Getting started

Where to start?

If you have just signed up for Kitemaker, It'll look something like this:

That's all you need to get started. Simply press c or the '+' in a column header to create new cards. You can also create new cards anywhere by pressing option/alt + c. Put features and bugs you plan to work on in the 'Todo' column, move them to 'In Progress' when you start working on them and move them to 'Done' when they are done.

If you need to create many work items, hold ctrl/cmd when you press enter to automatically start on new ones. Also, if you want to flesh out a description right away, hold shift when pressing enter. You can also add labels (#), members (@), initiatives (!), and more directly when creating new cards.

The sample cards in the space can be safely archived and/or deleted when you have read them. They are just there to tell you about some of the features of Kitemaker.

Remember to archive your 'Done' column now and again by pressing alt+shift+a, or set up auto archiving in the space settings. When building Kitemaker, we do it when we ship a changelog. Others do it at the end of a sprint/cycle. You'll figure out your own cadence quickly.

Getting the most out of Kitemaker

We built Kitemaker to first and foremost be a collaboration tool for the team. So to get the best value out of Kitemaker, think of it as a collaboration tool for your teams rather than a management tool.

Each work item in Kitemaker contains a collaborative document and an activity feed. While other tools center around tasks or issues, Kitemaker works best when you focus on deliverables. That means making each work item about a feature, bug, or something else you plan to ship to users. Use the description field, a real-time collaborative document, to document the why, what, and how you plan to deliver. If you use Kitemaker to organize user feedback, you can connect the insights to the work items. You can also break down the work item into tasks using todos (simply type /todo, or use the markdown shortcut [] or x). Then, use the activity feed for discussions.

By adding integrations (find "Integrations" in the organization setting - that is in the menu in the side bar when you click your organization name on the top), you will also see activities happening in other tools in Kitemaker, making it a one-stop shop for everything related to whatever feature or bug you are working on.

Adding more structure

At some point in your Kitemaker journey, you most likely want to add more structure. You have a few choices based on your needs:

  • Labels (in colored outlined boxes) are great to classify work items. It could be to distinguish bugs, some state of the work item, that it is of high priority, or work items based on user feedback.

  • If you have more significant features or objectives, you can use initiatives (read more about initiatives here). They are similar to work items in that they contain a collaborative document and an activity feed. In addition, initiatives can have work items added to them and can be organized in a high-level now/next/later roadmap. While initiatives and labels may seem like similar concepts, the main difference is that initiatives have a start and an end and can be organized on a roadmap, whereas labels are generally long-long lived and describe some attribute of a work item.

A roadmap of high-level focus areas for Kitemaker

  • If you need to prioritize work items, you can add effort and impact. If you also press the "..." on a status column, you set the ordering of the column by effort and impact, with the low-hanging fruits rising to the top and the items with less impact and more effort at the bottom.

  • If you need to manage a planning board for work items, you can add that to your space (enable it in the “Workflow” settings for you space). This is another board that allows you to flesh out and prioritize before items are moved to the development cycle. Notice that the rightmost column is the todo column in the 'current' board. This is the easiest way you move things between 'planning' and 'current.'

A team using the planning board

You can press m to move a work item to any status column. You can also press shift+alt+m to move to any status column in any space.

That's it!

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