How To Use Kanban To Get Organized At Home

January 26, 2014


Home office Kanban corkboard

In January many of us resolve to get more organized at home and try to bring some more sanity to our busy lives. Last year, a designer on my team gave me the ultimate compliment: she and her boyfriend were using my Scrum-ban-plan board at home.  She has become such an enthusiast of using the board for her personal to-do list, she took it to the next level this January. She upgraded to an inexpensive digital app for her tablet, which she carries with her everywhere. Seeing how enthusiastic she is for applying techniques she learned at work to get organized at home, I was inspired to find out how others use Kanban at home to get organized.

I first found Brett M. Jensen’s post on his Testastic blog describing how he set up Kanban For Chores. I love how he and his kids assigned planning poker points to each of the chores. He then worked out a point to $$ conversion to determine the kids’ weekly allowance based on the chores they got done. Brilliant! At the end of the week, they do a little retrospective and adjust the points system as needed. End result: kids do the chores!

Next, Meri Williams writes on 24 Ways how home Kanban created domestic bliss while renovating a Victorian terrace. In her article, Meri does a nice job of summarizing how Kanban works and how she implemented it at home. The point that particularly resonated with me was how she discovered that the discussions about priorities and the definition of done were the most valuable part of the process. Of course we can also all identify with the satisfaction of moving a card to done!

Similar to Meri, Emily Webber was inspired to ask Can Kanban Make My Home Life Better? after seeing this tweet from Jamie Arnold (@itsallgonewrong). Following the same basic process as Meri, Emily took it one step further and used Clear on her phone to add items to her list when she wasn’t at home. Being able to get her list out of her head and onto a visual board where she could prioritize and focus on the most important things helped her feel less overwhelmed. I hope she shares some more success stories in future blog posts.

Do you have to learn Kanban at work before you apply it in the home? Absolutely not! Making a Kanban board is one of the Six Tips For Getting Organized Now! shared on a website for teens.

If these posts inspire you to try Kanban to help you get organized at home, you can read more about it from the gurus at Personal Kanban.

Have you tried this technique at home? Did it work for you? I would love to hear your experiences in the comments.

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About Liza Wood

After a dozen years leading video game development projects in a variety of roles, I decided to pursue a Master of Data Science at the University of British Columbia. Studying data science doesn’t mean I’m moving away from leading people. Growing data science teams need collaborative, pragmatic, Agile leadership to connect data to all areas of the business. I would like to share that point of view, along with my experiences, on this blog.

View all posts by Liza Wood

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6 Comments on “How To Use Kanban To Get Organized At Home”

  1. Kathleen G (@Blogathon2) Says:

    This is awesome and I’ve never seen it before. Thank you for sharing. I am totally using one of these boards when my office is finished!


  2. nealchampion Says:

    I’ve been pretty much running my whole life on since I discovered it 18 months ago. It’s a fantastic configurable online kanban board system, available on multiple devices.


  3. Eva Says:

    Thank you for sharing! I use this method for 2 years now. First, I started to use it after I moved into my new apartment with my boyfriend (probably it helped us to stay alive and finally got married). I like personal kanban tool from Kanban Tool – I use it on my tablet.



  1. How To Use Kanban To Get Organized At Home | Ag... - February 4, 2014

    […] In January many of us resolve to get more organized at home and try to bring some more sanity to our busy lives. Last year, a designer on my team gave me the ultimate compliment: she and her boyfri…  […]

  2. Learning to Be Vulnerable | Living the Abundant Life - March 30, 2014

    […] a spa day that lasts for 24 hours, I need to get out more, I need to delegate household chores (a Kanban board is in the works… my daughter is going to be busy this summer), I should make more time for […]

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