Kanbani

The Advanced Task Planner

Welcome to Kanbani – a robust, developer-friendly task management app that allows online collaboration and completely offline work, data sharing and synchronization between devices over Wi-Fi and e-mail, on-demand backups in standard formats and more.

Users of Trello will find Kanbani very familiar, yet with unique features like mass-change commands, the Timeline view, fluid interaction, end-to-end data encryption and self-hosted servers.

Boards, Lists and Cards

“Kanban” is a methodology of organizing a workflow (both personal and a team’s) and is a Japanese word literally translating to “billboard”. In its simplest form, a Kanban “board” has 3 “lists” (or “columns”) named “To Do”, “Doing” and “Done”, filled with “cards” (each representing a particular small task). Upcoming tasks are put into “To Do”; when a task starts being worked on, it’s moved to “Doing” and when it’s finished – to “Done”, from which it’s eventually archived or deleted. Because moving between adjacent lists is so common, Kanbani includes two quick-access commands to do so.

When you create your first board, Kanbani adds these 3 standard lists into it. However, you are free to change them and organize your workflow any way you want even if it doesn’t adhere to Kanban – such as for simply organizing your notes.

The smallest “unit” – card – holds the “actually useful” information: short summary (“Title”), details (“Description”, which can be anyhow large – easily 100,000 symbols or longer), deadline (“Due Date”), etc.

Cards are sorted into lists. Lists are part of a board. Boards are isolated structures which do not “see” or interact with each other – if you are collaborating on a project, it’s board(s) that you are going to share.

You can have as many boards as you want. Normally you’d have two boards: personal (private, not shared) and work-related (shared with your team). The number of lists and cards is also unlimited although it may affect the duration of your synchronization.

Common Gestures

Gestures in Kanbani depend on the context but their use is consistent among the screens.

Short tap Entirely context-specific – triggers some action. Active tab: scroll to top.
Long tap Button: displays a hint explaining the button’s purpose. Rare buttons and all tabs and Timeline headers: creates a new card or submits the selection (in Reorder mode). Cards: displays the context menu. Checkbox: toggles all/none.
Double tap Used for some backgrounds, such as in a list with fewer cards that can fit on screen (or no cards at all). Creates a new card or other type of data depending on the context.

The Red Dot – Change Indicator

Card(s) changed by the last operation are indicated by putting a red dot before their Title in normal and Timeline views.

Archived Cards

When a card loses actuality, it’s “archived” – hidden from normal views but still retaining the entire set of properties. You can browse such cards by switching between normal and archived lists using a command in the main menu.

“Unarchiving” is done the same way as archiving – via the card’s context menu or by unchecking the checkbox in its form. The card will be restored in its pristine state, preserving even its original position in the list.

To avoid having to manually archive the cards use the Archive Threshold preference – it ensures that list(s) has no more than a configured number of non-archived cards.

With time, you may accumulate a lot of archived cards wasting space and memory. You can permanently remove them by hand using a command appearing in the multi-selection mode’s context menu.

Note: some commands delete cards bypassing the archive. In all such cases, you will see a prompt (in contrast with archiving which yields no prompt). For example, removal of a list or board irreversibly removes all contained cards.

Permanent Deletion & Privacy

As explained above, archiving a card simply changes a flag while keeping all other information. However, removal is not entirely trace-less either: the card’s unique identifier (a short random string) is kept to allow detecting deleted cards during synchronization (so that they do not come back when another party synchronizes with you).

All other card’s data is cleared – Title, Description, etc.

Multi-Selection Mode

At some point after having used Kanbani for a while you may discover that your initial board structure is not well fitting your current workflow and many cards should be reordered, or that some operations need to affect many tasks at once.

Unlike Trello, Kanbani allows you to apply almost every action to multiple cards in the same way they are applied to a single card:

  1. First, long-tap one of the cards you wish to change to display its context menu.
  2. In the menu, tap the central command button – you will see checkboxes appearing next to every card in the list.
  3. Check the cards you want to change. Tap on an unchecked card checks it, on a checked card – displays the menu. Long tap on a checkbox checks or unchecks all cards in that list.
  4. You can check cards in different lists and even different boards. Observe the status line for how many cards are flagged. Names of the board(s) and list(s) having even one card checked are output in red.
  5. Once finished, call the menu by tapping any checked card and perform the operation as if on a single card.
  6. Upon completion, you will notice that the checked cards got marked with a red dot to indicate that they have been modified. The dot doesn’t appear if the operation resulted in no change (e.g. picked Due Date was not different for a card)

Press the Back button anytime to cancel the ongoing operation or leave multi-selection mode.

The Pie Menu

Kanbani features an efficient way to operate on cards via what is known as “pie”, “radial” or “marking menu” (Wikipedia). The efficiency is two-fold:

Every user has his own habits and there is no single rule that fits everyone. Similarly to how on the desktop you can configure the speed of a double click, Kanbani allows you to configure the single-tap command invocation.

When you tap a card and the menu appears, a timer is started with the value of Long tap lock delay (by default it’s high enough to favor users calling the command using two taps).

As you are getting used to Kanbani, we encourage you to lower Long tap lock delay (to 500 ms, 300 ms or perhaps even 100 ms) and predominantly use the single-tap command invocation for much faster and fluid interaction.

The swipe-to-save gesture in the card’s form can also boost your productivity.

Sharing, VCS & ICS File Formats

You can exchange Kanbani data with people that do not have it installed, or with non-Android devices, using the Share command in the card’s context menu. However, some information (like list position or board name) is bound to be lost because it cannot be represented in the target format.

With Share, you can choose one of these formats:

Text This is the simplest format suitable for virtually any application – printing, e-mail, clipboard, etc. Multiple cards can be shared at once, in which case their text data is combined into one string separated with dashes.
VCS/ICS This format is normally used by calendar and contact apps. VCS is an older format while ICS is newer but both are basically the same for Kanbani.