Taking your Trello board to the next level: essential plugins to boost its power

- 5 mins

Why and when to use a process like Kanban?

One of the most important parts of the process involving the design and analysis of systems is the proper choice of the methodology to be used throughout the implementation phase.

In the case of systems modest in size, operating with relatively small teams, aiming to release software early and often without having to follow the constraints of a more rigid approach, a list of ideal characteristics that fits these requirements would probably look something like this:

Sounds familiar? well, yes. We are describing Kanban.

In the very early phases of Jamp, we naturally discovered that this methodology worked great for us and have decided to keep it until today.

Are there good Kanban tools out there?

As you might’ve guessed, with a very quick search you can find several long lists with tools that can be leveraged to implement Kanban into your project.

However, for one reason or the other, Trello seems to be the go-to tool when we think about it.

Maybe because of its simplicitity, maybe because it’s free and with out-of-the-box features ready to use, or simply because it seems to be the best on the market (in my personal experience, I always seemed to go back to it after trying out others).

Pro4Trello & Parent/Child Dependency (PCD)

Although Trello holds its reputation through the advantages mentioned above, if you need to rely on it for collecting metrics or even trivial tracking, it usually doesn’t get you too far.

The only way I found to keep using it and still extract valuable data from it, was by using these two amazing Chrome extensions: Pro4Trello and PCD .

What are the advantages of using these extensions?


Since we have a couple of different systems and applications to keep track of, we’ve decided to use the Pro4Trello’s categories feature per card and we divide them between iOS, Android, Website and others.

So the user would start by typing the name of the category, then writing the description of the card after the pipe:

Category1 | This card is to describe a certain feature...


Each card that gets added to the board needs to specify its type through a tag. In our case, we have US (for User Stories) and DE (for defects).

Category1 | This card is to describe a certain feature [US]


Since we need to keep track of which changes to the codebase are related to each cards, this feature allows the developers to have an auto generated ID for each card created that can be used for branching or commit messages.


Another key thing to differentiate cards is the ability to mark some as more important than others. For this, the plugin allows you to simply specifiy the level of priority of a card by using !, !!, or !!!.


The person creating the card can also add the estimation for the time that is going to be spent on the task by adding a {} with the time inside the curly braces.


Finally, as sometimes needed, a task is dependent on the other and for that we use PCD. Every time you open a card, this plugin shows a dropdown list that you can relate the current open card to its dependent.

Real life example: defect on iOS app

Given that we need a card to track a defect (tag:[DE]) from the Jamp’s iOS app (category: iOS) where the text gets truncated for words of more than 10 characters and it’s a critical issue (prioritization: !!!).

The developer estimated that it’d take 1 hour to fix it. Here is how the card would be created for Pro4Trello:

iOS | {1h} !!! Fix truncated text for words of more than 10 characters [DE]

The plugin would then process these formatting from the card and display it like this:

Notice that it created its own id #1, which is the one used for commits and branches.

Now the most incredible part is that Pro4Trello organizes all the data for you on a tab below the board, where you can simply filter your cards (category, tags etc) and have the board display it for you:

Screen Shot 2019-11-30 at 7 42 32 PM

Therefore, by the end of each cycle (be it a week or two), you can archive the lists and they can be easily searched by dates from the default Trello search option whenever you need to pull some data regarding your development cycle.

That way, we’ve been able to fully function as a small concise team by leveraging these tools, eliminating the need to spend on more powerful ones since we’d only make use of some of the thousands of features these more robust tools usually provide.

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