Tonianne DeMaria is an accomplished writer and trainer who co-authored the excellent book, Personal Kanban: Mapping Work, Navigating Life. I swear by this methodology, which is an intuitive application of lean thinking to personal and professional productivity. In this interview, Tonianne describes what “kanban” is and how people can use simple tools to improve their effectiveness. If you consider yourself an “expert multi-tasker,” listen to this podcast.

During the interview, Tonianne mentions Leankit, Trello (here’s the Chrome WIP plug-in she mentions), KanbanFlow, and Kanbanery,

Tonianne can be found on Twitter as @Sprezzatura. Her business partner and co-author, Jim Benson, is on Twitter as @OurFounder. They also tweet as @PersonalKanban. Tonianne can also be reached at their company website, ModusCooperandi,


What is a Kanban? [0:49]

What are the origins of the Kanban system? [1:24]

When you talk about kanban, are you talking about cards, or a process? [3:40]

What would it look like if someone began using personal kanban? Give us a word picture. [4:15]

Why limit the amount of work in progress (WIP) at any given time? [6:50]

How would you respond to the person who says they are a multi-tasker and can work on multiple things at once? [8:20]

What was your go-to system before you began using Personal Kanban, and does Personal Kanban differ? [12:10]

Can you compare personal Kanban to something like David Allen’s Getting Things Done system? [16:10]

Should a Kanban be physical, like a white board, or can you use a computer program just as well? [17:00]

What are some popular computer programs, if you go that route? [19:50]

Groups can use Kanban, right? [24:45]