Outlook KanBan board aka JanBan

Download

The JanBan Outlook Taskboard is a kanban board style view for Outlook Tasks.

This project is based on Evren varol’s Outlook Taskboard.
I have added a lot of features, customization and configuration options.

JanBan board

The main features of JanBan are:

Moving Tasks between task lanes

Moving Tasks

Filtering Tasks

Filtering

Configuration

Configuration

Support Mailbox

Support

Platforms supported

It has been tested with all Outlook versions 2013 and higher running on Windows 8.1/10.
It may also work with earlier Outlook versions, and most likely work with Windows 7 as well.

The taskboard can also be opened in Internet Explorer. Due to limitations with ActiveX controls, only Internet Explorer 9/10 and 11 are supported.

Setup options

JanBan can be run from the internet or it can be set up locally on your computer.

In both cases it will run locally within your Outlook application, and none of your Outlook data will be exposed to the outside world.

This overview of the pros and cons will help you select the option that’s best for you:

 DefaultLocal
SetupVery easyQuite a bit of work
UpdatesAutomatic, no action needed from your sideYou need to install the updates yourself
OfflineThe app won’t work when you have no internet connectionThe app can be used offline as well

Default Setup

The easiest setup is to go to https://janware.nl/janban, and follow the instructions there.

But if you want to do it manually:

  1. Right-click your Outlook Home Folder and then click Properties. Select the Home Page tab in the Properties dialog box.
  2. In the Address box, type: https://janware.nl/janban.
    Click to select the Show home page by default for this folder check box and then click OK.

Local Setup

  1. Download the latest release zip file from JanWare and extract it to a folder in your local hard drive.
  2. Right-click your Outlook Home Folder and then click Properties. Select the Home Page tab in the Properties dialog box.
  3. In the Address box, browse to the folder you have just extracted the Taskboard files and select the kanban.html file.
    Click to select the Show home page by default for this folder check box and then click OK.

     

    Folder Home Page Offline Warning

    If you receive above warning, simply click X icon to close both warning prompt and the Properties window.

Using install-local command file

Click the download link and save the file to your download folder
Go to your Downloads folder, right-click the janban.zip file and select Extract All
Tick the box to show the extracted files and click the Extract button
Double-click the install.cmd file. You’ll see a black command screen for a short time.
In some cases you will see this Windows protection screen. Click on More info.
Click on Run anyway
The installation is ready. Open Outlook and go to your top-level mail folder. The Janban board will show up. Have fun!

86 thoughts on “Outlook KanBan board aka JanBan

  1. Hey Jan,

    I love this utility. Makes life easier for me.

    I’m having problems with the multi mailbox. It looks like the Multimailbox flag is hardcoded to “true”

    App.js line 144 – outlookMailboxes = getOutlookMailboxes(true);
    exchange.js line 44 – function getOutlookMailboxes(multiMailbox)

    This has slowed the loading of the screen from really fast to very, very slow.

    As a workaround, Is it possible to run this locally so I can hard code that variable to false? I can’t find a zip for it anymore

  2. Great tool – the only thing that causes me a problem using it is lack of zoom function the zoom area is greyed out. In my GTD system, the number of items in someday/maybe and backlog can be very long so the ability to change the font or zoom is required to enhance the usability of the app. The current configuration only allows 7 items on my display in each column not enough to effectively manage my tasks.

    • Thanks Daniel.
      Good suggestion. I’ll see what I can do.
      I have a very long list in those columns too, but I use categories and filtering to limit the tasks that are displayed. That helps a lot.
      Anyway, I will investigate if zooming or changing the font can be added.

      Jan

    • Hi Dan,
      I just discovered that you can use the Ctrl-Mousewheel combination to zoom in and zoom out. This works, because the app uses the Outlook built-in browser (IE11). Does this help a bit?

  3. Hi, I had no issue during installation, but the tasks are not displayed (I mean each of the tasks boxes are not visible), are counted but I can not see them 🙁
    is it an issue with configuration? Or how can I solve it?
    I wanted to paste here a picture to explain it better but I could not.
    Thank you.

  4. Hello Jan,

    does it require the Admin rights to be installed? I tried all the steps for online or local installation on my work laptop (Win 10 + Outlook for M365) but I get continuous pop-ups with errors + the home page does not load correctly (only topbar is visible)…
    Thanks in advance for your support.

    • Hi Andrea, I am interested to see those errors. Hopefully I will be able to see what is wrong. Can you send screen prints to the janban mailbox at papasmurf.nl?

      Thanks

  5. Nice work Jan!

    I’ve tried manually changing the priority/order of some tasks inside the column using drag&drop, but the order is not saved.

    Once I leave kanban, the order is reset. It seems it always sorts tasks by due date?

  6. Thank you for the suggestions !!
    I’ll add them the suggestions I received from other user. Really useful.

    Thx
    Jan van Veldhuizen, aka Papa Smurf

  7. Hi Jan,

    First of all, thank you for providing this tool!

    I have two thoughts for improvements:
    1) setting the task body length in the reports directly from the settings (the default of 10000 is a bit long for me 🙂
    2) making the coloum width resizeable.

    Thanks and cheers,
    Jan

  8. Hi Jan,

    I notice that when moving taks between boards, it does not change the folder of the task, it just changes that status. That is different from the original. Am I missing something?

    thanks
    Iqbal

    • Hi Iqbal,
      Your observation is correct. I decided to use the task statuses where possible. The advantage is that if you change the status of a task on a mobile, or in a normal Outlook tasks view, that the task on the board will move to the corresponding column automatically.
      I am considering to make the folders configurable for users who prefer the way it worked in the version of Evren Varol. But that’s still on y todo list.
      I think the config screen I added is a big advantage compared to Evren’s version.

      Cheers,
      Jan

  9. Heya i am for the primary time here. I came across this board and I findIt really useful & it helped me out a lot. I am hoping togive something again and help others such asyou aided me.

  10. Hi Papa Smurf,
    first of all: Thanks for putting so much effort in a great extension of Outlook. I know how time consuming something like that can become. Keep up the good work!

    Q.: Do you know if there is any issue in using “janban” with the Office 365 edition of Outlook (desktop client, not web based). Seems I’m not able to persist a local configuration on my machine. Or maybe I’m just missing some initial setup, like creating default task folders? ¯\_(ツ)_/¯

    • Hi Jonathan,
      Pls use the latest version, because I have done some fixes lately.
      And reset everything by going to the outlook folders view and delete everything you find in the Journal folder.
      If the problem persists, then send me a message from the Feedback form in the application. That adds some extra information than can help me investigating what’s going on.

      Thanks
      Jan, aka Papa Smurf

  11. Hi Jan,

    Great app! Thanks a lot for sharing.

    I have a little problem though, can’t save any changes done in settings.
    I.e. changing the layout to dark mode in settings, clicking save, it relodes and light mode still on. Same with renaming tabs. Basically nothing is saved.

    Any clue please?

    Thank you!

    • Hi Damian,
      That’s a strange problem I haven’t see before. Maybe you should download the latest version and do a full reset: go to the folders view in Outlook and remove all entries from the Journal folder.
      Hope that helps. Otherwise use the Feedback form in the app to send me your config and error log information.
      Success,
      Jan

  12. Jan,
    I made a small change and now it is rocket fast.

    The problem is that, in my case, there are far too many folders to check to see if there is a task folder. I need just the Default mailbox, which is added on line 51. So I skipped the folder chack loop by changing count to 0

    In exchange.js: function getOutlookMailboxes() {
    Line 52: Changed
    for (i = 1; i <= count; i++) {
    to
    for (i = 1; i <= 0; i++) {

    Does this work, or am I subverting some other essential function?

    Ben

    • Interesting finding, Ben !
      Yes, you are undoing a feature, but I will make this dependent on the configuration. In the App Config you can set if you want to support multiple mailboxes. A few users are actually using that feature.
      I have to make the getOutlookMailboxes function aware of that config setting. That will make it a lot faster for many users.

      Thanks!!

      Jan

  13. I have just started to use this, and it looks like it will do exactly what I want it to do.

    I do have a query – why do some tasks in the Backlog column not appear, until another task in dragged in? i will add tasks that do not show up. they seem to by default go the the backlog column. then if you move a task to backlog they then materialise.

    appreciate any help!

    • Hi Paula,
      Glad you found the app.
      New tasks go to the backlog column indeed. The app runs in the in-app browser that’s built-in in Outlook. The app does not actively poll if changes have been done in the Outlook tasks. As soon as you perform an action, like adding or modifying another tasks on the kanban board, then it refreshes the data.
      That’s why I added the refresh button in the top bar (the recycle icon).
      I am considering how to make the app polling for changes in the background, but I cannot promise when this will be added.

      Hope this helps.
      Jan

  14. I am seeing the same as Clay; It takes >20 seconds (timed) to load.

    I have 6 years of business emails, tasks, and meetings on outlook 365 ProPlus. I have deleted most of my old tasks and moved everything to the cloud and compacted the local file thinking the local file was too big. I also got a new, beefier PC this week and, though faster, it is still slow.

    Any clue where to look?

    • Hi Ben,
      I am trying to understand what is going on. In my own experience it runs fast on some machines, and slow on others. It thought it could be explained by the differnece between a local and a remote setup, but that appears not to be the case.
      I set up a few different machines. Some have this very same issue, others don’t have it. And I still haven’t found the clue…

  15. Hi Jan,

    first of all bedankt! Secondly I would kindly ask, how do I get this running if I want to utilize a “Kanban” FOLDER in the tasks to show the kanban board (ie homepage = index.html)?

    I get dozens of error messages ,…
    Kind Regards,
    Tom

    • Hey Tom,

      I am not sure if I understand your question correctly.
      Do you mean like this?

      Otherwise send me a screenprint of the error messages, or record a video of what’s happening.

      Cheers,
      Jan

    • If you mean delegated tasks, then yes.
      Screen Shot

      The configuration offers the possibility to make the owner of a task visible. This is switched off by default.

  16. Hi,
    I have the same problem as one other user. Getting the message “writeLog:getTasksFromOutlook:TypeError:Unable to get property ‘mailbox’ of undefined or null reference”

    Tasks not visible.

    thank and br

    • Hi Manfred, I checked what the issue was for the other user you are mentioning. In his case he had a shared Internet Calendar.
      This issue should be solved in the latest version of Janban. If you installed Janban locally, then you might try to switch to the online version temporarily, just to check if that solves the problem.
      Otherwise switch on debug logging in the App Config, and attach the log by sending me an email using the button on the About page.
      Hope we can find the cause of this issue soon.

  17. Hi Jan,

    Having worked with the evren version for some time, i just came into contact with your fork. Great work!

    after a local install, I did come into one slight issues tough:
    initTasks: Error: Cannot move the items

    • Hi Martijn,
      That’s not nice.
      Can it be an incompatibility, because you used Evren’s version before?
      Check you Tasks folders structure. Maybe there’s some subfolders sitting in the way.
      If you think everything is okay, then send me your config. It’s saved in the local journal folder in Outlook.

  18. Hi Jan,

    what a nice extension! My problem is right now, that i have a performace-issue…. It takes about 5-10 sec. to load the Kanbanboard for only 20-30 items… And in this time Outlook is frozen…

    Any idea?

    BR,
    Clay

    • Hmm… I know it is a bit slow when you have a lot of tasks. But it should work fine with only 20 tasks. I have to investigate how to improve the speed anyway.
      Thanks for letting me know.

  19. Hi Jan, thanks for this beautiful work. Really enriches my day. Could you tell me where the status of the tasks -actual janban column – is stored? I would like to group tasks (or move into subfolers).
    Is it possible to activate 1-2 lanes in the canban view as well?

    thanks,
    Volker

    • Hi Volker,
      JanBan uses the actual status of the Outlook tasks to determine in which column a task should be displayed.
      Regarding the column visibility: you can even activate zero columns :P. Go to the config screen (the tool icon, the next to last icon in the top bar), and use the ‘show this column’ option in the Task Columns Configuration.

  20. I tried to install it, but keep getting this error: WriteLog:getTaskFromOutlook:TypeError:kan de eigenschap mailbox van een niet-gedefinieerde verwijzing of een verwijzing naar een lege waarde niet ophalen.

    It looks like it can’t find the right task folders. Do I need to configure them manually?

    • Sorry for a late reply. I haven’t been looking at my own web site for a while…

      Honestly, I have never seen this error before… If you didn’t change the default setup of the Outlook folders then I cannot explain this message. Maybe you can send me a screen print of your folder structure? Use the email address janban at papasmurf.nl

    • Hi Thomas,
      Sorry for replying only after two months… 🙁

      it should work perfectly with that Office version. Why do you think it wouldn’t work? Any problem installing it?
      I will update the information on top of the page.

  21. Hi Jan,
    I was using janban happyly for some time but are now receiving this error: writeLog:getTasksFromOutlook: TypeError: Unable to get property “mailbox”of undefined or null reference

    Is there an issue with Janban that you are aware of or is it my outlook?

  22. Hi Jan,
    I just came across your site and love the idea to use JanBan to organise the tasks in Outlook. My question now is whether I would be able to synch the tasks/boards between my PC and Notebook (I am using Microsoft Business Standard and E-Mails, tasks and calender are always synchronised between the two devises).
    Best regards,
    Udo

    • Hi Udo,
      I do not know Microsoft Business Standard. If you have Outlook on your notebook, and the tasks are synced, then you should be able to run Janban on your notebook too.

      Best regards
      Jan

  23. Great app and thanks for supplying a truly relevant and modern feature to Outlook.

    Q: Where can I see release notes for the latest releases? It is most valuable for me to be able to evaluate before updating and also understand what’s new.

  24. Hello Jan,

    Thank you very much for JanBan! I really like it, however I am experiencing some lag/delays when running it. I did a local install because this is a company account and I would rather just have the tool running on my local machine. Could this be the reason?
    Again, thank you very much for this tool! It will make my life much easier 😉

    Warm regards,

    Nicolas

  25. Hi Jan,
    just updated to the latest version 2.1.1! Great performance improvement. Many thanks!

    Klaus

  26. Jan, first of all, great tool! Exactly what I needed to maintain a personal, secure kanban board. Pretty much all the common tools out there (Trello, Jira, etc.), even when they have a plugin for Outlook, they are still cloud-based.

    One feature I would love to see: others have mentioned being able to read additional task folders as Evren varol’s Outlook Taskboard did. I’d agree with that. A bit more abstractly, the ability to create and custom sort the columns from within your GUI would be amazing!

    Thanks so much for the great add-in and cheers from Atlanta, GA!

  27. Hi Jan,
    I have just seen that you published a new version. Many thanks for your great work!
    I am curious if you considered the use case I reported above (I cannot create subfolders under the Tasks folder). I tried with the neew version, but got an error (cannot get or create folder). I wonder if there is anything I missed in the setup.
    Best regards,
    Klaus

  28. Awesome work. Super neat. I used the original version a few years ago, but as some pointed out it was buggy. Yours works perfectly.

    Please consider incorporating task folders synced from SharePoint. That would also enable the shared tasks scenario.

  29. Hi Jan
    This is exactly the tool we needed! Thank you so much for sharing it. We decided to install it localy. Any way to be notificated when you publish an update?

  30. Hello Jan,

    Thanks for advancing the Outlook kanban board. Really appreciate your effort
    It is easy to implement to Outlook and use with quick steps.

    Using Win10 + Outlook 365

    Best Regards
    Tomas

  31. I’m Ngoc from Vietnam.
    Your tool is very useful, I love it.
    I will present it to more people.
    Many thanks and looking for more useful feature from you.

    • I am working on making the taskboard working for other mailboxes, apart from your default one. I will see if that is a solution for shared mailboxes, too. Coming bak to it.

  32. Hello Papa Smurf, how are you?
    I’m from Brazil and I loved Kanban for Outlook,
    I would just like to know if I can, receive tasks from my team members and attach to the kanban putting them as responsible, in my kanban

  33. Hi Jan,
    thanks for picking up and continuing this great project!
    I have one issue. I my company I am restricted to creating all Task Folders in Root only. I cannot create subfolders for tasks. I searched and tried to change the path to the tasks folders, but had no success.
    Do you have any hints how to resolve this?
    Thanks,
    Klaus

      • Hi Jan, thanks for your reply! I am currently using the original proof of concept from Frederik Eichler (from github), there the folders must be in the top level, but of course it lacks many many features.
        If I can be of any help with testing or any infos. Let me know!
        Klaus

  34. Hi Jan,
    I’ve just installed Janban and apart from a stupid error on my part, it works brilliantly.

    FYI :
    I’m using MS Office Professional 2019 Outlook and once I followed the instructions here :
    https://support.office.com/en-us/article/outlook-home-page-feature-is-missing-in-folder-properties-d207edb7-aa02-46c5-b608-5d9dbed9bd04

    to reinstate the “Home Page” folder properties tab, it worked perfectly.

    Many many thanks, I really appreciate the effort and time you put into this

    • Thanks Dave,
      I really enjoy developing this application. The fact that so many people find it and use it, makes it even more fun.
      Cheers
      Jan

  35. Hi Jan,

    I just started using JanBan in outlook. I like it very much. I am having a few problems that could be operator error but wanted to ask just in case. I renamed the Waiting column to Delegated and use it to track tasks after assigning them in outlook. The problem I’m encountering is the tasks are not updating on your board as the status is updated in outlook. Am I doing something wrong? Your help is appreciated

    • Hi Bob,
      Sorry for this very late reply.
      The board doesn’t refresh automatically. However, every time you open it, it will display the current state of the tasks. You can also try to use the refresh button on the top bar.
      Does this help?
      Jan

  36. Awaiting my new Lenovo laptop from work as I am moving back to Windows/Office (Mac user for three years and don’t like the Outlook restrictions – Quick steps, Janban etc..)

    I am so excited to try Janban as it I love the interface and simplicity (compared with https://flow-e.com which I was considering).

    My question is – can to drag and drop email to the task board and create a task and/or use a quick step?

    • Yes, you can easily use a quick step in Outlook to create a task from an email.

      My quick step setup is:

      Actions:
      – Create a task with attachment
      – Move to folder Archive
      – Mark as Read

      Shortcut key: Ctrl-Shift-F2

      Having the original email as an attachment makes it very easy to read the message or reply right from the task.

  37. This is incredible. I’ve been using Outlook Taskboard, but it’s a bit buggy and this looks very polished.
    I like how customisible it is without needing to edit code.

    One issue i’m having though, is – when using it on my high resolution Surface Pro – is that everything’s microscopic in size. There seems no way to adjust the size or zoom. I’ve set the overall windows zoom to 250% which is almost too zoomed in as it is, but this doesnt affect janban.

    Using janban on my pc has no issues, however I keep all my gtd task stuff on my Surface so that I can work without having to flip between things.

    • Answered my own question by just trial and erroring, the zoom slider is greyed out, but you can pinch to zoom without it actually zooming into emails too, so that works.
      you seem to need to re-zoom every time you open outlook though, but it’s better than nothing.

      Would be nice to get an option to auto zoom to a certain level though!

  38. This is cool, and it even has the small button in the lower right of the task box, to open a linked OneNote page. Just what I needed. Thank you!

  39. Dear Jan, thank you so much for JanBan! I really love it. Just one small question… I’m using two different email adresses/mail boxes in Outlook. Is there a possibility to choose in JanBan which of the individual Task lists it will use? If there is a solution it will make my day…! Thank you

    • Hi Christoph,
      Thank you for using JanBan!
      Your second email-address, is it an Office365/Exchange mailbox? Or an IMAP like Gmail or so?

      Jan

    • Christoph, please send me a message through the Feedback button on the Janban help form. I am busy developing the multi-mailbox version. I need help from a few users having more that one mailbox configured.
      Thanks
      Jan

  40. Dag Jan,
    Ik heb helaas geen ‘Home Page Tab’ in properties; deze is standaard niet meer opgenomen en wijzigingen in de registry aanbrengen is niet mijn ding.

    Bestaat er nog een andere wijze om Kanban te installeren.

    Bedankt.

    • Dag Jean-Pierre,

      Ik heb op deze pagina installatie-instructies toegevoegd. Ik hoop dat het je daarmee wel lukt.

    • Jean-Piere,
      Er is inmiddels een versie die je niet lokaal hoeft te installeren. Misschien helpt dat. Zie de setup-instructies op deze pagina.

  41. Super fork!
    Alleen jammer dat ze bij ons op het werk mcafee hebben en dat ik iedere keer toestemming moet geven om een externe applicatie toegang te geven tot mijn outlook….
    Gebruik het graag!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.