How to Create Custom Trello Triggers with Butler

  • 24 November 2021
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How to Create Custom Trello Triggers with Butler
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I’m a big fan of Automation (surprise).

And I really like when an App offers workflow automation directly in-App in addition to Zapier.

For example in this post - I cover how to use Pipedrive’s Workflow tool to trigger Zaps.

Whenever an App provides a level of automation directly - this opens up new opportunities for what we can do in Zapier.

In other words - combining in-App automation with Zapier increases the Workflow Automations we can create!

Butler - Trello’s In-App Automation

I’m also a big fan of Trello - and have previously written about how I use Google Sheets to create recurring Trello Cards.

Trello’s in-App automation tool is called Butler.

Butler is fantastic - and similar to Zapier - enables you to choose trigger events and then take actions after those trigger events occur on a specific Card, List or Board.

Sending HTTP Requests from Butler

One important action we can take from Butler is sending HTTP Requests.

Of course - at Zapier - we love HTTP requests.

And when combined with a Webhooks by Zapier trigger - this opens up the ability for us to trigger Zaps from any Trigger Event we can create in Butler.

We can effectively create custom triggers for Zapier’s Trello Integration.

A Real Zap Example

I actually figured this out while helping a user workaround an issue they were having with the Trello New Member on Card trigger in Zapier.

They expected it to trigger whenever a New Member was added to a card on the board - but it only triggers when the account connected in Zapier is added to a Card.

We were able to configure an automation in Butler to send an HTTP request to trigger the Zap whenever a member was added to a Card on the Board.

Step 1: Create a Zap

First - we need to create a Zap and add a Webhooks by Zapier Catch Hook Trigger.



When we add that trigger and click Continue - we’ll be given a unique Webhook URL.



We’ll need that in Step 2 Below.

Step 2: Create a Butler “Rule”

Back in Trello - we want to click on the Automation button to open up Butler and click to Create a Rule.



Then click the Button to Create a New Rule and click + Add Trigger link.

Configuring Our Butler Trigger

We should be on a screen that looks like the one below.

In this case - we want the Automation to trigger when a New User is added to any card on the Board.

So we click the Card Changes tab and then configure it to be when “someone is” added to a card.

Finally - we’ll click the Blue Plus sign to add this trigger.



When we’re done it will look like this below.



I’m using a really simple example here - but part of the power of configuring these triggers in Trello directly is that we can get really granular.

There are additional options on that trigger event in Trello.

We can add filters to our Trigger - for example - to only trigger when a member is added to a Card in a Specific List.



This makes it possible for us to have really specific Trigger events from Trello - and possibly avoid the need to use Filters in our Zaps.

For the purposes of this post - I’m going to keep it simple and just have it trigger whenever any member is added to any card.

Choosing Our Butler Action

Now that we have the Trigger - it’s time to add our Butler Action.

Again - we want to send an HTTP request to our Zap.

We can find that option under the “Content” tab and scroll down to the bottom.



From here - we’ll choose “Post to” url and paste in the URL from our Zapier Webhooks Trigger above.

And we’ll select “with payload”



Finally - we’ll add JSON and Trello Variables to the payload - so Trello knows what data to send to Zapier when the member is added to the card.

JSON Formatting could be it’s own post - but it’s easy enough for our purposes here to say that we want the entire Payload to be surrounded by curly braces { }.

And then we need a Key:Value Pair each in quotes.

So in my example above - I have a Key “cardname” and a value “{cardname}” which is a Trello Variable.

This is a link to the complete list of Trello Variables you can choose from to send to Zapier.



We would wrap they Key and the Value individually in Quotes - and separate each Key:Value pair from the others by a comma (except for the final pair which is not followed by a comma).

So in my configuration above - I’m sending 3 fields as the Payload:

{"cardname": "{cardname}","username": "{matchedusername}","link":"{cardlink}"}

The Card Name, Member User Name that was added to the card and the URL for the Card will be sent to Zapier.

When we’re done adding our action - it should look like this below.


Just click Save and we’re ready for the next step.

Testing Our Trigger

Now we’re ready to test our trigger in Trello and pull in a Sample in Zapier.

So first - I’m going to create a Test Card in Trello and add my test account as a Member on the Card.



Then back in the Zap - I want to immediately click to pull in a sample.




We can see my sample is pulled in - and it has the Card Name, User Name and Link which I specified as the variables to send in the Payload.

Step 3: Complete our Zap

Now all that’s left is to complete our Zap.

In this case - I want to be aware of when Members are being added to any cards on this Board - so I’m just going to have the Zap send me a Direct Message in Slack.



This way I’ll be able to easily click to view the card if needed.




In-App Automation tools are a powerful way to expand the functionality in Zapier.

By combining in-App automations with Zapier - we’re able to create workflows that wouldn’t be possible otherwise.

Trello’s Butler automation tool provides us the ability to create custom trigger events from Trello.

By integrating a Butler HTTP Request with a Webhooks by Zapier Catch Hook trigger - we can use those custom trigger events to trigger our Zaps.

The example above is a simple one - but thanks to the trigger configuration options in Butler the possibilities are nearly endless. :) 

I hope this post enables you to build more powerful Trello Zaps.

If you do give it a try - I’d love to hear your experience in the comments below!

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