Kanban planning in a filofax
Kanban is a Japanese organisational card system developed by Toyota to control the logistical chain of production’. But I suggest we skip that bit and let me talk about how applying washi tape to its basic principles results in a simple, attractive and effective planning tool.
I get Enthusiasms. There is so much I want to do and learn in life that I get pushed and pulled in all directions. Even if I focus on one activity – say art quilting – I have too many ideas to do all at once. Even though I have pretty good time management skills and cram a lot into a day, I cannot do everything all at once. But I refuse to give up on good ideas and dreams. Which results in one of two issues happening. Usually both at the same time!
Either I start things straight away but then I can’t get back to them and my head is full of unfinished things with no end sight. Or I don’t start them because i now I don’t haven’t time and my head is full of trying to hold on to my excitement and the details of the ideas so I can start them in the future. Not good. So, when I bought yet another filofax I decided to set up a Project Management Centre. I will post more on that later when it is fully set up but one key feature was to have a visual overview of how much I had on the go and at what stage those projects were at.
My first attempt was to draw colour coded lines on a Horizontal Year Planner. BIg Fat Fail! Way too many lines all competing. And this is not even finished. But doing it gave me an idea. A Kanban system.
The Horizontal Year Planner has three blank pages on its back. Placed next to a blank page across the Filofax rings I can have four main boards. I labelled those: Parked ( things I want to do but which have to wait a while) In Preparation (projects where I need to accumulate initial supplies or knowledge before I can actually launch in) In Production (projects I am actively working on) and Completed. The latter section means I have a record of major achievements for the year.
I made my ‘cards’ from slips of paper and coded the project type by using different washi tapes. I might tweak this later by replacing the Completed page with an A4 folded so that I can subdivide my Active stage up a bit but for now.. I love it! For anyone who wants to try this electronically I also have two ipad apps that allow you do the same process, namely, Leankit and Scrumboard.