Create email reports with Butler

Butler automation offers two ways to create email reports:

  • Prebuilt email reports: Reports that can be enabled quickly from the Automation menu.

  • Customized reports: Reports that can be customized to include specific information from cards on your board.

Butler reports can display up to 100 cards. To view more cards than that, open the board directly and use the board filter.

Prebuilt email reports

Prebuilt email reports will send an email to a list of recipients containing information about cards on your board. There are four prebuilt email reports. If you want a quick and easy report sent to you on a regular basis, prebuilt email reports are the best option.

Here is an example of the prebuilt “Board snapshot” email report:

Configure visual email report for Trello using Butler

Enable a prebuilt visual report on your board

  1. Select the Automation button at the top of your board and select Email reports.

  2. Select one of the 4 email report options: "board snapshot", "due soon", "overdue cards", or "my cards".

On the left hand side of the screen you can configure the:

  1. Date and time you'd like your recipients to receive the email report.

  2. Email addresses of the targeted recipients (Up to 10 recipients)

  3. Email subject

  4. Email message

On the right hand side of the screen there is a preview of the Email report, identical to what your recipients will see in their email.

When you are happy with the configuration of the report you can send yourself a test email and/or schedule the report by clicking the respective buttons.

To later view the email report command navigate to the Automation directory's Calendar section.

Customized reports

Customized reports are created in the Calendar command section. They let you create more specific reports using more complex automation rules.

Create a customized report

Customized email reports give you flexibility to choose which details from your cards are included in the report. In order to receive your report, your rule must also contain a step that sends the report to a specific email address or other location.

To create a customized report:

  1. Open your board and click the Automation menu

  2. Select Rules > Calendar then select Create command

  3. Add a trigger. This lets you set how often you’ll receive your report.

  4. In the Actions section, choose Other

  5. Fill in the details in the “create a report” action, then add it to your command. This is where you set the Report name variable, filter for specific cards, and create your pattern to show specific details about cards in your report.

  6. Fill in the details in the “send an email notification” action and add it to your command. Put your Report name variable in the body of the email message, formatted like this {$variable}. This tells Butler to send your report somewhere. Without this step, you won’t receive your report.

  7. Select Save to save and enable the command

For example, let's say we want to send an email to all board members every Friday with all tasks completed this week. You can achieve this the following calendar command:

1 2 3 4 5 every friday at 11:45 pm, create a report with all cards in list "Done", and send an email notification to every member of the board with subject "Weekly Report for week #{weeknumber}" and message "{$fridayreport}"

Notice the use of two variables in the content of the email:

  • {weeknumber} will be replaced with the number of the current week when the command runs

  • In this example, the Report name variable is “fridayreport”, so {$fridayreport} will be replaced with the report’s content in the email message

Customized visual reports

Visual reports are also available in customized reports. To send a visual report, suffix the Report name variable with _html. For example:

1 2 3 4 5 every friday at 11:45 pm, create a report with all cards in list "Done", and send an email notification to every member of the board with subject "Weekly Report for week #{weeknumber}" and message "{$fridayreport_html}"

How to use a pattern to customize your report

Without a pattern, the default report format includes a list of card names linked to the respective cards. You can use Butler variables to create a pattern that selects the details of a card that you want included in your report. For example:

1 2 create a report with all cards in list "Done" using pattern "- [{cardname}]({cardlink}) ({cardmemberusernames}) {{%Priority}}"

A couple of things to notice:

  • You can use Butler variables to select the details you want to see for each card. {cardmemberusernames} will be replaced with the usernames of the card’s members, and {cardlink} will be replaced with a clickable link to that card, for example

  • You can also use custom field variables to add custom field data. {{%Priority}} will be replaced with the value in the Priority custom field, for example

  • The pattern uses markdown formatting. For example, the format [text](link) is used to produce a named link.

You can create multiple reports in one command, and you can name the variables so that they can be used together. (Report variable names can only contain basic ASCII characters: letters 'a' to 'z' without accents, numeric digits, underscore.)

Example using multiple reports:

1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 every friday at 11:45 pm, create a report in variable "Doing" with all cards in list "Doing" using pattern "- [{cardname}]({cardlink}) ({cardmemberusernames}) {{%Priority}} => DUE on {cardduedate}", create a report in variable "Done" with all cards in list "Done" using pattern "- [{cardname}]({cardlink}) ({cardmemberusernames}) {{%Priority}} => DONE on {{%Completion Date}}", and send an email notification to every member of the board with subject "Report for week #{weeknumber}" and message "Doing:\n\n{$Doing}\n\nDone:\n\n{$Done}"

Notes:

  • the sequence \n means 'new line', and to introduce a paragraph break in markdown, it needs to be entered twice in a row. The user interface automatically converts your carriage returns into these when you enter the command.

  • the second report uses a custom field named 'Completion Date' that in this example would be set automatically by another Butler command when the card moves to the 'Done' list.

Excluded variables: 

There are certain variables that cannot return data in a Butler report either due to the context that is required for the variable to return valid data, or due to the demand made on Trello's API to request the data. Below are some examples of each respectively:

  • Variables that require a specific trigger, such as {mentionedtext} requiring a trigger of "when a person is mentioned..".

  • Variables that return any card's time in list data, such as {carddaysinlist} or {carddaysinpreviouslist}.

The email generated by this command looks similar to this:

screenshot_ReportExample

We're always improving Butler and take your feedback very much into account. If you would like more advanced reporting features, please contact us through https://trello.com/contact and let us know what you'd like to be able to achieve.

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