📉 📬 Making a Trello Activity Digest: Problem Definition

Dale Alexander Webb
Bad Practice
Published in
2 min readJan 17, 2017


At Persona we rely on Trello to communicate our progress in our day-to-day work.

Our Trello board for the Persona product

The thing we love about Trello is that it is so flexible that it allows us to mould it to the way we work, whilst still providing features that makes it simple yet powerful.

We have 3 working columns to represent our week. The first is Todo, where we have the tasks that we want to complete in the week. The Doing column contains the tasks that we want to complete in the day, and the Done column are the tasks completed so far in the week.

We also have a Backlog column for tasks coming up, and at the end of the week we rename the Done column to the date that the week commenced, then create a new Done column.

What’s the problem

We have a problem with being able to predict how long a task will take to complete, which is completely understandable, especially for software teams. But with experience and comparing new tasks with old, we should get better. We don’t.

In an attempt to get better at this, I wanted the team to create cards that only have around a day (5 hours) worth of work maximum; then break down the card’s tasks into a checklist.

Unfortunately, we don’t all do this, and there isn’t a visible penalty for not doing so either. Probably because we don’t do retrospectives! So every day appears to be stateless.

To help solve these issues, I wanted to create an email digest of the activities on Trello that will tell us before our morning stand-up about what happened the previous day. If there isn’t anything there that reflects what was done, then I feel that this would encourage people to change that; either by actually updating Trello, or breaking down their tasks.

As Trello doesn’t have this as a native feature, I needed to explore my other options to make this happen.