Katrin Anger
Sep 13, 2018 · 6 min read
Photo by Olena Sergienko on Unsplash

I began introducing the Butler Power-Up for Trello in a previous article. If you have read it, you already know about the benefits and disadvantages of this tool.

Compared to the ButlerBot — its bigger brother — the Power-Up isn’t that almighty. Not, yet. But with its possibilities of creating card buttons and board buttons in Trello boards, the Butler Power-Up got something it already stands out with.


Why Using The Power-Up If You Cannot Do That Much With It?

Even though the ButlerBot is currently more powerful than the Power-Up, the official recommendation for those starting out with workflow automation in Trello is to use the Power-Up instead of the ButlerBot.

But why should you do that if the Power-Up’s features aren’t that good, yet?

The problems that arise with using the ButlerBot, are located around security issues as well as Trello’s internal policies. That’s why there’s a slow shift happening over to the Power-Up.

Some Butler users don’t appreciate the fact, that the command cards visible in the Butler list can be modified or deleted by basically anyone on the board. Accidentally or intentionally — gone is gone. And whilst an archived command can be unarchived, a deleted command cannot be restored. Add to this the time lag until the missing command is discovered … the damage it can do to a business’ internal processes may be more you want to risk.

Another reason for not considering to use the ButlerBot is that some organizations do not allow external users to access their boards because of security policies. As a result, the ButlerBot cannot be invited to these boards and hence, automation cannot be created. The Power-Up is the only choice these organizations have if they wish to set up automation routines.


Making Use Of The Butler Power-Up Features

Apart from card buttons and board buttons — which are unique features of the Power-Up, the ButlerBot is still the better of the two Butler tools. In some aspects, however, the Butler Power-Up is already superior to the ButlerBot. But one thing after the other.

These are the 3 Butler Power-Up features I am covering in this article, are:

  • Rules
  • Calendar
  • Due Date

They are equivalent to the 3 trigger sections known from the ButlerBot:

ButlerBot Trigger Options

The triggers that are used within the Power-Up, simply use a different terminology.

Scheduled = Calendar

Due Date = Due Date

When = Rule

When you open up the Power-Up Interface, you’ll immediately spot these trigger categories.


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Let’s begin with Rules since they are probably those most widely used.

Rules

What is called a Rule within the Butler Power-Up, is simply a when-trigger.

When you open the Rule-Interface, you’ll see immediately that every trigger on each tab begins with a when-condition.

Rules Trigger within the Butler Power-Up
  • When a card is added …
  • When an attachment is added …
  • When a due date is set …
  • When a checklist is completed …

When something particular is going to happen in the board that is not related to a specific day and time or to a due date, a when-condition is used as a trigger. That’s when you will have to use the tab “Rules” in the Power-Up interface.

Calendar

The section for Calendar, allows you to create commands that are triggered within a calendar context. Something like:

  • Every day …
  • Every Monday …
  • Every 2 weeks on a Wednesday …
  • Every third Tuesday of the Month …
  • Every month on the 4th …
  • Every year on the 10th of January …

I think you’ll get the idea.

Calendar Trigger within the Butler Power-Up

Due Date

And finally, due-date triggered commands. These are triggers that target cards which have a due date is already set.

The selection of triggers available under this section is not breathtaking but can be helpful nevertheless. Here are some examples of available triggers for cards with due dates:

  • The moment a card in list “XXX” is due …
  • 2 working days before a card with all checklists complete is due …
  • (any number) hours before a card is due …
  • On the Monday before a card assigned to me is due…
  • On the Sunday of the week before a card is due …
Due Date Trigger within the Butler Power-Up

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


What Makes The Butler Power-Up Better Than The ButlerBot?

Perception is a choice. It took me a while until I could embrace the Power-Up and (its lack of) features. Or, should I rather say how I perceived that lack.

Recent tests showed me that I was simply not up-to-date with the Butler Power-Up features. This tool has made up leeway! It is not at the same level as the ButlerBot, yet. But it is obviously gaining momentum and it already got a few features that the ButlerBot does not possess.

1. You can add multiple conditions for triggers. — Not just two or three, but ten if you need to.

2. Adjust the order of actions. — If your command uses more than one action, you can change their order easily with a drag & drop. This is not the case within the Command Builder.

3. Auto-Fill Suggestion — The Auto-Fill Suggestion tool picks your board’s or list names from within your Trello account. Just enter the first letters, and the search begins. Particularly when you have a lot of lists or boards available, this is very convenient and I appreciate it a lot!

4. Command Chaining is no longer a problem. — If you have been using the ButlerBot a lot, you may have stumbled over the command chaining problem. I certainly have.

By using the Butler Power-Up, this is no longer a concern for you. The Power-Up does not act as its own user — and thus refuses to react on its own actions. The Power-Up acts as you. And with that, you can concatenate commands which you could not by using the ButlerBot.

5. Updates are happening. — As I understood the official guideline, the Command Builder for the ButlerBot won’t be updated anymore. This means, no new triggers and no new actions will be added. All in all: it will be frozen into what it is right now.

The Butler Power-Up will be updated to the point of where it offers all the features that the ButlerBot allows to use. And it already has a few features included, that the ButlerBot does not offer. (keyword: custom fields)


Reasons For Switching To The Butler Power-Up

One major thing that life told me so far, is that there is always change. Always is and always will be.

Sometimes we resist the change, sometimes we go with the flow.

Which one is wiser is a topic I’d rather like to discuss with a glass of wine on some mild summer eve.

Being more the pragmatic user and trying to be of help for fellow entrepreneurs looking for some best practice tips to get started, I’d say the Butler Power-Up is a pretty good place to get familiar with for creating workflows in Trello.

As of today, it does depend on the complexity of the workflows you want to create. As with every other tool, there is a bit of a learning curve but if you want to shortcut it, you can browse through my website and find lots of articles and resources that move you forward.


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

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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