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Variables in checklist items

Just upgraded my Trello account to be able to use Butler, but it looks like the workflow we had planned - defining projects as a series of milestones and tasks - won't work with Trello. 

Our idea was to use create milestones in our project planning as cards, and then add the tasks required to fulfill the milestones in checklists on the card. When moving cards to To Do, they would automatically create the corresponding tasks on the different boards of the different teams.

However, after banging my head against the wall for hours, I came to the conclusion that checklists can't really be automated. They don't take variables such as the board name (project name, in our case), card name (miletstones) and - completely maddning  - when converting checklists into cards you can automate renaming the remaining checklist items, but there's nothing at all you can do with the cards! Which means that we still need to create all tasks manually, manually entering project names and milestone descriptions on each card. 

While it would be nice if checklist items could use variables or could be renamed using Butler, it seems like it's just not possible. 

Does anybody have a good advice for what would be a good workflow would be, using milestones comprised of multiple tasks?

3 answers

You can populate the checklist with links to cards which have the task name and further, but no, the checklists are otherwise dumb.

Really, you should break everything down to cards, so conversations etc remain relevent at the lowest level ... have a column for the high level cards, called something like overview.

Otherwise, you are at risk of overload and missing things ... cant see the wood for the trees.


@Andor Admiraal i created this custom power up to create cards and send it to different teams in the org represented by lists. It has the option to convert the items into links or they can also remain as name so you can continue to reuse the checklist items. Furthermore, by selecting checked or unchecked items you can work with a partial list of items from checklist. When the cards are on the lists you can then use Butler to send them to a different board. I built this to learn and confirm that a custom power up can be built on a Low code platform. Additional features to work on created cards then send them to list after they are ready had been included. See https://youtu.be/TE1jPfkwako

@Andor Admiraal  while you can use standard Butler to move the cards from list to another board, but if you prefer to work on them and schedule a delivery you might want to consider using the mechanism described here - Extending "A Powerful Combination"

While I have not tested in full, the use of the Custom Power Up (i entitled it "Superhero Checklist") and the above, you can effectively have a central project office board (aka shared by sub-project project offices) where can create and distribute work to other teams.

0 votes
Iain Dooley Community Leader Oct 06, 2020

@Andor Admiraal so do you mean that you're creating linked cards from checklist items similar to how I've described it in this article:

https://community.atlassian.com/t5/Trello-articles/Trello-Subtasks-with-Butler/ba-p/1060392

But you want to be able to move those cards to different boards and/or be assigned to different people and so on?

One thing to note in terms of automating changes to cards once they're created is that one Butler action can trigger another. So you can have your first command to convert the checklist into linked items, then you have another command that triggers when cards are created.

The "hack" bit here is that in order to, for example, move a card to a particular list/board when created in order to maybe assign it to a particular team, you would need to put something in the checklist item name, for example you could have a checklist item:

Export the Figma files to sliced JPG #Design

then you can use a command that triggers when a card is created matching pattern:

{*} #{*}

and the variable {wildcard2} will contain the team name. Using this basic command pattern you should be able to achieve everything you described above.

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