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:

screenshot_3_0

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.

Cons:

  • 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 3.9.5611.40086.

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

713 thoughts on “Portable Kanban

  1. Re: v3.9.5611.40086

    Hi Dmitry,

    When using Kanban on our network using Redis database, we encounter 2 errors:
    1) Each client goes into a refresh loop and refreshes all tasks on the kanban client until the user closes the client program.
    2) After 10-15 minutes the clock locks up the client program and forces the user to close the kanban client program.

  2. Hello. Great App, but I actually miss one little feature. Would it be possible to customize Insert Task dialog ? Some simple config for showing/hiding features in Edit Task Dialog depending on user role. For example Standard User can only see/edit Task, Column, Tag and Completness and don’t have to bother with priority, topics, points and other stuff

  3. Hi Dmitry,

    Thanks for this cool tool,
    Quick question : is it possible to have multiple boards ( one to manage my work and another to manage my personal tasks for example)?

    Thanks for your feedback

      1. Hi Dmitry,

        Thanks for your feedback

        Can i then switch between the two boards in the same screen or do i need to to use two screens?
        Thanks for all your help

  4. Hi Dmitry, thank you again for this very nice kanban tool. I have a question: in older versions it was possible to hide columns (e.g. “archiv” was not visible). Is this option still available with version 3.9.5611.40086?

  5. If you could share the schema of the database, or just opensource the code. It would be nice to create simple android or windows phone app as a addition.

  6. Дмитрий добрый день. А такой вариант как ANDROID и iOC адаптация – рассматривали.

  7. Hi Dmitry ,
    Great Tools you have done , very simple and usefull . I have a request :
    I would like to associate a Views by user (the users are guest) so like that, they only see their tasks.
    Is it possible with this version or you need to upgrade ??.
    Thanks in advance
    Best regards

  8. Дмитрий. Добрый день.
    Программа супер. А возможно изменить язык?

  9. I just made a donation via paypal to say thank you for this is beautiful, simple, lightweight, and portable app. Today it replaced a glass board in my office. No new features requested ;)

  10. Playing around with the tool I enabled autologin for a non admin user. Is there any way to get to the logon dialog other than turning the feature off by editing the .cfg file.

      1. Got it, thanx. So far I’m quite happy with the configuration options. The only thing that would be really helpful would be if one could assign a width ( as in number of columns) that a columns is wide. That way I could make a view with only a single backlog colums and not have each item use the entire width.

  11. Привет, Дмитрий!

    Огромное спасибо за такую прекрасную программу.

    Скажи, пожалуйста, как отсылать письма? Поставил true в опциях, но письма не приходят пользователю.

  12. First of all, great app.

    It’s simple, it’s efficient and, that’s exactly what I was looking for, it surely deserves my donation :)

    Second, a suggestion.

    A huge part of my day is organizing the tasks for the next day or week.

    Would it possible for the tasks to be automagically moved to a column based on the deadline date?
    That way I could have all my tasks on the tool and it would automagically organize my activities.

    For example, suppose I have a task that’s due next week’s Tuesday. I created it and put it under the “Backlog” column.

    Suppose the start of the week is every Monday.

    So next week, when I open up the app on Monday it would automatically move that task from the “Backlog” to “This Week” Column.

    Tuesday, when I start it again, that task would automatically be moved from “This Week” to “Today” column.

    Is that possible?

    Thanks a lot!

    1. Some things like that are coming in the next version. Anyway only you can decide which tasks should be moved from “Backlog” to “Today” column if there is WIP limit in target column.

  13. Hi Dimitri,

    I tried to use PortableKanban on a network share, but if I save the file, there is an “access denied” error. Have you any hints for me. Thanks.

  14. Hello Dimtry,

    First of all, thanks for this amazing tool. I just wanted to mention a couple of minor enhancement that might make this app even more awesome for keyboard lovers.
    First, while adding a task, I thought it would be easier to have something like “Save And Add More” rather than having to click “OK”, close the window, and hit “Insert” and repeat.
    Second, I can tell there has been lot of focus put in to make this app keyboard friendly, could you consider having letter assigned to the buttons at the bottom bar when an ‘ALT’ key is pressed? The five buttons at the end of Edit Task (Insert key) window do not get any letter underlined when ALT is pressed.

    Thanks for the great tool!

  15. Great work!
    Is there a way to see the subtasks in the task on the main board?
    I have “show subtasks” checked.
    Thanks!

    1. Setup/Options/Tasks/Show subtasks – this is only to always show subtasks in ‘Edit task’ dialog. Use Task Info or Task Tooltips/Show subtask count to show count within task cards. But you have to open task to see all the subtasks anyway.

  16. Hi Dmitry!
    It’s a very nice tool. I use it since a month and it’s really helpful app. I use it with a local database on my own computer.
    Some questions:
    1. Is there a way to mark tasks in overdue with other colors? I could not find any option for this.
    2. Is there a way to filter tasks in overdue?
    3. I’m not able to save my configuration (settings in SetupOptions), on exit all the customized parameters are deleted, and the PortableKanban.cfg file is empty. If I backup the database (before exit) and after restart I restore it, the settings are back. Is there a way to save this settings to the config file?

    Thx for your answer!

    1. 1 & 2 – I’ll add these features in the next version.
      3 – this is something strange. Usually if you expand PK to ‘My Documents’ and ignore “Unknown publisher” warning on start everything should be fine. The folder where PK is expanded should be fully accessible for reading/writing, the problem may be also related to some system security settings.

      1. Thx for your quick reply.
        In the third bullet I wrote, that after backup and restore the saved options are back. I’ve tested it again, and the test failed. :(
        I’ve tried to unpack PK to another folder, ignored the warning and allowed running the app, but the result is the same. All functions are working fine (PK3 reading writing, backup…), but the cfg file is empty, and after exit the changes are lost. :(
        If you would have any idea please let it me now. If you would have any cfg samle, I could try to copy it to my own folder, and could check the saved settings. It’s not critical, but it would be nice to solve the problem.
        I’m very interested in the new version!
        Thank you!

      2. Hi, I could solve the problem. I Installed .NET framework 4.5, and since restart it works, all the settigns are saved to the cfg file.

  17. Hi, thank you for the nice tool!!
    I’m managing a small Group of 8 Persons with the Tool and a Redis database running on a linux machine. Do you see a possibility to make the view from Kanban Tool visible on a webserver?

  18. Fantastic!

    Just if there was an android version, I would pay to buy it.
    I am a premium user of Kanbanflow just because I can work on my phone and desktop through their webapp that works on any platform. That gives me more freedom to write ideas and tasks even when I remember something on the road and have no access to other than my handphone.

    Nowadays mobile users are a significant portion of total users. Without that support Trello and others like kanbanflow.com are more commonly favored.

  19. The software is awesome…but I want to one thing. What about the data generated? Where is it stored? Can I delete them manually to clear thee space so that there is no wastage of space? Thanks in advance.

    1. Delete pk3 file – you’ll get empty board created anew. If you just want to remove demo tasks, then go to Setup/Columns, check off ‘Clear Content’ in every line.

      1. That will clear the data stored. So metadata is stored in .pk3 files. I don’t have to think of storage space wastage. As I can delete the .pk3 file to get rid of storage it consumes. Isn’t it?

  20. Hi,
    i use this tool the last 1/2 year and must say really good work.

    Today i face the problem that i am not able to start it any more. I get “Failed to load data from file: “C:\…..\PortableKanban.p3” Type definitions should start with a ‘{‘, expecting serialized type ‘Cache’, got string starting with:

    Any idea how i can solve this problem.

    Many thanks.

    kr
    Max

      1. Hi Dmitry,

        I had no .bak file but was able to recover an old version of 1 month ago. So now it is working again, many thanks. Is there also a setting where this bak file will be generated automatically so that in case it fails again that I can restore it.

        Thanks.

  21. Thanks for this tool! :-)
    What I needed was a simple, offline tool (and tools that can be used offline completely are hard to find these days). This tool does not have piles of features, which is a good thing, because this makes it easy to use. I have installed it a few months back, and have been using it a lot, so I appreciate the fact that you’ve made it available for free. Thanks!

  22. Hello,
    fantastic work.

    If I am not wrong there is no way to see the deadlines of the subtasks in the main page. This means that to check the status or if some subtasks are overdue one have to look into each of the tasks.

    How can one overcome this?

    many thanks

    vadim

  23. Hi,

    First, your software is FANTASTIC!
    Second, I’d like to know if you think it is possible to use a mysql db instead of Redis : I work at a company with quite strick rules on software and the only database available is MySQL. If not, can you explain why multi-user is not possible with the “local file” method ?

    Thanks a lot

    1. MySQL support may come only in the next version, I’m still not sure. It’s so easy to install Redis, so usually it’s not a problem (you can even use it without installation starting from command line), or you can try some hosted solutions. Sharing the single data file by multiple users over the network doesn’t work well, there were some critical issues that forced me to skip this feature completely.

  24. Thanks. There is no bak file and pk3 file is empty. I guess I lost all my data. Something to improve on in the next release.

  25. Hi,

    My kanban crashed and now it does not start up. I was using a local database. Is there a way to recover (even manually) my task list?

    Regards,
    Raj.

    1. If pk3 file is not empty you can try. Remove cfg file, and restart. Data file is also backed up to pk3.bak file every time PK starts and usually restores data automatically if pk3 file is missing. And it is always a good idea to do backups.

  26. Incredible work Dmitry, just what I was looking for.

    I’m going to use this at home to organize my family, homelab, and work tasks. I think you nailed it.

    If I could make one small suggestions:

    1) Running the .exe on Win 8.1 64 bit flags Windows’ app screen. I’d happily donate to you if you sign your app with a certificate :)

    1. Unfortunately certificate costs about 300-500 USD/year. I think It’s too much for freeware application. It’s much cheaper just to ignore system warning.

  27. Hi Dmitry,

    Unfortunately I’m unable to download this from the Google Drive d/l link on my office network. Google Drive and other Google Apps like Mail and are blocked where I work.

    Is there an alternate download link or mirror site where the zip is hosted?

    Looks great from the comments and pictures, just what I’ve been searching for (you weren’t kidding about searching hours and not being able to find an existing program).

      1. I had the same problem, I downloaded the file on my phone, renames the dlls and sent the file again.

  28. Ciao, nelle precedenti versioni di personal kanban avevo impostato un colore di sfondo per i compiti sui quali stavo lavorando (pomodoro timer). La caratteristica è andata perduta nel recente aggiornamento. Come posso rimediare? Grazie per l’attenzione e complimenti rinnovati per pK

    1. Hello, in previous versions of personal kanban I had set a background color for the tasks I was working on (tomato timer). The feature has been lost in the recent update. How can I fix it? Thanks for your attention and congratulations for renewed pK

      sorry

        1. thanks Dmitry: was under the eyes but … By the way, in the future you think you can locate (I mean translating) personal kanban? I hope so!
          really thankful

  29. Hi, do you have an alternative download location (mirror sites, if any)? I cannot access the skydrive link from my office network, it appears the proxy is refusing connections to that URL.

  30. Version 3.9:

    Not so many changes:

    1) Task comments.
    2) Configurable right-click actions (move task or open link, context menus will come later).
    3) Batch importing tasks from text files (see Quick Task Bar plugin).
    3) Some other improvements.

    Currently there is no option for multiple assignees. It may come only in the next version. As a workaround it’s possible to create a virtual person (group) in settings when task should be delegated to more than one person.

    1. thx a lot that is very helpful and nice update, the import works its very useable now, the right click gives now the tasks a new dimension working like links to files or bookmarks.. made a custom view out of my desktop/folder links..

      could be nice if:
      – there was a shortcut for saving a task rather than clicking OK (ctrl+enter ?)..
      – the plugin move tasks accepted to move “uncompleted tasks”..
      – it was possible to drag n drop text or links from a browser or notepad to create a task (still needs file)..
      – there was a graphic sign to mark the presence of associated file/link in tasks
      -“icone tags” in tasks could be also very nice

      thanks a lot for this unique tool (y) definitely a part of any academic workflow toolbox a slick and very versatile GTD/task organizer if one uses it a certain way,
      cheers..

      1. hi, just found about alt+enter in task editing.. my bad..
        is it possible to extend the find function to search in all views ? currently it’s working only on the active view.. thx

      2. when i copy a task to the clipboard, i get a whole bunch of detail along with the text component of the task, is it possible to select which details are getting copied ? i think that interoperability is key to make a software get incorporated quickly in software suites.. but seriously at this stage PK is certainly neat (y)

  31. Hi Dmitry,
    nice tool!
    I still struggling with the shortcut Shift+Insert in my case only
    opens a new empty task not a copy of the selected one with
    all the subtask and filled parameters included.

    Thanks in advance.
    Jens

  32. superb piece of software i use it for massive to do lists and as a personal information storage..
    1: multiple “tasks” selection for drag n drop (via ctrl, shift..)
    2: drag n drop “tasks” between “views”..
    3: simplified import list of multiple tasks via text list (separated by carriage return or comma..)
    4: double click a task to launch associated link or file..
    5: auto backup would be nice (using a 3rd party tool..)

    request number 3 is the most important imo, currently i import my tasks lists by automatically creating bulk dummy .txt files using “du**y f*le creat*r” and “notepad++”, then i drag the generated files into “portable kanban”.. which a bit tedious..

    thx for this unique tool (y)

    1. agree, great piece of software. would like to confirm multiple card selection as a positive addition, especially when having to delete the sample database that came with it.
      just getting into it and it seems very slick and professional.
      thanks!

  33. Great tool.
    Suggestions :
    1. New field for task description / comment
    2. Notification for deadline (red border or something similar)

    1. #1: Still considering, may appear in the next version
      #2: It’s already there: ‘Setup/Options/Tasks/Warm,Hot task threshold, text/background/frame color’ & ‘Frame warm/hot tasks’.

      1. I am so happy and grateful for the software! :)
        Exactly what I was looking for! As you I was looking for one for days, but learning programming would have taken me even longer…

        I agree that if anything then an experience Kanban user misses swimlanes – since I have multiple projects and home tasks going on and I am very visual and like to put everything in one picture, then if you plan to add anything still, then I would vote for swimlanes. However, they can be replaced with colours as well if really needed.

        All in all I just wanted to say thank you!

  34. Awesome! portable, light weight, easily configurable. Running v 3.8.5528.40910 on windows 8.1. Exactly what I’ve been looking for.

  35. Hi Dmitry!

    Your tool looks very promisisng, but it doesn’t run with current version of .NET (which is 4.5) with message that it requires 4.0.30319. And it’s impossible to downgrage current .NET installation.
    OS: Win7 32 bit.

    May be you ought to know, sorry if this is my local problem only.

      1. Yes, thank you very much! It looks like it was a local problem with .NET installation.

        Thanks for the great tool!

  36. Hi, thanks for this tools. I was looking for such simple project management tool for a while.

    Right now, I’m using your tool to manage 1 project (4 persons) with redis. Everything work perfect except we miss one small thing – comment to the task.
    Now, we discuss tasks via the description which is not the best choice. It would be more useful to add one additional field, regular text like comment.
    I think such filed would be very useful for short discussions/explenations or to leave comment what has been done and how in the task. e.g. I implemented some feature and I can write there new functions/methods description.

    Thanks in advance for support.

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