Manage categories Trello style - a kanban service for Discourse

2019-05-24 EDIT
The service is now up and running. Prototype/alpha style.

Hi, I am prototyping a service that allows for a kanban like view of the topics in a category. Topic labels decide which lane to place a topic in.

  • Drag to antother lane > Change label
  • Click on card > Open topic in Discourse

Seems straightforward enough, I have a working test up running.

I’d like to use the functionality for creating something along the lines of the Enspiral Improvements system or/and the Buffer Editorial Board.

So, now for the questions.

I’d like to choose the best way connect this to Discourse.

Should I create a Discourse plugin for storing settings? What categories are managed this way, which labels to use etc?

In order to create something like below - the yellow box - I would have to create a plugin yes?

Integrating the board directly into Discourse would be … cool. But possibly a bad idea for a number of reasons. Or a really great idea?

Anyone like to collaborate on this? Ping me a message. :incoming_envelope:


You can try using something like this.


And do it with a plugin or component.


The prototype kanban service is live now, we are currently trying out an alpha version on our forum:

I’m calling the service: :link: Lanes


The service is a Node/Express/React thing, connecting with Discourse through the api. Boards are currently configured manually and added to Discourse using an iframe - not the coolest solution, but it works really well for our use case.

See a board integrated in our forum here: :link: The Food Shift Improvements Board

Full screen mode is also supported, see here: :link: Improvements board - full screen

The code is not yet available on GitHub, please let me know if you would like to try this out and I’ll clean up the code base and make a repo.

I can also set up test boards for anyone that wants to try out lanes in their environment without having to setup an express server. Message me forum link and category you would like to connect a board to.



I’d like to try it out please.

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For potentially interested parties could you elaborate a little on how this differs to the Kanban Board Theme Component?


Sure, I haven’t looked in detail on the Kanban Theme Component and since we seem to have been developing in parallell I imagine there is quite a bit of overlap.

Features the theme component doesn’t seem to have:

  • Mobile drag and drop
  • Configure board title
  • Configure background color
  • More granular control over column ordering. Or maybe I’m mistaken here.
  • Manual control over boards - not all categories become boards - choose which categories you would like to visualize.
  • Share read only board with external parties without having to grant view permissions to Discourse. Example:

Features the theme component has and Lanes is lacking:

  • Lazy loading
  • Filtering
  • The ability for the user to customize the view and bookmark it
  • A separate column for untagged content
  • Assignment functionality

@kristoferlund - our team is interested in using this. Is this still available? thank you.

Can we sync trello and Discourse website? @kristoferlund

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@huynhthai824 @ben.hirsch

Have you had a look at the Kanban Theme Component? I sort of stopped developing my kanban service when that came out. The Kanban Theme Component provides tighter integration with Discourse, see comparison above. What functionality are you looking for that the theme component doesn’t provide?

Kaban is enought, but discourse So long time to load website. I wanna my team work on mobile app, quickly to post a topic, can you see my topic in forum , i wanna sync with telegram, facebookk group, Because them have app mobile

Our use case is that we need to be able to prioritize (via drag and drop) all of the topics that have a certain tag so that specific people on our team know the order in which to address each topic. I think the Kanban Theme allows moving topics between tags but not vertical prioritization/order, so it won’t work for us.

However, I ended up building a little app (called “Discourse Buddy”) which ties to our Discourse API and has a UI for dragging and dropping the topics as well as marking them as “complete” (which removes the tag). The app can embedded right into a Discourse page so it is working perfectly for us. If there is any interest I’ll package it up and post to github.


This would be useful. Yes please.