12 January 2013
Kanban Boards: Not for Gabe But Do They Help With Getting Things Done?
A very interesting article attracted my attention a while back – written by someone calling himself Gabe. He was trying to replace his OmniFocus project task management tool with other task management software that supported GTD concepts and had a good native iPhone app.
What in the world is GTD, you might rightly ask? GTD means Getting Things Done and I’ll explain it briefly here.
Main GTD Concepts
The key elements of GTD, as formulated by David Allen, the creator of the methodology, are control and perspective. In order to organise the workflow, it uses context lists and uses them to “drive one’s priorities” and define perspectives.
The Quest for the Right Project Task Management Software
Gabe practises the methodolgy of GTD and needs a new tool (better than OmniFocus, which he has grown out of) to work with Windows, as well as with iPad. So he sets upon a quest of finding the best tool for his purposes.
There are many project management tools out there that have (or claim to have) the desired functions. Gabe reviews them one by one, rejects some quickly and describes his user experience.
A System that Works for Everyone?
For example, he describes Todoist as “nice but very limited”, even the premium package. The basic account, offered for free, he describes as “almost useless”. Trello, is a simple, free, kanban board-based tool…but it is not for Gabe. Nuff said. Orchestra receives a shining review and… gets rejected also. Gabe is looking for an improvement on OmniFocus and, apparently, that’s not what Orchestra offers. Finally, he reviews Nozbe. It is the closest one to the target Gabe set, but still not quite there, so the quest has to continue. Perhaps we’ll hear from Gabe again in the nearest future.
I would agree with his conclusion: “There’s never going to be a single system that works well for everyone in every situation.” You need to evaluate web collaboration tools to be sure that you pick the one that suits the way you work.
No Shortcut to the Right Work Management System
It takes time and effort to find a suitable workflow management or task management system. Just checking features against a checklist almost never works. What works now might not work in the future. Good first impressions might disappear as you move forward and become a ‘pro’ user, with more data and more sophisticated demands for organising, accessing and distributing that data.
Though Gabe decided against a kanban board system, many are ending up going down this path. The simple, effective organisation it allows in getting things done is attractive to many. Kanbanchi, for example, has over 40 000 users who think that it’s a good way to organise work and manage projects. If you wouldn’t agree with Gabe and want to try this that kanban-based tool, you may start it right now. We think that kanban is a great and simple method of organising work process.