Katrin Anger
Sep 27, 2018 · 7 min read

The Butler Power-Up as automation tool for Trello boards is gaining momentum. There are more and more features added to it, and I wanted to figure out how competitive it is to its bigger brother, the ButlerBot.

So, I took one of the cross-board workflows I created for Trello boards, and tried to rebuild it with the Butler Power-Up.

It’s a workflow for an Archive Repository Board, a cross-board workflow that archives cards across boards into a single board. Its primary task is to store archived cards from multiple boards into a system of weekly or monthly lists. Its secondary task, however, was to provide the ability to see at a glance what I get accomplished in a week or during a month.

I had previously built such a workflow with the ButlerBot. But now the Butler Power-Up is getting better every month, I wanted to see whether such an archive board was possible to create with this tool, too.

This setup for an archive repository board is part of the Workflow Kit for a Master-Project Board System. You can find details about it on my website.

If you like what you read, please give me clap 👏 or two. Thanks!


Creating an Archive Repository Board with the ButlerBot

I thought that creating an Archive Repository Board would be a nice-to-have because on some days I lose track of what I get done.

Dealing with multiple boards in Trello, I sometimes get overwhelmed and forget where I started at. At the end of the day, I don’t necessarily see what I have accomplished. It is one of the side aspects of digital work, that it can take me weeks to see a project being completed. But then, having some daily visual that shows me the tasks I actually did finish, makes me feel different. It’s good for my credibility and my motivation.

With this in mind, I wanted kind of a visual of what I get done every day/week/month — even if these were tasks from multiple boards.

So, I thought an Archive Repository Board that holds copies of my archived cards from all those boards I am dealing with, would be nice.

That could come in different variations. I choose one that would store my current accomplishments in a weekly list. Later on, these finished tasks would be merged into a monthly list. Such a setup I found beneficial in two ways: the board’s growth would be moderate and I still had a good chronological overview of every single accomplished task.

For the cards copied into the board, I decided to add a date stamp so that later I could always see when something happened. And because I wanted to use this setup for multiple boards, I was looking for a way to also add the source board’s name to it.

After a few tries, I found a solution, and here’s what the result looked like:

This version of a Repository Archive Board works with a weekly and monthly list setup. All the cards from the weekly list are moved into the corresponding monthly list every Sunday and also at the end of the month.

The monthly list is created every month on the 1st day, whereas a new weekly list is created every Monday, early in the morning. The weekly list is archived after the cards are transferred into the monthly list.

You see that the card’s title holds 3 parts of information:

(I) the original card’s title

(II) a date stamp

(III) the name of the source board


Creating an Archive Repository Board with the Butler Power-Up

Now, on my journey with the Power-Up, I was interested how far I would come with creating cross-board workflows with the Butler Power-Up. Would I be able to build the very same workflow when using this tool — and if not, how would the workflow be different, then?

The one thing most essential for this workflow is the ability to send information across boards. As of late, these cross-board transfers of information have been made also within the Butler Power-Up, which made my undertaking propitious.


If you like what you read, please give me clap 👏 or two. Thanks!


All in all, this workflow is made up of 3 different aspects:

1. Cross-Board Card Transfer

The act of transferring a card to a second board is the first hurdle to master.

After checking out the available actions within the Butler Power-Up, I realized that this was actually easier to do with the Power-Up than it was with the ButlerBot!

Because of its behavioral limitation, the ButlerBot forced me to create copies of cards instead of simply moving them to the other board.

With the Power-Up, I had a choice: I could choose which action I want to use — move or copy.

— Moving a card upon archive — would remove the card from the board of origin and move it to a second board.

— Copying a card would keep the original card in the original board and archive it there, but create a copy of it in the second board. In my tests, comments and labels that were added to the original card were also copied over to the Archive Repository Board.

Here’s a screenshot of the action that I used for setting up the transfer workflow with the Butler Power-Up:

2. Flexible List Setup in Archive Board

The other important part of the original workflow for a Repository Archive Board created with the ButlerBot was using variables to extract important pieces of information. I needed to figure out, whether my list setup in the Archive Repository Board would also be possible when using the Power-Up.

Until now, I thought this wasn’t possible. But a test that I run this morning, convinced me of the opposite. I was able to use the same variables for identifying the flexible list setup in the Repository Board — as I did with the ButlerBot.

So, this was a pleasant surprise.

In the original workflow, I was working with time-related variables that were responsible for creating new lists and correctly naming them.

These list names needed to be accurate and should not be changed afterward, because these names would later be used in a housekeeping command sequence.

Here’s what the workflow for setting up the monthly list with the Power-Up looks like. This is a preparatory step of the workflow and shouldn’t be confused with the actual archiving workflow that is built with a Card Button. (Don’t know what a Card Button is in Trello? — Check out this article that explains a lot!)

This command and its use of variables play a crucial role in setting up the Archive Board. If the weekly list is not there, the workflow may create errors.

3. Adding Timestamp & Source Board Info to an Archived Card

As seen in the example above, I have added a date stamp to the copied card in the Archive Board. Also, I added the name of the source board to the card’s title.

This aspect of the workflow needed an inspection for whether it would work the same way. And here is what I got:

I have used the very same variables for renaming the card. And all variables worked in the Power-Up as they do with the ButlerBot!

Another pleasing experience, and it was much easier than I expected it to be!


Other Workflow Setups For Card Archiving In Trello

The method I showed you above to archive cards away in a separate board, is just one route you could go.

If you think an entire board is a waste of space for that, and you would rather condense that a little and use a repository list — or even smaller, a repository card for your archived cards, that’s also fine and absolutely possible.

Check out my article 3 Workflows for Archiving Cards in Trello that explains the concept of these two workflow variations for archiving cards.


Conclusion

In this article, I wanted to see and test where the Butler Power-Up is actually standing after all its development. I know that in the future, I want to be able to create more workflows with the Power-Up.

The workflow wasn’t a trivial one. It consisted of several steps and made use of variables.

The result was, that I could fully re-create the workflow by using a card button within the Power-Up. Of course, you can also use a rule (when-trigger), if you want to send every single archived card to the Archive Repository Board. By using a card button, you get more control which cards you want to have sent across to another board.


If you like what you read, please give me clap 👏 or two. Thanks!

If you want more resources about creating workflows in Trello boards, feel free to head over to my website.

Workflow Automation with Trello

Creative Approaches & Intelligent Solutions to Automate Workflows in Trello

Katrin Anger

Written by

Workflow Consultant & Education Entrepreneur ☞ Helping entrepreneurs to achieve their business goals through intelligent strategies: https://inspiriting.biz

Workflow Automation with Trello

Creative Approaches & Intelligent Solutions to Automate Workflows in Trello

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