Mirror columns, automations and a massive headache!

Hello everyone,

This is a long one, sorry, I am super frustrated. I am hoping for some guidance on some issues I am having with the functionality of mirrored columns in monday.com. I have spent months doing requirements gathering around my org, designing a master project board for collating information around new projects, building the best template possible for individual projects that get the go ahead and feeding on to those boards with a finance board and a reporting board that collects necessary information from individual boards through automation and mirrored columns. I must be doing something wrong because at this pointy end of the build I am having the following problems, and I am ready to put the whole thing in the bin!

1- I have a connect column in my template board. It is built to connect to three boards, yet everytime I build a board from the template through an automation, an extra two boards are are connected- these boards were at some point connected to some items but they have long been archived, then deleted, then permanently deleted and they are still showing up in my connect boards column every time a board is created from the template!

2- My reporting board is connected to all my individual project boards, finance board and master project boards. Despite the statuses in all the project boards being consistent for some reason the statuses are dropping the text in the reporting board and it’s just showing the status colour not the text as well.

3- when I download my reporting board to excel, my text shows up for the statuses but other mirrored columns that are based on formulas in the finance board are blank, despite being able to see these figures in the report board

4- I can not get any automations to pick up my mirrored columns, even the templates that others have said should allow me to use a mirror column as a trigger

I would appreciate any guidance on this, I must be getting something wrong but can not think what!

Hi @Lauren132, sorry to hear about your issues. I am going to do my best to answer your questions individually to offer some insights.

  1. This sounds like a bug and those connections should not be retained. Recently monday released enhanced capabilities on connect board columns that remove connections when boards are deleted. I would advise contact support@monday.com for this one as that is not intended behavior the way you are explaining it.

  2. When multiple boards/tasks are reporting into a single status column, the text will disappear even if they are all the same. This is standard functionality. If only a single board/task is connected it will show the text.

  3. Historically mirrored formulas do not export well to Excel. A local formula column will work however normally what you will see is the individual values comma-separated from the other boards. If they are coming from multiple boards, they will not show at all I believe.

  4. There are only a subset of automations that work with mirrored columns. There are sometimes ways around this depending on what the column types are and the specific automations.

Likely not the answers you were looking for however there may be ways to make this work with some clever design changes and utilizing some apps from the marketplace.

We can be another set of eyes on your overall design and would be happy to take a look to assist more where needed.

Mark ~~ Book a Support Session

hi @Lauren132

Fully understand your frustrations. Welcome to the community by the way!

Some of the issues (like the additional connected boards) looks to me like a bug. As @mark.anley suggested I would write to monday support on that one. Other issues you are experiencing are really design limitations. Mirrored columns do not export well to Excel (or not at all). If I read your use case this sound like a perfect fit for the Rollup Multiple Boards app. I fully understand that using an app like that implies a “back to the drawing board” because the app has an alternative approach to board linking (not using the mirror columns at all). If you are interested a good place to start is this video.

Thanks guys, I just thought I would update this with some (close to) solutions!

1- Bug on connect boards column- I reported this to monday. There is no estimated time of resolution for this so for now we will need to manually disconnect the boards everytime one is produced from the template.

2&3 by separating out the two master boards from all of the individual project board connections, my text is back and formula columns are downloading properly to excel! This now means I have three connect boards columns, one for finance, one for reporting and one for all the project boards but I can live with that!

4- I am going to use general caster to formulate a number from a mirrored link column, if this link clears which is an automation set up on the project board when a status changes) it will set the general caster column to zero and this will (hopefully) prompt the automation to delete the line or change status! Will report back on this one!