Kanban may seem like a strange word (unless you happen to speak Japanese!) but it’s really just another word for a graphical to-do list.  The AgilePress Kanban board is great for personal projects, from remodeling your house to planning a party or any number of other multi-step endeavors.

In this example, we’re college students and we have a research paper to write.  The first step is to create a product, which in this case is the paper itself:

the Edit screen in WordPress admin

Your project’s name goes in the “title” box and a brief description in the “excerpt” field.  The “Product Information” at the bottom probably isn’t relevant to our research paper, so we’ll just leave those fields blank.

multiple attachments can be added from WP Admin or from board notes

Finally, you can add an attachment if you’re so inclined; for instance, if your Anthropology instructor gave you a PDF describing the requirements of your paper.

Now when you go to the “All Products” list, you can see the shortcode that you’ll use to display your board:

the “App Products” screen shows Backlog and Kanban shortcodes

However, before we concern ourselves with displaying the Kanban we should add a few tasks.  Select “New,” “Task,” and let’s get started:

all AgilePress objects can be created from the top “New” menu

Adding a task isn’t a whole lot different from adding a product, there are just a few more fields at the end.  Start with a title and a brief description of each task:

adding a new Task from WordPress Admin

Make sure that you select your “Research Paper” product for the “Associated Product” field.  Set the “Task Status” to “To-Do” and keep moving down the page:

attachments can be added to Tasks; these will be accessible from the Boards as well

Don’t worry about “Assignee,” it will default to you on its own.  Priority is optional too; it matters more for group projects but for our research paper we don’t need it.

For our example, we went ahead and filled up our board with lots of tasks:

Tasks can be filtered by their associated Products and Sprints

Remember how our list of products showed the shortcode for the Kanban board?  If we grab that now and add it to a page, we’ll have our Kanban board:

the Tasks from this tutorial as shown from the Kanban board view

Now, if this were more than an example, this would be the hard part: you’d have to write a research paper on anthropology!  Fortunately, you have our permission to skip the paper-writing and just do the easy part: moving sticky notes around on the board.

Here’s an example of what it might look like as we progressed through the writing of our epic anthropology paper:

our new Kanban Board in action

We’ve chosen our topic and found our reference materials; that’s why those two tasks are already in the “Done” column.  We’ve made our thesis statement, our tentative outline, and we’ve organized our notes… but we’re leaving these three notes in the “In Review” column for now because we might yet go back and make some changes to them.

Right now, we’re in the process of writing our first draft, which is why that task is “In Progress.”  The notes in the “To Do” column are things we haven’t started yet.

We attached our research materials to the “Find Reference Materials” note, and we can refer to them anytime:

adding an Attachment from WP Admin

(Don’t forget to save the post using the WordPress post update button; the attachment only stays if you do!)

remove Attachments by checking the box and then updating the Task

We can see the attachments either from the admin panel (like the above) or from the boards (by clicking the paperclip icon):

viewing Attachments from the Kanban Board

You can do a lot with the row of buttons across the bottom of every note:

close up of a Note showing the Actions Bar (the Font Awesome icons across the bottom)
  • The pencil icon lets you change the wording of the note;
  • The chat bubble allows you to make comments on your notes;
  • The paperclip, as already mentioned, is for attachments;
  • The gear icon lets you change any of the note’s settings;
  • The “x” icon lets you delete a note.

In the case of our example (the research paper that we thankfully don’t really have to write!), you could use AgilePress not only to organize your process but to store all your related files and notes.  And, if you’re so inclined, you can allow others (such as our imaginary Anthropology professor, a tutor, or classmates) to see your board and comment on the process.

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