Question

What is your favorite kanban board layout?

Kanban boards are everywhere, after Trello popularized them with its simple kanban-only workflow. You can reorder your Asana tasks (along with those in many other project management apps) in a kanban board, turn an Airtable database into a kanban board, organize your leads and contacts in a kanban-style board in Pipedrive or many other CRMs, organize Notion notes with a kanban board, or even visualize outline items in Roam on a basic kanban board.

The core idea is the same in each app: You’ve got columns and cards. Cards hold tasks, notes, ideas; columns organize them. And that’s where the magic happens, as the columns let you create a unique workflow for your tasks.

What are your favorite kanban board layouts? Would love to hear about the unique workflows you’ve built—and see screenshots if you can share!

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kil0ran's avatar
2 months ago

Notion for me. It was Airtable but seeing as Notion is so similar but adds so much more flexbility I'll go with that.

As a content creator I have one built around publishing (Ideation, Writing, Review, Proof, Publish, Follow Up). Because there's a lot of back and forth between me and the client I've got custom fields as follows

  1. Who the next action is with (literally - "Me" or "Them")

  2. Customisable update tracking to check whether a task has gone stale. I manually record last action date, set a threshold in days, and have a Stale Tasks view which really helps with spotting a plate is about to stop spinning. The beauty of this is that the threshold is customisable - at the start maybe you're only expecting updates every 7 days, as you near publication you can set that every couple of days or even daily.

  3. And I've just built a time tracker using this Timesheets example https://www.notion.so/Timesheets-4824fb5a37fb44a18fb7db2373969b81
    That's been linked back to my Task Tracker and I use rollups to automatically report how much time I've spent. And because all my tasks are categorised (Webinar, White Paper, Event, Podcast, and so on) I can easily do a rollup for those and get an overview of where my time is going

All of the above isn't too time-consuming, I spend 15 minutes at the start and end of the day updating tasks and building my action list for the next day.

4 points
maguay's avatar
@maguay (replying to @kil0ran )
2 months ago

These are awesome, thanks for sharing! The timesheets example sheet is great; love that it includes the formulas to include too. And I’ll have to give that stale task idea a try. That sounds very helpful.

My last editorial team had originally managed content in a Google Sheets spreadsheet, then we went to Trello, and finally ended up with a more customized Airtable workflows. And now at Capiche, we’re planning everything in Notion. Each step gets a bit more detailed but also a bit easier to manage; for me, Notion’s note/writing tools make the tasks more actionable for writing since you can actually include the real content in the cards if you want.

3 points
kil0ran's avatar
@kil0ran (replying to @maguay )
2 months ago

This is exactly why I prefer Notion to Trello, everything in one place really helps and it's so easy to adapt an existing database using relations and rollups

2 points
maguay's avatar
@maguay (replying to @kil0ran )
2 months ago

Embeds, too—you can have a task, write notes about it in Notion, embed the design from Figma or a draft from Google Docs, and track everything together in Notion.

It gets messy, but it also somehow still makes work less messy.

1 point
imknight's avatar
2 months ago

Trello is still what I love, after trying migrate to Notion for a few times. I still come back to Trello. I love it simple and straight forward and I think Notion not really suitable for me because I m not a writing guy, I just write some quick so trello perfect suit me

3 points
maguay's avatar
@maguay (replying to @imknight )
2 months ago

Trello definitely makes it easy to organize stuff in kanban boards without overthinking it!

Got any favorite board layouts you use the most?

2 points
clobber's avatar
2 months ago

Unfortunately, I am somewhat locked down to using the Jira Kanban boards at work - and it is a bit too cumbersome. Just setting up a simple board is very too complex and for many use cases requires setting up an entirely new project complete with the full ticketing system and the full features.

I have tried both simple and complex flows, but gravitate to a simple 4 column board. Many of my projects rely on people in specific locations doing work. Therefore, the simplest and most efficient flow has been columns of Queue, To-do By My Location, To-do By Other Location, and Done. Tasks often flip flop between the middle two. It is a simple system that works, but is cumbersome with in JIRA

2 points
maguay's avatar
@maguay (replying to @clobber )
2 months ago

Oh neat, typically you hear of kanban boards used as a workflow to take tasks from the left side to the right in steps, so it's great to hear of a more unique setup.

Do you then add locations to tasks with tags, or how do you sort those columns to figure out the correct location for "other location" tasks?

1 point
siddxxvii's avatar
2 months ago

When it just comes to feature like KanBan then hands down Trello and Jira. I dont think there is any other app/service which offer so many customization plus add-ons (Butler for example) like trello and jira does. And I using notion, clickup as well but when it comes to KanBan and customization to Kanban view i really dont think Trello and Jira can be defeated.

Recently Trello has been very active in improving their product and adding new features and add-ons

1 point
maguay's avatar
@maguay (replying to @siddxxvii )
2 months ago

MeisterTask might be close on add-ons. Theirs are typically more built around automation—say to email someone when a task is moved into a specific column—and I haven't dug into them deeply, but seems like there's a lot of options there.

Notion's kanban boards are better for storing tons of data, worse for automating it. Hopefully that will change whenever Notion launches their API.

What are your favorite Trello Butler customizations?

2 points
siddxxvii's avatar
@siddxxvii (replying to @maguay )
2 months ago

I totally agree with you on the notion side, and i love notion but things are limited at the moment, so yes i am also waiting for Notion API.

With Trello Butler I am using basic automations at the moment like after few days move the card from pending to solved case. and then sorting features based on tags/priority

2 points
timji's avatar
2 months ago

i think in terms of Kanban systems is #trello one of my favorites. For PM i use clickup because of the visualisation of the project, tasks and subtasks.

1 point
maguay's avatar
@maguay (replying to @timji )
2 months ago

Oh cool, have heard a ton of great things about ClickUp from others in the Capiche community!

Do you have any specific kanban board layouts in ClickUp you find most helpful for your work?

1 point
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