Kanban board.

My desk area at home.

A few months ago, I was inspired by Dylan Wolf’s Kanban Board setup, and so I decided to implement one for myself. As I mentioned before, not only do I have daily chores and tasks I want to accomplish, but I also have Big Projects I want to take care of, and I thought a Kanban board might help me better accomplish those tasks.

For those of you unfamiliar with the concept of a Kanban board, it’s basically a visual reminder in your work-space that helps you keep track of all of your projects. Most Kanban boards have at least three sections — one for ideas or projects you want to work on, one for projects in progress that you’re currently working on in some degree, and one for completed projects. When I was doing my research on the Kanban board, I found there are about as many configurations as you can possibly imagine, so I think the point of the board is to be creative and adjust it so that it works for you, personally.

My Kanban Board.

I loved the idea of a Kanban board, but I am very artistic and whimsical by nature, so I wanted to make sure my Kanban board reflected that. I took a poster that I’ve had forever of Charles Vess’s artwork for Stardust, and I divided that into three sections with yarn I received from the students I teach at my church. I wanted to stay with the basic “Ideas – In Process – Complete” divisions, so I labeled them with pictures of a plant in three different stages — A Seed, for the ideas that I haven’t really worked on yet; A Sprout, for the projects that are currently in progress; and A Flower, for the projects that have come to fruition. Since I have taken these pictures, I’ve switched out my post-it notes for color-coded ones based off of the type of project it is — Writing, Other Creative Projects, Housekeeping Projects, Projects for Other People, and Therapy. The goal is to try to keep a variety of “types” of projects in process at any given moment; otherwise there are certain categories of projects I’d probably procrastinate on forever.

Seed, Sprout, Flower.

I love my Kanban board — mostly because it’s a beautiful way I can creatively organize myself. My initial plan was to integrate it with the micromovement concept that helped me accomplish the closet-cleaning, and I still think it could be very effective if I utilize it that way. So far, however, I have only been able to move one project over to the “Flower” section of the Kanban board — the closet cleaning I worked on for a couple of months and finally completed. I love the idea, but I need to experiment a little more and figure out exactly how this might best work for me, and how I can best use it as a tool to help make real progress.

Have you ever tried a Kanban board? What organizational techniques work best for you?

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