Managing Your Work with Nextcloud Deck

28 December, 2020

When it comes to managing your work, sometimes a task list isn’t quite enough. Sometimes, you’re working on something that’s a bit more involved or complex and which requires a tool that’s a bit more flexible and can give you an at-a-glance awareness of the status of your tasks.

One popular way to do that is with a kanban board. One of the most widely-used kanban board applications is Trello. But being good citizens of the FLOSS world, I hope you use something more open like WeKan or something similar.

If you use Nextcloud as a personal productivity hub, you can add a kanban board to your instance with an app called Deck. Let’s take a look at Deck and how to use it.

Getting Deck

To do that, click on your avatar in the top-right corner of the screen and select Apps. You’ll see a list of available apps. If Deck is in the list, click the Enable button beside it.

If you’re self hosting, you might need to install Deck. If you’re using a hosted instance of Nextcloud, it might not be in the list. In that case, contact your provider to see if they can add Deck to your instance.

Once you’ve got Deck installed and enabled, click the Deck icon on the toolbar in Nextcloud.

The Deck icon on Nextcloud’s toolbar

Using Deck

Before you can do anything in Deck, you need one or more boards. Boards are the containers for tasks in a project or whatever you’re working on or do regularly. For example, I use boards in Deck to organize posts for my various blogs and to track the progress of my book projects.

To create a board, click the Create new board link in the menu on the left.

Creating a new board in Nextcloud Deck

Type a title for the board and then click the arrow pointing to the right. Throughout this post, I’ll be using the board I use with articles for The Plain Text Project as my example.

Adding Lists

Lists are columns on your board. Using lists, you can quickly see where a task is in your workflow.

Click the + (Add a list) icon at the top of the board. Add as many lists as you need. The board that I use with The Plain Text Project has these lists:

Adding Cards

Cards are the tasks that you need to complete. Add them by clicking the + (Add a card) icon at the top of a list. In the box that displays, type the name of the task and then click the right-pointing arrow.

The Details pane opens in the right side of the window.

Details pane for a Nextcloud Deck card

In the details pane you can set a due date for the task, add a longer description to it, or add an attachment or a tag.

Again, add as many cards as needed to the first column. For the Plain Text Project board, I add cards for the articles I’m writing for the coming year in the Not Started list.

Example of some cards in a list in Nextcloud Deck

I always add a due date to the tasks I’m working on to keep me on my toes. When a task is coming due, a notification appears in Nextcloud. One also appears on my desktop, since I’ve connected my Nextcloud instance to elementary OS.

Using Deck

You’ve got your board and tasks. Now what?

As you work on a task, move it across the board by dragging and dropping them. With the Plain Text Project board, tasks start off in the Not Started list then move to In Progress, then In Editing/Conversion, and finally into the Published list.

Using a board in Nextcloud Deck

Yes, it really is that simple.

Going Mobile

You don’t always need to log into Nextcloud to check or edit your tasks. You can do that on your Android phone using the Nextcloud Deck app.

Using the app, you can:

Viewing boards in the Nextcloud Deck app for Android

Final Thoughts

Kanban boards aren’t for everything you do. But if you need one, and use Nextcloud, you don’t have to sign up for yet another service or install and maintain yet another web-based or desktop tool. Deck is a seamless addition to Nextcloud and adds a useful tool to your personal productivity hub.

Scott Nesbitt