Trello with Extra Zap(ier)s and IFTTTs

http://Zapier.com and http://IFTTT.com can make repeating tasks in Trello.

http://Zapier.com and http://IFTTT.com can make repeating tasks in Trello.

The problem with Trello (or for that matter, Evernote) as a task manager is that it doesn’t handle repeating tasks. And my favorite task game, Habitica, has its own limits — its repeat schedules are much more flexible than they used to be, but not so flexible as a semi-decent calendar or task-only app (examples: Google Calendar, Toodledo.) In addition to this, I really want ONE place to mark off things as done — I find it enough of a pain to follow a bloody list, even one I’ve made for myself. Having to mark things off two or three times — well, it leads me to sulking for a week or three before guilt and boredom drive me back to my lists.

My previous post on Trello, “Trello — Its Impact on GTD, ADHD, The Universe, and Everything”, promised more detail about my use of Zapier and IFTTT. Both these services follow a trigger–action paradigm: the service watches for a particular sort of event in an app you tell it to watch — the trigger. When the service sees that trigger, it sets off another event in a second app — the action. Here are my current trigger–action pairs:

  • Zapier:
    • Scheduled Trello task -> Google Calendar “For Tasks” (This takes care of the rare case in which I schedule a task directly from my main Trello board.)
    • Credit Habitica with Trello completions (Major coolness! The Habitica “action” is unofficial, so that you have to request access via Habitica. But worth it — I no longer need to copy one-off tasks to Habitica by hand.)
    • Events from Google Calendar “Appointments” to Trello (I treat appointments — rare in my schedule — as one-off to-dos.)
    • Evernote ToDo items to Trello
  • IFTTT:
    • If any event starts on Google Calendar “For Tasks”, then create a card in – Trello, Silvers’s Plate board (This is the core of my repeating tasks list.)
    • If every day at 01:00 AM, then create a card in – Silver’s Plate board (This is just a reminder to look at my Habitica daily lists so I don’t forget them…)
    • If card assigned to me in – Trello, Willow’s Journey, then create a card in – Trello, Silver’s Plate board
    • If card assigned to me in Trello, Manifester, then create a card in – Trello, Silver’s Plate board (The above two put items from my writing projects into my daily tasks so I don’t forget….)
    • If any new iOS reminder, then create a card in – Trello, Silver’s Plate board (So I can use Siri to remind me later of things I think of while driving.)

The truth is, that I’d use Zapier almost exclusively if I could afford it. Zapier is a much more flexible automation tool than IFTTT. IFTTT’s only advantages: it can automate events triggered by things in iOS or Android OS, such as a new iOS reminder or receiving an Android SMS. And it’s free. Zapier, by contrast, costs $20 a month if you want more than 100 successfully triggered actions per month and/or more than five scripts.

Zapier’s $20 per month gets you 3000 (!) successfully triggered actions — far more than I need. I could use about 300. I wish they had, say, a $5 per month option for 500 triggered events — I’d pay that in a heartbeat. As it is, I use IFTTT when I can to avoid being maxed out on triggered actions.

But still, maintenance of my task list is down to a minimum, and my level in Habitica is climbing higher and higher!

I love technology.

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