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Kanban – Plugin Idea

I keep posting about a Kanban idea, so I thought I’d flesh it out a little further. Seems like this will be better as a Plugin, so I will wait for that, but thought maybe I could get some feedback in the meantime.

Caveats: I roughly used the new styles for this, but in no way is this attempting to show finalized design. Just wanted to rough out the concept. Sorry for the terrible GIF quality!

Boards

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The way I envision this is that there is a new type of markdown file (like a note or to-do) called a board. These would appear in the normal note list, and clicking them would open them as a board.

Each column in the board is a tag.

When it first opens, you can see that a board file is defined in yaml like traditional markdown. You can define which tag is which column, and give them an easier to read name (ready --> Ready to Review)

YAML example
---
title: "Editorial Flow"
tags: 
- 'Blog Posts'
- 'Recipes'
type: board
columns: 
    1: 
        tag: none // this is none, so that it picks up any thing tagged "Blog Post" that doesn't have another column defined, an easy way to pickup new notes.
        name: inbox
    2: 
        tag: 'to-research'
        name: researching
    3:
        tag: 'writing'
        name: writing
    4: 
        tag: 'ready'
        name: ready for review
    5:
        tag: 'done'
        name: done

---

In this example, I am in the tag “Blog Posts” viewing the board “Editorial Flow”.

Notes

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You can view and edit notes like normal in the right panel, just by clicking on them. You could drag the column to change the width, just like normal.

The fancy part is that dragging a note between columns automatically updates the tag.

In this example, the note “Fall Newsletter” had the tag “writing” and when I moved it, that was replaced with “ready”.

Misc

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  • Since columns are tags, when you add a column, you see a list of all the tags in use across the current notes and can add new ones.
  • Since boards are just a special type of file to look at other notes, you can have many boards for the same set of notes. Think a GTD, story maps, roadmap planning etc.
  • Also, you can reuse them across different tags, just by tagging the board to another collection. In this example, my Editorial Flow is tagged with “Blog Posts” and “Recipes”
10 Likes

That looks really slick and cleverly implemented around Joplin core features! It also fits into the proposed new design very nicely. I’m not a Kanban user but I am sure there are many Joplin users who could make great use of something like this as a Joplin plugin.

Thanks for developing the idea, it’s always good to have such detailed spec as it can make a good project idea for the next GSoC or similar event.

The plugin system would support the creation of the 5 column views and I think most of the ideas mentioned in your spec. Clicking on a note and displaying something other than a note is not supported yet but I could add a hook for it relatively easily.

By the way, any chance you could add this post to the GitHub issue tracker? It’s the best place to keep track of well developed ideas like this one. I think I’ll create a new label so that we can get a list of these ideas easily (there are also specs like this for OCR and BibText support for example).

2 Likes

I would just like to add my support. I think is a very neat way of implementing a kanban approach, and I think it would be of great benefit to any users who want a kanban option.

+10 from me :+1:

2 Likes

Added it here: https://github.com/laurent22/joplin/issues/3567

Thanks for the support all!

4 Likes

Thanks, I am in! Only a few things: column colours are very visible and useful for Kanban, the + could be smaller and a side the title.
A Kanban implementation, plugin or not, would make Joplin a double super app! :wink:
Now I am copying text from Joplin to a Kanban app and back, not a nice workflow.
But then it would have to be in the mobile version also, to become a complete home, travel and work note taking/planning environment.

Such plugin has to be coded in which code environment?

Hey @bartatgithub thanks for the feedback. When you say column colors, how do you use them? Sounds like a good idea, but want to understand better.

As for the + button, yes, that could be moved.

I am not sure if the plugin system is available on mobile, but agree, that would be ideal!

Quite simple but visual a must; one colour per column or colours per project.
I have used this one for a long time: https://kanboard.org
But no app, only run on own server and use in browser.

Interesting, that makes sense. Seems like having colored tags might be a way to easily implement that.

Fascinating idea, has my full support!

This is awesome. I already use an app called Trello which is basically centered around the Kanban method. I could see myself using Joplin similarly, especially if things synced with Trello.

1 Like