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June 14, 2024
Tips and tricks

Visualize and optimize your processes with Kanban boards: A complete Kanban guide

Do you need to know more about the Kanban boards? Here is an overall Kanban guide for those who are considering using a Kanban board for their management processes.

Arzu Özkan-  Digital Marketing Manager
Zehra Yavuz
Digital Marketing Intern

As businesses of all sizes continue to embrace team-based workflows, the importance of workflow visualization and optimizing project and task-tracking processes has become increasingly apparent. Without clear and optimized workflows, management processes can quickly turn into a chaotic and frustrating experience. An unoptimized and unclear workflow is a recipe for failure, leading to missed deadlines, miscommunication, and decreased productivity.

Fortunately, there is a solution: Kanban boards. But what is a kanban board? By visualizing your workflows using the Kanban boards, you can better understand how your processes work and where there may be bottlenecks or inefficiencies. Optimizing work processes can improve your team's performance, reduce stress, and achieve better results.

Table of contents

What is Kanban board

Kanban boards are composed of cards that categorize tasks, which are then organized into columns that reflect the status of each task in the project flow. By moving cards between columns, you can easily track the progress of each task in real-time, all within a single, easy-to-use dashboard. This system allows you to manage your tasks more efficiently, while also providing a clear overview of the entire project workflow. With Kanban boards, you can stay on top of your tasks and ensure that your team is always working towards the same goals.

And if you are asking, "What is a kanban view?", well, it's basically the same as a kanban table. On tools that have more table forms than just a basic kanban board, the kanban table view type can be referred to as "kanban view".

How to use a Kanban board

Since an effective Kanban board is supposed to ease your workload, the usage is user-friendly.  

In the beginning, you should think and act simply instead of directly pouring down all the components of your workflow. By progressing step-by-step you will easily get familiar with the Kanban view structure and usage.

  • Identify the workflow: Before starting, you need to clearly define and structure your workflow. This can include steps such as "To-Do," "In Progress," and "Done," or more specific steps depending on the nature of your process.
  • Define the columns: After having identified the Kanban process flow it is time to bring it into a workflow visualization. As we mentioned before, a Kanban board is structured on columns that generally show the status of tasks. (to-do, in progress, or done)
  • Determine work item types: this step is the process where you determine the types of tasks you will be tracking within the Kanban process. Bringing forward this step before the following steps is important in that your team members should be able to capture the overall structure of the Kanban view.  
  • Add work items: Once you have defined the columns and work item types of your simple Kanban board, it is time to add work items to the Kanban board. Each work item of your Kanban board should be added to the appropriate column based on its status in the process.
  • Define work-in-progress (WIP) limits: This step is critical since it prevents overloading team members with too much workload and ensures that work is flowing smoothly through the process. Let’s say a team member can deal with four tasks at a time. While assigning some tasks you should set the number of in-progress column limits to four. Thus, not more than four tasks are allowed to be in the progress column. In this way overloading the team will be avoided.

Top 4 Kanban board applications

After having answered what is Kanban view and how to use a Kanban board, let’s find out the best 4 Kanban boards together.  


top kanban board application -

With its numerous benefits and features, Retable also offers an overall, user-friendly Kanban board. When it comes to optimizing work processes, integrability, customizability, and collaboration become game-changer features.  

For Kanban board project management, the Retable Kanban view is a visually optimized method of updating and displaying your table records. With customizable boards, real-time collaboration, and integration with other tools, it enhances your managing processes and optimizing work processes.


  • A wide range of visual options in addition to the Kanban board
  • Affordable pricing
  • Customizable UI
  • Real-time collaboration


  • The necessity of a third-party tool for some integrations


  • Basic: $5 / month
  • Personal: $10 / month

See Retable's Kanban view in action! 👇🏻

Copy the Kanban Board to Your Retable Dashboard: Retable Project & Task Tracking Kanban Board

You can click the Use Data button to copyProject & Task Tracking Kanban Board to your Retable Dashboard!


top kanban board application - trello

The Kanban board example of Trello is another flexible and sufficient way for workflow visualization. With the simple Kanban board of Trello, you and your team can easily track and manage your operations with Trello’s Kanban process flow.  


  • User-friendly interface
  • Kanban-specific solution for an advanced kanban experience


  • High pricing
  • Limited integration
  • Lack of other data visualization options
  • Lack of advanced data and project management


  • Standard: $5 / month
  • Premium: $10 / month
  • Enterprise: $17.50 / month


top kanban board application - monday

The Kanban view and other features of Monday are practical and efficient ways to manage workflows. With its divergent workflow visualizations and focus on continuous improvement, it helps you streamline your managing processes and bring all your team members on the same page


  • Easy-to-use interface
  • An efficient and easy collaboration across boards and tasks.
  • Customizable and easy to learn


  • High pricing compared to the budgets of mid and small businesses
  • Disturbing pop-up in mobile devices


  • Basic: €8 / month
  • Standard: €10 / month
  • Pro: €16 / month


top kanban board application - wrike
This is an example kanban visual

The Kanban board of Wrike is another sufficient method to maintain a dynamic workflow especially if you and your team need to keep being organized while running a complex workflow.  


  • Complex features that allow you to run your project management processes easily
  • Ability to easily get switched across multiple ongoing managing processes.
  • Efficient communication funtion


  • Steep learning curve
  • An overwhelming interface


  • Team: $9.80 / month
  • Business: $24.80

Overview of Trello’s Kanban board

If you are looking for a new approach to Kanban planning and workflow visualization Trello’s Kanban view may be a good fit for your needs. With its easy-to-use and simple Kanban process flow, you can track your managing processes in real-time collaboration on the same page with your team. Although Trello’s Kanban board offers many integrations, most of them require a third-party integration tool. In addition to limited integration, Trello does not provide other visual options. If your business has a dynamic and multi-dimensional workflow, using only a simple Kanban board does not meet all your needs.  

Key features of Trello's Kanban board:

  • Subtasks within a card
  • The tasks can have deadlines
  • Activity logs
  • Attachments in kanban cards
  • Built-in automations

Overview of Retable’s Kanban board

Retable's Kanban board example is a visual workflow management system that allows users to manage tasks efficiently and effectively. It offers flexibility, allowing teams to adapt the view to different workflows and processes, making it suitable for various types of projects.

One of the major benefits of Retable's Kanban view is its ability to provide a clear and visual representation of the project's progress, enabling users to track progress and ensure that all tasks are completed on time. The view's intuitive design also allows for real-time collaboration and information sharing, improving communication and teamwork, which can lead to better project outcomes. Thus, handling a complex and multi-dimensional workflow is possible. Besides a sufficient Kanban process, Retable also offers a wide range of other visual options such as grid view, card view, map view, and so on. Having a large scale of visual options allows you to adapt the view to different workflows and processes, making it suitable for various types of projects. If you need more detail on Retable’s Kanban planning, you can check out our other content: Retable's Kanban Guide  

Key features of Retable's Kanban board:

  • View all data as stacks of cards on a Board
  • Move record cards between stacks to change the value in its single select field or reassign it to a different collaborator
  • Create a project workflow and illustrate what stage each item user is working on
  • Reorganize or build new stacks straight from the Retable Kanban View
  • Add as many custom columns as you like to accommodate your workflow
  • Collaborate with teammates and manage work among each other
  • Move assignments through various statuses until they are finished in a visual layout
  • Update the status of a card automatically when moved from one column to another
  • Use the Drag and Drop feature to easily manage your tasks and projects
  • Filter and sort your data by any field or column to focus on specific tasks or projects
  • Set up due dates for tasks to keep yourself and your team on track
  • Add comments and attachments to individual cards for more context and collaboration
  • Use color-coding or labels to categorize and prioritize your cards
  • Customize the order of your Kanban board to suit your preferences
  • Access your Retable Kanban Board from anywhere
  • Share your Kanban board with others for easy collaboration and feedback.
  • Embed your Kanban boards on your website

Differences between Trello’s Kanban board and Retable’s Kanban board

While both products can be considered customizable and easy to use, Trello’s customizability features are not highly improved and efficient. On the other hand, Retable offers many customizability options paving the way for a better user experience and increased productivity.

Collaboration and team management: Collaboration is one of the most essential features especially if you have a multi-layered and complex workflow. Although both Retable and Trello provide effective collaboration features, Trello may not meet all the needs of your team management. Before deciding to buy the Kanban board of Trello you should take into consideration its limited reporting capabilities and limited task management options.

Level of data analysis and workflow automation capabilities: Before deciding to buy a Kanban board project management tool, make sure that the Kanban board will serve not only as a Kanban board but also beyond that. Successful data analysis and workflow automation capabilities are one of these additional core features. Retable serves as not only a simple Kanban board but also as a smart spreadsheet software with powerful data analysis and workflow automation capabilities. Its ability to handle large amounts of data, generate real-time reports, and automate repetitive tasks can help businesses streamline their project management processes, save time, and make data-driven decisions. So, before deciding to buy a Kanban board project management tool, consider whether it offers the level of data analysis and workflow automation capabilities that your business needs to achieve its goals.

Complexity and learning curve: Keep in mind that a business organization tool such as a Kanban task management tool is not only for you but an overall team. Because a Kanban task management tool is supposed to fit all your team members, it should be easy to learn how to use it. Otherwise, the users may feel lost which may end up with low productivity. When we compare the Kanban board of Retable and Trello in terms of complexity and learning curve, Retable has a shallow learning curve. Although the Kanban view of Retable is easy to learn, it provides some complex features which make it serve as an overall project management tool beyond a simple Kanban board. Compared to Retable, Trello provides a more complex Kanban board project management which leads to a steep learning curve.  

Best practices for using Kanban boards

After the decision step, you need to figure out how to take maximum advantage of the Kanban board when managing processes and how to use a Kanban board to increase productivity. Here are four core elements you need to take into consideration for a beneficial user experience.  

  • Establishing clear processes and workflows:

Although an efficient Kanban process will ease your workload and make it simple, you need to establish your managing processes clearly and well. Otherwise, you and your team may feel lost and confused even if they use the best Kanban planning tool.

  • Defining priorities and performance metrics:

In addition to establishing clear management processes, you need to set clear definitions for your priorities and performance metrics and communicate them to your team clearly.  

  • Limiting work in progress (WIP):

As we mentioned before WIP is essential to avoid an outburn and unproductive team. Nearly all Kanban board project management tools have a WIP function that limits the number of in-progress tasks. In this way, there will be a limit to the number of tasks that can be in progress at the same time.  


To sum up, an effective Kanban board can ease your workload and channel your all focus to your work by getting rid of distracting elements and an unorganized workflow. Although a Kanban view may be a game-changer tool for your managing processes, you need to identify your goals and priorities for an effective user experience.

Frequently asked questions about Kanban boards

Let's answer the most frequently asked questions about what is a kanban board:

Is Kanban planning a good option for large businesses?

Since not every business tool is a good fit for all types of business structures you may ask if it is a good option for a large business. As we mentioned previously, this question can be answered individually thus it doesn’t have a general answer. Before seeing if it is a good option for managing processes and optimizing the work processes of your business, you need to determine your priorities and set a clear limitation for the size of workflow you are dealing with. After an overall clarification, and definition of your managing processes you may start to ask what Kanban view is, and how to use a Kanban board.

Is a Kanban View enough for my business needs?

The notion of business needs is a highly large and flexible term that may depend on the size and structure of your business, optimizing work processes, and managing processes. A kanban process flow is a useful and adequate workflow visualization; however, a simple kanban board may not be an overall tool for your optimizing work processes and managing processes. Rather than a simple kanban board and kanban process, you may need some extra workflow visualization.  

How to use Kanban board?

If you gave your decision to apply kanban planning processes in your managing processes, the next step is to figure out how to use kanban boards and to search for a kanban board example that will give you a sense of kanban task management and kanban planning. To structure a beneficial and productive kanban planning, you may take a closer look at a kanban guide or directly start to use a kanban board example to practice it.

How does a kanban board work?

How kanban boards work and how to create kanban board are two sides of the same coin. Basically, you need to determine your stages, which can look like "pending, in progress, done" or "idea, execution, complete". After you determine the stages, you can fill it in with tasks, tickets, notes, assignments, etc. The purpose of kanban board is to make tracking the steps and stages easy, so, if you need such a tracking system, you can use any kanban visualization tool.

What Are the complementary tools that I can use in addition to a Kanban view

As we mentioned before, a Kanban board alone may stay insufficient for your managing processes, and you may need other workflow visualization. Thus, before deciding which product to choose, you should also take into consideration the availability of other workflow visualizations such as grid view, map view, and chart view. Retable may be a good fit for your managing processes in that sense since it provides an abundance of workflow visualization in addition to the Kanban view.

What is the best Airtable Kanban Board alternative?

Retable is the best alternative to the Airtable Kanban view because Retable makes creating and sharing kanban board much easier. The Kanban Airtable lets you create is simple, while Retable takes the Kanban visual board game to the next level with easier management options and more view types to support your projects.

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