Kanboard to keep me focused on my own ideas


I've been using kanboard as a self-hosted kanban board. It's keeping me focused on Digital Harbor when I'd rather be doing something less productive.


Here's the thing about my TODOs... they're everywhere. I've tried a crazy amount of different organizational tactics for my todo items. I've tried post-it notes, a journal, TODO.md in specific repos, a master todo repo, todo CLIs, etc...

The problem for me was consistency... I would regularly forget what I was using for TODOs at that moment in my life... was there a todo file in this project? Do I have a todo repo cloned on this computer? Is this stuff in my journal or on post-it notes?

And what do I do with new ideas? Do I organize them centrally or use a repo for the idea I have?

It was getting out of hand to a debilitating degree... For a while I just gave up on being organized at all... Things would get done as necessary and if I got some motivation to work on something it was immediately smothered with the anxiety of how I was going to organize my work...

At some point it became too much... Now, I have some experience with Azure DevOps/Jira for project management and then I came across Kanboard...



Kanboard is just a self-hosted kanban style todo app. I know there's a ton of these so the TL;DR of my lesson is I picked an app that I would just use based on simplicity of managing and hosting.

I have had kanboard running in my homelab for a long time, but I only barely use it intermittenly. And at that rate I didn't spend any real time organizing my tickets, so I wasn't akshuallly using it - it was just a post-it note replacement.

But then I had an idea for a genuine business idea, and if I was going to ever have a hope of making it a reality, I needed to stay organized. This was when I decided to give kanboard a little more effort... I knew I could always remember that I'd chosen an app as my TODO solution (given all the time I spent questioning what I was using at any given point in time). I also knew I could host kanboard so that I could get to it from wherever was necessary because my homelab is relatively easy to add another public service to.

So once I just decided to lean into this thing, I would take advantage of any moments of motivation and just jot down ideas for things that had to get done... Simple stuff like explore an infra management option, add one feature to a config, or migrate one website to another stack... And I would just write these things downs until I have enough time free to crack down on a task. The beautiful thing is, when I am struck with just enough time to do something, and the motivation to do something, I don't waste any time deciding what to do - past-me did present-me a favor and decided what was important already... So as long as I do myself the favor, when I'm ready to go I am never beaten by the anxiety of not knowing what I ant to do or how I'll track what I'm doing... I chose kanboard and even though it's not as fast as a terminal TUI, it is reliable, simple, and keeps me focused on what I need to do.

The biggest benefit

Not only is just having one app as the solution nice because it's centrally managed and accessible from wherever I need to get it, but the TOP feature of kanboard I use is comments on tickets... I get to continue to do future-me favors, my jotting down where I'm at in a task, what's left to do, what I'm trying, etc... and future-me is in a great mood, because when I have that free few minutes, I can just read my own past thoughts and get back up to speed without wasting time trying to remember things I never would've remembered if I hadn't written them down!