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Automate tasks and emails in Trello
Save email content to the Trello card description
Save email content to the Trello card description

Use Trello automation to extract details from a SendBoard email comment and save it to the Trello card description.

Mark Fowles avatar
Written by Mark Fowles
Updated over a week ago

Being able to receive emails in Trello is useful and can be a game changer for collaboration and actioning of tasks. But you might want to extract specific details from an email so that the information can be used in other areas of Trello.

For instance, as we discuss in this article, saving the body of an email as the card description so that it is the first thing you see when you open the card.

Here's an example. Let's say you receive a simple email like this:

SendBoard simple email example from Jane.

Using SendBoard, the email would arrive in Trello as a new card. The detail would all be in a comment like this:

You can use Trello automation to extract specific details from the comment, and add it to the card description so that the card will look like this:

Creating the Automation rule

If you're new to Trello Automation, you might want to first check out Trello’s Introduction to Automation.

Understanding Butler Patterns and Wildcards

If comments/emails follow a standard pattern you can use 'Pattern matching and wildcards' to get specific details out of the email. Basically it is used in the trigger to search through a comment for information that matches a specific pattern.

Since all SendBoard emails are added as comments to the card in a similar format, Trello Automation can access the email through the comment.

For any SendBoard email, the pattern to search through a comment looks like this:

📩 [Email]({*}) From **{*}<{*}>**{*}------{*}------{*}To: {*}

Wherever you see {*} , it is a 'wildcard' that represents any number of text characters. The smart thing about wildcards in Butler triggers, is that each wildcard is made available to you within actions in your Butler rule. Because there are multiple wildcards, they are referred to by the sequence in which they appear.

So in the above example, the wildcards each represent a different part of the email:

  • wildcard1 is the URL to access the full email thread.

  • wildcard2 is the Contact Name.

  • wildcard3 is the From Email Address.

  • wildcard5 is the Email Content.

  • wildcard7 is the To Email Address.

Wildcards 4 and 6 are just used in the pattern, and won't include any useful detail.

Creating a Rule Trigger

Now that you have the pattern to detect a SendBoard email, you can create a trigger for your rule.

  • The trigger needs to fire whenever a new comment is posted, so select 'Card Content' for the trigger.

  • Make sure the 'Advanced' option is selected.

  • Choose to fire the trigger whenever a new comment is posted.

  • But only if the comment contains the pattern above "📩 [Email] ({*}) From...".

  • And only if the description of the card is currently empty. We only want this trigger to fire for the first email received on the card.

  • And only if the comment is posted by the unique bot on that board "@sendboardbot***". You should select the SendBoard bot on the specific board to ensure that the trigger is only fired for incoming emails. Outgoing emails will be posted by the Trello user who sent the email.

Inbound emails always start with a very specific set of characters 📩 [Email]

Outbound emails sent from Trello will start with the characters ✉️ [Email]

(note that the emoji is slightly different)

Define actions for your rule

With the trigger in place, and wildcards ready to be referenced, the actions are quite straight forward.

  • Select 'Card Content' for the trigger and add the Content wilcard {wildcard5} (in this example) to the card Description. You can add other wildcards here and play with the formatting yourself.

After saving your rule, the above actions will automatically run each time a new email comes in.

With just a few changes to the rule, you can configure a wide range of automated tasks to be performed each time an email is sent or received on your board.

More useful examples:

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