Saving Time By Learning Automation Hacks and Tips Using Trello's Butler Tool
I love Trello. I’ve used it for many years – all on the awesome free plan – and think it’s a great tool for productivity, organizing ideas, planning out content and more. I even created a course on using Trello in your solopreneur business, Mightier Marketing with Trello. Then I created a 10-day challenge to get right into using Trello in your business. I’m ALL IN on Trello! But I also don’t know every in, out, and feature – I could use features better. The built-in automation tool from Trello, called Butler, is a feature that I’m not using and need to learn more about. Thankfully there are lots of sources and videos to show ways to use Trello’s Butler!
The basics of what is Butler in Trello
Butler is the built-in tool (not a Power-Up, add-on or integration) that lets you simply automate some actions, tasks, or workflows in boards. Butler is available for all user levels and account types (yes including free).
You create commands and Butler does the work, to save time from doing tasks manually. Create commands or automations for boards, at the card level, based on calendar or scheduled intervals, or because some other action happened. As easy as it is to just drag-n-drop things in Trello, Butler takes care of those tedious clicks and drags.
As much as I love Trello, Butler and its commands has always left me a little mystified. So I went looking for some simple examples of Butler at work.
Video Demonstration of Creating Automations Using Butler
This short 15-minue video from Simpletivity helps explain Butler, starting with telling us that Butler is best for automating repetitive tasks inside of Trello.
For example, if you have a standard, left-to-right Trello board for current projects (i.e. ToDo, Doing, Done), then instead of manually dragging items from To-Do to Done and changing the due date, you could automate it with Butler. Or what if when you checked off a due date as complete, the card auto-magically moved to the Done list?! Butler can do it.
Video shows creating a rule and an action trigger for when a card is moved to Done the due date is also checked off to show green and complete. Don’t forget to hit the green + button to add an action and then hit SAVE when done.
I loved how simple these steps were. I learned the Butler steps in the first 4 minutes of the video!
Another example shown to use Butler is adding lists on a regular schedule – e.g. adding new task list for each day or week. This automation starts from the calendar option inside of Butler, not the rules area. I like knowing what these different sections mean.
This simple video of examples using Butler can help us all take our Trello use to another level without special skills or a big learning curve.
If you want my guide to Trello – check out my Trello Tips 101.