Were you an early adopter of Butler for Trello, using the ButlerBot to enable the automation of your business in an easy way?
You may be aware that the only constant in life is change, and since December 2018 this change is heading towards those of us who used the ButlerBot to get things done in Trello without always having to watch or having to add people to the board to get stuff done.
Since Butler for Trello’s acquisition, we know that the ButlerBot is being phased out and we all have to migrate our commands to the Power-Up now. There hasn’t been an official date announced so far, but in support notifications, it was made clear that we are talking “of a few months, only”.
So, I think in 2019, you have to face the fact that the commands created with the ButlerBot will stop working. And the beautiful workflows you created to make life easier will turn into showstoppers unless you begin with the migration to the Butler Power-Up.
My 5 Learnings from Migrating my Trello Workflows
I have already migrated a good amount of my Trello workflows to the Butler Power-Up.
Not all, but enough to share my learnings and experiences with you.
Learning No.1 – The default method of linking cards has changedCards can be linked to each other. You can create one-directional links, bi-directional links or uni-directional links between cards. In Trello, the linking can either happen in the description part of a card, or in the attachments section.
With the ButlerBot, the default way of linking cards was in the card’s description.
With the Butler Power-Up, the default way of linking cards is now in the attachments section of a Trello card.
Learning No.2 – Long-tail commands often need to be split
Many people run into the issue of command chaining, causing the ButlerBot not to execute these commands, even though they were verified as correct in logic and syntax. One way to circumnavigate this was to set up long-tail commands: commands with a lot of actions, that (if applicable) were executed one after the other.
When using the Butler Power-Up, command chaining is no longer a problem.
For this reason, the necessity of creating long-tailed commands is now obsolete, enabling a reduced complexity and better manageability of these commands.
Learning No. 3 – Cross-board workflows need a reset
I have found that with cross-board workflows, it is not always possible to set up complex command sequences (with a lot of actions). Every use case is different and we’ll have to look at each individual case, but I have seen evidence that splitting up a ButlerBot command into two or three Power-Up commands would make things much easier.
Learning No. 4 – Variables within the Butler Power-Up do work well
It’s been some time ago that I was told that all variables available in the ButlerBot are also available in the Power-Up. Of course, I have tested this on many different occasions but haven’t run into any limitations so far, so that’s really a good sign.
Learning No. 5 – There is (still) a feature gap between the ButlerBot and the Butler Power-Up
I expect this to improve over the next few months (when the ButlerBot is being phased out), but I still need to mention that the Butler Power-Up still doesn’t show off all of the features of the ButlerBot.
But I want to be fair. I have also seen massive improvements with the Butler Power-Up recently.
I consider it to be somewhat difficult to depict the flexibility of a free flow command creator with a tool that relies on codified parameters. So, it will be interesting to see how the Butler Power-Up is going to develop and a harmonization of the two tools’ capabilities can be accomplished.
What You Should Know Before You Migrate
There are two things you should be aware of in this process of migration to the Butler Power-Up.
If you are using Trello for free, there is the probability that you have to upgrade to Trello Gold*. With Trello Gold ($45/yr.) you can enable up to 3 Power-Ups in your boards.
Some people like to use the Custom Fields Power-Up or the Calendar Power-Up in Trello. You would then also have to enable the Butler Power-Up. With Trello Gold* you can have 3 active Power-Ups in each Trello board.
Another reason for switching to Trello Gold (at least), is the better quota you automatically get for commands.
Butler uses quota to ensure fair usage and prevent abuse. Butler’s main quota is based on command runs, which is the number of times a command runs on your behalf in a given month. Every press of a button, triggering a rule or scheduled command execution counts as a command run. With Trello Gold, you can run 200 commands instead of 50 (per month) in Trello’s free version. The overall monthly limit for operations (a command can have multiple operations) increases to 2’000 (compared to 500 in the free account). Have a look at the official support page for detailed information on Butler’s features and quotas.
How to Migrate ButlerBot Commands to the Butler Power-Up
Either or either, you will have to transfer your Bot commands to the Power-Up.
If you don’t, your workflows will stop working, propelling you back into those times where you had to tediously click through your cards and boards spending a lot of your time maintaining and cleaning up boards.
You’ve got two options.
First, you begin to migrate these commands yourself. The experiences I shared above will hopefully help you with this task.
When I began migrating the commands for my Workflow Kits, I used a simple table template to track and compare the command sequences.
This enabled me to systematically identify possible bottlenecks and request feature enhancements for the Butler Power-Up.
Secondly, there are reasons why someone cannot or wouldn’t want to do a migration to the Butler Power-Up themselves. For these folks, I am going to share my expertise and are now offering the new Butler Migration Service to help those users with the transition.
In some cases, a migration is nothing but a rebuilding of commands with the other tool. And as you see in the sample table above, a simple rebuild is indeed possible.
But that’s not always the case. Sometimes, a migration to the Butler Power-Up means that a workflow needs to be disassembled and rebuilt – differently. This could mean that a split of commands is required. In other cases, looking for a way to work “around” the problem would be a probate way to adjust to the change.
In the new Butler Migration Service, I help Trello users to rebuild their existing workflows. By making use of my experience for years with Butler for Trello and my extensive knowledge of variables, user variables, and other advanced Butler features, I will point out valid options in setting up these workflows. If you would like to get started, read about the process here and let’s have a chat.
[Expect this article to be updated.]