "end user friendly" they removed a lot of the functionality, so Trellinator kind of fills that gap now between the "user friendly" automation available in Butler and the "custom system" automation requirements that many businesses such as yours have.

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Iain Dooley Community Leader Aug 28, 2020

@Booking feel free to email team@benkoworks.com if you'd like to discuss any of the above in further detail

Hi again, I'm really thankful for the help I've got from you, I have applied many of the tips and I'am really happy with the result.  

I will email Team@benkoworks.com to ask for some help so solve the last part of my issues. I have figured out the most part of how to build my calendar with planyway, using one board as "master board" for the administration and one board to assign the different projects on the dates I need and 2 staff boards only for staff where they are able to see what projects they are assigned to that week/day. I still need the overview you explained about the construction company you helped build a schedule to see who are assigned and what staff is free for new assignments. 

I really would like some help to use trellonaitor, If that is something you do, I would like to know the cost for that and what I can expect. Feel free to email me Christina.vagberg@hotmail.com if that is something you or your team are interested in.

 

Sincerely Christina 

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Iain Dooley Community Leader Sep 06, 2020

@Booking cool I'll send you an email, yep it's what we do, I actually wrote Trellinator as a way to build custom automations for my clients. Speak soon!

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