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Show HN: Zenkit – Productivity app of List, Kanban, Spreadsheet and Calendar (zenkit.com)
264 points by becewumuy on Nov 23, 2016 | hide | past | web | favorite | 104 comments

Looks pretty interesting. The "typing" at the top of the page causes some movement of the page further down which makes reading the lower content annoying as it "bounces" up and down. Looks like it's due to the "typed" content wrapping to a third line for some of the phrases that are typed on mobile devices.

Hi! Siobhan from Zenkit here. We're fixing that now, thank you so much for pointing that out :)

Hah "Siobhan".....are ye Irish?

Just some things I noticed quickly. Some kind of progress or status bar could be added when doing an import. I've imported a CSV I exported from Jira and it just seems to be continuously importing with no idea on the status of it (how long is left, is it even still importing or has something gone wrong?)

Also when using the select box for the "Field Type" in the field properties pop up, the list is going below my screen and I cannot see the bottom items in that list.

Half ;) Sorry for the delayed response! Good idea with the status bar. If you refreshed the page the collection should be imported. We're working on fixing that.

Are you still having trouble with the fields?

Yes. You can see it here: http://imgur.com/a/1soW3

If you just make the browser window small it will happen.

Oh! Thanks so much, I've sent it over to the developers. Would you mind sending your registration email address to info@zenkit.com (& mention your HN username)? It may be an account-related issue. Thanks again!

This is so close to what I was looking for!

Feature Request: Sub-tasks The first interface I use to create tasks is always an outliner, that way I can quickly breakdown everything that needs to be done and add details about their implementation. This is close to mindmaps as shown in your demo, but a text based outliner is faster to type, edit, rearrange in. Having Subtasks would allow an approximation of this.

Also, please start charging for it.

Thank you. Right now we have checklists ;) Full-featured "subtasks" is a very interesting matter and we are working an a default support for that. Currently, you might "implement" this by adding a references called "subtasks". You also could create an aggregation to sum up costs/time estimates of these subtasks.

Yes would also love subtasks, start with a skeleton then add the detailed meat of the work like how the interface works with https://workflowy.com

Yes, this. Thanks area51 and Zenkit for reading my mind!

Also, I have some feature requests. I should mention I'm already a fan of the product and will be trying it out for the next few weeks, and I'm also sure you're already developing some of these.

* Mega List View: Collections are great! But sometimes I like to see all the things and feel overwhelmed. I can do this in search for tags (search "in progress") but a combined collection list would be cool.

* Data Export: Sometimes I want to export my list, like if I'm traveling without internet for a week but would like to still work on things. A .CSV, .MD, or something text based would be nice.

* Webhooks: I'd like to post to a slack channel when a task is done

* Assignment of tasks (not collections): I have a collection with a lot of tasks, but want to assign a specific task to an employee without them seeing all the collection tasks. Perhaps an 'assigned to me' board? Or maybe I can link a task to a different collection?

Love the "all the things" suggestion, we'll definitely look into that. Webhooks & exports are on the way. User assignments/permissions are definitely going to be improved. Great idea :)

Hi, Peter from Zenkit here. Thanks so much for the suggestions!! Love the"all the things" idea. Webhooks and APIs will be released alongside the iOS app next month. And we'll definitely have to think about the sharing/user permissions etc..

Hey! Lucas, another Zenkit team member here! We're trying to answer your questions as quickly as possible!

Price: we'll use a freemium model, starting in Q1 2017. Pricing will be similar to other tools in the market.

Trello/imports from other apps: we have one click imports for Trello and Wunderlist, & working on more. We're also in beta with Zapier. You can see our Trello comparison here: zenkit.com/trello

Unstable/Problems registering: sorry to hear there are issues here! HN was pretty unexpected :) we'd be happy to fix this on a case by case basis. Please send us a short note to hello@zenkit.com with your username / registration email.

API/webhooks: we're working on publishing our API and we hooks. We'll make them public as soon as we release our iOS app at the end of this year.

Localization : support for more languages coming in Q1-2 2017!

Tutorials/onboarding: we're releasing videos in the next week or two. Again, HN was unexpected :D

Feature requests : thank you so much for your requests! We're taking note and will definitely keep everyone updated with new features. (we've already got a lot of great stuff in the pipeline!)

Feel free to get in touch via email if you want to chat!

Why freemium? In my opinion, a 14 day trial, and then $5 per month pricing is good enough. Sometimes I don't understand why so much software is given away for free.

I'll happily use it for free, of course, but it seems like value is being given away without a compelling reason.

Most business people get that our vendors have to pay to keep the lights on. Because this product enhances productivity, I doubt many business people would decide not to use this product, simply because it's paid. If so, they're probably not going to be in business long anyway.

Why not?

Once you get used to it and have all your people people of your recently created team using it as well, once you grow over the free threshold, you will most likely pay. In the long run I see freemium as better option.

14 day free trial usually drives me away from really trying the application, I may not have enough time to really see if this tool fits my team's need and I don't want to pay for something I don't use that much yet, no matter how small the amount.

Have you looked at integration with taskwarrior? A bidirectional sync for tasks would be very handy. Look at asanawarrior for an example.

That's a great idea, we're definitely working on expanding the number of integrations. Watch this space!

It's a database, but you don't talk about SQL. Will we have an SQL API?

We'll provide a REST API :)

Wow, great! And here I've found this exactly ~1 day after wasting time trying to implement something similar for my study planning purposes. :) [Shameless plug: https://jkozera.github.io/oudashboard/ - you can load the calendar from https://jkozera.github.io/oudashboard/sample.ics instead of fetching one from the OU, no sign up is required]

Given the above, I would love to integrate these calendars with some Zenkit API instead. I see a 'Generate new API key' option in settings, but cannot find any API docs anywhere. Is API access going to be free? Please at least allow it for students. :)

Hi there ;)

You are right. We have not published our API yet. We use this API to connect to Zapier. I would be happy give you early access. Please email me.


BTW: If you needed one day for implementing something like this: We are hiring! ;)

It looks good but text rewriting thing should be stopped when video is playing, I couldn't watch the video because its distracting :)

Fair point :D we'll look into it asap

The home page title being rewritten constantly causes annoying reflow on mobile browsers, making it very difficult to read things below.

Hi! We're fixing that now, thank you so much for pointing that out :)

It would be great to have a more detailed calendar view (ie, the ability to assign tasks to a certain hour, not only setting the due date) and maybe a sync option with google calendar.

Also, keyboard shortcuts.

Hiya, great ideas! Love the calendar one. We're working on all of those things, and they're on the roadmap to be released in the next couple of months (or weeks in some cases).

I registered, logged in, tried to add a new collection. When I want to open the new collection, it shows me a "something went wrong" page. Doesn't seem very stable yet ...

Hi, thanks for letting us know. It was an issue with scaling (HN kind of took us by surprise :) it should be fixed now! Sorry for the late response!

Are all of the views available? I saw the mindmap in the demo on the front page, but I didn't see that view as an option when playing around with Zenkit.

Looks very cool from an initial play!

Hi! We're releasing the Mind Map really soon. We included it in the video because we weren't expecting so many people to see it before we released it :D

Nice, thanks! I'll likely play with Zenkit some more next week and will undoubtedly have some feedback for you as I've been looking at a lot of project management tools recently.

Looks neat! I really like being able to switch between lists, Kanban, spreadsheet, and calendar views. Design looks very clean and intuitive.

Thanks very much! This is Martin from Zenkit. I will try to answer all of your questions.

BTW, we are on Producthunt today and we have some other interesting comments there..

Awesome app. A few comments:

- It'd be really nice to see a weekly view of the calendar because I can't see more than 3 things at once on a day.

- After about 30 minutes of leaving the page open the drag-and-drop functionality on the calendar breaks and my browser (Chrome) thinks I'm trying to drag a link around.

- Marking things as complete is an absolute necessity here. Most individual users will be using this as an advanced task list. Trello just added this functionality, so it would be good timing and help keep them from getting an upper-hand here.

In general it's an awesome idea. Let people view their data in the form they want and let them track what they want. However the interface is a bit sluggish. If all of the inputs were live inputs (actual input tags, not elements you click on and then get processed and turned into inputs) it would probably feel much more responsive.

This is really really neat. However, it would be nice if the tags could be decoupled from Kanban column names. For instance, to track what I am learning, I want to tag stuff "Learning" but keep it in "Inbox" in the Kanban view. Currently there seem to be two alternatives - 1) Create a new collection (which makes me lose a combined inbox) 2) Add a custom field called "mytags" - which works, but is hard to add because I need to go to expand the task each time. Could any person from Zenkit help me understand what your workflow is for this?

Also, it would be cool if there was a way of marking a task "done" and removing it right in the list view. A keyboard shortcut to archive might be nice, I suppose.

Edit: Table view + New field with "tags" type solved the first problem to a great extent.

Interesting ideas! Would setting up a label field called 'tags' & allowing new labes to be created/ multiple labels to be selected work (you don't have to use them as kanban lists). Or just set up the field that contains 'inbox' and 'learning' to allow multiple labels? If not please get in touch to explain a little nore, if you like hello@zenkit.com

Re: marking done and archiving - we're working on dependencies & automation, so it'll be possible soon!

Interesting ideas! Would setting up a label field called 'tags' & allowing new labes to be created/ multiple labels to be selected work (you don't have to use them as kanban lists). Or just set up the field that contains 'inbox' and 'learning' to allow multiple labels? If not please get in touch to explain a little nore, if you like hello@zenkit.com

Re: marking done and archiving - we're working on dependencies & automation, so it'll be possible soon!

BUG: I can't read the terms of service or the privacy policy unless I log in. :-)

Update: I can cut and paste the policy and TOS urls and they work in a different browser window. For some reason, when I am at the registration page for the beta and I click these links at the bottom it sends me to a login page.

FYI @ All- this bug has been fixed, along with a couple of others that were affecting some users. Thanks everyone for all the great feedback!

Thanks for letting us know! The fix will be released with a new version (soon). For now opening them in a new tab will work :)

Must have an API, or at least export as csv AND json buttons. I use the pomodoro technique, it 100% necessary for me to be able to connect my task list with the pomodoro app I use: https://pomotodo.com

Hiya, yes! We agree. (And I am also an avid pomodoro fan :D). We'll be releasing the API when we release our iOS app next month. We're working on exports too, they're on the way :)

Great interface - I look forward to trying it out for various projects, and hope the beta goes well!


Hey! Awesome looking site and I'm looking forward to using it. My only request is when you do decide to monetize, that you pick a pricing strategy that doesn't cause me to stop using your product. I was using upwave.io until they went to $4/user. Compared, Slack is $6.67/user and Google Apps for Business is $5/user per month. I'm in the small business market (less than 10 employees) and an option for 'up to 5 users' for $15 a month would be an easy purchase. A $5/user option would be an easy purchase if we keep your app open in a tab all day.

Thanks so much for your suggestions. We have plans for freemium pricing & will probably start charging in the Q1 of 2017. Pricing will be in the range of other productivity tools in the market.

Congrats on the launch! Very complete and well-thought from what I can see.

I assume you were not ready for HN #1 traffic, as I registered to start using on a real project of mine but faced some hiccups along the way of creating my own collection. I was able to create it and edit the settings, but right now as I try to access my recently created collection I only get: "Something went wrong, sorry about that! If this happens again, please let us know."

I will try later and I am in no hurry, but you should try to fix it asap. I logged in with the email on my profile if you need to check my specific case.

Good luck!

Thanks so much for the early confidence ;) That issue should have been fixed by now, it probably had to do with the database not scaling quickly enough. I hope it's working for you now!

The calendar is not working for me. It shows grey bars instead of text.

Hi, thanks for letting us know! First suggestion - refresh or clear cache? If that doesn't work, please would you send us the email you registered with to info@zenkit.com and we'll sort it out :)

Hi, just first want to say I think this is a great product so far. Being able to switch between the Kanban view and the list view is key for me and some folks on my team.

Regarding the calendar, I'm having the same problem - 4 of my tasks are showing up correct, but 3 are showing up on the wrong date as gray bars. I will send a screenshot and more details to that email address.

Looks great. Needs on premise install option to keep data local.

Yea, I'm not impressed by projects today unless they have a docker container that's designed to be linked to a database via env variables and documented storage/volume locations.

It should be easy for people to host their own data.

Hi there, we do offer on premise installs see zenkit.com/enterprise :)

Yet another product or service with inappropriate use of Zen in the name. What does this have to do with Zen, the school of Mahayana Buddhism?

Why does it have to have to do anything with it?

If you add a timer on the tasks, I'll consider moving. I need the native platform to provide a start/stop timer on tasks.

Thanks so much for the suggestion, I totally agree. Massive pomodoro fan here. Timers are definitely on the roadmap, but we have a lot of great features coming up, so no guarantee when they'll be available.

Really cool. I'm a big Trello user, but it has some shortcomings so I'm always interested in new offerings.

Have imported one of my organisations and will work with a bit to see how this works out. The first thing that jumps out at me is the lack of Markdown support in the descriptions.

Also, why is there no select field / list option for custom fields?

Cool! We found some limits in Trello too, which was part of the reason we started developing Zenkit. We're working on markdown support, as well as a couple of other fields ;)

What do you mean exactly by select field/list option? Do you mean select all items in a list in kanban?

Not exactly. It would be nice to define a select/dropdown list and some options. Then users can select one of those options for the card item.

That said I've used a labels custom field for my use case but I still think a dropdown list would have some merit.

By the way vertical/horizontal grouping in the Kanban options are superb. Really great idea.

Looks like when you open an item and try to move to another collection from the "Actions" drop down it doesn't work. Works on individual items from the collection view though.

Ah! Ok, got it, thanks! At the moment we use label fields for this function (in the field properties just choose not to allow users to create new labels, and only allow one to be selected). I’ll definitely forward on your dropdown suggestion though – I see your point. Also, thanks for the bug report. Would you mind sending your email address (& mention your HN username & issue) to info@zenkit.com? One of our developers will take a look at your case :)

This is a nice to have, but I would love to see integration with Jira and/or Pivotal Tracker.

Thanks for your suggestions! We're working on integrations at the moment and will be releasing new ones soon. :)

This is definitely speaking to me — I like being able to switch between tools, depending on the project, but dislike the silos most tools (trello, google sheets / airtable, canvas / google docs / text) create around structured data.

can you elaborate on the idea of "tool silos" ? not sure what you mean

They mean you can't see todo list items on your calendar, or calendar items on your kanban, because the data ends up "siloed"

they probably mean the data is less portable across multiple tools. So, you're putting data in multiple places, and creating individual relationships based on the view.

And, putting data in multiple places means extra time and money managing it. Generally.

Siobhan from Zenkit here - You nailed it, that's exactly what we mean ;)

Two factor authentication (2FA)?

Hi! Definitely on our roadmap. Please have a look here: https://zenkit.com/enterprise

Very good video and on-boarding! Looks ten time more useful then anything I've seen so far. The user interface isn't unitive, like I tried pushing the plus sign where I should have pushed enter. It needs tutorials!

With some more testing I found out it only has 1/5 of the functionality in the video. The overall experience is bad, like waiting several seconds after clicking somewhere and lagging animations.

Hi there, sorry to hear there have been problems with the UX so far. It may have been to do with the database scaling issue we faced earlier. Everything shown in the video is or will be available available soon (mind maps/analytics). If you send your registration email address (and HN username) to info@zenkit.com our programmers will take a look at your case.

Looks really good. I'm going to start using it. To echo a previous comment, as far as price range, I'd say $5 a month per user, or $15 a month for teams of up to 5 is perfect. Just my opinion.

Thanks so much for the feedback, we really appreciate the pricing suggestions :) Official pricing should be released by Q1 2017

Looks very nice!

I really would like to see a merge of features between Zenkit and Trello.

If Zenkit keeps my Kanban synchronized with Trello, it's already possible to me use it. I haven't found yet if it has this feature.

Hi, Peter from Zenkit here! We've had a lot of trello fans asking for Zenkit synchronization so we built a one click importer. What features from trello would you like to see in Zenkit? Btw we made a comparison page here: zenkit.com/trello

Error when connecting with Google, showed this in a red box:

select * from "strucd_users_emails" where "email" = $1 and "deprecated_at" is null - Connection terminated

We’re so sorry for the inconvenience! It seems we didn’t scale our database fast enough. If you send us an email to hello@zenkit.com with your registration address, we’d be happy to fix it for you. This scaling issue will be fixed ASAP!

I didn't know how badly I needed the mind map view until I saw it. Re-creates how I think about planning complex tasks with multiple dependencies.

We're glad to hear it!! The mind map will be released soon, so keep an eye out :)

Fantastic! Can you please add keyboard shortcuts? :D

Also for f's sake, don't send me unsolicited "Getting Started" eMails! I don't understand why all those webapps think that this is a good idea. I don't want to read it, I have to find the unsubscribe button, have to click it, have to click ok and the website and have to confirm in a second eMail that I really want to unsubscribe. What kind of shitty UX is that? Would you like me to just click on Spam and tell GMail to block them for everybody?

Hi there, sorry about that. Double opt-in is required by law here. The welcome email is a short term solution that we built because our in app onboarding wasn't yet ready. As I mentioned before, HN and Product Hunt took us by surprise yesterday. We're working on a smoother UX for the sign process now :)

This is not double opt-in, it's double opt-out. I didn't opt-in the first place, you just sent me eMails.

This is a cool idea and the demo looks nice.

I registered and am getting a lot of retrys and worker job time outs.

I'll try again later tonight.

me too, since just after post. Commented it here, but no replies.

Sorry for all the troubel. These issues should be resolved now.

This reminds me of Chandler, Mitch Kapor's attempt at a PIM. Is there a story around email integration?

Hi macmac, yes we’re definitely thinking about email integration but it’s still a little further down the roadmap.

Hi, awesome tool!

Would be nice if it had localization support so I can use it with my non-english speaking colleagues.

That would be great! It's definitely on our roadmap for Q1-2 2017

You may want to allow the user activation page to work on mobile. I understand that the entire app is not ready for it but that one page would be important to allow.

When I receive such an email I always open it on my mobile.

Right now you end up on a page saying that the current device width is not supported.

Edit: It seem that my account was authorized even if only an error message was displayed.

I just watched the video, it looks very promising. It combine the best of Asana and Trello.

Awesome website. I understand what this does. Love the gif video things.


use.fontawesome.com blocks loading of your website if it's not reachable. Can you move it from <head> to the end of <body>?

And TOS and privacy policy should not require a login ;)

Thanks for the heads up! (And apologies for the delayed response). Both those issues were fixed & should be working fine now :)

Awesome! I love the simple, clean and tidy design!

Looks good but this annoys me beyond belief:


Write text, then hit SHIFT+HOME it does not select the text. Tried it in Firefox and Chrome.

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