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,

    We’ve been using your kanban for a couple weeks & love it. Last night my husband installed a wifi extender to boost my computer’s connection, and now I can’t open Kanban. We’re using a hosted redis server, but both working from the same .exe file in a shared folder in OneDrive. I can still open the exe file from his desktop (accessing the original wifi router), and it asks him to log in with his username. But if I click that same .exe file on my desktop (using the extender) absolutely nothing happens.

    How can I fix this?

    Do we need to put another install in a different folder & use different, exe files, but have both point to the same database?

    Any thoughts? Thanks again for making & sharing it!

  2. Hi Dmitry, thanks a lot for making PK available!

    A question: Is it possible to pass the location of the configuration file to PK at start up? E.g. something like:

    PortableKanban.exe -config %USERPROFILE%\PortableKanban.cfg

    …and one suggestion regarding views: Could you add a special “Person”, the “current user”? This would be helpful when PK is used by a group of people, because it would allow to define just one common view “My tasks”. Currently one has to define a separate view for each user.

  3. Hi, I am completely new to your tool. Is it possible to have a time line view of the tasks?I mean horizontal axis can show timeline like Q1 2016,Q2,… and tasks columns are horizontally placed like Pending,In Progress, Done. I wanted to look it from goal setting + task tracking point of view.
    regards
    Rikkeey

  4. Hi, I like to suggest a small change to avoid loosing edits: Could you add a safeguard so that hitting ESC after changing several subtasks does not close the window immediately? All changes in the subtask list are lost once ESC is hit.

  5. We’re trying to set up email notifications & it’s not working. We just use google via browser. Do we need to use something on our desktops, like outlook? We have the alerts on in settings, with smtp host – smtp-relay.gmail.com & port 587 & through smtp server. . . Any thoughts?

      1. I tried that one first – no luck. Just re-tried it – smtp.gmail.com, 587. . . I have email addresses in the users list, an email in the settings. Assigned a new task – nothing. . . 😦

        Where could I look for clues?

                  1. Well, we went around in circles & did a bunch of things, including setting up & using Outlook briefly, and something fixed it. But the obvious settings aren’t any different than when we started. And we’re not still using Outlook.

                    Anyway, it’s fixed. And we really like your Kanban – we’ve used alot of them & like yours the most. I’m going to go give you some money now – thanks for the great tool & for continuing to support it & for your quick responses.

  6. Добрый день. Не планируете ли добавить поддержку проектов? Т.е. чтобы для разных проектов не приходилось держать несколько копий PK в разных папках, а было все в одной копии…

  7. Hi Dmitry,

    We’re confused about the Redis server business. Does Redis have to be installed on a web host? or can we install it locally & just use a shared folder for the shared file, such as One Drive?

    We see client gui’s and hosts, but it’s confusing where the database has to live. . .

    1. If you need to share data then you have to use Redis, PK doesn’t allow to share date file. You may install Redis on any PC within the local network or use some hosted service instead (e.g. Redislabs or any other).

      1. Thanks Dmitry – sorry if I’m asking too many dumb questions here – but if we use an online hosted service, do we also need to install Redis onto our pcs? or can we then just access it via a browser? 🙂

  8. Hi Dmitry,

    I just came across your software & it looks great. My husband have a small tech-consulting firm & are considering using it together. It looks like an improvement on the various tools we’ve used.

    And I have a problem, I just loaded onto my Surface tablet & when I open or create a new task, I can’t edit it. The task name field isn’t there, and the checkbox/fields at the bottom aren’t there. Here’s a screenshot https://docs.google.com/document/d/1CvoYAi83mrzq83vmFgK8aFQ9_oabSabeDZr4tcEcuJA/edit?usp=sharing

    This looks really different in my husband’s installation.

    Any ideas what’s causing that?

      1. Thanks!

        I’m also testing it out on my desktop & running into a different problem. I’m creating tasks, but they don’t show up anywhere. I do have views set up, with columns defined. And the tasks are assigned to columns – but don’t show. They do show up if I export the dataset though, and they show up in the item counts in the column settings. I just added some more screenshots to the google doc above to show you what I mean.

        1. And a suggestion – would you consider adding the option to have a ticking sound for the timer? I use the pomodoro method & find the ticking helps me stay focussed. . .

  9. Hi Dmitry,

    We have been looking at your Kanban tool and are quite impressed with the functionality. Is there a way that we can keep the config settings (i.e. view settings and colours) when we import a new set or updated set of tasks into the tool?

    Many thanks,

    Errol

    1. Import feature (Setup/Import) imports data only, but not any settings. But if imported data is merged with existing data settings are not affected: all the columns, topics, persons and views stay in place.

  10. What about introducing a Discovery+Delivery Kanban concepts in an easy way? Those are: a set of columns are for “open options” while moving a task from the last column of the “discovery” part to the first column of “delivery” part might update a “Started” or “Committed” field with date and time, just like the “Created” and “Completed”. In this way it’s easier to manage the reports automagically counting the lead time with Started/Committed and Completed, instead of Created/Completed, whether the task is discarded before being actually committed and entering the delivery part.
    It should be a matter of adding a Started/Committed date field in the tasks and specifying which column will be the first of the Delivery part, so filling such field when the task is moved into that column.

      1. Cool! Thanks! So, taking this picture as example, https://rmcloud.files.wordpress.com/2014/11/leankit-kanban-view.jpg when I move a task in the “Ready to Start” column, from left to right, the “Committed” field will be set with date&time. (If I set such column as “Committment Point”)

        A possible improvement could be a “Dropped” date field for those tasks that are marker completed before the Committment Point column that splits between Discovery and Delivery parts. 🙂
        When I set as “Completed” those tasks on the left of the “Committment Point “(“Ready to Start” column), the field “Dropped” will be set with date&time.

        What do you think?

  11. Hi Dmitry,I write about the time tracking: can you have, for a given project, the sum of the daily time? In other words, it would be useful to be able to filter by date, and get the sum of the filtered results. I hope you want to consider this peak (but important) suggestion.
    thanks and best regards

  12. What is the purpose of “points”? Can i change the priority to “Critical, Major, Minor” instead?

  13. Hi Dmitry. Thanks for your great work!
    I have trouble updating portable kanban (4.0 to 4.1). How do I proceed? It will be possible in the future to create an automatic update process?
    Thank you again

  14. Great news: version 4.1 is finally here:

    1) Code is signed, no warning should appear anymore (hopefully);
    2) Import/export to/from CSV files is back, imported data may be also merged;
    3) Automatic update. See “Setup/Options/Misc/Check for update”. This option is ‘on’ by default, but you can always turn it off and check for updates manually (About/Check for updates);
    4) Some optimization in code and UI;
    5) Now only power users and administrators may change deadlines;
    6) Task assigned to group now shown in views filtered by person if person is a member of group;
    7) Overdue tasks are visually highlighted;
    8) Solved problems with e-mail notifications with Outlook;
    9) Paste screenshots and attach them to tasks by single click (Edit task/Paste);
    10) Quick sync Users and Persons;
    11) More actions on mouse right click: move, open attachment, change priority, change assignee;
    12) Restoring positions of windows on the screen may be turned off if needed.

    Not all the planned features are currently implemented, but they’re coming…

    1. Thank you for Portable Kanban and the new update. Actually I do not know how to update without losing data. Is there a description?

    2. Thanks for Enhancements. I’m using PK on a W7/W10 and behind a firewall. Therefore proxy authentication is needed. Could you please implement “Automatic updates” using system proxy settings?

      1. Just to give you the text of the error message:

        “Failde to check update.
        Remoteserver returned an error: (407)
        Proxyauthentication needed.”

  15. Hi Dimitry, thanks for your very easy to use and powerful Kanban!
    We are a team of 12 users. We expect to handle hundreds of request in a GoLive Time. For that we want to use your Kanban with Redis.
    But if you imagine a board full of Tasks, it is not so easy to find “your” tasks. The Find functionality does not search in the “Assigned to” field.
    When I define a filter in a “My Tasks” View with my “Persons/Groups”, all other users will have my person as filter too. Therefore no user specific filters are possible. A solution with >12 Views (1 per person) would not be really smart.
    The best solution would be a setup possibility for Views to use the logged in user as filter. Is that possible?

    Thanks again and best Regards
    Adolfo

    1. Not sure that I’ve understood the problem completely, but if you’re looking for user-dependent view (or set of views) it’s not implemented at this moment. As a workaround you can duplicate all the users in “Persons” list and create one view per every person. Yes, currently any user can open any view and see all the tasks assigned to any person,

  16. I have created four views and four topics, created tasks and assign one of four topics. Whatever option I set in settings, I cannot move or display the tasks under correct associated topics topics. For example, I have views of Tasks, Projects,Procurement, Parked and created topics for four different topics under each view. Tasks created don’t follow the topics, what is the correct way to do this.
    Thanks for your help

  17. A very nice and light program. One question, is there any way to show the subtasks or dependent tasks also on the main screen, may be stay collapsed under the parent task and only become visible when expanded

  18. Супер штука!
    Для меня насущной проблемой является поиск альтернативы для Streak for Gmail (работаю в Китае, VPN стабильно точит нервы).
    Великолепно что можно дать просто ссылочку на папку, теоретически туда можно свалить переписку, контакты, скайп-чаты, используя протоколы outlook:, skype:, прямые ссылки на те же label в gmail (если работаешь один и на одном компе, при этом, все ярлыки с этими ссылками нужно генерировать в ручную). Свалить все в одну папку это конечно не очень наглядно, но хотя бы все в одном месте, шикарно иметь в этом плане какой то структурированный предварительный просмотр этих ярлыков и ссылок. Большая надежда в этом плане на развитие инструментов интеграции для Portable Kanban, они нужны как воздух. Получать быстрый доступ к данными которыми необходимо оперировать в процессе решения задачи не менее важно чем оперировать свойствами этой задачи в пайплайне.
    Иначе говоря, даже для начала, интеграция с любым почтовым сервисом (в идеале с различными) и Portable Kanban вне конкуренции как рабочий инструмент.

    На QHD дисплее проблемы с иконками в диалоге EditTask, но все кликабельно.

  19. Hey, thank you very much for your program!!Exactly what is was looking for!
    A question regarding priority:
    I read in one comment above, that priority needs to be from low to high.
    This means that tasks with high priority are not shown at the top, if there are a lot of tasks with low priority.
    Any way around that, for example with specific option or view configuration?

    Thx!

    1. Task with higher priority will be shown on the top, it depends on sort options of every column in fact. Low-to-high order relates to report settings when tasks should be filtered by priority.

      1. Thanks!
        Since I posted the comment, figured that out as well…
        Needed some time to get used to the idea behind it, but then it makes perfect sense !
        Before I start looking around, is there a direct way to transfer local list to server version?
        And do I still need multiple copies for multiple kanban systems on the server?

  20. Hi,
    Wonderful tool. I use it since version 3.
    I know it’s normaly used for non internet Access.
    But, what if i put the Database on a drive folder.. can you create a android app, which work with this drive folder to sync?

    Thanks

  21. Hello Dmitry, I want to add persons with their email adress so they get a notification via email but that doesn´t work. Is there any chance to send them an email?

    Thanks in advance.

    1. You should turn on notifications in settings (Option/Alerts/Alert method). There are some issues with Outlook to be fixed in the forthcoming update, other e-mail clients seems work well.

  22. Hello, I have seen an odd issue when using dual monitors. I will have PK open in primary monitor, and sometimes the child screens (info, setting, tasks) are out of display of the second monitor. I am able to press Alt + Spacebar, select Move and move the screen using the arrow keys

    1. I’ve never heard about any issues with multiple monitors. By default position of child windows is restored every next time, but it’s possible to turn off this feature, I’ll add the option in the next version.

  23. Hi Dmitry,

    Many thanks for your application ^^.
    I use it every day and it does everything that I need for my work.
    I have an issue when I want to use it on a share folder.
    When I put the application on a share folder/network drive, I cannot save my data.
    I have the following Windows error message:
    Failed to save to file: “\\SHAREFOLDER_PATH\PortableKanban.pk3”
    Access to path forbidden

    I have all the permissions for this folder (read/write/execute).
    By doing the following steps, I succeed to save my data only once and I need to do the same steps each time:
    – Remove PortableKanban.pk3
    – Open PortableKanban.exe => it loads the data from PortableKanban.pk3.bak
    – Save or Exit => it saves the data in a new PortableKanban.pk3
    – Open PortableKanban.exe => it loads the data from PortableKanban.pk3
    – Save or Exit => it cannot save the data and I have the error message

    However, it saves perfectly the modifications that I did in the Settings.
    I am using the application on Windows XP SP3.

    Thanks

    1. Try to run PK under administrator account, if problem doesn’t happen then it’s still related to access right and/or group policies on the server side. I’d recommend to use local folder for PK anyway.

  24. SOS help 🙂 Recently the app is not allowing me to login. I have always used the username = Administrator and the password is blank. No one has access besides me and I really need to get some information on the board. I clicked on the cant recall option on the login box which shows me the same details as above to enter in but it says wrong username or password error 😦 how can I get in? please help, much appreciated.

  25. Hi Dmitry,

    Great app, use it daily to stay on top of things.

    When I delete subtasks there’s an error popup that says:
    “System.IndexOutOfRangeException: Index 3 does not have a value.
    at System.windows.Forms.CurrencyManager.get_Item(Int32 index)
    at
    System.Windows.Form.DataGridView.DataGridViewDataConnection.GetError(Int32 rowIndex)

    To replace this default dialog please handle the DataError event.”

    And with you click “OK” the same window pops up 4-5 more times until the error clears and the subtask is removed.

    This is build 4.0.5881.40747 on a Win 7 64 bit machine

  26. I can’t seem to connect to my local setup (windows 7 machine) over the internet. Redis database is installed and working correctly with the app, but I don’t know how to connect from a browser. Can someone tell me what needs to be configured (and how) for it to work over the internet?
    Do I have to register something in the localhost file?
    What’s the address I should try to connect to? (localhost:6379 or something else?)

  27. The tool works great for personal use, unfortunately I can’t seem to get any connection to it over the internet. I’ve set up the redis database, but whenever I try to connect to my IP address and the redis port there is no response. The firewall has already been configured and doesn’t seem to be the problem, since I can access other services.
    Is there a step-by-step guide how to set up portable Kanban for use over the internet?
    I somehow seem to be missing a crucial step here.

  28. Hi, I am trying it in windows XP sp3 and it gives an error when saving it.
    When used on any USB fat32 formated.

  29. Hi Dmitry,
    credimi, il solo difetto che trovo nel tuo Kanban è l’aggiornamento. Ogni volta che mi tocca aggiornare ad una nuova versione … è panico. Adesso che passo dalla ver.4.0.5871 alla ver.4.0.5881 come bisogna regolarsi? Ho fatto il backup del DB precedente e ho cercato di importarlo nella nuova versione ma non ha funzionato.
    😉
    Hi Dmitry,
    believe me, the only downside that I find in your Kanban is updating. Every time I have to upgrade to a new version … it’s panic. Now that the step from ver.4.0.5871 ver.4.0.5881 as necessary to adjust? I made up the previous DB and tried to import it into the new version, but it did not work.
    Thanks and great regards
    😉

    1. Expand zip and just overwrite all the files, no need to backup/restore data. Don’t worry data files are not changed.
      I’m working on automatic update feature.

      1. Thank you for your immediate response. And congratulations to all. You’re doing a great job.

        Grazie per la risposta immediata. E complimenti per tutto. Stai facendo un gran lavoro.

  30. Can you provide a link to guide with description about installing and using your PK for team usage (one DB + many user in LAN/WAN). As I see this is requires redis server, but I’m not familiar with it. I had got binaries, run server, connect to it, but after shouting it down – I lost all info. Where RS stored team’s DB? How to switch between team/redis DB and my personal local PK DB? I tried to google this but hadn’t got useful links. Please help.

    1. 1) You need to adjust settings in redis.windows.conf file. E.g. “save 60 1” will enforce server to save data every minute if anything has been changed. Look for details inside conf file. Redis for Windows also may run as a service (see details in Windows Service Documentation.docx).
      2) You’ll need 2 instances of PK located in 2 different folders to have 2 different boards (personal & shared with your team). Each one will have different settings.

      1. Thanks. It working. You only have to set values for save, dir and dbfilename in SNAPSHOTTING section, and then start redis server with config file name as parameter (like redis-server.exe redis.windows.conf)

        May be the last question: is possible to set task predecessors and successors? Some tasks (for example QA) can be started only if all predecessors (development) already done. And also some tasks must be executed in certain sequence, so in this case will be great to set successors task(s) which can be taken into work after completing previous task in chain.

          1. It’s a pity (
            Maybe you can simply add new (additional to Comments and Time Tracking) tab, with a list of “Linked tasks”? With ability to open linked task on click on it. New tasks in this list may appears, for example, when you drag&drop one task (child or linked) over another (parent) with pressed Ctrl key (just to distinguish it from moving from column to column). Or even better – add link to real task for every SUBtask.
            I believe it will be really useful feature, and I can help you to develop and debug it.

  31. Very veryyy nice piece of software! I have a feature request. Currently each task can be assigned a topic, tag, person/group and nothing more. I work with various countries and would like to assign a country/customer to each task. Enabling more collections per task would make this already great software even better.

  32. Hi Dmitry
    I can’t see vertical scroll on board. Columns tails are disappearing under the window bottom border.
    Imagine: I have 100 task in backlog, but on screen I can see only 10. And suddenly 98 (invisible) task becomes hot and very critical. How can I bring it to life? If I remember nothing about it, just only “I had written something about this…”. If I can scroll – I can “recognize” it but… I can’t scroll ((
    What is your solution/recommendation for such situations?

  33. Great App Dmitry. I’ve written a couple of plugins and would like to be able to access them quicker than is currently possible (min 3 clicks). Optimally I’d be able to add an icon for each plugin next to the other icons along the top right toolbar which contains the other shortcuts (e.g. create new task, find, sync, etc.)

    Is there any way to programmatically add icons to the toolbar which can invoke my plugin? Or possibly via a configuration file which would have pointers to the class to invoke and the icon to use?

    Thanks

      1. Hi Dmitry. Any luck with this? I’d be more than happy to be a guinee pig if you have a build with the changes applied you’d like tested.

  34. Hi Dmitry,

    sending e-mails to users does not work for me. The the address gets displayed in the mail client as “user ” but sending it gives me a “not deliverable” error.

    I’m using Outlook 2010 and it seems the recipient is interpreted as an entity with that name, but without email address.

  35. Hi Dmitry

    Can you add the option to assign multiple SMTP source email accounts please. I work with several projects with completely different teams and want to have todo’s sent from different email addresses.

    Thanks!

    Jim

      1. Thanks Dmitry. Hopefully you can consider this for a future version as dedicated SMTP for each topic option would be a benefit.

  36. Hi Dmitry,

    I seem to have a problem with the latest version. If I set the priority of a view (from High to Low) then I do not see any tasks under that view. If I set the priority back to default (from Low to High) then the tasks are visible.

    Is this an issue or something I’ve messed up?

    Cheers

  37. Hello, thanks for your very light and powerfull Kanban! I use it to manage my personnal work, and i was wondering if i could clone or duplicate one task? It will be like creating template.

    Thanks in advance,
    Thomas.

  38. Dmitry…I have a feature request. We use your software to track projects as they go from design through installation (our company designs commercial fire alarm systems in the US). When the board has both design and installation columns visible, the board becomes cluttered. I’d like to see the ability to scroll left/right to another page/pages of tasks. So we have group of columns on one page and another group on a second page and so on for other task groupings. Basically adding a collection of columns and assigning each collection it’s own page.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s