Creating workflows in Trello boards can be trivial. One may start with adding a command that moves cards between lists or adds labels or stickers to a card once it becomes due.
But there is another side to it:
Creating workflows in Trello boards can be difficult. People might be running into difficulties when wanting to set up workflows that cannot be set up because the ingredients (actions and triggers) aren’t available.
Another stumbling block – and I see more and more people running into this one – might be that they hit the wall of their usage quota: they use up too many commands than their pricing plan allows them to … and in mid-month their whole system of workflows is collapsing. That can be pretty annoying as it stops business processes set up. And forces users to rethink their workflow strategy in Trello.
3 Ideas for a Professional Workflow Strategy in Trello
Without going too much into depth … we can do this in a personal consultation … in this article, I am going to lay out 3 scenarios that could be part of your new professional workflow strategy in Trello.
1. Upgrade your Trello Account
Every account type in Trello comes with different usage quotas for the Butler Power-Up. As of July 2019, it is like this:
- Free accounts: 50 command runs, 500 operations
- Gold accounts: 200 command runs, 2000 operations
- Business Class: 1000 command runs per team + 200 per user (capped at 6000), 5000 operations per user (capped at 250000)
- Enterprise: unlimited command runs, 10000 operations per user
These quotas are reset on the first day of every month.
If you run into any of these limits, Butler stops working and your workflow commands are not being executed. This isn’t very cool, but upgrading your Trello account might be an option, though.
A look at Butler’s Features and Quota’s Guide, explains what you can expect from upgrading your Trello account.
Whilst this might quickly become like overshooting, but let’s look at this first and then I’ll discuss the other options you have if an account upgrade isn’t the way to go for you.
I am only looking at the limits of commands and operations here, not at the differences of features that come with the different account types (as of July 2019).
::: Special Tip :::
Here’s a good workaround:
If you are using just one team board, you could upgrade to Trello Business Class and get 1200 commands per month (instead of 200 for Trello Gold). That’s at the moment the best offer they have for users that are using up their budget continuously and are urgently looking for a way to keep their Trello automations intact.
If upgrading your Trello account isn’t an option for you because you don’t have the resources or Trello’s plan options do not play very well with your business’ requirements, you may want to think it through whether adjustments made to the commands you have set up could be an integral part of your new workflow strategy in Trello.
2. Recheck your Command Setup
I recently came across someone who was cut off from Butler because they hit the wall.
With a business account, they had 6000 commands and 125000 operations available per month, but at the middle of the month, they faced an automation stop because they had used up their 6000 commands. The interesting fact here was, that they had used up only 7174 of their operations.
Using simple math, it‘s easy to understand that an overwhelming number of their commands must have been made up of just one operation (or action).
Whilst I am not familiar with this company’s workflow strategy in Trello, I did wonder whether it was really necessary to set up 5000+ commands with just one action.
If I were in the situation they are in now, I would have a look at these “one-liners” and see if some of them could be merged.
That’s a strategic check and could require some work.
The command setups would change from very trivial (when A then B) to sophisticated (when A and C, do B, do D). But thinking it through and implementing such changes would reduce the number of commands significantly. And that’s what is needed in this case: delaying or eliminating the critical moment of hitting Butler’s limit.
Implementing such a professional workflow strategy in Trello might mean to look for synergies between business processes and to start a documentation process for your workflows. But this is no waste of time!
Many workflows consist of more than one command and often enough, even of more than one command type.
If you want to start documenting what belongs where, here’s a cheatsheet I created for my own documentation. It tracks the different command types that a workflow is made of and can be downloaded for free from my Resource Library.
If you would like to learn how to set up meaningful workflows, I highly recommend to check out my online course for the Butler Power-Up, that teaches you in 26 tasks how to create the most fascinating and time-saving Trello workflows. You not only get a feeling of what is there you can do by implementing workflows in Trello. The course is also designed to keep your learning curve manageable and provides a safe learning environment.
3. Outsource some of the Workflows to an Automation Tool
The third suggestion should be seen as a supplement, not a substitute for the above mentioned approaches as part of your workflow strategy in Trello boards.
We are in the Digital Age, and these tools were meant to provide connections between the hundreds of web applications that are available today.
But there is no reason why they couldn’t be used to set up an automation “within” a tool as well. As long as they offer both trigger and the right actions for a tool … there is no reason why you shouldn’t give it a try.
For those entrepreneurs out there with a tight budget: Zapier might be the most popular nowadays, but their free plan is only something to get your feet wet with.
From the four tools mentioned above, Integromat offers by far the best conditions: not only do they have the most trigger and actions in store, they also allow you to start working on a free plan that is more than an appetizer.
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