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What is best practice for large Trello boards?


I have a board with more than 60 lists. Most of those lists have fewer than 100 cards, but one has about 600 cards. I've got a few hundred more lists that are archived and most of those lists also have fewer than 100 cards. I've also enabled 18 dashcards, four power-ups, about two dozen automation rules (some of which trigger other rules), half a dozen custom fields, and a few "card buttons" and "board buttons."

Sometimes actions on my board are pretty quick. Sometimes my computer runs like a slow dog on a hot day. I'm using an up-to-date version of Mozilla Firefox on Windows 10 with 8GB of RAM and 21GB of page file space on an SSD hard drive.

I understand that computational complexity is a thing, so I'm not looking to complain. What I'm really hunting for is more information about what I can do to keep my boards humming... and to know where I might create problems for myself.

What are best practices, tips, and tricks on how best to structure a board to keep Trello running smoothly? As hypothetical examples:

  • Prefer to use many cards on a small number of lists rather than small numbers of cards on many lists?
  • Prefer to use automation that references cards on the same board rather than referencing cards on other separate boards?
  • Prefer to schedule automation for task X, Y, or Z rather than using event triggers?

The one (and only) piece of advice I've seen in the Trello documentation is about using cascade functionality with restraint.

Note: Don't use lookup actions as a generic database-style functionality in Trello. Creating lookup tables with thousands of cards will result in poor performance.

Can you offer any other insight into how to best take advantage of the magic that Trello performs behind the scenes? Tell me what happens locally in my browser, what requires server calls, where there might be unintuitively long processing times, and how I can best structure my board(s) to lean in to Trello's functionality?

1 answer

0 votes
Alex Waite
Atlassian Team
Atlassian Team members are employees working across the company in a wide variety of roles.
Jan 03, 2023

Hi @Anonymous Aardvark - I recommend having a read through this doc:

We do not recommend having more than 1000 open cards at a time on a board, and much less if you have a lot of attachments, checklists, etc. 

If you're experiencing slowness, I'd recommend spreading out across multiple boards - an upgrade to Standard may be required for you to take advantage of unlimited boards in your workspace. 

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