In December I wrote about working from home in which I talked about Trello. Trello is a virtual kanban board that allows me to visually manage projects & tasks. As a follow up, I subsequently did a post where I talked about Trello more in-depth and how to use it. Now, let’s talk about integrations. There are a number of integrations that help take Trello up to the next level. I find that these integrations really help me streamline my work flow and stay on task.
Let’s get to the integrations!
Send Emails to Trello
As a consultant, I live and breathe by the Inbox. As such, Trello allows me to forward emails into a particular Trello board. Every board has a public email address that can be use to send to. Keep in mind that anybody who has this email address can send things to your board so do not share this address with anybody. You can find the email address for each board by going to to “Show Menu” in the upper right hand corner and then “More”:
You can also specify which list the email should go to and what position within the respective list. I have mine set to go to my Inbox for prioritization and at the bottom of the list. By doing this, I can easily add tasks to my board without leaving my Inbox.
Outlook 365 Integration
If you are using Outlook 365 (outlook.com) as your Exchange provider, Microsoft offers an integration with Trello. This integration will allow you to add a card to Trello directly from Outlook. Click on the “Store” button in the ribbon and Trello should be listed in the available Add-Ins.
Once the add-in has been added, a Trello button should now be visible in the ribbon within Outlook. When an email is selected, click on the button. It will prompt you for which Board and List where you want the card to be created. The body of the email will be included in the card.
You can also opt to include email attachments as well as set a due date and time. Keep in mind that any images (like in the signature) will also be included in the card as an attachment.
Trello also offers “power-ups” which are essentially plugins that help with streamlining work. With a free account, you get one power-up per account. If you find you need more power-ups, youll have to upgrade Trello to a paid service tier. You enable power ups by going to “Menu” and select “Power-Ups” as shown below.
The power-ups are listed in alphabetical order. Locate the Calendar power-up and click Enable. This will put any card that has a due date into a calendar view. You will also notice that a Calendar option is now visible next to the Show Menu button. Once looking at the calendar, you can choose between a Month or Week view depending on your preference. Below you can see an example of the calendar view of my DCAC board.
But wait! There’s more!! This power-up also offers up an iCalendar feed that you can subscribe to within your calendar. I’ve only tested this with Outlook but I would imagine that any calendar application that can consume a calendar feed would be able to subscribe to it. By subscribing to this feed, I can now see what cards I have coming due within my Outlook calendar.
While in the calendar view, click on the gear icon and the dialog window will expand to show you the iCalendar feed for that particular board. Each board is going to have a different feed so you could have multiple feeds. Once you have the URL, go to your calendar application of choice (IE: Outlook) and add it to your calendar.
Note: I would keep that iCalendar Feed private. Anybody with that URL could subscribe to the feed and subsequently see some of the details of your cards.
IFTTT (If This Than That) is a powerful way to automate a number of things. Many organizations use tools like this (Zapier is another one) that allows you to define actions based on certain triggers. For example, I use IFTTT to automatically created a card in my DCAC board every Monday morning as a reminder to complete my time sheet for the previous week. Time sheets are not my thing to do but as a consultant it’s a much needed requirement, because, I like to get paid. This ensure that I have a visual reminder that I need to complete my time sheet in a timely manner.
The above image represents just some of the things that you can get IFTTT to integrate with Trello.
All in all I find that Trello with these integrations works really well for the way that I work. Of course your mileage may vary but if you are looking for something that is visual, easy to use, has a number of integration points I would suggest that you take Trello for a test drive.
If you do start to use it and find other things to make it better, please let me know! I’d be curious to see how other individuals use this tool to work better! If you use something similar (like LeanKit), I’d love to hear about your experiences as well! Drop me a comment!
© 2018, John Morehouse. All rights reserved.