Kanban board in Microsoft Office Outlook 2016

I’m a big fan of Kanban in my work to visualize the work that are being performed. I recently re-read The Phoenix Project: A Novel About IT, DevOps, and Helping Your Business Win http://itrevolution.com/books/phoenix-project-devops-book/ and decided that Kanban can help me on a personal level as well.

If you are new to what Kanban is you should have a look at this post by Sam McAfee http://neo.com/2014/10/01/kanban-in-5-easy-steps/

Said and done I looked around on internet and tried out a various set of software but they didn’t do what I wanted and added things that I consider unnecessary work (Installing this and that integrating it with 3:d party and it was a complete mess). I use Outlook and the calendar every day to plan my work so why not use that. No extra work to keep it running besides the normal day to day outlook tasks.
Thanks and resources used are referenced at the end of the article.

When I receive an email I need to look in to I flag that e-mail or leave it unread, yep that’s how I roll J

The flow I use is to flag the e-mail and then color coding it to reflect the projects I’m working on.

In my Kanban Board I drag the flagged e-mail to either “Ideas” or “To Do”.

clip_image002

To create one for your self I have created a Step by step guide.

Step by step:

   

1.

Download the Outlook-Task-Kanban from GitHub

https://github.com/frederik/outlook-task-kanban

2.

Create a folder and unzip the file to that directory

(I decided to place the folder in my userprofile)

1 

3.

Optional:

Make a backup copy of the html files

Rename the Today.html

Copy-Item ‘.\index.html’ -Destination ‘.\index.bak’

Copy-Item ‘.\today.html’ -Destination ‘.\today.bak’

Ren today.html Kanban.html

4.

Open the Today.html in a text editor and change the <H2> tag to the relect the first column of your Kanban board.

For instance To Do

clip_image006

5.

Change the Folder parameter to reflect the Tasks folder

<param name=”Folder” value=”Tasks\Open”>

To

<param name=”Folder” value=”Tasks”>

6.

Add a line containing the status restriction “Not Started”

<param name=”Restriction” value=”[Status]=’Not Started'”>

7.

Change the <H2> tag to the relect the second column of your Kanban board.

For instance Doing

<h2>Doing</h2>

8.

Change the Folder parameter to reflect the Tasks folder

<param name=”Folder” value=”Tasks\Open”>

To

<param name=”Folder” value=”Tasks”>

9.

Add a line containing the status restriction “In Progress

<param name=”Restriction” value=”[Status]=’In Progress'”>

10.

Since Outlook handles completed items, the third column is changed to On Hold

<h2>On Hold</h2>

11.

Change the Folder parameter to reflect the Tasks folder

<param name=”Folder” value=”Tasks\Open”>

To

<param name=”Folder” value=”Tasks”>

12.

Add a line containing the status restriction “Waiting on Someone Else

<param name=”Restriction” value=”[Status]=’Waiting on Someone Else'”>

13.

The result should look something like this.

clip_image008

14.

Edit the coloring of the columns using the the settings found in the bootstrap.min.css file.

clip_image010

15.

Create a folder in Tasks called Kanban Board

clip_image012

16.

Select your folder and click Folder Properties and select the Home Page tab

clip_image014

17.

In the address field type the path to your Today.html or renamed file from Step 3 an tick the check box Show Home page by default fo this folder

clip_image016

18.

Click Apply to set the home page.

Since we placed the folder locally we will recive an error message. Click OK and then Cancel to close the Properties window.

clip_image018

Next time you open Microsoft Outlook yor Kanban board is displayed.

Thanks to Donna and Robin without your awesome articles.

Donna Michelle Anderson wrote an article on how to do just that. https://www.linkedin.com/pulse/you-can-create-kanban-view-your-outlook-tasks-part-1-2-anderson

Robin Naughton, PhD adjusted it to use just the built in Outlook status.

The tools used are made by Frederik Eichler and found on Git Hub. https://github.com/frederik/outlook-task-kanban

Resources:

Outlook View Contol (ViewCtl)
https://msdn.microsoft.com/en-us/library/office/ff869622.aspx

Create tasks and to-do items
https://support.office.com/en-us/article/Create-tasks-and-to-do-items-45a94e7b-a4ee-46ea-9823-c3423c0eab8e

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10 Responses to Kanban board in Microsoft Office Outlook 2016

  1. OpenMike says:

    I had glanced at the previous articles on this, but didn’t mess with it until a saw your page. Very effective presentation. Kudos.

  2. Sebastian Laroche says:

    Your Layout is fantastic. Could you share your .html file?

  3. Sebastian Laroche says:

    IS there a way to have a refresh button? everytime I change an item subject line it freezes out all the other cell (due date etc). I have to click on another folder and then return the Kanban view

  4. Excelente, me sirvió muchísimo. Gracias!

  5. Excelente me sirvió mucho. Gracias!

  6. Mark says:

    Thanks for this, it was really helpful. Just one question, in the box for Flags, it shows my To Do tasks as well and not only emails. Any ideas why?

  7. Mark says:

    Thanks for this, made it really easy. One question, in my Flags box it also shows my To Do tasks and not only flagged emails. Any idea why?

  8. Evren Varol says:

    Outlook View Control has limitations when multiple instances used on same page. If anyone interested, I have created another project on Github that uses very similar concept:

    https://github.com/evrenvarol/outlook-taskboard

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