Auto email updates to customer from a mirror column

Hello, I have quite a complex board I have created for tracking job progress through a CNC machine. I want to email the customer once the status changes to in progress.

This used to work, but I have recently made a separate board will all customer info on it, and this mirrors this data (such as email address) into the job tracking board.

The problem is the automation won’t let me select their email address because its in a mirrored column.

Does anyone know a workaround?

Hi Joseph,

Yes! The best way to do this is to create a helper column.

  1. Set up a new column on your board. Let’s call it “Emailer :robot:
  2. On your new Emailer :robot: column, add the statuses you want to use as email triggers. For your example, let’s add a status called “Send In Progress :email:
  3. Set up one or many automations that modify the emailer status column based on your mirror column. You have to use the premade “When Status Changes, Change Another Status” recipe. This one works with mirror columns. Other automations and custom automations cannot be triggered with mirror columns.

When Mirror Column changes to In Progress

Set Emailer :robot: to Send In Progress :email:

  1. Configure your mail integration to send mails based on status changes in your Emailer :robot: column.
  2. Repeat for other mail triggers. Also consider other useful automations like having a “Ready :white_check_mark:” status for your Emailer :robot: column. Then you could use this:

When Emailer :robot: changes from Ready :white_check_mark: to anything

Set Emailer :robot: to Ready :white_check_mark:

That will mean you can reuse the column easily and resend emails if you have repeat triggers.

This is a common approach for cross-board automation in I hope it helps!

Hi Francis,

Thanks for your in depth answer, but I’m actually mirroring the email column, not the status. I an unable to select the mirrored email in automations.

Is there a way I can get it to duplicate the mirrored email into a normal text column? So then I can use it to create an automation for sending email updates?


Ah I see!

In that case, perhaps you could consider holding the email automations on your Contacts board.

Even though the process is stored elsewhere, you can still pass a trigger to the Contacts board (using essentially the same process I outlined above) and keep the email integration on the Contacts board.

Does that make sense?

I think I get the idea. Can you give an example of what the automation should look like in the customer board?

Hi Francis I am still keen to get this working but not sure how, are you able to help?

Hi Joseph!

Sorry I couldn’t get back to you sooner.

I’ve recorded a short video running through the process here—I hope this makes sense.

Hi Francis,

Thanks so much for your detailed response! Very clearly explained.

I’ve just been playing with this and got it working fairly well. It successfully triggers an email, even when there are multiple jobs tied to one customer which I was surprised at!

The only problem is that I’m struggling to get the email to be of any use really, I’ve put all of the pulse info in the email to get it to write what I want, but as soon as I add a 2nd job to that customer it of course puts both job numbers on the email, like as shown in the photo below:

I imagine overtime this will get worse and the email could have loads of different job numbers listed on there, is there a fix for this?

I’m assuming this is just the way it is from having the automations on the customer board. I think it would work if its the other way around, and the automations were on the job board. But like I say, I had problems getting the mirrored email column to work in the gmail automation.

Hi Joseph,

Great that you made some progress! I wasn’t aware of the requirement to include a job code etc. in the email. That could require a different approach.

There are a number of possible approaches to this, so let’s consider what would be most logical and keep your design clear and simple:

  • The “In Progress” status is a “Job” level event. So let’s think about keeping the email integration on your Job Tracker board.
  • In order to send the email from the Job Tracker, we need to hold the email address on the job item.

In order to achieve this, we have to consider two things:

  1. How can we copy an email to the job item.
  2. Should we and how do we update that email if it changes on the Customer item?

For the first, we need to look at your Job Tracker item creation process. How do you create this items? Is it with a automation or some other integration?

For the second, you will probably need to engage an additional app (if this is a frequent issue, otherwise you may be able to maintain this manually). Some options:

  1. General Caster (should handle this quite comfortable)
  2. VLOOKUP (might be possible to configure in this app, although it has some limitations with one to many relationships, so it is less recommended)
  3. Zapier (should be relatively simple, although the tool can be expensive)
  4. Make (overall cheapest and most versatile option, however requires some more advanced configuration and possibly higher maintenance)

For the bootstrapping and quickest approach, I’d recommend trying General Caster, which will process formula results and save them to columns as data. This may be the quickest way to solve your problem. You should be able to cast the mirrored email column on your Job Tracker to a real email column on your Job Tracker. Then you can use that for the email integration.

If you want to develop a different solution, you could try one of the other options, and I’m available work if you’d want to engage a professional to build that out for you.

1 Like

Hi Francis,

Apologies for the delayed response.

  1. Copying email to the job item. Not sure how to do this. In answer to your question, jobs are created manually.

  2. Updating mirrored email column when new customer selected. I have installed the General Caster plugin so should hopefully be able to do this.

What would you suggest for problem 1?

Hi Joseph,

What you’re trying to achieve is creating a usable regular (not mirrored) email field on the job item. General Caster can do that for you.

So start by configuring that and getting it working. The formula should be simple enough, as it will just reference the mirrored email column.

I think get that up and running first and then you can worry more about exceptions and issues (such as the customer email updating) later on.


Hi Francis,

Thanks for all your help. Its all working now!

I used two integrations to get this to work:

General Caster - When Customer (connected column) changes, perform formula and set the result to email :robot:

Autoboost - When Mirror changes, apply a formula and set the result to email :robot:

Using both of these ensures the email column updates when the customer changes, OR when the customers email changes.

Then I just done an email automation for when the status of a job changes, send an email!

Kind regards,

Really glad to hear that Joseph.

General Caster is great at doing some of the intuitive things you expect to be able to do but can’t. It’s easy to configure and is a super useful quick fix.

A word of caution: Using General Caster in every case can lead to a bit of tech bloat—it’s not the easiest tool to maintain, especially if you become dependent on it or use it as part of complex automation chains. Additionally, once you start hitting paid tiers, it’s a relatively expensive compared to other integrations.

I think in this case it’s fine, however there are many ways to solve problems, and the best solutions may be structural or involve ingenuity using’s native tools.

Please always feel free to reach out directly if you want help planning or troubleshooting your solution (