Urgent or Important? The 14 most valuable hints related to the Eisenhower Matrix

The Eisenhower matrix aids decision making and task prioritization to help you focus on the right tasks. This is a complete guide and How-To use Eisenhower Matrix in KanBo.

“I have two kinds of problems, the urgent and the important. The urgent are not important, and the important are never urgent.” – Dwight D. Eisenhower

The Eisenhower matrix helps you prioritize tasks based on urgency and importance to aid the decision-making process of which tasks require more focus. You can divide your tasks in these 4 decision-making areas:

– Important and urgent

– Important but not urgent

– Not important but urgent

– Not important and not urgent

With the Eisenhower Matrix you can focus laser sharp on tasks that require the most attention while delegating or not performing the unimportant and non-urgent tasks.

How to use the Eisenhower Matrix in Enterprise using KanBo – fastest way

KanBo’s digital version of the Eisenhower Matrix supplements its core principles to make it more relevant for the digital age.

In order to streamline work and facilitate decision making, KanBo has created a board template dedicated to the Eisenhower Matrix. KanBo’s implementation of the Eisenhower matrix takes it a step further with KanBo board’s extensive capabilities while preserving the core principles. KanBo makes the Eisenhower matrix more relevant for the digital age.

Get started with a thorough explanation of how to work with the Eisenhower Matrix in KanBo and how your personal efficiency can benefit the from Eisenhower’s wisdom amplified by the extensive capabilities of the KanBo board.
1. Choose an Eisenhower Matrix KanBo templates from KanBo Templates. Another way – You can create it from scratch, do it using KanBo Board as well

2. List down all the activities, tasks, or projects as a KanBo Card and add it to the Eisenhower Matrix

3. Put each of the activities, tasks, or projects as a KanBo Card you listed into one of the four categories in the Eisenhower Matrix

  • In the first List put the KanBo Cards that are Important and Urgent
  • The KanBo Cards in List 2 are Important, but Not Urgent
  • In third List put KanBo Cards that are Not Important, but Urgent
  • KanBo Cards that are Not Important and Not Urgent put in fourth List 4

4. Add coworkers to your Eisenhower Matrix and work together using mentions and comments

5. Add documents, to-do lists, notes, dates to every KanBo Card. In this way, your Eisenhower Matrix becomes an Enterprise tool

6. Use Analytics to improve your efficiency

Frequently Asked Questions

1. How can I organize tasks in the Eisenhower Matrix?

You have 4 lists (Eisenhower Quadrants) where you can place your tasks. The KanBo equivalent of an Eisenhower quadrant is a KanBo List. You are provided with 4 lists in the template that correspond to the 4 Eisenhower quadrants. Adding a task (KanBo Card) in a list is the same as adding it in a quadrant of the analog Eisenhower matrix (Ready to use Eisenhower Matrix Template is here).

2. How many tasks I can put in Eisenhower Matrix?

As many as you want! The number of tasks you can put in KanBo’s Eisenhower matrix is virtually unlimited.

Unlike the analog version, KanBo’s digital Eisenhower matrix can contain unlimited task entries. The only limitation is your ability to execute. Enter as many tasks as you wish in each of the lists (quadrants). The headers of the KanBo Lists display the number of tasks in each list and the percentage of how much of the work represented by each quadrant is already completed. Having this information updated in real time opens up a new dimension of streamlining your decision making and sharpens your prioritization abilities.

3. How can I see the progress of work for each task?

In every Task (KanBo Card) you see the current progress of work. You can even group your tasks according to their progress status.

In KanBo, each task (KanBo Card) has a status, regardless of which quadrant (KanBo List) it resides in. The status can be customized and determines its state of completion. It can look like this:

  • Not started,
  • In progress,
  • Blocked,
  • & Completed.

The statuses are visible in the KanBo Card so you can see exactly what stage the task is at. You can also group tasks according to their Statuses. Using this visualization, the lists will correspond to the names of the statuses, but you will still see the names of the Quadrants (KanBo Lists) on the KanBo Cards, which will allow you to determine in which Quadrant of the matrix the task is located (More about analytics and reports is here).

4. How can I delegate tasks?

You can delegate tasks to other people by simply dragging and dropping their avatar on the particular task (KanBo Card).

In KanBo’s digital version of the Eisenhower matrix, you can not only place tasks in different quadrants but also easily delegate them to others in your team. By simply dragging and dropping the person’s avatar on the KanBo Card, you can delegate any task regardless the Quadrant-List. The delegation generates a notification for the assigned person and automatically subscribes them to the stream of information that the card generates (the assigned person now follows that KanBo Card).

5. How can I work with my team?

Work with your team by adding all your coworkers into your Eisenhower matrix board. Once they are added, they have access to all the tasks and information in the KanBo Board (Learn more about user management in KanBo here).

Working in the analog version of the Eisenhower matrix has its drawbacks and one of the major ones is the inability to access information due to physical boundaries – the analog version can be only at one place at any given time. The digital version of the Eisenhower matrix solves this with its teamwork capabilities, unlocking a whole new range of applications. Now, the access to the tasks placed in the matrix is no longer limited by physical boundaries and can be seen by the entire team at any physical location. By adding colleagues to the board, you give them all the information they need to execute work efficiently by boosting transparency and visualization quality.

6. Can I filter tasks in Eisenhower Matrix?

You can easily filter all tasks in the KanBo Eisenhower matrix using “Filter” by: Text, Status, Label, User, or Date.

Unlike the static nature of the analog version, the digital Eisenhower matrix in KanBo can be looked at from different perspectives. This can be done by filtering the tasks in each quadrant based on attributes such as text, status, labels, user, dates and more. You can even combine filters using logical OR/AND (All about filtering is here).

7. Is it possible to change views in Eisenhower Matrix?

You can change views and see the information in different dimension such as Lists, Calendar, Gantt Chart or Analytics (Learn about KanBo views here).

KanBo breathes new life into the Eisenhower matrix with multiple views that allow you to view it from different angles to derive useful insights. These viewpoints are known as views in KanBo and include KanBo Lists View, Gantt chart, Calendar and Analytics. Combining them with Filters and continuously updated real-time information opens up a world of possibilities that the father of the Eisenhower matrix, Mr. Dwight D. Eisenhower, may never have dreamt of.

8. Does the Eisenhower Matrix have Kanban or Gantt Chart View?

Yes, the digital version of Eisenhower matrix in KanBo is equipped with Kanban and Gantt Chart views. You can change views using the left-hand panel in the Board.

KanBo creates the useful union between the Eisenhower principle and the Kanban approach by allowing you to group tasks as To-do, Doing, and Done. For planning enthusiasts, the Gantt Chart view can show the dates and relationships between the tasks. You are not limited to only one methodology, in KanBo you can use whatever is best to solve your current problem while ensuring that changes will be kept consistent across all task visualizations.

9. Sometimes the tasks are dependent on each other. Can I set task dependencies in Eisenhower Matrix?

Yes, you can set task dependencies defining 4 relationships namely: Parent, Child, Previous, and Next.

The tasks (KanBo Cards) on the Eisenhower board, in addition to being placed in the relevant lists (quadrants), can also be linked to each other through relationships. Relationships in KanBo are equivalent to those found in most professional work environments. They can be combined in parent-child and predecessor-successor relationships. There may be long chains or deep hierarchies of KanBo Cards – KanBo with its date dependency validation mechanisms and other powerful features will assist you while dealing with these complexities.

10. Can I set due dates in tasks?

Yes, you can set a due date, start date and multiple card dates in every task (Learn about dates in KanBo here). You can see these dates in the KanBo Card, Timeline, Gantt view and Calendar view.

You have the option to inform others when a task should start and when a task will be finished by setting the Start and Due Dates in the KanBo Card. Apart from that, you can also specify multiple Card Dates and give them custom names to visualize other important events that have an impact on the task. In this way, the task is not only embedded in the context of the project and priority but also has a time context. This extra context of time adds another important vector/layer to the decision-making process and influences the prioritization by signifying its urgency in terms of the Eisenhower matrix.

11. Can the Eisenhower Matrix remind me about upcoming dates?

KanBo’s Eisenhower Matrix template has a set of reminders to notify you of important upcoming dates.

One of the major advantages of the digital Eisenhower matrix comes in the form of its reminder system. The template is equipped with a set of default reminders that fire several times when the date is approaching or becomes overdue, into the activity stream of the task, making all involved participants aware of a deadline. In case the notification goes unnoticed, KanBo escalates and the involved users will receive email reminders.

12. Can I perform remote work with Eisenhower Matrix?

Yes, Eisenhower Matrix has 24/7 remote access, allowing you to work from anywhere at any time from any device (read full article about remote work with KanBo here).

KanBo’s Eisenhower matrix makes the most out of today’s technology with 24/7 remote access capabilities that allow users to work remotely from any location using any device regardless of the screen size. That is one of the most remarkable improvements that have resulted from the digitalization of the Eisenhower matrix by KanBo.

The digital Eisenhower matrix representation in KanBo is equipped with modern features like multiple views, notifications and real-time updates.

13. Will I stay up to date with the Eisenhower Matrix when temporarily away from KanBo?

Yes, KanBo Board (Eisenhower Matrix) gathers all information that is relevant to you and updates you with it through notifications. In case the notification goes unnoticed, it is automatically sent to you by email, so you are always up to date on the status of work.

KanBo’s digital version of the Eisenhower matrix goes beyond a mere layout for organizing and prioritizing tasks. It is a powerful tool that enables real-time work through automatic notifications that keep you updated on any changes that occur in the tasks and are relevant to you. Whether the change has been made by another employee or the system, you will be notified according to your personal preferences. Users can define what kind of notifications they want to receive with options including Everything, Relevant, and Comments and actively following single tasks (KanBo Cards) or even following entire Eisenhower quadrants (KanBo Lists).

KanBo takes the Eisenhower matrix beyond a mere layout for organizing and prioritizing tasks, providing a powerful decision-making tool.

14. Can I use the Eisenhower matrix template to manage my personal workload in the KanBo MyBoard

Yes, since the assessment of tasks is extremely subjective, we recommend you to manage your own work load with the Eisenhower matrix template inside of your own MyBoard in KanBo. The MyBoard is the perfect place to organize your personal flow of work containing tasks. The Eisenhower matrix methodology empowers you to gain the right perspective which work to perform to make the most out of your time.


The Eisenhower principle is a useful tool to achieve work efficiency but KanBo takes a step further with its digital representation for the modern workplace. Prioritize tasks and make tough decisions easier with KanBo’s Eisenhower matrix template.

Have more questions regarding Eisenhower matrix? Contact us now to talk about reaching a whole new level of efficiency at work.

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