Katrin Anger
Aug 28, 2018 · 5 min read

Trello is a collaboration tool that organizes your projects into boards. Trello’s boards, lists, and cards enable you to organize and prioritize your projects in a fun, flexible and rewarding way.

When you have a multiple board setup, the lack of cross-board / cross-project planning and scheduling functionality has been a major problem for those who are managing multiple projects and need to find an efficient way to keep track of everything at once.

There is no in-built dashboard feature in Trello. Not by default.

However, by connecting your Trello account with Butler for Trello, you are now free to create the most impressive tracking applications that suit your individual needs.

“Is there an elephant in your Trello boards?”

By creating a dashboard (or several dashboards if you want), you can eliminate this elephant in the room that’s been bugging developers, project managers, engineers, business owners — anyone with too much to do in too less time.

Ways of Cross-Board Functionality in Trello

At some point in time you need a system for your boards.

An easily navigational dashboard for all the boards is perhaps the most powerful add-on ever for Trello.

But that’s also a balancing act, since Trello’s flexibility is its biggest strength. There isn’t a dashboard type that would suit everyone’s needs.

For some, a dashboard that works as the central hub for multiple other boards is what is most urgently needed.

For others, it is just one piece of the puzzle and a more sophisticated dashboard application would be heaven.

Flow of Information

The way how the information flow between boards is important.

With Butler for Trello, you can create workflows that send information across boards one-directional. But you can also set up workflows that flow back and forth between cards, syncing their most relevant information.

As an example, let’s say a team of software developers is using Trello boards for the planning and development of their product.

In the old days, a card that was first created on the planning board could be either moved from one board to another (planning to development), or a new card would have been created in the development board, keeping the original card in the planning board until the work was completed.

Cards could be manually linked in the description or attachment part of the Trello card to ease access.

This is a tedious process, and everyone using such a procedure knows how time-consuming it actually is with all these click-throughs.

By using Butler for Trello as your automation helper, you can now set up a flow of information between cards on different boards and sync important information (like comments, labels, due dates, attachments). And of course, this flow of information can be bi-directional.

3 Features for Dashboards in Trello

Another option is the creation of a dashboard that collects important information from multiple boards.

I will keep the examples for features to use in a dashboard at a more general level. It’s the basic idea behind those features that I want to bring across. How the commands are to set up and which setup is best for you, remains your task to decide.

I am sure there is something in here for many small business owner that use Trello as their main organizational tool.

1 — Syncing information between boards

The condition for syncing information between two (or more) cards between boards is that they are linked to each other. Either in the description or in the attachments of the Trello card.

You can sync almost everything between those cards: labels, comments, attachments, stickers, due dates.

The thing of consideration hereby is, that mirroring cards when done with the Butlerbot may eat into your budget of weekly available operations. Depending on what pricing plan you are and how intensely this feature is used, you may consider using other tools for this particular task. Alternatives are Unito, Placker or CardSync.

2 — Dashcards

Dashcards are a quick way to add visual counters to the board.

With a Dashcard, you can count other cards on the board.

A Dashcard can only count the cards on the particular board. It is not possible to count cards that are located on another board. Hence, you cannot use it to display content from other boards. If you would want to do that, you’d first have to copy the original cards into your dashboard, and create a syncing mechanism to ensure an updated count.

Dashcards can not only be used to count the number of cards in a board. They can also sum the value of a custom field. Custom fields are a special feature of Trello that need to be enabled by the Custom Fields Power-Up.

Summing is the only operation currently possible in regards to custom fields.

3 — Repository card for mentions across boards

You may want to track when you are mentioned in comments across boards.

You can do so my creating a new card in your Dashboard. For this command, I have called this card “TO MY ATTENTION”.

Feel free to narrow down the circumstances for when you need to be notified. — Need Ideas?

  • in a card with a due date
  • in a card due today
  • with all checklists complete

The moment a new tracking comment is made, the card gets a red notification badge. If you would like to get something more obvious like a label or sticker added upon a new arriving, simple extend the command above with “and add a red label to the card” or “and add the orange warning sticker to the card

Be aware, that this is a cross-board command, meaning that at least two Trello boards are involved here. A comment made in one board by a particular user, is sent into a second board.

Of course, you can also use such a tracking in a single board setup, it doesn’t necessarily need to be a cross-board use case. To do so, simply remove the sequence “on board “ZZZ”” in this command.

Liked what you read? Would you love to learn how to set up workflows yourself? Check out my profile here on Medium or my website where I have published more articles on the subject.

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

Welcome to a place where words matter. On Medium, smart voices and original ideas take center stage - with no ads in sight. Watch
Follow all the topics you care about, and we’ll deliver the best stories for you to your homepage and inbox. Explore
Get unlimited access to the best stories on Medium — and support writers while you’re at it. Just $5/month. Upgrade