I have been looking for a week now, all over the net for a simple desktop based kanban management system. I work in a distributed team, but my company won't accept to use an exterior webapp like agilezen, atlassian or anything else. I don't want to have to manage any server.

It seems the hype is on hosted applications. Many offer very good things. But is there any software (free or not) that would simply let me share a kanban board with anybody, using e-mails or a shared folder on windows ? Being the scrummaster I am in charge of managing the whiteboard.

Maybe something like an offline (desktop version) pivotal tracker would do the trick also.

  • I think the whole beauty of a Kanban board is that it's normally a physical board where people can gather to discuss their problems and move tasks/features across the board. It's engaging and interesting.
    – CodeWorks
    Commented Apr 11, 2012 at 14:43
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    When did tool recommendation questions become OK on here?
    – mardlin
    Commented May 8, 2013 at 6:29
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    @johnmardlin since the question got 36 votes, 50k+ views, 15 answers (and counting) and it is a very useful question. Pragmatically speaking, the OP could ask the question in a different way and get the same answers. E.g. "I need to do Kanban management, but I want to do it electronically, I have tried doing it in excel - but its not a very good solution, how can I do this?". I think you will still get a list of software tools because that is the answer (and yes these tools may still become obsolete). Why curb the usefulness of Stack Exchange? - also the recommendation site is a tubleweed... Commented Jul 27, 2016 at 10:39

14 Answers 14


Check out Microsoft OneNote.

A page of a section of a notebook can be treated as kanban board. E.g. you may create dedicated page for each project iteration/phase. For each project you may create dedicated section.

It has several ways for sharing:

  1. over filesystem. I.e. you may put notebook on shared folder within windows network. You can grant permission (full access\readonly) as well
  2. over TCP\IP ports in local networks.
  3. over web. (OneNote 2010 is required)

There are several nice features also:

  1. drag & drop
  2. integration with outlook. you can easily send task to some of your teammate
  3. icons flavors for notes/task
  4. priorities & alarm

Sample image of the one of my project. Although it is not Kanban board, it is enough to demonstrate the idea. enter image description here

  • Wow. Did not know this! Commented May 5, 2011 at 15:54
  • Great! Never thought in this way. +1.
    – matrix
    Commented Aug 11, 2011 at 13:03
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    Could you show us a screenshot to see it in action? Commented Mar 8, 2012 at 1:14

As DaveParillo says, if you want to share it, you probably need some kind of hosting or at least shared folder. Besides online offerings there are also some tools you can install (host) on site on your intranet.

There was a question about scrum tools on StackOverflow - https://stackoverflow.com/questions/858607/what-electronic-scrum-kanban-board-do-you-use-and-recommend-for-distributed-teams

And here are some tools you can install on an apache server with PHP:

I suggest you first try it online - there is a demo for scrumie using demo/demo.

  • Very nice additions. +1 Commented May 5, 2011 at 15:54

My actual personal favourite is trello by fog creek software: https://trello.com/

  • has a great iphone app too Commented Mar 8, 2012 at 1:14
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    It is not offline
    – VidasV
    Commented Mar 7, 2014 at 11:03

Eylean board free for personal use

I think you might be interested in a whiteboard/sticky note board look alike as a desktop application which is client-server type and targets distributed teams especially. It is called Eylean board. I am representing it as a developer.

Board overview This tool is highly dynamic and suits any agile process. It contains all of the KANBAN and SCRUM features. The reports are there as well, burdowns, lead/cycle time charts. Integrated time tracking etc. Also it can integrate with Outlook, Excel, TFS or Teleriks TeamPulse. We focus a lot on user experience so it will not waste your time where it should not be wasted. Link: Eylean board

Reports Task card Time trcking

  • No longer appears to be free for personal use.
    – Azuaron
    Commented Dec 2, 2018 at 16:22

Have you taken a look at Eylean? It's a Desktop application.

It's local hosted (running on your local server). A really good tool for collaboration of distributed teams as changes made on one client immediately become visible to all the others.


Check out the following list: http://www.opensourceprojectmanagement.org/

Maybe Icescrum, Jamcircle or Simple-kanban is what you are looking for. I've never used these tools, so I can't give you any recommendation.

We're using Episerver Scrum dashboard (plug-in for Visual Studio).

Another interesting list is 10 free scrum project management tools, but the Desktop apps don't seem to have a board.

A "very" simple solution might be to create a Kanban Board in Visio or an Excel sheet, or some similar Tools. I once used a Mindmap (in Mindmanager) with three arms (To Do, Doing, Done) to represent the work in progress :-).

Good luck in your search. Let us know if you find something that fulfills your requirements.

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    Thanks Stephan, I unfortunately already saw these lists during my lookup. None of the tools listed here are implementing a desktop version of a kanban/scrum board ;( Commented Mar 4, 2011 at 13:23

Usually the words "distributed team" and "share" imply some kind of hosted or web based application, not a desktop application. You either need a web application or a tool that will allow you to pass files around. You may just want to stick with a spreadsheet.


Also check http://limitedwipsociety.ning.com/page/tools

I've seen both downloadable things like Simple Kanban, and tools that save data as cookies, i.e., in your local web browser.

I haven't seen any "local tools" that handle sharing very well, so you might want to consider a dedicated Kanban computer for editing the board if you go that route.

If you reconsider managing a server, LeanKit Kanban, one of the hosted tools, also have an on-site version. [Update: unfortunately, they no longer provide this service. I've asked them, and they might do it sometime in the future.]

  • @HuibertGill thanks - limitedwipsociety is up and running again.
    – Ingvald
    Commented Apr 11, 2012 at 12:38

I use Simple Kanban for a project that does not need changes very often.

  • Simple Kanban is too simple for us, and it doesn't store the data anywhere, do it ? I tested with 2 browsers and the changes on one session were not affecting the other session Commented Mar 4, 2011 at 13:18
  • The data is stored in that single html page. When you click on the Data button, text area appears. You have to copy the data and paste it into the source code of the html file. // It is simple. However the fact that all you need is a plain html file is sometimes quite useful.
    – devmake
    Commented Mar 8, 2011 at 11:05

I've just released, yesterday, a desktop product that might suit you. It's not Kanban, but Story Mapping instead. Might suit you well tho, since it's still a visual board, and it saves its data to a file on your disk/network. See http://www.tactyle.net/docs/how-is-tactyle-different/


In case somebody is still looking for a personal kanban solution, check this https://github.com/carlosblanco/bugs.html.

It was inspired by Simple Kanban that somebody else already posted above. It can just be dropped into your code repo.


You can have a look at my naive implementation using Stardock fences. The advantage is the workflow is always in your face on the desktop.


We use Rally to manage our 70 person distributed development team using Kanban and Scrum, but I use our other product, AgileZen to manage all the things going on in my CTO life.

AgileZen is an amazing simple product that spreads like wildfire. I have 7 boards that I work across on a weekly basis, some of which are internal to Rally and others span into my non-profit world, and a book that I am collaborating on. The ability to invite anyone into your boards makes this product spread, but it is the ease of use that makes you and your friends love it and use it. The pricing plans begin with a free version and move up to an unlimited at $99 per month for unlimited users and projects.

Because AgileZen implements the kanban concepts so simply, it helps you limit your work-in-process and decrease the time it takes you to get the important things through your process. AgileZen has a [great support site, but follow them on Twitter( @agilezen ) and watch what other users are saying.

Since we own AgileZen, it works so well, and I am not the product manager for that product; I have not tried any other kanban products. As Ingvald, points out the LimitedWIP society has a list of kanban products kept up on their site.


The open-source ]project-open[ tool can be configured to support SCRUM or KANBAN project and ticket states.

Affiliation note: I am a member of the ]project-open[ team and might be biased.

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