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How to use Trello for time tracking

Connect Trello to your favorite time-tracking app with automation.

By Grace Montgomery · October 20, 2023
A hero image of the Trello app logo a light purple background.

You can use Trello to organize just about everything, but it doesn't offer any out-of-the-box tools for tracking your time. That doesn't mean you can't use Trello for time tracking, though.

There are a bunch of simple time tracking applications that integrate with Trello, as Trello outlined in this post. And if you're already using a time-tracking application, Zapier can help. Here, we'll show you how to connect Trello to your favorite time-tracking app with Zapier's automated workflows—called Zaps!

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How to connect Trello to your time-tracking app

Toggl is an easy-to-use time tracking application that can run on basically every device, and you can connect it to Trello. For example, you can create new Trello cards any time you start tracking a new task in Toggl. 

You can create your own Zap from scratch or you can use one of our pre-built templates. If you'd like to start with a template, click the button below, and you'll be taken to the Zap editor. You'll need to create a Zapier account if you don't already have one. Then, follow the directions below to set up your Zap.

Create Trello cards when new Toggl time entry starts

Create Trello cards when new Toggl time entry starts
  • Toggl (Legacy) logo
  • Trello logo
Toggl (Legacy) + Trello

We'll walk through the Zap template above in our example, but you can connect Trello to any time-tracking apps that connect with Zapier, like Harvest or RescueTime

Set up your Toggl trigger

First set up your trigger, which is the event that starts your Zap. Search for Toggl for your trigger app and New Time Entry Started for your trigger event. If you're using the Zap template, these will already be selected for you. Then click Continue.

A trigger step in the Zap editor with Toggl selected as the trigger app and New Time Entry Started as the trigger event.

Next, connect your Toggle account, if you haven't already. If you're connecting your account for the first time, you'll be asked for an API key, which you can find in your Toggle profile settings:

An API Token field with an API key that has been obfuscated.

Copy the API key, paste it in the permissions window, then click Yes, Continue to Toggl.

A permissions window asking to allow Zapier to access your Toggle account.

Now it's time to test your trigger step. Zapier will use the data from this test step to set up the rest of your Zap. 

To successfully run your test, you'll need to start a tracking entry in your Toggl account and keep it running while you test your step. This is because this Zap triggers when a new time entry is started and running and won't trigger on completed time entries.

Start your timer in Toggl, then click Test trigger. If your test runs successfully, you'll see a test record. Click Continue with selected record to run your test.

A series of test data from Toggl.

Once your test successfully runs, you're ready to set up your action step. You can also now turn off the timer in Toggl.

Set up your Trello action

Now it's time to set up your action, which is the event that happens once your Zap is triggered. Search for Trello for your action app and Create Card for your action event. If you're using the Zap template, these will already be selected for you. Then click Continue.

An action step in the Zap editor with Trello selected as the action app and Create Card selected as the action event.

Next, connect your Trello account, if you haven't already, then click Continue.

Now it's time to customize your action step. At minimum, you need to choose a Trello Board, a list from that board, and give your Trello card a name. To add details from your Toggl step to the Name field, just click in the field and select an item from the dropdown.

Fields in an action step in the Zap editor to select a Trello board and list.

You can also add in other details, like a description or labels. Once you're done customizing your Trello step, click Continue to move on to testing your Zap.

Click Test step to test your Zap. If the test runs successfully, you should see a message like this:

A successful test to send a card to Trello in the Zap editor.

You should also see a card for your Toggl entry on your Trello board:

A Trello board with a card for "writing time" from Toggl.

If everything looks right, you're now ready to use your Zap for tracking your time in Trello.

Remember, your time-tracking workflows aren't limited to Toggl. Check out our list of time tracking apps, then create the automation that best fits your workflow to track your time in Trello.

Related reading:

This article was originally published in February 2019, written by Justin Pot. It was most recently updated in October 2023 by Grace Montgomery.

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A Zap with the trigger 'When I get a new lead from Facebook,' and the action 'Notify my team in Slack'