Manually Creating and Updating Cards over Email

We are all busy. Awfully busy. We follow multiple information channels, we need to be able to quickly filter the huge amounts of information and to seamlessly capture what is actionable for us. Things get even worse if we have project or people responsibilities, because we basically multiply the communication channels we need by the number of projects/people we are working on/with. Probably, the best solution so far has been Microsoft’s Outlook, but even it has its flaws, being non-portable and somewhat messy on mobile.

The Kanbanize Email Integration feature hooks your inbox to your Kanban board/s. Think of it as a Kanban email client, which is there to put order into your black-hole-inbox once and for all.

All you need to do is to send an email to address like “company_notifications@kanbanize.com” and voila – the task appears in your backlog (there might be a short delay).

A quick note here – that name can be actually “whatever you desire @kanbanize.com”, so use it accordingly. It is necessary to subscribe this email/account to a board of your choice to trigger the notifications.

If the sender email is assigned to a single board, the card is created into it. If you have more boards, but you have an “auto-open” checked for some of the boards it is also automatically used. Of course, you can specify with a tag which board you need. Nice, isn’t it?

There are even cooler things (you can create cards into specific columns/lanes, you can change assignee, color, size, you can update the card and you can basically do ANYTHING just by using your email client).

Creating new cards

You can create a new card by simply sending an email to the address specified above.

THE SUBJECT of the email will define the name of the board where the card is to be created as well as the title of the card, while the email BODY will be used to define the card parameters such as: assignee, column, priority, etc.

SUBJECT: The name of the board where the card is to be created should be present surrounded by curly brackets. For example:
{boardname} This is title

Email with a subject like the one above will create a new card in a board called “boardname”. The card title will be “This is title”.

BODYThis is the complete list of parameters that can be set when creating a card, following the format: {#assignee: name} or {#column: name}:

  • title – Title of the card. When creating a new card, the subject of the email is used as a title.
  • description – description. When creating a new card, the email body will be used as a description.
  • color – The code of the color without the # sign.
  • priority – low, average or high.
  • size – Could be a number or S, M, L, XL, XXL, XXXL
  • assignee – a valid username (must exist)
  • deadline – Deadline in any of the following formats: 2012-05-05, now, 10 September 2012, -1 day, -1 week 2 days, last Monday
  • tags – any tag
  • extlink – external link
  • comment – Adds a comment to the card. There could be multiple comments.
  • subtask – Adds a sub-task or multiple sub-tasks. If you add @username, the sub-task will be assigned to that person. For example: #subtask: This is subtask @username2
  • watching – If you put it to anything but FALSE you will be watching the card. By default, watching is off.
  • column – Valid only when creating new cards. If you have columns with the same names, you need to specify the complete path: Column.SubColumn.Subcolumn2. If this parameter is not set, the card is created in the backlog. If a card is to be created in a column and the limit of the column is to be exceeded, you need to set the parameter “reason”.
  • lane – Valid only when creating new cards. The swim-lane the card is to be created into. If not set, the card is created in the first swim-lane.
  • reason – Reason to exceed a limit.
  • template – When in this format, for example { #template: Bug }, this parameter can set a template for the new task card.

When creating new cards you can also specify the extended parameters described in the “Updating existing cards” section below.

Note: By default only registered users can create cards. You could also allow non-registered users to do this as well. Simply register a new regular user with email address equal to your predefined integration email above. Now all received e-mails from not-registered users will be processed on behalf of that system user you have registered. Do not forget to assign the right roles and permission to it!

If you are assigned to only one board or if you have a board set to auto-open, then you can omit the boardname parameter.

All email attachments will be added to the card.

Updating existing cards

Please, note that cards can be updated only by senders that are registered in the system. If you would like to update a particular card via email you need to specify the ID in the SUBJECT.

For example:
{boardname} This is title
{boardname}{123} This is title

The first subject will lead to the creation of a new card. The second subject will lead to the update of a card with id 123.

You can add/edit custom parameters in the EMAIL BODY to control various options. The parameters are passed by surrounding them with curly brackets and following the format: {#param: value}

For example:
{ #assignee: username #color: FF00FF }

This is the complete list of parameters that can be set:

  • color The code of the color without the # sign.
  • priority low, average or high.
  • size Could be a number or S, M, L, XL, XXL, XXXL
  • assignee a valid username (must exist)
  • deadline Deadline in any of the following formats: 2012-05-05, now, 10 September 2012, -1 day, -1 week 2 days, last Monday
  • tags any tag
  • extlink external link
  • comment Adds a comment to the card. There could be multiple comments.
  • subtask Adds a sub-task or multiple sub-tasks. If you add @username, the sub-task will be assigned to that person. For example: #subtask: This is subtask @username2
  • watching If you put it to anything but FALSE you will be watching the card. By default, watching is off.
  • reason Reason to exceed a limit.
  • template When in this format, { #template: Bug }. this parameter can set a template for the new task card.
  • custom field  – In the description of the email, in the format {#NameofCustomField: Value }

We urge you to try it out as soon as possible, you won’t regret it!

 

16 thoughts on “Manually Creating and Updating Cards over Email

  1. Pingback: Kanban Runtime Policies | Kanbanize Blog

  2. Mick

    Hi,
    It’d be real good to be able to have a separate email address for each board, so one could create a new card in the default column of a particular board without having to do the curly-bracket { } board-name parameter stuff.
    Yes, I know that I could be assigned to only one board or I could have have one board set to auto-open, but that doesn’t suit my workflow.
    Thanks.
    Mick

    Reply
  3. Mick

    Hi again,
    I could do some sort of workaround and set up a board to receive new cards, then farm the cards out to the relevant board and column on the relevant board. That works with the web interface, as moving cards between boards is easy enough. But it doesn’t work with the iOS app (iPhone), as I am unable to move cards between boards within the iOS app. So: ‘fix’ the iOS app so we can move cards between boards and do the workaround; or enable a separate email address for each board? The workaround introduces an extra step that’d be nice to avoid.
    Thanks.
    Mick

    Reply
  4. Jose ramon Sagarna

    Hi,

    I’m trying again with Kanbanize Mail Integration, but I’ve still got one major setback

    I’m using a Kanbanize board to keep tracking of the issues reported by a level 1 support team, they use a pure ticket management tool but I was thinking to use mail integration between both.
    The two main problems I have:
    Is still required to send first a mail for creating the card and then another one for updating?
    Also, when updating can I use custom fields or do we need to stick to the predefined ones ?

    These features are the blockade I’ve to keep using Kanbanize or move to the ticket management they use.

    Thanks

    Reply
    1. Monica Georgieff

      Hi Jose,
      This article is a bit older than the current set up procedure for email integration. I think these two articles will be a big help in this department. Give it a try! If they’re not comment back here and I can walk you through it.
      This one is about setting up email integration for support: https://kanbanize.com/kanban-resources/case-studies/kanban-for-support-teams/
      This is the general set up for email integration + VIDEO: https://kanbanize.com/kanban-resources/user-guides/setting-up-email-integration/

      Let me know if it works out alright 🙂

      Monica

      Reply
    1. Monica Georgieff

      Hi Curtis,

      Good catch, we’ll add that to the article! In order to update custom fields via email, send an email to the address you’ve got hooked to your board in Kanbanize with the id of the card you want to update in curly brackets as part of the subject. Then, in the description of the email write {#CustomFieldName1: #CustomFieldName2:}. For example, if you’re tracking names and emails in your custom field, you can send information in this format and Kanbanize will update it – {#Email: #Name:}. A quick tip for when you’re sending information that contains special characters – make sure the content of the email is in Plain Text.

      Hope this helps! Let me know if I can clarify further.
      Best,

      Monica

      Reply
    1. Alex Novkov

      Hi Far Par,

      If you want to change your email address for a user, go to the user management section of the Administration panel. In the list of users, select the one you need to edit then click the settings button on the right. By selecting “Edit member”, you will be able to change the email address for the desired user.

      Unfortunately, changing the address for an integrated email is impossible and you will have to set it up once again for the new one. If you are having trouble with it, please check the dedicated article for setting up an email integration.

      Cheers,
      Alex

      Reply

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