Understanding Trello Butler Automation: Made Easy 101

on Automation, Butler, Project Management Tool, Trello, Tutorials • August 5th, 2021 • Write for Hevo

Understanding Trello Butler Automation

As a business evolves, the number of employees, workers, departments, and projects also scale up in unison. With an increasing number of teams such as Product Development, Marketing, Finance, Human Resources, and so on, management and collaboration across cross-functional teams have become a daunting problem. For continuous development, an effective Project Management Platform is required that will automate the processes and increase productivity.

Trello was founded in 2011 by Fog Creek Software and was spun out in 2014 to create the foundation of a new business before being sold to Atlassian in January 2017. Trello uses Kanban Principles, a way of Visualizing Workflows, to offer a comprehensive picture of a project from start to end. Trello’s Boards, Lists, and Cards are used for this purpose.

In this article, you will be introduced to Trello Butler Automation. You will also gain a holistic understanding of Trello Butler Commands and how to create and manage them.

Table of Contents

Introduction to Trello

Trello Logo
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Trello is an easy-to-use, flexible, visually intuitive Project Management & Collaboration Tool that helps you manage and organize anything. Trello, in a nutshell, shows you what’s being worked on, who’s working on what, and where something is in the process, and on what timeframe. It is like a virtual whiteboard filled with sticky notes, divided according to team and projects, and categorized according to their status in the work timeline.

Trello was founded in 2011 by Fog Creek Software and was spun out in 2014 to create the foundation of a new business before being sold to Atlassian in January 2017. Trello uses Kanban Principles, a way of visualizing workflows, to offer a comprehensive picture of a project from start to end. Trello’s boards, lists, and cards are used for this purpose.

To have further information about Trello, you can follow the Official Documentation.

Key Features of Trello

  • Progress Meter Checklist: This helps in keeping a track of subtasks within a card in a Trello Board.
  • Card Records Archive: You can archive cards when you no longer need them on the Board.
  • Data Filters: You can use keywords to filter and display Cards with their Card names as per the individual words in the filter keyword.
  • Deadline Alerts and Notifications: If you set the card’s due date and are a member of that Card, you will receive a notification about the card 24 hours before its deadline by default.
  • Automated Email Notifications: Trello enables email alerts that can be triggered when anything happens to a Card or a Board to which you are subscribed.
  • Activity Logs: The activity feed displays any updates that occur throughout your Trello Board.
  • Information Backup: Rewind saves incremental backups of customers’ Trello Boards and restores them in an automated fashion. 
  • Mobile-Friendly Views: Trello supports user-friendly interfaces for easier navigation in mobiles and tablets.
  • Developer API: Trello provides a basic RESTful web API via which you may interact with each type of resource (e.g., a Card, a Board, or a Member) through their URL.

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Prerequisites

  • A Trello Account.
  • Working Knowledge of Trello.

Understanding 4 Basic Components of Trello

The 4 basic components of Trello are:

1) Boards

A Trello Board is a location where you can keep track of information or tasks, which is useful for large projects, teams, or workflows. Whether you’re launching a New Website, Tracking Sales, or Arranging your Next Office Party, a Trello Board is the place to organize tasks, minor details, and, most importantly, interact with your coworkers.

The image given below is a Board that goes by the name “Project Management”.

Trello Butler Automation - Trello Boards
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2) Lists

Trello Lists arrange and keep cards, or individual tasks or pieces of information, at various levels of development in a specific Board. Lists may be used to construct a workflow in which cards are moved through each stage of the process from beginning to end, or they can simply be used to keep track of ideas and information. There is no limit to the number of Lists that may be added to a Board, and they can be organized and titled in any way you choose.

The image given below illustrates a Trello Board with 3 Lists i.e.,

  • To Do
  • Doing
  • Done
Trello Butler Automation - Trello Lists
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3) Cards

A Trello Card is the smallest but most intricate unit of a Board. Tasks and ideas are represented by Cards. A Card can represent something that has to be done, such as a blog article, or something that needs to be remembered, such as a Corporate Vacation Policy. To add a new Card, just click “Add a card…” at the bottom of any list and name it anything like “Hire a new sales manager” or “Design a logo for the post.”

The image given below represents a Trello Board named Team Tasks with 3 Lists i.e., To Do, Doing, and Done. And within each List, multiple Cards represent the name of tasks. The pointer is on the “Create deck for presentation” Card.

Trello Butler Automation  - Trello Cards
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The Trello Menu—your Board’s Mission Control Center—is located on the right side of your Trello Board. The Menu is where you manage Board permissions for members, control settings, search cards, enable Power-Ups, and build automation. In the Menu Activity Stream, you may also see all of the activity that has occurred on a Board.

In the image given below, you can see the Menu panel to the left side of the Board which appears after clicking on the three (…) dot option to the left with the Text Show the Menu

Trello Butler Automation  - Trello Menu
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Introduction to Trello Butler

Trello Butler Automation
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Trello Butler is Trello’s in-built no-code automation solution that automates Workflows and Tasks on Trello Boards. It allows you to automate a sequence of activities on a schedule, based on when a certain action in Trello occurs, or at the click of a button—just specify the Command you want Butler to perform, and it will automatically react to changes on your boards, handling all tedious and manual work for you.

Trello Butler can be used to do simple activities and tasks on a single Board, such as Archiving Cards or Sorting Lists, or Supercharge your Trello workflow by sharing automations with everyone in your project or team. Trello Butler is free for all Trello accounts, although it is subject to various limitations and quotas.

For further information about Trello Butler, you can follow the Official Documentation.

Understanding Trello Butler Commands & Types

Trello Butler provides numerous Commands which are single pieces of automation represented as plain sentences. It allows you to generate the following Commands:

1) Card Buttons

A button is added to the back of Cards to automate Workflows on a Card level, such as adding or deleting Card Labels and archiving Cards.

Trello Butler Automation - Card Buttons
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2) Board Buttons

By adding a button to the Board header, these buttons automate Workflows on the Board level, such as rearranging cards in lists or generating new lists.

Trello Butler Automation - Board Buttons
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3) Rules

Rules carry out actions in response to something happening in Trello.

Trello Butler Automation - Rules
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4) Calendar Commands

These commands initiate actions on a Card when its due date coincides with a particular time.

Trello Butler Automation - Calendar Commands
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5) Due Date Commands

These commands initiate actions on a Card when its due date coincides with a particular time.

Trello Butler Automation - Due Date Commands
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Creating Trello Butler Commands: 2 Methods

There are 2 methods to create Trello Butler Commands:

Method 1: Creating Trello Butler Commands from the Trello Board

You can create and manage Card Buttons directly on a Board without having to navigate via the Trello Butler Directory. The commands are available on the back of the Card, i.e., when you click on a card, a window displays, and you can then access the Automation menu.

Trello Butler Automation - Automation menu in Card back
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In the List actions menu, under the Automation section, you can also automate Workflows for Trello lists.

Trello Butler Automation - List Actions menu - Automation section
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The Commands which can be created by this method are:

A) Card Buttons

The steps for creating Card Buttons from within the Trello Board are as follows:

  • Step 1: Select the Card where you want to add a Card Button.
  • Step 2: Go to the Automation section and select Add Button.
Trello Butler Automation - Add Button
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  • Step 3: From the list of templates, select an action that you want Trello Butler to perform. You can also add custom templates. The list of given templates are:
    • Move Card to (top/bottom of a list)
    • Copy Card to (top/bottom of a list)
    • Add Label (add a custom label)
    • Join Card (assign yourself to the card)
    • Mark Due Date (complete/incomplete)
    • Set Due Date (set a custom due date)
    • Remove (labels, all labels, due dates, members, stickers, cover)
    • Sort List (by age, due date, label, time in list, title, votes in ascending/descending order)
Trello Butler Automation - List of templates
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  • Step 4: Now, you can give your button a name and add an icon as per your need.
Trello Butler Automation - Name the Card
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  • Step 5: Then select the “Add button” option.

B) Rules

The steps for creating Rules from within the Trello Board are as follows:

  • Step 1: On a Trello Board, go to any List and open List Menu by clicking on three dots (…) in the top-right of that List.
Trello Butler Automation - List Menu
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  • Step 2: From the List Menu, go to the Automation Section and select “When a card is added to the list“.
Trello Butler Automation - When a card is added to a list
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  • Step 3: Customise a trigger and add any action if needed.
Trello Butler Automation - Add action
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  • Step 4: Select the “Add New Rule” button to save the Command.
Trello Butler Automation - Add new rule
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  • Step 5: You can also view the Rule after its implementation by clicking on the View My Rule button in the confirmation window.

C) Calendar Commands

Calendar Commands can be directly created from the Trello Board by using the available sort List templates.

The steps for creating Calendar Commands from within the Trello Board are as follows:

  • Step 1: On a Trello Board, go to any List and open List Menu by clicking on three dots (…) in the top-right of that List.
Trello Butler Automation - List Menu
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  • Step 2: From the List Menu, go to the Automation section and select one of the following templates.
    • “Every day, sort list by”
    • “Every Monday, sort list by”
Trello Butler Automation - templates
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  • Step 3: Customise the time and action for the particular Calendar Command.
Trello Butler Automation - Customisations
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  • Step 4: Select the Add New Rule button to save the Command.
  • Step 5: You can also view the Rule after its implementation by clicking on the “view my rule” button in the confirmation window.

Method 2: Creating Trello Butler Commands from the Trello Butler Directory

All Trello Butler Commands are created and managed in the Trello Butler directory. To access the directory, go to the top of your Trello board and select the Automation button.

Trello Butler Automation - Automation button
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You may also open the Trello Butler Directory by navigating to Show menu > Automation.

Trello Butler Automation - Automation button in Menu
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The Commands which can be created by this method are:

A) Card Buttons

The steps for creating Card Buttons from the Trello Butler Directory are as follows:

  • Step 1: Select the Automation button from the top of the Trello Board or the Board Menu.
  • Step 2: The Trello Butler Directory appears.
  • Step 3: Go to the Card Button tab and select Create Button > Add Action.
Trello Butler Automation - Create Button in Butler Directory
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Trello Butler Automation - Add Action
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  • Step 4: Customize actions for the particular Card Button Command.
Trello Butler Automation - Customise actions
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  • Step 5: Now, you can give your button a name and add an icon as per your need.
  • Step 6: Save the created Card Button Command.

B) Board Buttons

The steps for creating Board Buttons from the Trello Butler Directory are as follows:

  • Step 1: Select the Automation button from the top of the Trello Board or e Board Menu.
  • Step 2: The Trello Butler Directory appears.
  • Step 3: Go to the Board Button tab and select Create Button > Add Action.
Trello Butler Automation - Create Button in Butler Directory
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  • Step 4: Customize actions for the particular Board Button Command.
Trello Butler Automation - Customisations
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  • Step 5: Now, you can give your button a name and add an icon as per your need.
  • Step 6: Save the created Board Button Command.

C) Rules

The steps for creating Rules from the Trello Butler Directory are as follows:

  • Step 1: Select the Automation button from the top of the Trello Board or from the Board Menu.
  • Step 2: The Trello Butler Directory appears.
  • Step 3: Go to the Rules tab and select Create a new rule > Add Trigger.
Trello Butler Automation - Create Rule in Butler Directory
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Trello Butler Automation - Add Trigger
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  • Step 4: Customize actions and triggers for the particular Rules.
Trello Butler Automation - Customisations
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  • Step 5: You can also turn on Advanced toggle to add filters to your trigger.
  • Step 6: Save the created Rule.

D) Calendar Commands

The steps for creating Calendar Commands from the Trello Butler Directory are as follows:

  • Step 1: Select the Automation button from the top of the Trello Board or from the Board Menu.
  • Step 2: The Trello Butler Directory appears.
  • Step 3: Go to the Calendar tab and select Create command > Add Trigger.
Trello Butler Automation - Create Command in Butler Directory
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Trello Butler Automation - Add Trigger
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  • Step 4: Customize actions and triggers for the Calendar Command.
Trello Butler Automation - Customisations
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  • Step 5: Save the created Calendar Command.

E) Due Date Commands

The steps for creating Due Date Commands from the Trello Butler Directory are as follows:

  • Step 1: Select the Automation button from the top of the Trello Board or the Board Menu.
  • Step 2: The Trello Butler Directory appears.
  • Step 3: Go to the Due Date tab and select Create command > Add Trigger.
Trello Butler Automation - Create Command in Butler Directory
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Trello Butler Automation - Add Trigger
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  • Step 4: Customize actions and triggers for the Due Date Command.
Trello Butler Automation - Customisations
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  • Step 5: You can also turn on Advanced toggle to add filters to your trigger.
  • Step 6: Save the created Due Date Command.

Managing Trello Butler Commands

Trello Butlers enables to perform the following actions on the Commands:

  • Add Command Tags: You can apply tags to the Commands to create Command Libraries.
  • Edit Commands: You can add and modify actions or change triggers in your Commands.
  • Copy Commands: You can duplicate your Commands and reuse copied triggers or actions to create new Commands.
  • Inspect Command Activity: You can view the Command Log of a particular Command.
  • Remove Commands: You can delete your Commands.

For further information about Command Libraries and Command Logs, follow the Official Documentations.

Conclusion

In this article, you have learned Trello Butler Automation and the commands in Trello Butler. This article also provided in-depth knowledge about Trello, its key features, components, and steps to create and manage Trello Butler Commands.

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