Introducing card filtering using cakes and some diagrams.

Let’s say you’ve got a cake making business. You’ve decided to use Trello to organize your cake making process. You’re already off to a good start.

Things are operating smoothly. You’ve added employees to your board and you’re using labels to neatly categorize cakes. You’re business is very successful, undoubtedly because Trello is keeping your team so organized and on track. But now you’ve got a lot of cakes in the pipeline. Every time somebody turns a corner, they bump into a cake. What Pat is doing right now. Is she working on wedding cakes? How about birthday cakes? There’s a lot to take it. You panic.

Showin off the active filter

We’ve added card filtering to Trello to solve just this problem. But, you know… not just for cakes. Filtering highlights a selected set of members and labels. It’s easy. Just click the ‘Card Filter’ button on the board sidebar. You’ll get a menu of all members and labels. Select a member and all cards assigned to that member will be highlighted. Now select a label and only cards with that member and label will be highlighted. You even get a handy ON indicator on the filter button, so you know there’s an active filter.

But there’s more! You can select multiple members and multiple labels. How does that work?

The filtering system evolved. In early drafts, we showed all matching cards with assigned members and labels (a union). But you couldn’t filter for only birthday-labeled cakes assigned to Pat. Instead you would get ALL birthday-labeled cakes and ALL cards assigned to Pat. And if you also filtered by Carlos and the wedding label, then you got ALL Pat cakes, ALL Carlos cakes, ALL birthday cakes, and ALL wedding cakes. Probably not what you were looking for.

Showing a card filtering venn diagram union example

Then we thought, what if we used an intersect of all selected members and labels? For instance, if you selected ‘Pat’, ‘Carlos’, ‘Birthday’, and ‘Wedding’, you would get only cakes assigned to BOTH Pat and Carlos which had BOTH labels birthday and wedding. Well, turns out Pat and Carlos are rarely working on the same cake. And, uh, have you ever celebrated a birthday and a wedding together? This intersection would almost never happen.

Showing a card filtering venn diagram intersect example

After three tries, we think we got it right. In the final version we use a union for all members, then a smaller subset of labels. So if I select ‘Pat’, ‘Carlos’, ‘Birthday’, and ‘Wedding’, I get all cakes Pat or Carlos are working on as long as they have the birthday and/or wedding label.  Pat and Carlos don’t have to be working on the same cake together to match. This is not the impossible intersection of them all and not the useless union of everything.

Showing our custom set card filtering venn diagram example

There’s one more aspect. If you select just ‘Birthday’ and ‘Wedding’ without any members, you’ll get all cakes with either of those labels (or both). Similarly, if you select ‘Pat’ and ‘Carlos’ with no labels, you’ll get all cakes assigned to either of those fine bakers (or both).

Showing member and label independent unions

So now you can relax and see all those birthday and wedding cakes Pat is making. We thought briefly about allowing complex queries with nots, ands, ors, and so forth, but we didn’t want you to have to buy a book on set theory. We wanted to keep the interface simple and fit most people’s needs. Oh, and there are a couple keyboard shortcuts. You can use ‘q’ to show only your cards and ‘f’ to remove all filters.

Now go on and filter.

Trello Common Questions Part II

**Please note: Some of the information in this article may be out of date.  Please visit for up to date help articles about Trello.**

What parts of my account can be seen publicly?

If people search for it, we will show them your profile (which includes your name) and any actions you make on public boards. It will also include any organizations you have made public. By default, all of your actions on your boards are private since boards default to being private. Only your name, public organizations, and activities on public boards can be seen.

I see other people’s boards and cards when I search. Does that mean my cards are public?

No. The cards and boards you see have been explicitly made public by their owners.

How secure is Trello?

All traffic to and from our servers is SSL encrypted.  And not with one of those Iranian gmail certificates either.  So none of your usage can be eavesdropped on or interfered with. Data is backed up every four hours.  The data on disk is NOT encrypted (but maybe we’ll make that available as a premium feature).  No one is allowed access to customer data without written permission, and only a very small group of people at the company even have the actual ability to access this data. More information at

How can I get my data out of Trello?

We don’t want to “lock you in” by making it hard to get your data. Because Trello is still young, we don’t yet have an export feature, but it’s planned for the future.

Is there an Android app? Why is the iPhone app read-only?

We’re working on both of these issues.  The iPhone app was rushed out for TC Disrupt by one of our awesome devs who managed to write the entire app in essentially 3 weeks.  We do plan to make it fully editable.

Where should I ask more questions?

As always, you can check out the Trello Development board and see if we are already working on it.

Also check out You can send feature ideas to or if you are having problems with your account, send an email to Or try the webapps stackexchange site!

Trello Common Questions

**Please note: Some of the information in this article may be out of date.  Please visit for up to date help articles about Trello.**
Can you clone boards/lists/cards? (similarly, can I make a template)?

No.  I won’t give you the standard excuse of “Our lack of features is a deliberate feature!”   Instead I’ll just say we didn’t have time to do this yet, and we’re not sure we want to.  You can add your input on our Trello dev board though if it’s really important to you.

Can you make a checklist item into a card?

Absolutely.  Create the checklist item, select it and click the
“Convert to Card” link that shows up right below it.

Can you delete an organization?

No, not yet.

Oh no, I deleted a very important board. Can  I get it back?

Sure!  We don’t actually have a delete mechanism in the normal sense.
You just ‘close’ boards and they’ll disappear from everywhere in the
UI, except you can go and get them back by selecting the Boards menu
(top right) and then “View Closed Boards”.

Is there  an upload limit?

10MB per file.  Plenty of room for lolcat pictures and rage comics, but not
enough for you to use it as a torrent server.

Can I install this on my own server?

No.  I can say with a lot of certainty that we don’t plan on doing
this.  We believe that the majority of people are becoming more
comfortable hosting their services and the boost in dev productivity
we get by only having one platform to test on is immense.

Are you going to screw me later and make me pay for something I got hooked on?

No.  You have my word that we will not give away our *free* service to
you as a trick and then later make you pay.  First, we make good money
on our existing suite of products already, so we have no temptation to
change our minds.  Also, that sort of trickery would cost us all of
the goodwill we’ve built up over the last 11 years of running this

We do eventually plan to monetize the service when we have a bazillion
users, but it won’t be by charging you for what we’re offering now.
Think freemium, or app store models…

Can I get rid of that Trello user, and is he related to Tom?

It’s not really a user, just something to show you immediately on the
demo board that you aren’t alone.  The point of Trello is to use it
with other people and we want you to understand that right away.  The
Trello user won’t show up on any of the new boards you create.  And
no, we aren’t spying on you.

Would it help if Trello’s gravatar look like this?


Does Trello integrate with FogBugz?

Kind of.  The long term goal of the more advanced features and
integrations is to build them as plugins and modules you can bolt on
to Trello to customize it to your specific use, but keep the core
simple enough that you can use it to plan anything.  Trello isn’t for
bug tracking, but it can help you with a wider lens view of your
software development process and we’ve built a half-plugin type
feature that shows a kiwi icon on your card if you mention a FogBugz
url in the activity stream.

Can I delete a board/list/card and make it go away forever?

Trello doesn’t have board or list delete. Archive and close have a similar effect. Card delete has been added since launch.

To delete a card, first archive it, then click delete from the sidebar back of the card OR click ‘view archive’ from the board sidebar, find the card, and delete it.

Can I just email Trello and have it become a card?

Not yet.

How do I search for stuff?

Look at the top of the page for a textbox with a magnifying glass type
icon.  It’s on the left.  See it?

Is there an API?

Yes, the iPhone app uses it.  But it’s unpublished.  And read-only.
And hacked up in a few weeks.  We plan on spending a lot of time
making the API really extensible so you can do awesome things like …

Is there a way to generate story points to use with my Agile team?

Kind of.  I guess story points are an estimate of how long something will take to do.  This falls into the idea of a custom property for a card that you’d like to have meaning.  For example, if your Trello board was a Sales Leads board, you might want all your cards to have potential deal size $$$ on them.  Right now we don’t want to cram Trello into any specific use, so something like this would have to be provided by a custom plugin (see the API question).

Are there any keyboard shortcuts?


Where should I ask more questions?

Check out the help page.

Trello is here

Post-it notesDo you have a whiteboard covered in Post-it notes somewhere in your office?

Yeah. Honestly, with all the fancy-schmancy “project management” software out there, I never found a way to keep track of who’s supposed to be working on what and what the highest priority projects are and what their status is. As the founder of two companies it was starting to get distracting to walk down the hallways seeing dozens of people getting paid to sit at computers, type on keyboards, occasionally move a mouse, and I had no idea if they were doing the exact right thing, or maybe something they thought was important but which, nevertheless, was not, actually, important.

So we built Trello.

Trello Logo

Trello is a brand new product from Fog Creek Software. We’ve had a team working on it for nine months, and we’ve been dogfooding it almost the whole time, and I have to say, it’s really great, so as of today, is live, open, free, available to the entire public through the great medium of the global network of computers known as the Internet, hallelujah.

Trello is probably the simplest thing in the world: it’s a web page where you make a bunch of lists. Each list contains cards. Each card is a thing that someone might want to work on.

Three lists in Trello

It’s on the web. Each Trello board has a URL, and you can invite anyone you want to participate. Whenever anybody makes a change, everyone else sees it, instantly.

You can move cards around. Move them up and down to prioritize:

Moving Cards

Move them around from list to list:

Move from List to List

You can attach people to cards. That’s a way of showing who is working on which thing.

Assign people to cards

Now, the cool thing is that on the back of each card, there’s room for all kinds of cool stuff, including a description, conversations, file attachments, links, checklists, labels, and more.

Back of a Trello Card

That way cards can carry all kinds of useful stuff around with them.

If it seems too simple to be true, well, it is. It’s just a list of lists, really. But the simplicity is deceptive: it turns out to be a super-powerful way to organize teams, projects, and, in fact, anything that needs a little organization.

You can use it all by yourself. I use it as a kind of super-GTD todo list, but I’ve also given access to Producer Alex and occasionally, when he’s not paying attention, I assign him to something I was failing to get done on my own, and then it gets done. Thanks, Alex!

You can use it on a team. Sales teams can use it to track leads. Software teams can use it to track features. VC firms can use it to track startups. If you ever find yourself asking, “Who’s supposed to be working on X?” your team needs Trello.

Trello works on any size screen. It works great on smart phones (there’s even an iPhone app) and it works great on laptops. We even set up a giant video wall with five 42″ plasma screens mainly for Trello.

Everything synchronizes instantly. You can hold a conference call with your remote teammates, all go to the same board, and update things while you talk about them.

It’s free. (We might charge something for premium features in the future). You can make one board or 100. Sign up today!

Taco the Famous Siberian Husky

PS Taco says hi.