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.


  • Maybe 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.
  • 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 (3.0 is recommended).

Please, feel free to share your ideas for improving the application. It’s going to be updated regularly, so subscribe to this page comments. The current version is 4.2.6212.25463.

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:

Do not forget to share this page and/or like it @ AlternativeTo and StackExchange!

1,063 thoughts on “Portable Kanban

  1. Restricing the view does not work very well.
    All users including me have PK 4.6212.25463 installed. I have some views limited to one user each, but another can see all. Another view should be visible only to me – but I cannot see it 😦

    1. I do use this feature in the office (~50 users) and it works quite well. Ensure that all the users REALLY updated PK to the latest version, if not they can see all the views. Check that views you should see are not marked as “Inactive”. Backup & check your database (Setup/Utilities/Check database) to ensure that it’s OK.

  2. Is it possible to run the Kanban off of a Network Share and allow multiple users to use it at once that way or will we run in to problems (like overriding each other) trying to use it this way?

  3. Дмитрий, добрый день.
    Подскажите существует ли русская локализация доски?

  4. Hi Dmitry, thanks all the hard work you put into PK. Nice new features!

    I noticed that the new version (4.2.6212.25463) starts up very slow sometimes (90 sec vs. 3 sec normal). Typically only the first start is slow. If I close PK and reopen the next one is fast. This is on a Win7 PC without internet connection and using local file storage (no redis). I have deactivated the search for updates so it should not be a timeout. Any idea what is causing this?

    The new version also rewrites the json-database file although nothing changed (every minute?). The file-update triggers other actions (no bis problem but I thought I mention it).

  5. Dear Dmitry, I use portable kanban doing my personal (home :)) actions. But I have the following problem. When trying to make a new task the window appear somewhere in back (or somewhere else). I cannot do anything in front, and I can’t do anything in app.

    What should I do? thanks again.

  6. Hey there – very nice app!
    I am really only missing one feature: the ‘utilities|export tasks’ as CSV doesn’t export the comments. This is really important for my application. Could this be added?

  7. In the setup, on the Options screen, I can set board background colour, using custom, web or system colours, but in Topics, Tags and Views, I can only use the web colours. I’m prefer to use custom colours (ie anything I want). How about changing the colour picker to a more comprehensive one?

  8. Hi, do you think will be possible to have a link to other application like evernote.
    I mean the possibility to run the application with parameter like the link to note.
    From other applications it works. I’ll be very happy if you in the future want improve it.

    Thanks for all the work you do, it is wonderfull.

  9. Could you please restore right clicking 😦 I’m adding url links to all my tasks and that was the most important feature in recent version. 😦 PLEASE!!!!

    1. Setup/Options/Board/Right click action = Open task folder. URL will be located inside the task folder. Note that you can attach more than one URL and/or file to any task.

      1. Hi,
        Thank you for clarifications.
        I have already chose this option however prior version was more productive for me and location of field where I could put (for example email –> bottom of main window) was great because I could easily paste url and go to another task.
        Is there any chance to restore these two things ?
        Thank you in advance for response.

  10. Hi Dmitry

    many thanks for sharing your efforts with all of us! Great tool what I explored so far.
    While exploring and setting it up to my needs the following ideas for improvement came up:
    a) It would be great to have “open link” option for context menu on right click on tasks
    b) At view setup:
    1. if you use show priorities form high to low (instead of low to high as in the default) nothing is shown.
    2. option to show tasks without set deadline would be great
    c) An Option to sort tasks by view – imagine backlock view for weekly planning different to sorting requirements for topic wise view on Tasks
    d) Feature to convert subtasks to main tasks automatically (e.g. by a plug-in) – would be helpful e.g. if you assign subtasks to different people after task creation

    Again, these are just ideas that came to my mind how to improve your great tool furhter!

  11. Happy New Year! The small present to all PK users – the newest version: 4.2.6212.25463. Main change – multiple links for tasks. Look into the user guide for more details.

    1. Great features around, still need to try and test.
      Early questions:
      – A Database upgrade was triggered. Should one expect compatibility issues with co-workers who have not upgraded still?
      – It was convenient to open the (only) URL using the right mouse button for tasks. That doesn’t work anymore in favour of the new link features?

      1. – I’d recommend to upgrade all the clients. Not upgraded clients won’t see any files and links.
        – Yes, right click now opens task folder. There are also some new options for right clicks.

        1. What is recommended way to create pk: links?
          I found the id going to the the folder that is not very convenient.

          What is going to happen if two instances of pk are running on different databases?

  12. Dear Dmitry

    Is is possible to have alerts reminders when a task becomes due? i don’t see that, or am i missing it? Is it also possible to have some sort of push connection with MS Outlook so that PK tasks automatically appear on Outlook task or calendar list? This is not vital, but the PK reminder alerts would be great, thanks Jim.

  13. Hi Dmitry,
    Portable Kanban can work with redis database behind a Proxy?
    I can’t login when I am in the company net and would like to use it in my team.

    Thank you,

  14. Amazing Software. No doubt it already looks great but to complement it more, How about having small space next to each task for the image of the person who is working on the task?🙂 ..
    Thanks a lot, Dmitry. You are a Genious !!

  15. Hi Dimitry

    Maybe I am missing something obvious but with every new version number I am trying to figure it out, what has changed or was added.
    Is there any change log available?


  16. Hi Dmitry, in the Notification mails the entry “Link:” doe not work when path contains spaces. Would it be possible to put the link path as text like “\\path\to the\document.msg” when you copy it into the mail?

  17. Hi, Dimitri. Thanks a lot for your great job. I want to share you my suggestions. Is it possible to select multiples files and folders in the link option when you need to start a work?


    I have made some minor refinements to my practices/workarounds for reoccurring daily tasks. Since reoccurring tasks in general comes up every now and then, this might give users some ideas:

    1. REOCCURRING COLUMN. Make 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) means that I have planned using PK three times.

    vampieVampie suggested using “6. Points” located in the task details instead of having the counter in the Description. You can make Points visible using the Setup (spoke wheel icon) > Options > Task Info

    2. COLUMN SEPARATOR. Create a dummy (blank) task. Add description “V===DONE===V” and set the column color to gray. The V’s are just a reminder that the “done” tasks are below. The reoccurring tasks above this line have not been completed for the day.

    This setup makes it very easy to drag-and-drop reoccurring activities.

    EXAMPLE: http://i.imgur.com/uPzoJRB.png

    Thanks again for Portable Kanban!

    1. Hi Dimitri,

      First of all, thank you for your excellent program: I’ve been using it for years to manage the work I do personally as a translator.

      Now a question: With the latest version, I’ve noticed that the “Open” button has disappeared, replaced by a host of options in the “Files” tab.

      However, I realized only later that what I used to do before now works very differently.

      What I used to do:
      1) Drag a folder (which contained my project files) on Kanban to create a task.
      2) If later I clicked on the “Open” button, I would open the original folder, with the original files.

      If I now do 1), Kanban still creates a task, and in the Files tab I can (apparently) see the folder with my project files, but on further inspection, instead of it being my original folder, I find it is a static copy of that folder (under the Kanban folder) with the files as they were at the moment in which the task was created. Any changes to the files in my original project folder is not reflected.

      I realize I can now create a shortcut to my orginal folder, but the process is more time consuming that before.

      Would it be possible to get back the “Open” button, or similar functionality?

      I’m running Portable Kanban under Windows 7, and it is installed in a Box folder (so that I can use it from different computers). I’m not using collaboration features, as I’m the only one using the program

      1. Hello Riccardo,
        I’ll think how make attaching files simpler, for a while you could the workaround:
        1) Create new task first. Folder will be created automatically.
        2) Drag&drop files (or shortcuts) into ‘Files’
        3) Use Ctrl+O to open task folder in Explorer.

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