Creating and managing Butler commands

Creating Butler commands

Not familiar with Butler? Check out Butler overview to learn more about its functionality. 

There are two ways to create Butler commands: 

  • You can create and manage all your Butler commands from the Butler directory's command builder. To open the command builder, select the Automation button at the top of your Trello board, open a particular command tab in the Butler directory—Rules, Card ButtonBoard Button, Calendar, or Due Date—and then select Create the upper-right corner of your command list.
  • You can create Rules, Card Buttons, and Calendar commands directly from your Trello board. Not all commands and command actions are available on the board, if you want to create more complex workflows and view all the available actions, visit the command builder. 

Note: All commands that you create directly from your board are localized with the language set up in your Trello account. The Butler directory isn't localized and is only available in English.

Butler allows you to create custom commands from scratch or by using Automation tips—Card Button and Board Button suggestions, which are based on the most frequent actions you perform on your board. Butler creates the tips by analyzing your board's action history. For example, if you regularly create new cards, Butler will suggest that you add a Board Button to create a new card. 

After you create a command, it will appear at the bottom of the command list in its respective command tab. 

Rules

Rules automatically execute actions on your board in response to changes (rules' triggers) that happen in Trello. For example, when a card in list "In progress" is moved into list "Done", archive the card.

To create a Rule, you need to configure a trigger and action for your command. To view the created rule, go to the Butler directory and open the Rules tab. 

Create rules from the board

From your board, you can create rules for your lists using the list rule template When a card is added to the list. To create the rule:

  1. On your Trello board, go to a particular list, and open the list menu
  2. In the Automation section, select When a card is added to the list.
  3. Customize a trigger for your command and add action, if needed.
  4. Select Add new rule to save your command. You can view the created Rule immediately after creation by selecting the View my rule button in the confirmation window. 

Note: If you want to create more complex Rules, select the Create a custom rule link, which will take you to the Rules command builder. 

Create rules in the Butler directory

  1. Open the Butler directory by selecting the Automation button at the top of your board or from the board menu.
  2. Go to the Rules tab and select Create a new rule > Add Trigger.
  3. Customize the trigger and actions for your command. You can also turn on the Advanced toggle to add filters to your trigger (see Add advanced filters to command triggers for details).
  4. Save the created rule.

Card Buttons

Card Buttons are accessible at the card back and allow you to create a series of card-level actions, such as adding a label to a card or joining a card. You can create Card Button commands to perform some basic tasks such as setting a card to be due in one week or develop more robust workflows that perform several actions in sequence, all from a single click. There are also some Card Button actions that allow you to automate board-level processes, like filtering lists. 

A Card Button is triggered when you click the button. You can view the Button from any card on a board; selecting a Card Button will perform its actions only on that particular card.

To create the command, you need to configure an action. To view the created command, go to the Butler directory and open the Card Button tab. 

Create a Card Button on the card back 

On the card back, you can create Card Buttons from several templates that represent the most common actions used for Card Buttons. To create a Card Button from a template:

  1. Open a card, go to the Automation section, and select Add button. For each command, you can select one of the following actions that Butler will perform when you click the Card Button:
    • Move card to (top/bottom of a list)
    • Copy card to (top/bottom of a list)
    • Add label (add a custom label)
    • Join card (assign yourself to the card)
    • Mark due date (complete/incomplete)
    • Set due date (set a custom due date)
    • Remove (labels, all labels, due dates, members, stickers, cover)
    • Sort list (by age, due date, label, time in list, title, votes in ascending/descending order)
  2. Give your button a name and add an icon, if you want to. 
  3. Save the created command. 

Delete a Card Button on the card back 

On the back of the card, you can delete the Card Button using the quick edit (pencil) icon. Important note! This will permanently delete the button from all boards where the button is enabled. Only do this if you want to totally delete the button from all boards. Alternatively, in the Butler directory, you can disable the card button from the board(s) without deleting the button.

To permanently delete a Card Button from the back of the card:

  1. Open a card, go to the Automation section, and click the pencil icon next to the button you want to delete. Double-check to make sure you’re deleting the correct button, as there’s no undo!
  2. Select the Delete option.
  3. The button is now deleted from all boards where it was enabled.

Note: If you want to create more complex Card Button commands, select the Create a custom card button link, which will take you to the Card Button command builder. 

Create a Card Button in the Butler directory 

  1. Open the Butler directory by selecting the Automation button at the top of your board or from the board menu.
  2. Go to the Card Buttons tab and select Create Button > Add Action.
  3. Customize actions for your command.
  4. Give your Button a name and add an icon, if you want to.
  5. Save the created command.

Delete a Card Button in the Butler directory 

You can delete card buttons and they’ll be permanently removed from all boards where they’re enabled. If you don’t want to delete the card button, use the Butler directory to disable it from boards.

To permanently delete a Card button from the Butler directory:

  1. Open the Butler directory by selecting the Automation button at the top of your board or from the board menu.
  2. Go to the Card Buttons tab.
  3. Locate the button you want to delete and click the trash bin icon.
  4. Read the prompt to confirm you really want to permanently delete the card button, and click the red Remove option.

If you’d like to remove the card button from the board(s) instead of deleting it permanently, uncheck the box next to “Enabled on this board” in the Butler directory.

Board Buttons

Board Buttons are accessible at the top of your Trello board and allow you to perform a series of board-level actions such as sorting lists, moving cards around, or creating reports

A Board Button is triggered when you click the button. It works likewise the Card Button command but has a different set of actions. 

To create the command, you need to specify an action. To view the created command, go to the Butler directory and open the Board Button tab. 

Create a Board Button in the Butler directory

  1. Select the Automation button at the top of your Trello board or from the board menu.
  2. Go to the Board Button tab and select Create Button > Add Action.
  3. Customize actions for your command.
  4. Give your button a name and add an icon, if you want to.
  5. Save the created command.

Calendar commands

Calendar commands perform actions at a given cadence such as every day at a specific time or every week on a particular day. Calendar commands have the same set of actions as Board Buttons but run automatically on your behalf.

To create the Calendar command, you need to specify the cadence and action. To view the created command, go to the Butler directory and open the Calendar tab. 

See also: Calendar commands are frequently used to create reports (see Creating reports with Butler for more details).

Create a Calendar command from the board 

You can add a Calendar command to a list directly from your board by using the available sort list templates. 

To create the Calendar command:

  1. On your Trello board, go to a particular list and open the list menu.
  2. In the Automation section, select one of the following templates:
    • Every day, sort list by
    • Every Monday, sort list by
  3. Customize the time and action for your command.
  4. Select Add new rule to save your command. You can view the created Rule immediately after creation by selecting the View my rule button in the confirmation window. 

Create a Calendar command in the Butler directory 

  1. Select the Automation button at the top of your Trello board or from the board menu
  2. Go to the Calendar tab and select Create CommandAdd Trigger 
  3. Configure a trigger/schedule for your command 
  4. Save the created command

Due Date commands

Due Date commands trigger actions in response to the due dates you have on the cards on your board. A Due Date command is triggered on a card when the card's due date matches the command's trigger. This command has the same set of actions as a Card Button but runs automatically on your behalf. 

To create the command, you need to select a due date trigger (Due Date triggers are not retroactive) and action. To view the created command, go to the Butler directory and open the Due Date tab. 

Create a Due Date command in the Butler directory 

  1. Select the Automation button at the top of your Trello board or from the board menu.
  2. Go to the Due Date tab and select Create Command > Add Trigger.
  3. Customize the trigger and action for your command. You can also turn on the Advanced toggle and add filters to your trigger (see Add advanced filters to command triggers for details). 
  4. Save the created command.

Managing Butler commands

Butler allows you to perform the following actions on your commands:

  • Add command tags: apply tags to commands to create Command Libraries
  • Edit commands: add and modify actions or change triggers in your commands
  • Copy commands: duplicate your commands and reuse copied triggers or actions to create new commands
  • Inspect command activity: view the Command Log of a particular command
  • Remove commands: delete your commands

Calendar commands also have the Run Now option, which allows you to immediately execute a Calendar command on your board. 

Add advanced filters to command triggers

You can add filters to command triggers to create more elaborate workflows. Butler allows you to add filters to Rules and Due Date commands. You can apply filters to triggers when creating a new command: simply turn on the Advanced toggle when configuring a trigger.


You can also add filters to the card involved in triggering your command. For instance, the card involved in the Rule when a card is added to the board would be the card added to the board. For a Due Date, the card involved is the card that has become due. 

To add filters to an existing command, you need to remove the trigger first, and then recreate the trigger with filters. 

Share Butler buttons

Your Butler buttons can be visible only for you or shared with other people who belong to your board or Workspace. You can configure the visibility of your commands by enabling/disabling the following options in the respective button tabs.

  • Available for all Butler commands:
    • Enabled on this board: make the automation available or run automatically on the board only for you. By default, this option is enabled after you create a command.
  • Card Buttons and Board Buttons only: 
    • Enabled on all boards on this workspacemake the automation available on all boards within your workspace. Who can see the automation depends on the Shared with workspace toggle.
    • Shared with Workspace: allow other members to see the automation. If the toggle is turned off, then only you will see the button. Otherwise, anyone in the Workspace will see the button.

Sharing of Card Buttons and Board Buttons is available for all Trello plans. Rules, Calendar commands, and Due Date commands can only be shared with Command Libraries—Command Library sharing is only available on paid Trello plans

See also: For more details on command sharing, check out the Command Libraries.