Going Public! Roadmapping With A Public Trello Board.


Recently we noticed a bunch of Twitter buzz about some hot Trello boards. Checking out some stats on Google Analytics, we observed that most of the top viewed public Trello boards are businesses using Trello to publicly roadmap their products.  To name a few:

Why do this? Because a public roadmapping board is a great place to engage with your community, get input from power users, share your product’s development, and keep people up to date on any issues or releases.

We reached out to Garry Newman and asked him about his experience using Trello to road map their game, Rust, which is currently in alpha development:

“The huge benefit for us with Trello is that it’s accessible to the public, it’s laid out in a simple way that the public can follow. This means that we can communicate directly with our community – they can see exactly what we’re doing. Each issue or feature is kind of like a mini blog… Using Trello for us ultimately means we don’t have to spend half our time in two different systems, one for staff and one for the public. We can update one and everyone benefits.”

Jason from Mindcrack echoed this sentiment when I spoke with him, saying “It let’s our entire community see what we are working on.”

This got us thinking, perhaps there are more organizations out there that could benefit from roadmapping their product publicly in Trello, so this article is meant to give a couple of tips to help you get started.  I will talk about board visibility settings, commenting and voting permissions, board backgrounds, sharing card links via social media, and a few other fun things.

Before I get started, if you’re worried that having a public board will reveal too much, remember that Trello lets you have unlimited boards, each with different permissions, so you can share publicly only the information you wish to share.

Make that Board Public

Like in the classic baseball film, Field of Dreams, “If you build it they will come…” Except in this case, if you make your roadmapping board publicly visible, they will come and they will give you input!  Your fans will also be able to subscribe to a card, perhaps a feature they are craving, and follow its progress across your board, receiving notifications as it glides across your lists, from “ideas” to “doing” to “shipped”.

When your board is public, it is visible to anyone with the URL and it will show up in search engines like Google.  Set the visibility of your board so that it is publicly viewable by clicking “private” or “org visible” to the right of your board’s name and organization in the header, and changing it to “public”.  If the board is already set to public, then you are already one step ahead.


While you are at it, you may want to consider making your organization public in Trello so that your fans can easily access all of your organization’s public boards through one simple URL, and you will be able to bling out the page with a company logo and description.  For example, Fog Creek Software is a public organization: https://trello.com/fogcreek.  Set your organization public in the settings tab for your organization.

Also, make sure to link your public roadmapping board from your company’s website so you can easily steer traffic to it and get search engines to index it quicker.

Setting Up Voting and Commenting Permissions

If you would like to have your community be a part of the development process, then enabling commenting and up voting are great ways to get feedback from the people that matter the most, your users!  As Garry Newman puts it,

“The voting feature is especially useful to us, because it means we can put a bunch of stuff that we want to get done on the board, and then we can let the public vote up the issues that they want the most. This allows us to organize our flow according to what the community deem most important to them.”

To enable the voting power-up for your board go the board’s menu in the sidebar and select “Power-ups”.  In the power-ups menu select voting,  then select enable, and in the settings tab make sure to give voting permissions to public members.


(Bonus tip: While you are in the power-ups menu, if your board deals with dates, turn on the calendar power-up too so the public can view those cards in a calendar view!)

Turn on public commenting for your board in your board’s settings in the sidebar.  Please note that your board must be public in order to be able to turn on this feature. Also, don’t be worried about the trolls of the world, board admins can easily delete any unwanted comments.


Custom Backgrounds

If you have a Business Class or Trello Gold account, you can add a custom background to your roadmapping board, which is great for adding a bit of character and branding.  One thing that you can do is upload your company’s logo as a background and tile it across the board, but an even cooler option is to place your logo or image on a background that integrates nicely with the list layout.


Because Trello is responsive to the size of your browser window, it can require a little bit of trial and error to find the perfect location for your logo so that it displays in most window sizes. Here are some basic guidelines for creating a custom board background like mine:

  • Board dimension: 1280px x 720px
  • Logo dimension: 400px wide
  • Logo Placement: 60px from the bottom left corner and 30px from the left side

And here’s a .psd template to help get you started: TrelloBackgroundTemplate1280x720.psd

Check out some other cool roadmapping boards that use backgrounds and logo placement to great effect…



Share New Cards on Twitter

Pretend you have some killer new feature (or don’t pretend because you know you have some killer new feature always on tap) and you want to get some input from the people that love your product the most.  Once you have added your new feature idea as a card on your roadmapping board, you can easily share the card on Twitter and other social media by linking directly to the card.  Cards will embed in your post showing an image of the card, très cool!

Get a card’s URL by clicking the dropdown menu that appears when hovering your mouse on the card and selecting “More Actions”, by right clicking the card or by opening the card and copying the URL from your address bar.  (If that’s too many clicks for you, you can also just hover you mouse over the card and press Ctrl+C or ⌘+C to put the card URL on your clipboard)


And then get it out in the wild…


You can also get an image version of your board or card by replacing the last / and everything that follows it with .png.  For instance, take this board URL: https://trello.com/b/nC8QJJoZ/trello-development and turn it in to this: https://trello.com/b/nC8QJJoZ.png and you will have an image of the board that can easily be shared via social media.  Even better, if you embed a card in your webpage like <img src=”https://trello.com/c/19ITKr1U.png”> then it will always reflect the current state of the card, and will automatically “update” on refresh if you change the card’s name, or assign people to it, etc.

A Few Other Tips…

To prevent your adoring fans from clicking about aimlessly on your board, it is always nice to create a “Welcome” or “How to Use” card that tells your fans the intent of the board and how to use it.  This is commonly done by either creating a “Welcome” list as the first list on your board, or by adding a card to the top position on your first list that explains how you plan to share information on the board, how you would like your audience to interact, what different labels mean, etc.  For a great example, check out what Magicka: Wizard Wars did for their welcome card:


If you have a card that is all about some awesome new graphic, attach the image to your card and set it as a card cover so that your audience can see it.  Card covers are on by default and any image uploaded to a card will automatically be displayed on the front.  Check out what Rust did for their art roadmapping board to see how nice this looks:


Stickers are a great way to add visual information to your board in a fun way.  As Jason from Mindcrack says ”We use stickers quite a bit to mark when things are being worked on or they’re done, instead of archiving them, so that the community can still see them.”  Check out the Mindcrack board with all those green checkmarks of features that have shipped:


And, if you have Business Class or Trello Gold you can upload custom stickers to add to your board.  Maybe a sword for all the bugs that have been slain or fun game icons and characters.  The options are endless!

Finally, labels are your friend.  Try using labels on your roadmapping board to provide additional information about your cards, and to allow easy filtering of the cards on your board.  For example, we label all the “feature” cards on the Trello Development board with the orange label.  This makes it easy for anyone who is following our board to filter for all of the orange labeled cards to get a better view of the progress of various features, without all of the noise from other cards.

Well, those are the basics for setting up a public roadmapping board using Trello.  Get out there!  Get creative!  Go public!

And, if you decide to make your roadmapping board public, please share it with us on Twitter @trello

Trello for iOS 2.6: Power User Edition

Trello for iOS 2.6 just landed in the App Store. I know, I know, you’re probably bowling over one another to be first in line to download — but wait. The App Store doesn’t work that way. You can actually all download it at the same time, which you should do right now. And then come back and read the rest of this nice, shiny blog post. We’ll wait.

Alright, downloading? Good. Let’s make with the features already.

Card and List Cloning

Some said it couldn’t be done. Some said it shouldn’t be done. But we did it.


That’s right, you can now copy lists and cards right from the app — no more bouncing to the website for that.

Internal testing reveals that the chance of your lists and/or cards turning evil as a result of the cloning process is negligible, and will only decrease as time goes on.

Bulk Card Operations

Forget everything you thought you knew about the list menu. We’ve taken a glorified archive button and turned it into a power user’s paradise. Just look at these bulk operations:

New List Menu

Now the next time your “Todo: CRITICAL” list gets out of hand, you can just archive all of its cards! Or I guess you could do all of them, and then bulk move them into your “Done” list. It’s a style choice.

Star Boards

Starring Boards

Back in my day, there was no way to star boards from my phone. If I wanted to star boards, I had to open up my computer and go to trello.com. But now? It’s right in the sidebar. It’s a tap away!

Just picture it: a whole generation of tap-happy kids growing up with their favorite boards front and center as soon as they open the app. And some day they’re going to run the country? It’s an abomination. A user-friendly abomination.


Sometimes you want to get notifications about changes to a card, but you don’t want to put your smiling face and/or abstract gravatar on the front of it. Or you do want to join the card, but you don’t care about getting notified about every little thing that happens to it. Or you want notifications about everything that happens on a whole board — basically, sometimes you want more control over the notifications you get. Sometimes… you want subscribing.

Well folks, it is my great pleasure to announce that in 2.6, you can have subscribing. And we didn’t just add it to cards! We went all the way. Boards, lists, cards — you name it, you can get notifications about it. As long as you name one of those three things.

There’s no screenshot because this feature is literally just some checkboxes, but here’s a picture of a cool cactus I found over the weekend.

A Cool Cactus I Found

Yep, subscribing is pretty great.

And So Much More

2.6 is the Tagalog word for “new features,” and we didn’t choose the name lightly. Multi-attachment upload, URL scheme support, intra-app linking — there’s so much new stuff that we couldn’t fit it all into one blog post.

Download now, and please write an app review! Developers are powered by app reviews. It’s like sunlight. Or… food. Food makes more sense in this metaphor.

Available on the App Store

The Search Features You’ve Been Looking For

trello_lionel As Lionel would tell you, searching is important, and Trello search just got a whole lot better. All of your card content is now searchable and presented in a simpler interface, with a brand new set of operators to help you narrow your searches down.

Search all the things!

Now you can search just about every bit of data you have in your Trello boards. Where before search only found cards if your terms were in their title and description, now the comments, checklists, and names of attachments on the card are part of the same unified search. So if you’re pretty sure there was some mention on a card in ages past of “Lionel’s dream facial hair trimmers” and that it had an excel spreadsheet listing important traits and a checklist containing a check for “enhances my salutary smooth stare”, well, now you can find it. lionel_search

Easier on the eyes

But what’s this? A new Trello search interface? We redesigned Trello search to emphasize instant search, so you get the full Trello search without leaving the page you’re on. We made the search results view wider to fit the full title and a preview of the card. You can hover over the card to get the full view. This lets you easily scan titles and provides enough visual cues to identify the card via cover, stickers, labels, and the like. lionel_hover

Focus your search

Finally, you’ll notice that as you type in a search, Trello will suggest various search operators. An operator is a special search term that narrows down your search in a specific kind of a way, like looking for only cards with the green label, or only cards with the word “smooth” in a checklist. Many of these have existed for a while, but we found that even Trello power users often didn’t know about them. We added inline help to get the word out, and autocompletion to help you to use the right operator to find exactly what you’re looking for. Old operators like “label:” and “member:” are joined by new ones like “checklist:” and “is:unassigned”.


Bonus: You can now get to the Trello search box just by hitting ‘/’.

We hope you, like Lionel, find what you’re looking for. As always, you can follow us on TwitterFacebook, and Google+ to keep up with Trello.

Trello And The Heartbleed OpenSSL Vulnerability

On April 7th, a serious security issue called “heartbleed” was reported in the OpenSSL library. The library is used to encrypt private traffic on a majority of services on the Internet, including Trello. The issue could allow others to access private data from an affected server.

In order to eliminate the vulnerability, all of our systems have been patched and all of our SSL certificates have been replaced. As of now, we are no longer affected.

We are not aware of any malicious behavior, but due to the nature of the vulnerability, it can be difficult to determine. As a precaution, we’ve logged out all sessions. That means you’ll need to log back in, which is an inconvenient but necessary step. We’re sorry for the trouble. We also recommend resetting your password and removing app tokens via trello.com/my/account.

Because OpenSSL is used in so many places, we recommend checking to see if your other online services are affected before logging into them again. We recommend resetting your password on those services, too.

A Big List of Small Improvements Including Box.com and OneDrive Integration. No Joke.

Today is April Fools’ Day and we don’t have any pranks for you. We love a good gag as much as the next team, but you know, you probably wanted to get some stuff done today and seeing a pack of huskies frolic across the screen won’t help. Okay, that sounds kind of great now that I’m thinking about it… Ugh. This is how bad ideas are born.

Anyway, we didn’t do that. Instead, we spent our time making a bunch of updates that we think you’ll find useful. Let’s dig in!

You can easily add Box.com and OneDrive attachments.

Screen Shot 2014-03-31 at 8.25.46 PM

Maybe you saw our Dropbox and Google Drive integrations and thought to yourself, “Oh great. I use Box.com or Microsoft OneDrive formerly known as SkyDrive, so lots of good that does me. *sniffle*” You throw your pen across the room, put your head on your desk, and everyone in your office looks over at you wondering what’s wrong. Cheer up, my productive and good-looking reader! Now we’ve got those integrations, too! Just open a card, click “Attachment”, select your service of choice, pick some files, and voilà. Added. You did good!

You can toggle sections in the now-wider boards drawer.

expand and collapse

We’ve heard lots of angry shouting requests for a way to turn off the recent boards section in the boards drawer, a.k.a. that sidebar on the left with all your boards that we introduced with the new boards page. It got in the way for lots of you, especially if you only have a few boards. Now you can expand or collapse any of those sections like recent boards, starred boards or organization boards. Just click the + or – next to the title of the section. Hopefully it keeps you focused.

We also made the boards drawer a little bit wider to accommodate longer board titles. Hope that helps!

You can add any link as an attachment. GitHub, Kiln, FogBugz, and Trello links are extra special.


Drag a link from the address bar in your browser (or anywhere) and drop it onto your card and Trello will dutifully store it as an attachment. You can also add a link by opening a card, clicking “Attachment” and pasting in the link, if that’s your thing.

You can add any ol’ link, but we dress up the links for select services by giving them a special icon and the name of the page instead of just the URL. Those special types of links include Trello cards, Trello boards, FogBugz cases, Kiln commits, Kiln code reviews, GitHub commits, GitHub issues, and GitHub pull requests. You’ll also notice that if you link one of these things in a comment or card description, it will nicely format it and give it a title and icon. Try it! It’s nice! We hope to add other services soon.

And for April Fools’s Day, those special links sparkle and bounce around and stuff…

No, not really.

Attachments are listed vertically and much clearer.

When we launched the new card back, we listed your attachments in a grid with big previews. It looked nice, but it had a lot of problems. One big problem was that it truncated attachment names. If you had a long title, the only way to get the full title was to hover and wait for the tooltip. Plus, you could only see actions (like make cover and delete) when you hovered, making them hard to find. To make it worse, those buttons showed up as icons, which might as well have been alien hieroglyphs since the icons didn’t mean the same thing to everyone. The view worked well if you had a large majority of image attachments, but a lot of the time it felt like cramming a square peg in a round hole.

Now we list the attachments vertically. This makes space for the full name of the attachment. No more cutting off names. Instead of alien hieroglyphs, we opted for clearly labeled text for the actions. They are also visible at all times so it’s obvious what you can do with an attachment. Finally, the “open in a new tab” link has been replaced with a download link. Opening in a new tab didn’t really make sense because you could just use the new attachment viewer to view it. There were two ways to view attachments and no way to download, which lots of people needed. I hope it works better. Thanks for all the feedback. We definitely heard you!

Card covers keep the aspect ratio.


Have you ever added a tall image to a card and found the cropping for the cover to be… inadequate? Well now it keeps the aspect ratio of the original image. If you have a tall image, the cover will be tall, too. For most people and images, we think it’s a much better fit. You don’t have to worry about how it’s going to be cropped and get to see more of the image.

That’s all. I hope we added something you like! Be careful out there today. It’s a minefield of gags. As always, you can follow us on Twitter, Facebook, and Google+ to get the latest updates.