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:

  • 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 4.3.6458.33916.

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!

1,240 thoughts on “Portable Kanban

  1. Hi Dmitry, is it possible to use place-holders in Message subject definition for notifications, like “new Kanban Task: [Taskname]” for example.[TaskName] would be replaced by the first let say 250 characters of the task description.

  2. Hi,
    After the update to 4.2.6273.2450, the Report menu and the plugin Time tracking report show time in decimal (3,25 hours) instead of hours (3:15). Is this an error ? I would prefer the forme one.
    Anyway, thank’s for your easy using software.

      1. Thank’s but it didn’t change anything. You will see what I mean if you paste the following text in an editor with fixed police

        What I get now
        | # | Task | Topic | Date | Start | Stop | Spent |
        |—-+————–+————+————+——-+——-+——-|
        | | … | | | | | |
        | 28 | Sauvegarde | Sauvegarde | 08/03/2017 | 16:35 | 16:42 | 0,12 |
        | | … | | | | | |
        |—-+————–+————+————+——-+——-+——-|
        | | Total spent: | | | | | 23,28 |
        What I hoping for and what there was before
        | # | Task | Topic | Date | Start | Stop | Spent |
        |—-+————–+————+————+——-+——-+——-|
        | | … | | | | | |
        | 28 | Sauvegarde | Sauvegarde | 08/03/2017 | 16:35 | 16:42 | 0:07 |
        | | … | | | | | |
        |—-+————–+————+————+——-+——-+——-|
        | | Total spent: | | | | | 23:17 |

        1. Not sure that I understand, Where does this problem appear? Is it CSV export or report?
          Just to ensure: delete PortableKanban.Data.dll and PortableKanban.Extensions.dll from ‘Plugins’ folder (outdated version could stay in place).

          1. Plugins / Time tracking report
            and
            Report
            I will try your dll deletion and give you feed back soon.
            Just do Time tracking report and look at the Spent column, you will have 2,25 instead of 2:15.

  3. Hi dmitry

    After the version 4.2.6256.39038 i’ve received sometimes an error (Failed to update data on 192.3… Zero length response).
    I’m using redis on windows.

    Thanks

  4. Hi Dmitry,

    a quick bug Report on Version 4.2.6273.2450: when you open the Setup Dialog, click on Topics, click on the empty last line to create a “New Topic” an immediatly (!) click on the Add button above, you get an “Unhandled exception” error Dialog.

    Cheers,

    Peter

    1. And another minor flaw: when you create a card with an attached file, a directory is created in Files where the attached file is copied to.

      However, if you now delete the dard, the directory is not removed, leaving an orphan.

  5. Hi Dmitry,

    The custom fields in the new version are an excellent addition! I played a bit with them and all worked well.

    It would be great, being able to use them in the view definitions (at least custom fields of type list and bool). Also displaying their value optionally in Tooltip and/or TaskInfo would be nice.

    Thanks a lot for all the work you put into PK!

  6. Здравствуйте. Обновился сегодня на новую версию 4.2.6273.2450.
    Перестал работать плагин Time Tracking Record.
    Выдает ошибку:
    Метод не найден: “System.String
    PortableKanban.Extensions.TimeSpanExtensions.ToStringEx(System.Tim
    eSpan)”.
    Если это только у меня, подскажите пожалуйста, как исправить.
    Спасибо

      1. Спасибо. Удалил PortableKanban.Extensions.dll. Теперь работает, но неправильно время рассчитывает. Вместо 0:25 считает как 0:43.

        1. Посмотрите в чем показывается интервал: Options/Tasks/Estimate time format. По умолчанию длительность считается в часах, 0,43 часа это 0:25 (25 минут).

  7. Hey. Pretty awesome job. This is pretty much what I was looking for.

    One simple request feature: Create an option to split the board in multiple rows. Each row can be titled as Work, Personal, etc – just like the way Titles are created.

    Right now, I have 3 titles and I assigned different colors to them to easily identify which task belongs to which ‘category’ – whether it’s personal or work-related, etc. But using this makes my board look like a multi color palette. I wish there were some way to order the task as per the title.

    Splitting the board horizontally will help the user clearly differentiate between tasks of different kind.

    Thanks for reading. I’ll upload an image to tell you what Im talking about if you want it.

  8. Mr. Ivanov, I have been using your program for almost a year. Thank you for taking the time to create this organizational helper!

  9. After an update from 4.2.6238.34399 to 4.2.6256.39038 on client side (no change to redis server installation 2.4.11 since long time) I cannot connect to the database anymore. And yes, password is non-empty.
    Is redis 3.x now mandatory?

    1. 1) Please, ensure that password is correct, you may try to use redis-client.exe command line utility to check connection.
      2) 3.x is highly recommended, there were a lot of critical bugfixes after 2.x.

      1. The password is still around from my previous config file, and a colleague verified this also (he discovered the issue).
        BTW I get an error popup
        “Failed to get data from
        Syntax error, try CLIENT (LIST | Kill ip:port)”

        1. Just have tried with Redis 2.8.17 from MS site – works fine. I’ve tested with the latest Redis-x64-3.2.100 (for Windows) – works fine too. Seems that you’ll have to make server upgrade.

          1. Ok, updating redis to latest stable 3.2.8 solved the problem. Previous and current version of PK (4.2.6287.29115) are up&running!

    1. Find and open redis.windows-service.conf file in Notepad (I suppose that Redis is already installed as a windows service). Find and uncomment line “# requirepass foobared” (remove #). Change password “foobared” to something else. Save file & restart Redis service (Start/Administration/Services).Then provide the same password in PK: Setup/Options/Data/Primary server password.

  10. Tried it out but the interface is not good on a high-res screen. My laptop has a 4k display and the scaling does not work properly. Buttons are mostly off the screen and the text on them is unreadable. I love the idea of this project, but I can’t use it. Just changing the borders to sizable would make the difference.

    1. Very strange, I do use laptop with 4K screen too and user interface scales OK even when I move main window between main 4K screen and attached HD one. Have you installed the latest .NET Framework?

    1. Hi José, all you need to do is to go to the settings\Views\ and select the column you want to move.
      Then you just click over “Move Up” or “Move Down”

      I hope it helps…

  11. Dmitry

    I’m making another $25 donation for 2017 in thanks for all your efforts in continuing to refine this truly useful and elegant product.

    Many thanks for your efforts.

    Jim

  12. Hi Dimitri,
    I really like the tool, but after upgrading to the current version, I am very confused with the new way to enter “Estimation” as Day.Hours.Minutes. When there is a Task that takes 32h (= four working days), I cannot enter “32h”, but have to enter “1 Day.8 Hours”, which seems to be quite counterintuitive?
    Is there any way to tell the system that “Day” means “Working Day” i.e. 8 hours.
    Thx. Peter

  13. Hi Dimitri,
    I saw that you add support for secondary DB, what this mean? is compatible only with azure or for example I can have a local DB and a Cloud DB?

  14. Dmitry, thank you for putting this together. I really like this tool so far. But I’m having a problem with getting my tasks to display under my columns under different views.

    I’ve setup 4 views – Admin, Business, Websites, and Hosting.

    I then added a bunch of topics for the Business view – i.e., Bills, Calls, Meetings, etc.

    Then I go to “Edit View” and make sure to check those boxes so that those topics will be displayed under each appropriate view (as well as the columns).

    But then when I go to create a new task, and assign it to a particular Topic and click OK, nothing happens. The task doesn’t display under the Business view under the Backlog column.

    Also, the task is no where to be found – not under any other view or elsewhere in the tool. I know it’s there because it shows up under the Task Count column under Settings > Columns, but the only thing I can do is Clear Content, i.e., remove/delete it. I can’t edit it to assign it to another view.

    What am I doing wrong here?

    Thanks

    1. Try to add one more view, e.g. “All tasks” and include totally everything into it (all the columns, any topic, any person, any tag, any user). The lost task should be there.

  15. Hello Dmitry,

    I just checked my .NET Framework version.
    It is 4.0.0.
    However, the application does not work since my update to Win7 64bit.
    It states that I need .NET 4.6.2.
    Do you still have an older version which I could use with .NET 4.0.0?

    kind regards,
    Tim

  16. Hi Dmitry,
    great Job! I am using it for a couple of years now.
    Meanwhile I collected more than 4000 cards in my last lane. Is there any Option to cleanup just the last lane (maybe delete all cards finished before a certain date?
    Best regards.
    Claus

    1. You can create a new column “to-be-deleted” and use the “Move Tasks” plugin to move all tasks older than a certain number of days to this new column. Last step is to remove the “to-be-deleted” column.
      I keep old task in an “Archive” column which is populated with tasks from the “Done” column if they were finished 45 days or longer ago. The “Archive” column is not part of the Views that I use most. So it does not disturb.

  17. We use around 10 tags to express different information. Users should always mark one tag out of three special tags (they should make a selection). Is it possible to create a view to show all cards that are not correctly tagged (i.e. have not exactly one of the three tags selected)? The state of the other seven tags must not affect the created view. I think this is not possible currently.

      1. Thanks for the reply. I had already tried what you propose but such a view lists task that have “another tag” and one of the required tags marked. What may be missing is the option to tell PK to “ignore” certain tags. Now we can only express “presence” or “absence”. Maybe an option to invert a selection could also help. But I haven’t thought it through.

        1. In contrast to columns, topics, persons which select exactly one item from a list, tags are different. Here n items can be selected. As a consequence the user should be able to select yes/no/ignore for Tags to have full flexibility when defining views.

  18. Hi Dimitry, PK is a very good tool, I upgraded to last version but unfortunately I cannot upgrade .NET framework, Where can I find previous versions?
    Thanks
    Guido

  19. Hi Dimitry,

    Very cool application. I’ve tried it out with local content file and think it works very well. Now I’m trying to set it up with a Redis for Windows database (using the most current versions of each).

    From a clean Personal Kanban client on first run I get an error when I configure it to connect to the Redis server: Failed to get data from xx.xx.xx.xx:6379[0] could not connect to redis instance at xx.xx.xx.xx:6379

    I have verified the Firewall exception is in place and I can access the IP address. The server_log.txt file on the redis server says “The server is now ready to accept connections on port 6379”

    What else can I do to troubleshoot this connection issue?

    1. Quick update: figured out the issue was in my Redis server config. I now have it working. Again, a great project Dimtry. Thanks.

  20. Please, how can I have different column names for each VIEW?????
    I need to have a VIEW for my Administrative tasks and a Pipeline VIEW for my commercial tasks.
    And both have to have specific names for their columns.
    Is there a way to assign that?

      1. Thank you very much, Dimitry!!!!

        It’s so simple!!!!!
        …and the best part is that all you need to achieve that is to keep the same approaching, the same method of all the rest of your program.
        Get to where the titles of those itens you want to change and let’s play with that for a while…

        Very nice!!!

  21. Hi Dimitry! Is NET version 4.6.2 really required for the newest PK or would 4.6.1 be sufficient? The problem with 4.6.2 is that it is not yet available via Windows Server Update Services (WSUS).

      1. I am not able to install .NET 4.6.2 – it seems to be a security Problem – so I can’t portablekanban anymore :-((

  22. Hi Dimitry,

    I noticed that if I add a folder in the Files tab either via drag-and-drop or via “Add Link” the whole folder including all its subdirectories is copied to PK´s file folder. Is this a bug or is this by design? If it is by design could you add an option to enforce storing of links only?. Here creating local copies of files and even whole directory trees makes live much harder because syncing changes back is not always easy.

    David

      1. Thanks, Dimitry! I did not know about this useful ALT+Drag&Drop trick.

        Nevertheless, I would appreciate a “Links only” option that completely turns off creating copies of files and folders. I foresee that some people here will copy large amounts of data by mistake to the PK files folder since standard Drag&Drop will create a copy.

  23. A colleague asked me whether one could have an extended priority so one might specify a sort order explicitly for tasks. Currently one has only 3 choices which is maybe not sufficient to get many items sorted for a large team/long sprint/etc.

  24. 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.

  25. 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?

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

  27. 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).

      1. This problem was not related to PK but another tool slowing down file access for PK´s directory. But thanks for the help.

  28. 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.

  29. 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?

  30. 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?

  31. 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.

  32. 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.
        Roman

  33. 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!

  34. 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?

        2. Ok, now all users are using the latest greatest version (4.6238.34339, database schema version 4.2.0.0) but we can’t see each others links added to tasks 😦
          ‘Check database’ did not report any issue.

            1. I know about the Files tab – using it successfully for myself. However links added by others (non-admins – does this matter?) are not visible to other users.

              1. Check that all the users use the same folder for storing files: ‘Setup/Options/Misc/Files folder’. It should be in form \\server\path\to\folder or X:\path\to\folder where X is network mapped drive. Path should be exactly the same for all the users, if path is mapped to virtual drive then drive letter should be the same for all. And all the users have to have full access rights to this folder, but doesn’t have to be administrators. Look into user guide for details.

  35. 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.

  36. 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,
    Danilo

  37. 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 !!

  38. 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?

    BR
    Michal

  39. 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?

  40. 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?

  41. REOCCURRING DAILY TASKS

    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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