How I used Kanbani for a week to boost my productivity
Last week we told you about Kanbani, a free (and ad-free) task manager we think you should really take a look at. If you missed our original article, you can read it here. As a reminder, the application brings in an old Japanese model of managing tasks, by employing what the concept describes as a “board” (kanban actually means board in Japanese).
Think of it as a whiteboard for tracking all of your tasks, from the initial idea stage to the progress, execution, and ultimately, the completion of the task.
I left my colleagues on our official business tools for a week and went rogue by using Kanbani on my own to experience the app and the concept. Don’t get me wrong, with Kanbani you can have multiple users and you can even host the tasks on your own secure server, but I wanted to see how it makes an impact on my life, and specifically, my productivity.
As far as I’m concerned, Kanbani encompasses all the tools that I’ve been using, which all translate to separate apps. Asana for task management, Calendar for appointments and events, and Evernote for taking notes and drafting stuff up.
With Kanbani, you get everything in one place. Thanks to Techtober (going way into November), I have a lot of devices in for review, aside from the regular day-to-day tasks and operations required to run the website. Needless to say that my To-Do list quickly got populated.
My setup consists of three boards: To Do, Doing, and Done. This is pretty much the default setup once you download and launch the app, and it just so happens to match my needs. I will likely add one more board for generic ideas, where we will eventually filter stuff out: some will get deleted, some will get promoted to the To-Do list.
How Kanbani can replace Asana
Just like in Asana, you can assign tasks in Kanbani to yourself or others. It also has a timeline representation of everything that you have going on, so you can easily, at a glance, know how tight your schedule is.
As any particular Task advances through its stages, just like in changing a status in Asana, the task will evolve through the boards until it’s ultimately completed. If you’re using the app while collaborating with your colleagues (remember, you can securely share boards via QR codes in an encrypted fashion), upon synchronization, you will be able to track your co-workers’ progress as well, in case you are managing teams.
They can also contribute to other boards, if you are bouncing ideas back and forth, by populating a board destined for brainstorming.
How Kanbani can replace Evernote
…this particular stage is also the one where it can replace other third-party tools like Evernote. You no longer have to use another service in order to collect ideas and brainstorm. Whether that’s across the organization, or individually, you can easily create a board with items that are yet unclear whether they’ll materialize in something or will get ditched, or even postponed.
A typical usage scenario in our case would be editors’ jotting down ideas for editorials and general coverage, our SEO team would filter through it initially to find the best opportunities, and the publication leader would then decide who does what and when by assigning those tasks back to the editors.
How Kanbani replaced my Calendar
I’ve got two calendars in my life: a work calendar (that’s green) and a private calendar (that’s blue). For the week I’ve migrated to Kanbani because of its timeline representation of tasks, which is pretty much how I use the Calendar app.
By using color labels you can define as many color codes as you would like. I kept the green and blue approach but added a red label for stuff that should take priority over anything else on said day.
I’ll list some of the reasons you should take a look at Kanbani. You have absolutely nothing to lose! It’s not only free, but it’s ad-free. It’s privacy-oriented (you don’t need to sign up, create users, etc.), and sharing is QR code-based with encryption. It’s secure, as in you and your team have the option of hosting the boards on your own secure servers, or even decide to take it offline and maintain most of the functionalities. It might improve your productivity by replacing several different tools you’re currently using, by bringing them under the same umbrella.
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