Kanban Board View of OmniFocus data

I value concepts related to visual management, and kanban boards provide a good way of providing oversight of projects. In addition to OF, I also use Trello to try to replicate some of my higher level project visually but I still use OF to track and manage the project itself.

I’ve read the Inside OmniFocus article about setting up a Kanban view of your OmniFocus data. Unfortunately I wasn’t able to get it to work for me - a limitation of my skills plus lack of available time to really hack into it.

However, I would love to achieve this, and so I am wondering if there might be some kanban style visual management options in OF in the future?

Or has anybody else figured out a way to do this? I did use the OF to iThoughts mind map for some time but I would prefer a kanban view.

I love OF and have loved it since it was kGTD, but lists and more lists sometimes makes it difficult to quickly see and understand ‘where you are at’.


The article looks intriguing and I might look into trying it. Is there a specific step you got stuck at?

The code reported a failure message when I tried to use it to extract the OmniFocus data into a SQLite file.

With those failures I didn’t bother moving to the next stage of installing/using pow.

I have used Curio successfully to create a Kanban board with links of Projects and Tasks back to OmniFocus. I prefer this to Trello or any of the other Kanban-specific tools because my project stays local, I do not have to be on the net to use it, I can link in all sorts of other resources, I can review project or kanban-level assets at a a glance, I can design in AppleScript and dynamic variables, and I can layout the board to my own personal taste. The one disadvantage is, Curio is only on the desktop. However, that is where I do my top-level overviews anyway.

Here is a image of what I use FWIW.

I’m actually having trouble following his instructions as well. Has anyone tried this and got it to work?

Yes, please do tell us how to do this. I’m actually surprised that that article got past the QA process at OmniGroup. For an ‘official’ site, the explanation is pretty poor quality.

yea, having so much problem. The instructions are bare min. Only for technical people.

@Splinky and @ryanfuse: I also stumbled over the same Inside Omnifocus article, followed the links, and using the instructions got my own kanban up and running in about 10 minutes with little prior experience. This is excellent software that does very well what it’s supposed to do. That said, it’s important to point out that the article is only a brief introduction to several parallel projects that have since been considerably improved and expanded upon by Jan-Yves Ruzicka. Please describe your problem rather than complaining about the “quality” of the article, and people like myself will be happy to help out. For Kanban-fetch, you will probably want to get the latest binary and check out the instructions for running it. There is more information on the Kanban-fetch project page. If you run into problems, please describe them here.

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@DrJJWMac’s solution also looks like a really interesting alternative, it would be great to hear more about how it works.

u can do kanban on tinderbox too.

Based on your post, I have revisited the site and have also been able to get a kanban board up and running successfully, and have used Keyboard Maestro to automate the refreshing of the script.

In my own defence, the instructions are much better than they were when I looked last time, which is when I posted my comment above. So I stand by my initial comments, but give credit for the updated instructions that now exist.

I’m playing around some more with this, and I’m wondering if the last step in the instructions at 1klb contain some redundancy in terms of the need to execute shotgun as the last step? I’m not sure, what do others think?

Essentially, from what I can surmise, Pow runs as a Launch Agent, so it starts up on boot. As part of its configuration Pow also resolves a URL such as http://kanban.dev to the local machine.

Therefore, this works without running the bundle exec shotgun config.ru command at all.

So for the user, they can successfully go to (e.g.) kanban.dev whereas http://localhost:9393 doesn’t work (because that bundle exec... line has not been executed).

So, am I missing something, or are the instructions as written basically setting up two pathways to the same kanban resource?

I’m no Ruby coder, so I’d be interested to know what others think here.

I hope this description makes sense - I’m still trying to get my head around it as well.

Yes! As far as I understand, Pow and Shotgun are just different ways to serve up a Rack application, like Kanban. They run independently of each other. Pow is “a zero-configuration Rack server” and Shotgun is “an automatic reloading version of the rackup command that’s shipped with Rack.” A Rack application is “any Ruby object that responds to the call method, takes a single hash parameter and returns an array containing the response status code, HTTP response headers and the response body as an array of strings.”

The way I understand it, the 1klb instructions use Shotgun as a quick way to see that the latest version of your application is running ok. Pow might be more convenient because it runs as an OSX Launch Agent without setup and without (necessarily) reloading the application every time you request it. Neither option requires the other to work.

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FWIW, here is a link to a “version 1 release” of examples of two boards that I use in Curio. You will need Curio to play with them. As I note in the release message, I have a rough video about the boards that is in search of a home.

I would appreciate any help in getting this set up.
I have installed the files & navigate to the “~/kanban-fetch” directory.
But when I run the initial command “./kanban-fetch -d --out=foo.db”, terminal returns “-bash: ./kanban-fetch: is a directory”.
Full disclosure, I am an terminal novice, so perhaps I am doing something simple incorrect.
Thanks in advance for any instruction here