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 4.3.6578.38136.

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:

Too complicated for you? Ok, here is a very minimalistic pomodoro-like timer. No installation is required, just expand zip file somewhere.

1,352 thoughts on “Portable Kanban

  1. Hi Dmitry, we want to use Mail notification whenever a task is “assigned” to somebody or group. I saw we can notify when task is created, moved or deleted. But not just when assignment is changed. Additionally in the notification mails it will be appreciated to have a link to the source task. So you not need to search for. Just click the link and the task opens.
    For that you may develop a protocol handler for say “personalkanban:” or “pk:”. The handler must find where the “PortableKanban.exe” is placed and start it giving the URL as a parameter.
    Would yo like to implement such functionality in one of the next releases?

    Thanks for great Tool!

  2. Hi Dmitry.

    just a user tip: if a task is created, it will show the person who last modified the task. But if you drag and drop a task into another colomn (in stead of opening the task and chaning the colomn), this info is not updated.

    Greets Pascal

  3. Any plans to make a Mac version ? I’m using it on personal comp but would love to use it at work.
    Or maybe opensource it so that we can make a port or something

  4. Hello Dmitry, I like the tool, since is portable and very easy to start to work with it.
    I’m thinking of using it for a team, where I would like to avoid extensive number of individual tasks of each projects. Therefore I liked the subtasks, but the issue is, that:
    1) are visible only after editing the task
    2) neither responsible person can be assigned nor deadline for the subtask
    I am fully aware of your appoach to keep it simple, but let me raise a request to think of implementing:
    a) subtasks (notcompleted only) visibility at the board
    b) possibility to assign individual subtask deadline and resp. person

    1. From my experience it’s much more easier to split ‘big’ tasks into multiple ones, each task assigned to someone and marked with some unique project-related tag. This approach make tasks more manageable. Subtasks are just small sequential steps.

  5. I’ll start my first try but I have a suggestion to the author of this program that seems to be really cool: Go get a deep try on Piperdrive and KanBan Flow.
    And when I say deep, I mean it…

    You have a jewel here and it can be bigger then you expected…

  6. Hi Dmitry. Excellent app. Way more elegant and easier to use than other programs I’ve tried. Is there an “undo” feature or some other way to retrieve a deleted task?

  7. hi Dmitry,
    I am trying out Portable Kanban 4.1.6122.42801.
    Just a feature suggestion: would be great if there was an option that clicking Close (X) would keep it running in the system tray area. And the only way to completely shut down the application is to right-click on this system tray icon and choose “Exit”.
    Many Thanks.

  8. This is a very nice program!
    I have a couple of questions
    1. How can I setup recurring tasks (monthly, half-yearly, yearly, etc.) and
    set it up so that once I mark a task complete, the task for the next recurring time appears?
    2. Where can I find the list of changes between versions of the programs?

  9. when I try to open my portable kanban I get the error message “A problem has caused the program to stop working correctly. PLeace close the program”. How do I troubleshoot?

  10. Hi Dmitry
    Thanks for your tool. Its is best free tool I have seen.

    I am using Portable Kanban v4.0.5852.33890 and I have trouble with Alert function.

    This is my setting about Alert: http://prntscr.com/cr90x0
    And this is error when I updated tasks: http://prntscr.com/cr928r

    I hope you have experience about this error and give me advice to resolve it.

    Otherwise, I have a suggestion about Search function. I think it is better if you can make Search function with more conditions, e.g. Assignee, Topic, Tag, Status, Priority, Deadline

    Thank you in advance

  11. First let me thank you for this wonderful software. I have not used this for a long time but my experience has been excellent. I use this in a stand alone mode meaning that I am the only user and I am not connecting it to Redis server. I create tasks along with deadlines where relevant. The feature of changing background colour and frame colour is fabulous. Is it possible for the tool to throw a notification like a pop-up or desktop notifications which can alert us when the task reaches this deadline?

  12. Dear Dmitry

    I’ve been using your tool now for over a year and it has served me very well! So first of all a big thank you!

    Now, I have a question related to the topics, more specifically whether it is possible to sort or archive topics? I have different topics for all the projects I’m working on and when a project is finished I would like to either archive it or at least put the name of the topic at the bottom of the column.

    Thanks and regards

  13. Perfect tool – just love it. Thank you! Is there actually a possiblity to define automatic changes to a particular task on predefined dates, i.e. a task is moved from one column to “This week” on a specified Monday?

  14. Hi Dimitry,
    many thanks for that great tool, we appreciate it very much.
    I am just wondering: Do we have an option (in Redis-Server-Mode) to lock editing of a Task.
    At least to get an Info that someone else is currently editing this Task.
    The current behaviour is: last commit wins (other changes are lost w/o warning/info).
    Best Regards, Rainer

  15. Wonderful program!

    I have almost no complaints. Would much enjoy to be able to “sticky” a task (or “favorite”, whichever will pin it to the top of the list). Would be great for not just the one-off, but daily reminders.

    Could one make a task also recurring (annually, weekly…)? Also for repeating reminders, like getting anniversary gifts for people.

    Anyways. Thank you. Fantastic program.

  16. Hi Dmitry,

    I’d like to leave a feature request. It’s about quick editing cards.

    Currently, right-clicking on a card does nothing. I’d recommend to activate a context menu when right-clicking on a card, with the following items (all submenus):

    Set topic -> [ List of defined topics ]
    Assign to -> [ List of defined users ]
    Priority -> [ List of priorities ]
    Tags -> [ List of tags, where all the already selected tags are activated ]

    This way, the user can quickly re-assign a task, change the priority, add or remove tags, without going to Edit Task ….

    I believe this would greatly enhance the effectiveness of PK – and effectiveness Kanban’s main purpose, is’nt it?

    Thank you!

    1. To enhance my enhancement ….

      The context menu could show a list of (undone) subtasks, so the user can quickly select a subtask and declare it done that way. Right-Clicking with CTRL-Key shows the same context menu, but with also done tasks, so a done mark can be removed again.

        1. I really should know every little bit of this software before I claim to know how to enhance the useful tool. 🙂

          OK, I checked it. But I believe my suggestion goes a few steps further: by opening a context menu, you could go far beyond the current “speed options”, which is only one of multiple actions.

          Now, I’d say: you could add another option to Right Click Action: //show context menu//. This probably leaves compatibility with the current functionality, keeps the known shortcuts for experienced users, but could add another way of efficently setting task options. It’s kind of “one-dimensional” (right click -> action) to “two-dimensional” (right click -> choose action).

  17. I have a problem with 4.1.6066.41997: For one user (role User) cannot change the Assigned To field for tasks anymore.
    Previous version .41964 was fine still.
    4.1.6066.41997 has no entry in the Userguide WRT to its changes also.

    1. My mistake, I”ve added this change to UG. User can change assignee only if he/she created the task. If he/she needs to change assignee, priority or deadline for any task then you need to upgrade his/her role to ‘power user’.

  18. Hi Dmitry,

    We’re still happily using Portable Kanban 🙂

    And I have 2 feature suggestions:

    1) be able to see the subtasks in the tooltip pop-up when hovering (or even just the incomplete subtasks).

    2) make it so the border around ‘found’ cards is thicker when doing a search. I have a hard time seeing the found cards. . .Or make it so ‘found’ can be identified by a whole-card color-change. (I don’t use card color-changes for status changes, I prefer to keep the topic color permanent, so I use borders for status, which makes it hard to discern ‘found’ cards – but I’d gladly use the card-color-change temporarily in finding cards

    Thanks again for a great tool!

    1. Re #2: try these settings:
      Setup/Options/Tasks/Selected text color and Selected background color
      Frame selected tasks = False (to turn off frames & use solid color)
      Or: Thick frames = True, Frame selected tasks = False. Selected and found tasks shown the same way.

      1. Took me awhile to check this – but yeah, that helped! I was using a thick frame, but it wasn’t enough. Turning the whole selected tile is great. Thanks again!

  19. Hi Dmitry

    I have a problem with the version 4.1.6084.41997.
    I’ve created a couple of views for the completed tasks (any topic, any person, status=completed and a filter on attribute tag) but the views are empty.

    Thanks in advance…


  20. Good morning, Dmitry!

    Thank you for your great application Portable Kanban, and thank you for providing it for free.

    I’m sure you can help me with a problem I have. I have an Kanban Board, and I would like to insert a new column between already existing ones, All I can do is to rename a column, or add another at the end. But I did not find out (or read) how to reorder the columns.

    Is there a way to do so?

    And I have a feature request: how would it be to have a backend to be reached over HTTPS in addition of Redis? This would enable workers like me who work at mulple customers with multiple PCs to set up a private data store on our own servers, and using Portable Kanban as a frontend on the customer’s PCs. Typically, we only have HTTP over authenticated proxies.

    1. I think you only need to create a new column, then mark the line (in front of the row) and use the “move up/down” arrows above the column-table to re-order.

          1. Oh, I see it. I did’nt recognize the sybols on top of the table. I tried to drag-and-drop the rows … OK, problem solved, error sits between chair and screen.

            Thank you.

  21. Excellent application, using it for a long time now. Thank you very much. Would it be possible to revert the time Format for estimats to decimal (maybe as an Option)? I would prefer this.

  22. I’m using this tool for over 3 months now and it’s an awesome piece of software.

    As I’m trying to sync the color code of my tasks between different applications, choosing a color form a long, long list is not giving me the expected result. So, if there’s anything I’m missing, it would be the color picker in settings. And an additional “pipette like” thing, which can probe any color form the screen, would be a total jaw drop.

  23. Wow, that’s it! Exactly what I searched for: Offline, No sync with the World, No Installation and it works perfectly.
    Thx for the good Work!

  24. Hi Dmitry,

    thanks for this great Kanban tool! I really appreciate your efforts!
    Just that you get some feedback on how your tool gets used: I’m using it completely on my own. So multiple assignees or time tracking is not a feature I will ever use. besides that multiple columns, priorities, and topics are the basics of my setup.

    Some suggestions for new features from my side:
    1. Hierarchical tasks where the “father” automatically closes if all sub tasks have been completed
    2. Regular tasks. I have monthly and weekly tasks I need to perform. It would be nice if these would be created automatically based on a defined schedule.
    3. Free text fields. Would be nice to have at least a free text field which could be displayed on the card on the board.
    4. basic commands on a right click menu would also be appreciated (copy, paste, delete, change prio, change topic, change…).

    Thanks again and keep up the good work!

  25. Best KANBAN OFFLINE Tool . Can we ask for a feature request ? We can utilize views alternatively but would be great to have swim lane support . Provides a Holistic view.

  26. Dimitry,

    Any thought to linking/associating tasks together? We currently use PK to track projects from design to installation. These projects often have change orders associated with them. The change order is added as a new “card” in PK. I’d like to be able to link/associate the change order to the original task somehow

  27. Hi Dmitry,

    this is a fabulous application.

    I have two small suggestions:

    1. It would be great to introduce continuous task tracking, i.e.: pausing the task would reset the timer but would add to the total time spent on the task (activity time)

    2. It would be great for each task and subtask to have a label which displays the age and also the activity time (tracked time during which the user was actively working on the task)

  28. Hi Dmitry!
    ¡Your app is great! is the easiest to use.

    I had a suggestion about the time tracking.

    I wonder if is it possible to add to the time track a field which be auto filled with the column that belong to it that moment.

    Let me explain,

    I had Backlog, Doing, Test, Done and Archive as my columns.
    When i start a task at “Doing” and hit the time track and stopping it some times, after transfer it to “Test” and hit the time track and make the test and again move it back to “Doing” an so on.

    I lost completly the track of the task i don’t know how much time the task expend in “Doing” neither in “Test”.

    At the end when the task is on “Done” and generate the report, there is no way to perform a look back to know what happend with some taks that had being in a cycle ford and backwards. Also at the time tracking tab of each task there is no way.

    Now i’m doing it editing the comment and writting down “Doing” or “Test” but it is very tedious and some time i forget it.

    Thank you so much for your hard work.

  29. Hi! Great application!

    But I have one small request – when you publish a new version can you include some kind of a changelog with it? Because it’s kinda confusing when you don’t know what features was added or what behaviour has been changed.

    Thank you for you hard work once again!

  30. I have been scouring the internet for an application like this. This is great. Any chance of getting colours for the column headings?

  31. Me again, I’ve been using it the whole morning and one of its best feature is the customization. We can really change everything, and it rocks !
    Nevertheless, I’d have a suggestion for a next feature : In Columns settings, could you add a feature which would be “Reset creation date”. This way, when we put a task within the column “ongoing”, it sets the moment at which we really start doing it.
    Later on, when completing the task by moving it to “Done” column, with the “Auto Complete” feature, we can have the effective time we took to complete the tasks.
    I hope it’s clear, and congrats again.

  32. Thanks for you hard work. I’ve just discovered Kanban board yesterday, and your application will be of a great support. I’ll stay tuned for updates.

  33. Hi Ivanov
    I have 20 columns and these are very small.
    are ways columns fix and then scroll left and right ??

  34. I have to calculate a few statistics from my kanban board (number of tasks in certain time intervals, velocity for different topics, etc). I would like to get this done more less automatically. What is the best to retrieve data from PK automatically? Do I need to use Redis and reverse engineer the database?

  35. Wow. The new version has very nice documentation included. Thanks a lot, Dimitry. Although I am using KB since a long time I still learnt something new!

    Could you maybe include a “changes” section in the pdf or add a separate changes.txt text file? It would be nice to know what a new version brings (which bug fixes, changes, features).

    1. Yeah a change log would be really good, so we can look through all the new features and play with them.

  36. Nice tool Dimitry, however:
    why you do not allow multiple files?, as simple as a choose folder to select the file you want to work with.
    why right click menu is not used? very convenient for things like deleting a task quickly.

  37. Hi Dimitry,

    We have been using your Kanban tool and are wondering if there are any ways in which we can export comments that we have recorded against tasks. Is this functionality likely to be included in future releases?

    Thanks and regards,


  38. Hey Dimity. Thanks for an excellent tool. My problem: changed computers and copied my entire folder over to new machine. Want to run Portable Kanban on new computer but get error message “data file is locked by another instance of Portable Kanban”. What to do? Thanks

  39. Hello Dmitry,
    complements on this tool i’m using it for a while now
    but i’m wondering if there is the possibility to get the planned hours also in the time tracking report

  40. Hi Dmitry, the auto-update seems to work now behind a proxy. Did you implement it? Thanks a lot for implementation!

    Please let me request some additional features:

    1.) I would like to have a Task number to identify Tasks independently of its description. Also it would be fine if we can setup an optional prefix for task numbers. For example if we would define a task number prefix let’s say “KB”, then a task number would be generated as “KB1234567”.

    2.) Handling more than 1 Link per task. I would like to have a multiple links in the task. For multiple Mails or other additional docs. Implementation suggestion: I don’t know is PK is able to decide where a drop action is done, over an existing task or on the headline of the column. In the case the file or mail is dropped over an existing task, and field “Link” is already in use, PK should create a new folder with task number (example of task numbers usage ;-)) and copy the dropped file or mail along with the previous linked doc, and put the folder path into the “Link” field. PK must take care if the folder already exists it have to just copy the dropped file to the existing folder, that is all.

    3.) A “Requester” field in Task. It can be just a free Text field. To note down who requested the feature or reported the incident.

    Anyway PK is a great tool loved by our team of the 6-10 persons. Using Redis.

    Best Regards

  41. Dmitry, just wanted to pass on my compliments and appreciation. I’ve been using this successfully now for over a year, which is way longer than any other task tracking software implementation that I have ever tried – and I have tried many, many of them over the past ~10 years, since reading Getting Things Done a long time ago. Maybe I’ve learned how to better judge what things are worth tracking in which tool, but I think the simplicity of your Kanban approach helps greatly (not withstanding the complexity that you hide). Well done!

  42. Hi Ivanov,

    I just found your software and it lookes great. It seems we can work with this software and trow out the old whiteboard. 🙂

    I do have a question. When moving a task to the next column it will always move up as far as possible. I would like to let the task stay at the same horizontal level. Is this an option, or a configurationparameter. Or is it not available in this version?

    Please let met know and keep up the good work.

      1. Hi Dmitry, thanks for your reply. I saw this setting, but it is not doing what I want.
        All my colums have the do-not-sort setting. When I move a task from one column to the next one it stil jumps to first available slot. it will not stay on the same horizontal level/row.

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