How do I use Kaban Tags in Formulas

Kevin Frad shared this question 9 days ago
Discussion Open

I am trying to set up formulas to count the number of "To Do", "Doing", "Done" tags in my map.

This is not working: [Total To Do]=SUM(Descendants.[Kanban To Do]) I cannot figure out why.

Please Help.

Comments (8)

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This isn't working because Kanban tags - and tags generally - are not numeric task attributes and therefore aren't recognised in formulas.

What you need to do is write three SmartRules that will use the tags as triggers to create task property values, one for each Kanban status. First, create the three task properties - ToDo, Doing and Done - and copy them to all the tasks you want to include. Then create the three SmartRules, which should look like this:

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- repeat for Doing and Done (the value is always 1).

Then add the formulas to the central topic, which should all follow this format: [ToDo Total]=SUM(Descendants.[ToDo])

You should end up with something like this:

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I have followed your instructions but still cannot seem to make it work.


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The names of the topic properties you are using in the formulas in the central topic don’t match those of the properties that you have added to the tasks. I think that somehow you have added the topic property names you should end up with on the central topic, eg, “total doing”, rather than just simply “doing”.

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Sorry, I think I forgot a step. I didn't assign the properties to the topics. I am trying again. I appreciate your help.

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It might be easier to turn all Tag attributes to Number. I have entered most of the Properties but the formulas are not working correctly. I show only one value in a child and not in the central topic.

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I just realized what is happening here. I am attempting to automate the counting of tags and here we are creating a property where we have to manually enter the number in the appropriate property. Is there a way to count the tags applied to the topics without manually recreating the values?

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Not sure if you saw my last reply before posting this comment but this approach isnt doing anything manually. The SmartRules apply the number 1 to the relevant topic property automatically on each topic based on the Kanban tag. Then the formulas on the central topic should automatically total the count of these properties, thus reflecting the count of whatever Kanban tags you have applied to the task topics.

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In essence that’s what you are doing. Just follow the steps as I described - I’ve outlined them in more detail below:

  1. Select a task and add three numeric task properties, ToDo, Doing and Done.
  2. Copy and these properties to all the tasks.
  3. Create and save a ToDo SmartRule with the Kanban tag group contains To Do as the trigger and the effect of putting the number 1 in the ToDo topic property.
  4. Create and save an additional rule for each of the other Kanban tags following the same syntax.
  5. On the central topic add the Total ToDo formula I described earlier: ToDo Total]=SUM(Descendants.[ToDo])
  6. Repeat to create the Total Doing and Total Done formulas.

If you are still having difficulties I could attach my example file to a future comment, but I’m away from my computer at the moment.

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I'm missing two "Done" tags, but I think we are getting close.


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Great, but I’m still puzzled as to why you have called the properties on each task “Total To Do”, “Total Doing” and “Total Done” rather just simply “ToDo”, “Doing” and “Done”. This is unnecessarily confusing as you are not totalling anything on the individual tasks. If it works for you however don’t change it.

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I've attached the example map I set up.

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