Portable Kanban

What is Kanban? Is it possible to use it for personal task management? If you already know answers than you have an idea how kanban board looks typically:

While there is nothing wrong with physical boards it’s very convenient to have an electronic version. I spent days trying to find some suitable software and finally … developed it (seriously, it just took less time!). And if you’re looking for some simple application that could replace physical board then search is over. Now your board can look like that:


Much better! What are pros & cons of electronic board:

  • It’s dead simple.
  • It always can be with you in your laptop: just copy files to some folder.
  • It works in offline mode, no internet connections ever required.
  • It looks nice.
  • It’s even cheaper than whiteboard and sticky papers because it’s completely free.
  • It’s both personal and shared board in the single package.


  • Not for large distributed groups, but it’s Ok for small-to-medium ones. Look also for online alternatives.
  • No more cons found.

How to start:

  • Download application (link is below). It has no installer, just unzip it to some folder, e.g. “…My Documents\My Kanban”.
  • Start it. It requires NET 4.0 installed, if you don’t have it yet you can download it here. The application creates data file automatically. Some warning messages may appear: just ignore them.
  • Click everywhere, try to drag & drop cards. See About/Shortcuts first, then click Setup to configure your own board the way you want. Edit columns, topics, persons etc. Please, read notes on every setup page.
  • Use the built-in timer (aka ‘pomodoro timer’) to track your time. Easter egg: point mouse to the timer to see statistics.
  • One more thing: drag & drop any file to app window to create a new task with attached file.
  • Need more than one board? Copy app to different folders to use 2 or more boards, e.g. “Office”, “Home” etc.
  • Application is fully portable: keep it on flash drive or shared/cloud storage (OneDrive, Dropbox etc).
  • You can also create a common board and share information with your colleagues in office or worldwide. This option requires free Redis database server.

Please share your ideas for improving the application. It’s going to be updated regularly, so subscribe to this page comments. Current version is 4.0.5881.40747.

Thank you for reading/scrolling down. Now you can download it.

Portable Kanban supports plugins to extend its functionality. If you’re interested in developing your own plugin use this project as a starting point.

See also a very basic introduction to Portable Kanban:


More about personal kanban:

and/or like it @ AlternativeTo and StackExchange

803 thoughts on “Portable Kanban

  1. Hey,
    thanks for that great tool. Nice work!

    Is there a way to show subtasks of a task in the table? I have to edit the task to mark subtasks as completed. I would like to mark the subtasks in the overview table.

  2. Really a very, very great tool. I was looking for something like this for a very long time.

    Sadly there seems to be a little Bug – since upgrading to Windows 10 the Input field is not displayed correctly – I can’t see what I’m typing.

    Are there any known Workarounds / Thoughts on this one?

    Best regards

  3. Awesome tool – thanks a million for your efforts.
    Now, is there some report which shows how long a task is sitting in a certain column?

  4. Great tool, absolutely best in class.
    Is there a way to implement the Ctrl+Backspace for erasing a word when creating a task?

  5. Dear Dmitry

    How can i scroll up and down the columns on a tablet. Right now all I can do is drag the tasks, but i want to scroll up and down the column. Two fingers didn’t seem to work either.



  6. Dmitry,
    I tried copying instance of Portable Kanban and connected it to Redis in my local machine. What happenned was all the Kanban share the same single source and so all my different data that I created in different Kanban is gone.

    Can you help share some quick tips on how to associate different Redis database to different Kanban boards.

    Thank You! Great Tool, Great Features, Love every bit of its simplicity and the connection to Redis to export is wonderful.

    1. If you need to use the same Redis server for multiple boards you need to use different databases: Setup/Data/Index. Index is database # (0 – 15). The same server may be used for 16 boards. If you need even more it’s still possible using 2 or more Redis instances, each instance has to use different port.

  7. Hello Dmitry,
    I really appreciate your tool!
    I’ m forced to run Personal Kanban from a directory where I don’t have full access rights, only read+write. PK is not able to save any data to file, it leaves only leaves one lock and one tmp file in the PK directory after closing.
    Any way around this problem?

  8. Hi Dimitry

    In new version 4, when I drag task from outlook to kanban board it opens folder dialog allowing to save msg file but it does not save it nor does crate a new task. It worked in 3.x version.
    Also in 4 version I cannot edit freely “Files folder” in Options dialog in configuration whilst in 3.x it was possible (but this is minor issue).


  9. Hello. Thanks for a great tool. One question, I tend to forget passwords I set fairly often. Is there any way to reset the Administrator password? I tried to find a way to clear it on redis side, but tbh I don’t know if/how it can be done.

  10. Excellent tool. Thank You.

    Some Suggestions for the pomodoro timer.

    * If a task completes midway, there is no way to switch to new task. click/select ing new task doesn’t change the current task for which time is logged.
    * Some pop-up (from system tray?) would be useful after timer completed as i seem to be routinely missing the end of pomodoro work completion timer. I believe pomodoro is about taking forced breaks which helps both focus and productivity.

  11. Dmitry,

    Two questions:
    1. Is there a way to create a task template and then use it for all new tasks moving forward or at least copy an existing task?
    2. Is there a way to remove comments from a task. I see there is a delete button, but it’s grayed out.

    1. Thanks for the quick reply. I’m in the process of rolling this out in my organization and I’m having a couple of issues:

      1. I can’t save specific email addresses for a user in the user manager. I can type it in, but it doesn’t save the address. The MAPI client generates the email message, but when I click SEND, the message comes back as undeliverable – even though the email address
      2. I tried copying the application to each local PC then connecting to the REDIS server. This works fine, but when I make changes to the application config – the changes don’t carry over to each client, so I tried launching from a shared directory. This works fine as well as long as nobody checks the Remember Me box on login. Is there a way to point a local copy of the app to a shared config file or remove the Remember Me box on login?

      1. 1. Issue has been fixed. Anyway you need to provide e-mail addresses for persons/groups, not only for users. Users and Persons may be totally different and do not overlap at all, or just partially, e.g. in case of 3rd party persons that have ‘guest’ or no access to PK. To notify persons about assigned tasks each person has to have e-mail address. Users’ addresses are only for information and are not used for anything currently. If users and persons are in fact the same then information has to be duplicated in both lists (Persons/Groups and Users).
        2. Config file has machine and user-dependent parts, so it’s not intended for sharing and should be located in startup directory. Obviously when users start PK from the same network folder then the config file may get overwritten by someone at any time. As a workaround you can create startup script that will copy the recent versions of exe/dll files to user’s local directory then start PK. Config file may be configured once with typical settings then distributed to all the users using the same script. This way users still will have some freedom to adjust settings as they want sharing the same data.

  12. Hello Dmitry,
    Thank you for this great tool and the most recent update to version 4.0.
    The addition of Groups is much appreciated.
    Can you please explain a bit how it works? When I assign a task to a group, is it supposed to show up in the views of the persons who are member of this group?

    Second question, can you please explain how I can create my own plugins?
    Thanks in advance for your time!

    1. 1) Currently task assigned to some group will appear only in views where this group is selected, but not in views where a person that a member of this group is selected. This may be a topic of further discussion and improvement.
      2) You need to download the sample project (link above). It contains all the plugins included by default, so you can see how it is done, all the classes, properties and methods. All of them well documented in the source code. Plugins should be copied to ‘Plugins’ folder, then all of them are loaded during startup.

  13. Hi Dmitry
    Awesome product!

    Can you provide download link to latest version 3.x?
    I dumbly overwrote contents of dir containing your app, without exporting contents of *.xml file to csv.
    Now I cannot read my old database. I need version 3.x for exporting my data and to import it to 4.x


  14. Portable Kanban for the win! I’ve been searching for a simple tool to help better organize my work and personal projects. Thanks for all your hard work.

  15. Great job!

    few suggestions:
    1. clicking on a view or column header will open its properties (same as with task)
    2. limiting tasks per column is handy, but once you delegate to a resource, it makes sense to limit tasks per resource.
    3. a schedule view with filters can be very helpful in order to see tasks spread across the month and to see upcoming deadlines.

  16. Sorry for not responding to all the questions, have been too busy with new version – 4.0:

    1. Persons may be combined to groups, now task can be assigned to groups (finally!).
    2. Improved e-mail notifications, now e-mails can be sent using MAPI or SMTP server.
    3. Plugins API is changed to allow edit settings within “Settings” dialog. Existing custom plugins have to be rebuild.
    4. New task fields: Created by/when, Modified by/when.
    5. Simplified import/export from/to tab-delimited text files instead of CSV.
    6. Fixed problem with custom colors.
    7. Improved filtering in views and reports.
    8. Locking data file to avoid data corruption when PK is located within shared folder/cloud storage.

    1. Столкнулся с такой проблемой в новой версии:
      – создаю новую строку на вкладке Topic
      – выбираю цвет
      – кликаю на пустой строке
      – кликаю на только что созданной строке
      – снова кликаю на пустой строке
      – выходит ошибка

  17. Здравствуйте, Дмитрий!
    Классный юзабельный продукт. Возможно ли добавить фичу автоматического расчета прогресса выполнения задачи по количеству выполненных (отмеченных) подзадач к общему количеству подзадач?

  18. Hello Dmitry,

    Question: Is it possible to block some field from edditing after that the task is created? e.i. the due date. After that the task is created and the due date has been set, that only a poweruser can adust the set due date? (just like the time tracking records).

    Question 2: are you planning to make a new version of the Kanban and if so, what kind of features are you planning to incorporate? If you provide a list of features and planning, this will help to get (financial) support of the future users.

    Many thanks

  19. Hi Dmitry

    I frequently change the colors of your great app searching for the perfect combination. (just need a change I guess)…

    It might be nice to include an “APPLY” button adjacent to the OK button of the settings dialog box.
    When you make a change – you can test your settings without needing to close the settings dialog box.

    This request is not so simple – but Ill ask anyway…
    Have you played around with the idea of a port to Linux? (could be a big job i suspect)

    Or perhaps – has anyone gotten this fine app to run under WINE on Linux (ubuntu specifically )?
    On my system I’m getting an error where it fails to load PluginsLibrary.dll

    Anyway …
    Keep up the good work sir.

    Thx Dave

  20. Hi Dmitry!
    Thank you very much for this great tool. Using it everyday in my project work. One question: Is there actually a key shortcut to close the task edit window? Currently I have to use the mouse to press “Ok” –> can this action be done through the keyboard quickly (i.e. not by pressing TAB multiple times + Enter :))

  21. Hi Dmitry, I am using your tool for a long time at work. It’s just great.
    I used to run it from my personal network drive. After my company upgraded to Win10, it won’t start anymore, claiming: “This application could not be started. Do you want to view information about the issue?” If I click yes, I get this webpage: https://support.microsoft.com/de-de/kb/2715633

    Funny thing is, when I copy it to my local drive, it works just fine.

    Any hints?


  22. Hello!
    The work is magnificent. Thanks for that.
    The question is if there is no way to reset the colors that have defined me every time I do an import. After importing I spend some time putting colors to my liking again.
    Thank you.

        1. Hey, there seems be a bug with the background color setting of the board. when you choose a custom color and manually enter rgb values e.g. 40;40;40 it works fine. But when you then close the board and open again it is suddenly black. The value in the field is then displayed as ‘A=255, R=40, G=40, B=40’. Maybe this can be fixed in one of the next versions. Thx

  23. Hey Dmitry,
    one additional feature suggestion: It would be nice to have an option to lock the board. I am using dropbox accessing it from two machines. Today I did it somewhat parallel and then this seems to have wound up in an endles sychronization loop where the one machine overrode the data of the other and vice versa. Maybe it makes sense to give an option that when one board is started the other can only be opened in read-only or not opened at all (e.g. by placing a lock file in the folder, which will be deleted again when you close the board)



  24. Hi Dimitry,

    thanks for the great tool. Do you plan a possibility to translate the menu, setup, and so on ? I would like to use it in German

  25. Thanks for making such a nice software, which is so useful and can be used for a lot of purposes. I am using it as a phone book and as a scheduler for myself. My next use of it is in my farm care, where this comes very much useful. It makes me remember the same thing used in Airport Traffic Control Tower where they write the flight numbers and track them. Simply awesome!

  26. Also Dmitry, is there a tutorial somewhere that would aid me in developing my own plugins for your Portable Kanban tool? Thank you for taking the time to answer my requests.

  27. Hi Dimitri, thank you for this tool, it is excellent! However, I have a feature request. I would like to be able to omit the time in the deadlines, since I only need to show the day it has to be completed. The times are not relevant in my case, and take up precious space on the task cards. Is there a way for you to incorporate this option into Portable Kanban?

    Thanks in advance!


    I thought I’d mention a couple of my practices/workarounds for reoccurring tasks:

    I made a column for reoccurring tasks (Daily Ritual). I use the name of the task and mark the number of times I have complete it. For example: PLAN USING PK (3).

    I also create a task with “========” to separate the column. The reoccurring tasks above this line have been completed for the day.

    In a column I have something that looks like:

    CLEAN DESK (2)
    EXERCISE (2)

    Great program. Thanks!

  29. Hey Dimitri !

    After reading the fine reviews by most, I downloaded the app and was ready to have a go. Viewed “About/ Shortcuts ” then went to “Setup” and did the changes…then created my first “Task”…clicked “OK”…but nothing appears in the selected View…please help !



      1. Thanks for the prompt reply, Dimitri ..I had created multiple “Columns” as well as “Views”…how can I share with you my screen shot ?

  30. Currently transitioning from my good old .txt todo list to this tool. So far I really like this tool! One question, as I am also delegating Tasks to others very much. How to send email notifications to persons that the Task is assigned to? In the preferences I also provided their email adresses but I can not see a button shortcut or sth to actually send a mail. It would be very helpful if a prefilled Outlook window would open with Task title and text and the email adress of assignee in TO to quickly notify the Person of their new Task.

    Thanks for your reply and regards


    1. Hey Dimitri,

      okay now I found the notification feature in the Options tab in Preferences. it would still be very nice if you can add a Notify Button in the Task dialog that button opens also the mail dialog but includes also the Task Title in Subject and the Substasks in the body and the assignee in the to field. This way one can easily interface with people that are not using the board e.g. I use the board as my personal todo list not within a team. Especially helpful when you delegated a task or the task is pending with sw. else and you want todo a quick follow-up with the assigne on the status.

      I hope this can be implemented sometime. This tool is really awesome so far! Will surely Donate for this!

      Thx Steffen

  31. Дмитрий, добрый день.

    Пара предложений для рассмотрения:

    1. Возможность делать нескольких ответственных за задачу.
    2. Указанание того, что изменилось при отправке e-mail. Сейчас просто приходят новые данные и исполнитель не всегда понимает, что изменилось.


  32. Hey Dimitri, how are you going? Forgive me for this stupid question but the software is asking for a Userame and a Password that I don’t have a clue about. Can you help me with it? Thank you

  33. Hi, Dmitry! Thanx a million for the kanban. How about a built-in opportunity to mark tasks in time-management manner (“important & urgent”, “important & non-urgent”, “non-important & urgent”, “non-important & non-urgent”)? Or maybe you can advise how it can be done better using existing functionality?
    Best regards, Maxim.

    1. Hi Maxim,

      you could use priorities in order to flag tasks as important or not and there are design options to highlight tasks that are due or overdue. You can even use your criteria for urgency and priority as views.



  34. Dmitry, would you consider adding some reminder functionality? For example, having an option for setting a reminder at X minutes before the deadline of a task. The alert could be a pop-up window which would give you the option of dismissing the alarm or reset the reminder (ie “remind me again in Y minutes”).

    Thank you for Portable Kanban. It’s absolutely brilliant.

  35. Дмитрий, добрый день.
    Нашел недочет в работе приложения.
    Допустим, есть колонка “Колонка А” с настройкой AutoComplete = ‘true’. При переносе карточки в этот список с помощью мышки – задача автоматически завершается. Но если мы откроем задачу в ее исходной колонке и в поле Column укажем “Колонка А”, сохраним изменения, то при такой операции – задача перенесется в нужную колонку (“Колонка А”), но она (задача) не будет автоматически завершена.

  36. Dmitry, is it possible to provide a 101 to setting up the Redis server for using Portable Kanban in a small team? Have no idea where to start so some advice gratefully received.



    1. It’s very simple:
      1) Download Redis msi from https://github.com/MSOpenTech/redis/releases
      2) Install it as a service on the server or any machine that will act as a server. The machine has to be x64.
      3) Then switch data source to your server. If you have a backup copy of your database you can restore it on server.
      4) Some minor adjustments may be done on server side, look into redis.windows.conf. But this is optional.

  37. Dmitry

    Totally incredible tool, thank you so much – donation coming your way!

    Couple of requests as time permits:

    1) Settings for WARM and HOT background colors. Can you add an option for ‘NONE’. I’d like to just use yellow and red borders for warm and hot alerts respectively, but keep the background the same so I can see the topic.
    2) Can you put a move up/down control in the views setting so that I can change the order of the views row at the top of the screen without having to manually reenter in the slots. Right now there doesn’t appear to be a way to shuffle the view order.

    Thank you for a truly wonderful piece of software. A masterpiece!!


    1. Wow, you’ve thought of everything Dmitry! After tweaking the settings again I spotted the ‘Frame warm/hot tasks’ toggle. I set it to true and the warm/hot backgrounds are disabled in favour of the warm/hot frame. Truly outstanding, thank you! I hope you received my donation today.



    2. You could always circumvent the change of background colors by setting them both to ‘transparant’ (for warm and hot status). This will prevent the backgrounds from changing color as well. Just my two cents.

  38. Fantastic!
    I was going to design and develop my own kanban (i’d done a mockup in excel but was going to use .net vb or c#). Now I’ve found this, I don’t need to.

    What are ‘Points’ for? (option 6 on a task).

    How about a file selection feature, to switch between different database files?

  39. Дмитрий, прошу прощения за “флуд”.

    Рассматриваете ли вы возможность открыт исходный код программы? Или добавить документацию для написания плагинов?

    1. Следующая версия планируется в октябре. Код открывать не собираюсь, но для плагинов код давно открыт – можно скачать проект (ссылка выше). В следующей версии будут небольшие изменения, затрагивающие плагины, но радикально ничего не изменится.

  40. Привет, Дмитрий!

    Скажи, пожалуйста, когда планируется следующая версия?

    Приложение супер, но есть мелочи, которые жутко хотелось бы добавить :)

  41. Hi,
    is there a specific algorithm that the program is using to alias topics/persons/users etc? or is it essentially a random 40(44 with “-“) character string to give it that exclusive “primary key” value?

  42. Hi Dmitry, this is a great tool.

    Please can you add the option to define a view that only a single user can see?

    For example on a team board where there are cards assigned to many different users I’d like to define a view for each user that shows only their cards.


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