Trello makes Butler a core feature, adds more time-saving features

After reaching more than 50 million users, the collaboration and project management tool is targeting the next 50 million with more automation and ways to simplify workflows.
Written by Stephanie Condon, Senior Writer

Trello on Wednesday announced a series of new features and updates designed to simplify workflows and help teams get started on projects more quickly. Trello is doubling down on automation, in part with enhancements to the popular automation engine Butler. They're also making Butler a core feature of Trello. Additionally, Trello is adding Card and Board templates, giving users easy ways to standardize basic processes. 

The new features come as Trello hits the 50 million-user milestone, and they're designed to help the collaboration and project management tool reach its next 50 million users, according to Justin Gallagher, Trello's head of product.  

"What we hear again and again is people love Trello because it's very simple, flexible and makes it really easy to collaborate," Gallagher said. The new features follow that recipe while moving the platform beyond basic functionality. 

The goal, Gallagher said, was to build "something super smart, really helpful and deeply integrated... Something teams can't imagine working without."

Atlassian, which offers products for software developers, project managers and content management, acquired Trello in 2017. They've since added a number of features that help the platform complement the Atlassian's other tools like JIRA, Confluence, and Bitbucket -- helping it compete in a crowded market that includes giants like Google, Microsoft, and Slack. Trello is used by around 80 percent of the Fortune 500. 

Butler for Trello acquired by Atlassian in 2018, after proving to be one of the platform's most popular automation integrations. Butler is used for millions of actions per month, Gallagher said, ranging from very complicated tasks to simple ones. For instance, a user in the media industry could use it to create a writing workflow that encompasses editing, creating graphics and publishing. When the user moves a card to their editing list, Butler could automatically assign that card to an editor with an assigned due date.

Along with making Butler a core feature, Trello has redesigned its interface for clarity and ease-of-use. They've also improved Butler's recommendations. 

Adding another level of automation, Trello is introducing AI-powered Suggested Actions, which learn a user's most common actions on a board and suggest them at the right moments. It can suggest actions such as adding members, adding labels to a workflow, adding checklists that you often copy or moving cards to specific lists. 

Meanwhile, Trello is introducing Board templates for Business Class and Enterprise, to help teams get started on a project. Anyone on Trello can make their board templates public, and Trello is encouraging sharing through a new community template gallery. They're launching it with templates from The Telegraph, 3M, InVision, Skyscanner, Dropbox, Indeed, UNICEF, the United Nations, Grand Hyatt,  and Survey Monkey, among others. Other users will be able to copy and customize these templates to meet their needs. 


Users have been able to share their boards for some time, but the new gallery simplifies the process and makes it easier to find and use relevant public boards, Gallagher said. The gallery also gives users a way to share an explanation of how their board works. 

With 50 million users, "we have lots of people using Trello for lots of different things," Gallagher  said. "People get really excited when they find a soution to a problem."

Users can also now create card templates, which should help teams standardize cards on their boards and build repeatable workflows. 

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