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 4.6.2 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 (3.0.504 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 4.3.6540.40984.

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!

1,301 thoughts on “Portable Kanban

  1. Hi

    Again great tool, enjoy working with it!

    A question; is it possible to set how the comments are ordered? Now the last entry is on the bottom, but I like to have the option to have the latest on top. Also it would be great if the date and time can be changed. Sometimes you enter an entry to also capture an event/decision for a specific day.

  2. Hi Dmitry,
    Portable Kanban is an excellent tool! Thank you!
    I’ve got two improvement ideas which might be worth considering:
    1. Start Timer / Stop Timer are now two separate key combinations =(Shft F1/F4). I feel that a single key with toggle function would be more comfortable.
    2. When the active (i.e. “Timer started”) card is pulled to a column which sets the “Completed” flag, the timer still remains “Started”. Could setting the Completed flag stop timer automatically?

  3. Things come up as tools are used …

    how would it be to be able to select multiple Tasks and process them all at once?

    * If they are all in the same column, they can be moved all at once to a target column.
    * If you right-click on them and change the priority/assignment/…, the priority/assignment/… of all are changed.
    * Doing a right-click and select “move to the next column”, they all become shifted right (if not already at the final column)

    What do you think?

  4. Important notice: after upgrade to version 4.3.6539.38802 or from 4.3.6539.38802 to 4.3.6540.40984 or newer one all the passwords (logon, redis servers) may be reset to default blank values. This issue has been fixed. Sorry for the inconvenience.

  5. Dimitry, I just updated to the latest version of the app & lost my connection to the database (had to re-enter the password for the Redis database). When I connected to the database, all of the passwords assigned to my users were gone – even unchecking the “hide passwords” box didn’t rectify the situation. My login didn’t work with my assigned password and the Admin login defaulted back to a blank password. Can you recommend the best way to get that back?

  6. Hi,
    in the last version, you have added this functionality:
    Columns are limited to the current view in “Edit task” dialog. 4.3.6539.38802
    can be this behavior changed somewhere?
    Because sometimes is good to move a task in a column also if this is not viewable in the current view.

  7. Hi Dmitry

    I’m having a problem adding new topics. When I try, I get a dialogue box saying Failed to save data to file: “….Kanban/PortableKanban.pk3” Unable to remove the file to be replaced.

    I’m using it on dropbox between two computers but it is the same response on both. What can I do? Is it a corruption?



    1. I figured it out. It’s dropbox sync somehow blocking the config change to be saved in the pk3 file. I exited dropbox and it works ok. Only seems to happen with additional topics. Adding tasks etc in normal workflow is not affected by dropbox.



  8. Dmitry,

    I’d like to discuss a paid feature that I’d quite quickly see in the product.

    Could you please drop me a personal e-mail? I assume have my mail address from this posting.

    Thank you very much.

  9. And another idea to make PK more awesome than it already is: have a collapsable list of the open subtasks.

    I could create a task “Roll out PK” with the subtasks “Test”, “Document”, “Preprod”, “Prod”, and whenever I need to know what to do next with the task, I could expand it to Show me what’s left.

  10. Hi Dimittry,

    Two small issues:
    – If a subtask is marked done and I try to move it up or down (without closing the Task before doing so) then the mark does not move with the subtask.
    – For Tasks that are already created it is not possible to attach files/links by drag and drop. (This worked it the past.)

    A Suggestion for subtasks:
    – Could you make it possible to select the whole subtask list for copying into another progam?
    – Could you make it possible to paste a series of subtasks into OK (each Task on a seperate line)?

    Thanks a lot for continously improving PK!

  11. Version 4.3.6527.40726 seems to have lost its capability for drag and drop for files. It seems that I need to browse to get to the file or folder. Have I missed something?
    Also, Paste on the Files tab doesn’t seem to do anything.

      1. Thanks for the prompt reply. This works when using the link in other programs, but I tried to add a link in another task and doing that results in a plain text string

    1. Thank you for this advice, but in a corporate environment, it’s typical to have internet access only through an HTTP(s) proxy.

  12. Hi Dmitry,

    if you ever search for a new idea to implement … it would be great to have the possibility to Access a NoSQL DB over HTTP, like CouchDB, or support Webdis (www.webdb.is).

    With this, a user can host his Kanban DB anywhere on the web, and access it from any PC – home, business, office, …

  13. I seem to change my mind between sub-task and new Kanban frequently. is there any automation to help with converting an item from one to the other?

      1. Hi I have it is lot. Sometimes a sub task become a major task with its own subtask. I was thinking of a mechanism to right click the subtask > make task > keep the sub task, but make it a link via the checkbox. Create a new task with reference to origin. Just an idea

  14. Hello.
    Have a problem since the last update:
    Every time I try to create a task out of an existing one I got a message “Failed to copy file(s) to…” followed by a path with a nonsense last element (f.e. “c2ad1f5fdbbd …”).
    Though I have no file in the original task.

    Settings: local DB, relative path to “Files”, but also remote DB and/or absolute path

    Any suggestions?

    Regards, Fred

  15. Hello

    My system crashed while the tool was open and now it reports that the data file is use by another instance 😦 I hope there is a solution to recover?

    1. There is no .lock file, it reports Failed to load or recover data from file: PortableKanban.pk3.bak Type definitions should start with a ‘{‘ expecting serialized type “Cache”, got string started with:

      When I click OK, I get the message that another instance is in use

  16. Hello,
    I’ve got Kanban installed with Redis DB in a server and it’s working great. I create another instance of Kanban using the same DB but I don’t get an empty instance but the first one cloned. What am I doing wrong?
    Thanks in advance.

  17. Is it possible to hide the user passwords in the Users tab (not display in clear text, use encryption) and also allow a currently logged in non-Admin user the ability to change their password?

  18. Добрый день. Возможно как-то восстановить базу? Отключился свет и при открытии выдает ошибку.

  19. Love the new recurrent task feature- absolutely brilliant!

    Is there a setting to have the task recur once moved to a particular column? For example, if I create a recurring task and have it recur 15x, there are (naturally) 15 tasks added to the backlog. It would be good (if possible) to have a task added to the backlog once I move the task from ‘Backlog’ to the next column (as an example). Is this possible?

  20. Hi,
    probably someone has already reported but from last (more or less) update the drag & drop of an email (in my case lotus notes) into PK stop to work correctly. The new task is created, the link is put in the “file” tab but the name of the task is a generic “new task” instead of the title of the e-mail.

    1. I’ve tested it only with Outlook and Thunderbird, but most likely it should work with any e-mail client. Please, try the latest version, at least it should show e-mail subject if e-mail content cannot be completely parsed. You can also turn off e-mail parsing: Setup/Options/Misc/Parse e-mails.

      1. Hi,
        I have tested 4.3.6517.42395 with Parse e-mails.on and off but not change. Unfortunately, I have not saved the PK version where this behavior works correctly.

            1. Hi,
              the 4.1 not works well, the 4.2 works well, the 4.3 is a wrong link. In any case the 4.2 import correctly the subject of email as name of task instead the last version as a generic NewTask

              1. I’ve tested email drag and drop with Outlook on v4.3.6540.40984. It works there. However, it fails in the version that I have after that.

  21. Hello

    I have looked for a KANBAN tool and this one is great because it does it in a simple way.
    I wonder if it is possible to change the report layout?

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