Sparky's Project Status Board: Alternatives to using Omnigraffle?


I am very intrigued by David’s Project Status Board idea.
But Omnigraffle is out of my price league and I’m not a fan of the Omni group’s overall design aesthetic.

Over a decade ago, I had something similar set up in a TiddlyWiki file to quickly jump to local folders and a few apps. While TiddlyWikis still exist, they nowadays require a second app to be launchable. The reason being security restrictions of modern browsers when executing JavaScript code locally. All in all, TiddlyWikis just don’t seem timely anymore.

The idea of mixing the following into one “launchpad” is very appealing:

  • dynamic dashboard to launch apps in the right context
  • a kanban style view (with drag and drop) to reflect state (waiting, hold, etc.)
  • and maybe even show flow-chart elements to reflect process steps as a visual cue for common workflows

The last resort would be to code a small website by hand, but having something run locally with dynamic data input will add complexity and make it harder to maintain effortlessly. And the limitations that TiddlyWikis have to deal with will be another factor that complicates things with this approach. :confused:

Any ideas what else could be used to achieve this?

Thanks a lot :slight_smile:

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It kinda seems like Trello would be perfect if you could group columns. But, also very curious to see if anyone has ideas :smiley:

Actually! You could use something like Figma. It has the ability to add links to objects on the canvas.

You could grab the embed code and then stick it in a Keyboard maestro popup or something.


I should create fake accounts just to like your suggestions multiple times! :raised_hands:

Totally forgot about Figma in that context. Always wanted to find a reason to check it out.
Thank you!

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I was going to give this a try with Curio, although the pricing is only a bit lower than Omnigraffle’s pricing so it might not be what you’re looking for.


I use a modified Kanban board in Kanbanier. It allows me to link tasks to resources and move cards on the board easily. Not sure Kanbanier is still being developed, but it does what I need it to do. I mainly use it on the Mac, but they support iOS. And iCloud sync between two Macs, with both having the same project open, works great.

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You could do something similar in Notion. That is free.


For OmniGraffle / Visio replacement, I would look at Grafio. Still being maintained, but not too much new features these days.

Also, for just visual whiteboarding, I absolutely love Miro. It offers 3 boards free of charge per account, and since it has an infinite canvas, you can really get a lot of out this. Miro has an iOS / iPadOS app and also works great in the browser.

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If you want to self host something like that you could try focalboard?

Just not sure if it works well with links, but I’ll try tomorrow and report back

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Oh nice! They also provide a all-in-one package for macOS in the AppStore if someone wants to give it a try without dealing with a (local) server installation.

I never liked Notion for their lack of privacy. In the beginning they even used some third party SaaS company to record entire user sessions for them to replay. Sure, this might be great to learn how people use the product, but it’s a privacy debacle given that some people essentially seem to run their life from it or use it as a personal journal.

Thanks for all the suggestions! Grafio looks interesting, but sadly is iOS/iPadOS only.

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Like Leo, I’m very much liking MacSparky’s Project Status Board but don’t want to jump into costly Omnigraffle.

So, instead, I’m using the powerful web-based relational database product called A multi-table relational database in Airtable can be configured with a Kanban view with drag and drop capability. My account can be opened in Safari with all of Safari’s integrations on any device — e.g. Mac or iPad. Airtable databases support URL fields and a large number of other data field types. I’m currently running it full-screen so I can easily switch to that full-screen “Space” on my Mac from other Spaces.

Best of all, until the number of records in the Status Board database reaches 1,200, the account is free. And I could add up to 9 team members at no charge if I wanted to convert this from a personal Kanban board to a team Kanban.


Although not the same Hook gives you the ability to link anything to anything. Might be worth checking out.

Keep it simple, just get - It’s a Kanban system that saves everything in Markdown files. It’s very low price and it runs on ‘everything’ that is Desktop based. Mac, Windows, Unix … One time price of $25 and no subscription.

Tom Parish


I have published a blog post explaining how I use HyperPlan to develop a similar status board.

I think HyperPlan is the perfect application for this purpose.


Thanks for the post regarding hyperplan. I have it, but I am still trying to wrap my head around it. How else have you applied Hyperplan ?

I’ve used it for client-based work where punnet square layouts work. E.g. SWOT, cost-benefit, etc.

Other Kanban boards for project management as well.

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Focalboard might make a good approach to a personal dashboard.

It’s a kind of Kanban approach to tasks or projects. I’m using it to keep track of the many work and professional projects that I have in various stages of progress.

One thing I really like about it is that you can have multiple views with columns based on just about any property, including ones you make up — so status (doing, next, done, etc.) is the classic, but you could also use context, or priority, collaborator, or whatever.

Pros: Straightforward, clean look, customizable to a certain extent (give cards custom properties and do things with them), drag and drop, export to CSV, open source, seems actively developed, and all for the low price of free.

Cons: Electron app (or feels like one anyway), not very automate-able, I haven’t gotten links to work (so I can’t click on a card and, say, go to a document for the project), and there isn’t (yet) a checkbox feature (eg, for subtasks on a card).