How to Make a Kanban Board

In last month's blog, we referred to task lists and how they help us increase productivity. In that article, we referenced a great project management tool, the Kanban board. We've had a lot of questions about it, and decided to dive a little deeper to show you how to make one.

So what is Kanban? 

Kanban is a Japanese word for "visual signal." It i s an agile project management tool designed to help visualize work, limit work-in-progress time, and maximize efficiency (or flow). Kanban boards use cards and columns to track what needs to get done and how it's going. They allow you to break large projects down into smaller steps to get things done. As 5S Office Experts, we use them often, both with clients and in our own office. 

Though Kanban boards are typically used in sectors like manufacturing, software development and healthcare, they can be used to track just about ANY project or goal. Including personal ones. The beautiful thing is that there is no minimum project size for Kanban, so you can use it to track large projects and small to-dos.

The reason these boards WORK is because they are visual. More on that later. 

How to Set Up Your Kanban Board

A Kanban board is basically just three columns: "To Do", "In Progress" and "Done." You can set it up on posterboard, a whiteboard, bulletin board - you name it. If you need it to be transportable, you can even do a mini-version on the inside of a manilla file folder. The key is that it must be visible.

Step 1:  Choose your board material
Step 2:  Draw your columns. The three steps listed above are good, but you can go into more detail if you want. 
Step 3:  For multiple projects, you can add a row for each one, as seen in the image at the bottom of this article.
Step 4:  Next, brainstorm ALL of the steps that are related to one project. Write each one individually on a sticky note, and post it in the "To Do" column. 
Step 5:  As you tackle these smaller, actionable chunks, move them to the "Doing" or "Done" column. You'll get a little dopamine hit each time - that "feel good" chemical in your brain, which is great for task initiation and follow through. 

Remember to place your board in a VISIBLE spot. Behind a door is a no. Inside a closet is a no. Place it near where you work or think best, and easily accessible. Sometimes, getting things done means getting ugly. Don't become stuck by making this board perfect or pretty. It's goal is to be functional. 

Have you used a Kanban board and loved it? Have feedback for us? We'd love to hear it!

Happy Organizing

On the Blog

6 Tips to Make Your Organizing Project Successful
by Veronica Bishop

Organization is a buzz word these days, and as professionals, we understand why. It feels SO GOOD to get organized, and can have multiple effects on your life, including a greater feeling of happiness, less stress, more energy and improved relationships at home.

So now that you're ready to tackle some big organizing projects, how can you assure success in your efforts? These six tips will hep you get started.

Portland Resources

Drug Take Back Event | Lake Oswego | October 26th 

To help citizens properly dispose of unwanted or expired prescription medicines, Lake Oswego is holding a one-day-only drug take-back event this month. 

Unwanted prescription medicines will be collected from individual households only (no businesses). Unknown medicines and veterinary medications will also be accepted. 

No sharps/syringes/EpiPens, inhalers, over-the-counter medicines or health care items (such as vitamins, hand lotion, deodorant, etc.), will be collected. For information on how you can safely dispose of these items, call Metro Recycling at 503-234-3000. Sudafed, Benadryl, and similar products will be accepted.

Please put all pill/tablet medications into a sealed plastic baggie. They do not want the plastic prescription containers. If you bring in a liquid medication, please put the bottle in a sealable plastic bag to prevent leaks.

Date: Saturday, October 26
Time: 10 am - 2 pm
Location: The Lake Oswego Adult Community Center, 505 G Avenue

NAPO Oregon Shoe Drive - Soles4Souls

Our NAPO Oregon chapter is proud to be partnering with   Soles4Souls this fall, by including a donation collection bin at our November 20th chapter meeting.

Soles4Soul s provides shoes and clothing to people in need, including those impacted by hurricanes, tsunamis, fire, floods, earthquakes and other disasters. They also utilize new and gently-worn shoes as a resource to help people with the opportunity to start and sustain a small business of their own, in which they sell the shoes to their local community.

Please help us collect shoes for this amazing organization! If you are a client of ours, please put aside gently worn shoes for us to collect at our next session! If you would like to drop off shoes for the drive, please get in touch with us to arrange a drop-off. 

Portland Handy Woman Recommendation 

We want to throw a little love to professional handywoman Jen Houghton of Pacific Interior Services LLC! She easygoing and fast, and very skilled at what she does. 

Jen's services include all of the things that we professional organizers like to recommend, but don't do ourselves. This includes hanging bike racks, closet system installation, furniture assembly, window covering installation, artwork installation and door and cabinet hardware. 

We love supporting other women-owned biz in Portland! For more info, check out our " People we Like" page under the "Handyperson" category.

Repair PDX at the North Portland Tool Library 
Tuesday, October 29th, 6:00 pm - 8:00 pm

A big clutter-causing issue we see in our client's homes are items that need to be repaired, but the owner just isn't sure how to do it. This month, head over to the North Portland Tool library for another Repair Cafe event, hosted by Repair PDX. 
Volunteers will be fixing small appliances, mending garments, repairing jewelry, and fixing bikes. They will also have tool sharpening on hand - please limit what you bring to two items. 

Date:   Tuesday, October 29th, 6:00 pm - 8:00 pm
Location:   2209 N Schofield St, Portland, OR 97217
Cost:  FREE
RSVP: P lease fill out this form  letting them know what you are bringing so that they can be prepared!
Questions ? Contact
Please spread the love and SHARE on social media!
Like us on Facebook  Follow us on Twitter  View on Instagram  View our profile on LinkedIn  Find us on Pinterest  Find us on Yelp