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Zenkit, First Take: A serviceable and customisable charge government tool

There are a lot of collection for handling to-do lists and tasks. Zenkit is a accessible though pretty absolute formulation complement that combines a kind of facilities you’d find in Trello, Microsoft Planner or Wunderlist with some elementary spreadsheet, database and calendar functions and a mind-mapping option. So far, it’s been a web use with mobile apps that enclosed usually a preference of a categorical features.

Now there are apps for Mac, Windows and (unusually) Linux. They’re Progressive Web Apps (PWAs) though many formation to OS services like notifications, though they give we offline entrance to a full underline set though carrying to fiddle around in a browser to conduct offline storage and syncing. It’s also good to see that a apps have some elementary keyboard shortcuts for accessibility.


If doesn’t matter what collection character we start a Zenkit plan with — we can usually change a view.

Image: Mary Branscombe/ZDNet


The templates that come with Zenkit save we time when environment adult a new project, though they’re pre-populated with representation information that you’ll need to undo if you’re regulating them for some-more than practice.

Image: Mary Branscombe/ZDNet



You can entice anyone into your group in Zenkit, nonetheless they will have to get a Zenkit comment even to see items.

Image: Mary Branscombe/ZDNet

It’s a multiple of facilities that creates Zenkit interesting. As you’d expect, we can emanate projects regulating templates (for a tiny series of common plan types), supplement people to them, emanate tasks (with a far-reaching operation of tradition fields) and allot them to group members, supplement sub-tasks and so on. Team members now have to pointer adult for Zenkit accounts, though we can send them an invitation from inside your project. Guest entrance is on a prolonged list of designed additional features.

You can also switch a perspective from a Trello-style Kanban board, with tasks grouped into rows and columns by your choice of meta-data, to a spreadsheet-style grid, a to-do list (you have to spin on checkboxes manually) or a calendar. You can also perspective it as a mind map, nonetheless we have to privately emanate tasks in a hierarchy to bond them.


Open an object and we can revise and supplement fields.

Image: Mary Branscombe/ZDNet


Table perspective shows some-more sum of your equipment during once.

Image: Mary Branscombe/ZDNet

A some-more normal Gantt draft is also on a roadmap, though that won’t make Zenkit a grave plan formulation apparatus as it doesn’t have repeated tasks, repeating calendar events, dependencies, milestones or plan time tracking, for example. Collaboration in Zenkit means assigning tasks, looking during activity feeds and withdrawal comments — there’s no choice to burst on a Skype call or a Google Hangout with a rest of your team.

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Zenkit is unequivocally some-more like a elementary FileMaker Pro focus with a basis of formulation built in and a choice to customise fields extensively. Tasks have customary fields like due date, standing and description, though we can supplement tradition fields like a start date, checkboxes to emanate sub-tasks, elementary spreadsheet-style functions, or a couple to other tasks to get a some-more worldly approach of organising information. You can supplement series and banking fields, though not percentages (if we wish a Percentage Complete field, we have to trust people not to form in something over 100). You can insert files, though there are no collection for imprinting adult papers or images.


Add a far-reaching operation of tradition fields to get accurately a sum we need — nonetheless we can’t supplement validation options to fields.

Image: Mary Branscombe/ZDNet


Filter a equipment that uncover adult in a view, and afterwards save a filter so we can use it to make a tradition view.

Image: Mary Branscombe/ZDNet

You can filter one of a customary views by any of your charge fields, though we can’t emanate a formidable filter like “only uncover tasks that are overdue and haven’t been reserved to anyone”. And while we can allot tasks by boring a name from a list of members onto a task, that’s not apparent — we manually combined ‘assigned to’ fields to several projects before finding a choice to drag. Save those filters and we can them to make your possess views — there isn’t a customary Today view, or an Overdue view, though we can emanate them by mixing groupings and filters and giving that perspective a name.

Navigation integration

There’s a engorgement of ways to navigate around Zenkit projects, collections and teams. Almost all of a menu options transcribe something we can already do by clicking in a hamburger menu, and we spasmodic longed for a browser-style behind symbol to get behind to a prior view. It’s not obvious, though we can also wharf views, filters, members and activities to make it easier to navigate around — in calendar and mind map perspective we can pin a unscheduled and unfriendly menus as panels to see what we haven’t nonetheless dealt with, for example. The blueprint is really discriminating for a web page, though still doesn’t have utterly a same energy as a local app layout; a panels we haven’t docked cocktail adult over any row we wharf on a right-hand side of a screen.

There’s no API for developers to emanate plugins, and Zenkit usually integrates with a handful of services directly. You can import from Trello and Wunderlist if we already have tasks and skeleton we wish to switch over, or from a spreadsheet or database record (Access, Excel, CSV or Google Sheets). You can insert files to equipment that are stored on Google Drive, Dropbox or Box, and we can sync your Zenkit calendar — though usually to Google Calendar.


The new Zenkit apps are PWAs though low OS integrations, so we get notifications inside a app rather than where your OS displays other notifications.

Image: Mary Branscombe/ZDNet

You can use Zapier to trigger actions like formulating Slack reminders, adding business we enter in a plan to your Google contacts, or formulating new Zenkit equipment when your comment is mentioned on Twitter or we supplement a note to EverNote. You can also use it to keep a Zenkit plan in sync with other formulation collection like PomoDoneApp, Trello and Asana, and Zapier would also let we build formation with Office 365. Businesses regulating Office 365 and SharePoint already get Microsoft Planner as partial of their subscription so they might not be aim customers, though there’s really small formation with a Microsoft ecosystem unless we build it yourself. Zenkit is also usually accessible in English, distinct Microsoft Planner.

The giveaway and blurb versions of Zenkit (Plus, Business and Enterprise) are a same; what we compensate for is a ability to have some-more equipment in a collection, some-more people collaborating on a plan (limited to 5 in a giveaway version) and bigger storage limits, as good as preview entrance to new features. It’s on a pricey side during $108 or $348 per user per year, though new facilities are combined frequently and a one bug we found was bound within hours.



The large advantages of Zenkit are that it’s easy to get started with, and there’s a lot of customisation accessible to make it fit your plan and a approach we work. The disadvantages are that we have to do that customisation to make it some-more powerful, and to grasp any formation with Microsoft tools. We’d also like to see a PWA apps take a lot some-more advantage of OS facilities like notifications or burst lists — right-clicking on a Zenkit idol on a taskbar to open it directly to a sold view, a approach we can open Excel with a sold spreadsheet, for example. There are a lot of things Zenkit doesn’t do, though a morality also creates it really approachable.


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