Is it possible to keep items in separate boards in sync/up to date with each other somehow?

Hi guys, I am very familiar with connected board columns and mirrored columns and use them a lot. However, I have had a question from a client that I don’t have an answer for and I’m hoping somebody might have an answer for me (even if it’s a “no, not possible”).

Is it possible to have a master board and mirror items from that board to another board and keep items in both boards updated and in sync. with each other regardless of whether the items in question were edited in the master board or slave board (for want of a better word)?

Eg say we have a master board called “Tasks” and I create a new item/task in it called “Feed the cat” with a due date of 15/7/22 and status of “Do today”.
When that new item is created, I would like an exact copy to be created in another board called “Advisor A”.
If the user changes the item in the Advisor A board, I want those changes to sync back to the Tasks Board. And vice versa if somebody edits the item in the Tasks Board. Is this possible and if so how on earth do you accomplish it?

2 Likes

hi @botsquad

Wouldn’t this one do the job for you?
image

Hi @basdebruin thanks but, as I mentioned, I am familiar with connected board columns and mirrored columns. And there are serious limitations to using this approach.

The main limitations being that the board that does not actually contain the “source” columns cannot use any of the connected board column/mirrored column data in automations, email templates or dashboard Views. And cannot even total the value of the mirrored columns. In short, mirrored column data is visible, editable but practically useless in terms of actually using the data.

Eg Say I have a Board for Deals and a Board for Cashflow Forecast and they are connected via a 2 way Connected Board Column. Now, I could put all the Deal $ values and other financial data into the Cashflow Board to avoid double entry and just show these as mirrored columns in my Deals Board, but this would mean I couldn’t run any useful Financial Dashboards in the Deals Board (showing things like average Deal value, total Deal value per month/year etc). Yes I could pull the data in with a Dashboard rather than a Dashboard View but I still wouldn’t be able to relate financial to non financial deal data, eg average deal value etc.

On the other hand, if i put this financial data into my Deals Board and mirror it to my Cashflow board, the Cashflow can’t total the values as it would be able to with local $ values. Which makes it pointless for cashflow. So, I end up entering financial data twice.
(This, to me is the irony of Monday.com - which I love - it seeks to solve the siloed data problem, but results in data siloed in boards rather than apps.)

So, to re-prhase my question; Is there any way to sync and keep in sync non mirrored columns between items in different boards in Monday? (Assuming that there is a 2 way connected board column linking the two items).

Hi @botsquad,
You can use mirror columns (status only) for automation, using this:
image
In this automation, the first status can come from a mirrored column and the second one must come from the actual board.
This is what I use to make changes on one board when something changes on another one. I can be sometimes puzzling to address all the cases, but it works quite well.
Please tell me if it helps…
Have a good day
Franck

hi @botsquad

Understood, there are indeed limitations using mirrored columns. For most of the limitations there are apps to get around those. One of our partners has an app that takes a mirrored column and convert it to a “normal” monday column, preserving the original column type. That could solve the issue of not able to do automations on mirrored columns.

Another app aggregates data from low-level board to a high level board without using the connect_boards and mirror columns at all. In your case this probably does not work as the app (Rollup Multiple Boards) only updates the high level board on changes in the low-level board and not the other way around.

1 Like

Thanks FdL, that is an awesome tip - will check it out, thank you.

Hi @basdebruin thanks for those insights - sounds interesting. (Don’t get me wrong, I am a huge Monday fan and realise that every app has it’s pros and cons).
Are both of the apps in question visible in the Monday app marketplace? And I’m assuming they are both paid apps? They sound very interesting, would love to check them out.

hi @botsquad

Rollup Multiple Board is available in the marketplace, see monday.com: Apps Marketplace. A detailed document for this app is available at https://excellent-team.nl/wp-content/uploads/edd/2021/06/Rollup-Multiple-Boards.pdf

The app to copy a mirror column to a real column is called Mirror-To-Real and is provided by our partner WorkPerfect, for more info @Kimb can help you.

1 Like

Awesome, thanks @basdebruin will check them out.

Thanks @basdebruin.
Hi @botsquad, feel free to email me at kim@workperfect.io if you’re interested in the Mirror-To-Real (M2R) app. :slight_smile:

Thanks @kimb I’m good for now but I’ll let you know if things change.

1 Like

I quite like the sound of this as well. Would this change the status of all items though in the mirrored column? Or can you add a dependency so that “only change if”?

Hi Iszabo,

This automation doesn’t change the status of the mirrored column. It changes the status of the actual board when the mirrored column changes. It works only this way.
Actually, this is pre-made recipe from Monday (change status when another status changes). It works also when a status in a mirrored column changes.
Please note that it is only available as a pre-made recipe. If you want to do a custom recipe, the mirrored columns status becomes unavailable and in this case, both statuses must be in the same board. This means it is not possible to add any dependency or any other condition.
So it has a number of limitation, anyway it is very useful when you want one board to react to the change of another one.
Hope this helps
Franck

Hi @botsquad

Not sure to understand all the differents problems you encounter, but regarding the fact that you can’t “use the data in mirror columns”, have you tried to create a formula column, in which you only put the value of your mirror column ?

You can show the sum/average/… at the bottom of the column like any “normal” column this way.

Hi all, after more testing I discovered that I CAN in fact use the “create item in another board and connect both items via the connected board column” automation using a connected board column that is connected to multiple boards.

Exampe; I have one board called Master Board and 2 other boards called Slave Board A and Slave Board B.
I can create a connected board column in the Master Board connected to both Slave Boards.
I can then set up the “create item in another board and connect both items via the connected board column” automation, selecting the connected board column that is connected to both Slave Boards.
Note that I actually created 2 versions of this automation, each with a condition that “People = User X”, so that the automation can send the item to the Board that belongs to the person the item was assigned to in the master board.

When an item is created in the Master Board and assigned to User A, it creates a duplicate item in Slave Board A and connects the two items via the only connected board column in the master board.
(Which is connected to both Slave Boards).
Ditto for items created and assigned to User B.
I have also connected multiple mirror columns in the Master board that reflect the columns in the Slave Boards. This allows users to view/edit in either Master or Adviser Board.

Hope this makes sense and helps some of my fellow users out there. Monday rocks! Just sayin…