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I love a good kanban board. I’ve found them to be an exceptional method of helping me keep track of my numerous writing projects, as well as other areas of my personal and professional life. If you find yourself having trouble managing various projects, you should probably consider adding a kanban board or two into the mix to see if they can help refine and define your workflow.

SEE: Hiring kit: Project manager (TechRepublic Premium)

I’ve recently discovered that Todoist also includes a kanban option that is really quite nice. Thing is, creating a kanban board in Todoist isn’t exactly the most intuitive task. In fact, the kanban option is quite well tucked away. Fortunately, I’ve uncovered the secret and am here to pass it along to you.

With that said, let’s get our kanban on with Todoist.

What you’ll need

To make this work, you’ll need an account with Todoist. You can use the free account (which is what I use), but you will be limited to five projects and five collaborators per project. You can purchase one of the paid plans:

  • Pro–$4/user/month for up to 300 active projects and 25 collaborators.
  • Business–$6/user/month for up to 500 active projects and 50 collaborators.

If you’ve never used Todoist before, start with the free plan to see if it’s a service you’d like to expand on.

Once you’ve created your account, you can start building your kanban board.

How to create a project in Todoist

The first thing we’ll do is create a project. To do that, log into your Todoist account and hover your cursor over the Projects entry (Figure A).

Figure A

The Projects entry in the sidebar is where it all begins.
The Projects entry in the sidebar is where it all begins in Todoist.

Click + and then, in the resulting window (Figure B), fill out the details for the new project and make sure to select Board as the type of View you want.

Figure B

Creating a new Todoist Project.
Creating a new Todoist Project.

When finished, click Add. You will then be presented with your new Project board (Figure C).

Figure C

Our new Tech Articles board in Todoist.
Our new Tech Articles board in Todoist.

Give the first section a name and click Add Section. You should then see a new Add section button directly to the right of the section you’ve just named (Figure D).

Figure D

We've named our first section and can now create more.
We’ve named our first section in Todioist and can now create more.

Keep building out sections until you have your kanban board complete. Start adding tasks to your sections, and you’ve built a full-blown kanban board (Figure E).

Figure E

Our brand new kanban board in Todoist.
Our brand new kanban board in Todoist.

That all seems really easy and quite obvious. So, where’s the less-than-intuitive issue I spoke about earlier?

Let’s say you’ve already created projects on Todoist that weren’t of a kanban nature. By default, those will all be displayed as lists. Fortunately, Todoist makes it possible to switch between List and kanban views. Here’s how:

  • Log into Todoist.
  • Click on the Project in question.
  • Click the View button and then click the View as drop-down (Figure F).
  • Select Board.

Figure F

Changing the view of a project from List to Board.
Changing the view of a project from List to Board in Todoist.

OK, it’s not terribly difficult to figure out, but until you know where to look, you’re stuck with the list view, and that’s not nearly as efficient as the board view.

Congratulations, you’ve just shifted Todoist into a more robust, modern tool to help you keep track of your tasks and projects.

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