Love Noisli and want to become an affiliate? Learn more
Home  ›  Productivity  ›  Productivity system: Personal Kanban

Productivity system: Personal Kanban


Noisli - Productivity system- Personal Kanban

What is Kanban?

Kanban is a productivity method that has its origin in Japan in the 1940s, and the name comes from the Japanese word Kanban (看板) which means “signboard”.

In fact, the Kanban method uses a visual board to provide a clear overview of a project by showing the tasks that need to be done, those that are currently being worked on and those that have been completed.
The core principle of the system lies in the status of the single tasks, as each task has to go through To-Do, Doing and finally Done.

If you frequently find yourself asking “Where are we? What’s the status?” and feel the need for a visual overview, then Kanban might be a good productivity system for you.

How Kanban works

  • You need a board (digital or analog) that you can divide into 3 columns: “To Do”, “Doing” and “Done”
  • Write all your tasks on individual cards and put them under the “To-Do” column
  • When you start working on a task, move the respective card to “Doing”
  • Once the task is completed, move it to “Done”.

If you work with a physical board you can use sticky notes for each task and move them to the different columns as you progress. If you want to work digitally, then you can use tools such as Trello or Todoist.

Kanban can be customized as you see fit: you can add more columns if you feel that your project needs more stages and you can also assign different people to different tasks, add due dates, notes etc.

When to use Kanban

Kanban is great for everyone that needs to manage a project and wants to have a visual overview of it. It helps you monitor the overall progress and to keep a smooth flow of tasks moving throughout the various stages. You can manage the overall workload and limit the amount of work in progress, as you can quickly see and act when there are too many tasks being started but not getting finished.

You can use Kanban both for your personal projects as well as if you’re collaborating with others.

If you’re working in a team, using Kanban is a great way to give everybody a clear overview of the status of the project as everyone can see what tasks need to be done and who is doing what. Since each member can autonomously move the tasks around, the status of the project is always dynamic and up to date.

If you’re using it on a personal level, you can use it for all your to-dos, or you can use it for different projects by making a board for each project. You could for example have a board for a birthday party you’re planning, a board for all the household chores and another board for your side project.

In summary, Kanban is highly customizable and can basically be used for any type of project, which is one of the reasons this productivity system is so popular.

Avatar photo Written by Sabine Staggl

Noisli for your business

We offer businesses a free 3-month trial of our Business plan so that you can experience the full benefits of Noisli with your team!