Using Trello Automation for Recurring Goals Tracking
Monday, February 12, 2024 @ 1:37 AM
Last edited: Monday, February 12, 2024 @ 1:39 AM
I haven't been as goal-oriented as I'd like to be over the past few years, but chose to make some changes to my approach for 2024. I fumbled around a bit to get a setup for keeping track of goals in a sane way, but have been using a setup in Trello with their automation tooling for the past month or so and it has been working well so I wanted to share it for anyone else trying to get on top of their own recurring goals.
How my Trello Board is Set Up
I have several "To Do" columns for each recurrence timeframe. In my case, I have the following columns:
- To Do: Daily
- To Do: Weekly
- To Do: Monthly
- To Do: Bi-Monthly
I also have a "To Do: Annual" column with one-time, big goals for the year, e.g. "Run in the International 10K." These columns all provide a place for seeing the current iteration of a goal.
The other two columns in my board are "Done" and "Templates." "Done" is pretty self-explanatory, once I've finished something, it goes there, regardless of which timeframe it falls under.
All recurring goals have a template card in the "Templates" column. I'll explain how I use a combination of the Card Repeater powerup and Trello's built-in Automation rules to automate placing copies of the templates into the appropriate columns and setting their due dates.
One thing I wanted to keep to a minimum when setting up all this goal tracking was generating extra overhead devoted to keeping track of things. It would de-incentivize making progress on goals because I'd loathe having to go in and do a bunch of maintenance tasks just to get to what I'm really trying to do. Thus, I tried to leverage as much automation here as possible.
Using Card Repeater to Populate To Do Columns
I'll explain how this works using the "Daily" tasks, but the same logic will apply for any other timeframe. With the Card Repeater powerup enabled, create a card in the Templates column with the info you want to display for the goal. Do not set a due date on the template card.
Adjust the Card Repeater settings for the card so that it repeats every day at 12:00 AM, or select every week if you want it to repeat on certain days. For example, my weekly goals will repeat every Monday at 12:00 AM.
Make sure it targets the column, and click save. Now, you have a card that will automatically show up in the intended column at your selected intervals.
Using Automation to Add Due Dates
Trello has some great automation built in. You can have it take care of setting the due date on new cards that get added into each column. Some example rules I have in my board:
- when a card is added to list "To Do: Daily" by anyone, set due date today at 11:59 pm
- when a card is added to list "To Do: Weekly" by anyone, set due date the next sunday at 11:59 pm
I won't delve into the specifics of setting up these rules, as I trust you're capable enough to manage that.
Using Automation to Move Cards to "Done"
This is pretty straightforward, but very nifty. If you've already got automation that adds the due dates to your recurring cards, you have a checkbox to click that indicates you've finished the task. If you flag it as complete, it's "Done," right? So just move it to that column automatically:
- when the due date is marked as complete in a card by anyone, move the card to the top of list "Done"
Some of the goals I have for 2024 are lofty. Others may have more ambitious goals than mine, but I'm competing with former Jack Barry and that's it. And for me, this system of tracking goals has been helping me keep focused as time has gone on - both providing a target to hit as well as seeing an increasingly larger catalog of "shit that I got done."
Hopefully this quick outline of my Trello setup can help you, either directly or by giving you some inspiration to set up your own system for goal tracking and follow-through. Feel free to reach out to me if this has helped you get more organized or if you have some tips on how to better leverage the same tools.