Custom Board

The Custom Board app provides you with a way to view and edit work items . Similar to the Custom List app, you can add multiple copies of the app to a page and set each app to display data from multiple projects, iterations, releases, work item types, or other criteria. Is a custom board or a Kanban board right for your team? Read more here.

Custom Board


  • Use drag-and-drop controls to quickly change the state of a work item
  • Add new work items to the board
  • Accept a work item from the front of the card
  • Block a work item and include a reason on the front of the card
  • Customize the fields you see on cards
  • Edit fields directly from the front of the card
  • Change the color of the card
  • Use advanced filtering capabilities
  • Customize the columns on the board
  • Add swimlanes to the board
  • Use the Auto Height setting to automatically adjust the vertical space of the app based on the amount of visible data

Custom Board Settings

Note: Access the settings through the gear menu. Note that settings through this app are per project. Project administrators may only change app settings in projects they administer.

You can update the following settings for the Custom Board:

  • Name of the board
  • Project scope of the board
  • The work item type you want to display on the board
  • Select whether you want to include swimlanes on the board
  • Select the order of how you want cards to display
  • Specific queries you want to add to the board

Custom Board settings

Global Settings

You can set the board to change its data with your global project picker , or you can choose a specific project or group of projects to work from. If you choose the Follow Global Project Setting, then the contents of the board will change according to your global project picker. Select Choose a Specific Project if you want to see another project's work, regardless of your global project setting.

If your board is installed on a shared custom page , check the Default Settings checkbox to use the settings selected in the lower section of the menu for all projects in the workspace . Changes you make to columns, fields displayed on cards, and other options will be used when viewing the board from any project.

  • If you have previously saved settings for the app while viewing it from a specific project, those settings will not be overwritten when checking the Default Settings checkbox. Any changes you save while this checkbox is empty will be project-specific.
  • When the app resides on a custom page shared with an entire workspace, only workspace administrators and subscription administrators may edit global settings.

Set Up Swimlanes

Swimlanes are horizontal rows that can be applied to a board for a team to easily visualize work items by category or sub-process. Admins can choose custom fields to be used as swimlanes on the Kanban Board.

When you add swimlanes that are based off a custom field , the field values will be ordered alphabetically as lanes. You may force a specific value to the top by adding a numerical prefix to the field value name, e.g. 1 - Blue or 2 - Green.

Best Practice: The most common usage in kanban is to add an Expedite swimlane. You can use this swimlane to visualize a single work item that is allowed to violate work in progress (WIP) limits. This work item receives priority treatment over other work items in a column.

Use Cards

Update States

Each card resides in a column according to its current state. To update the state of a card, drag it into the appropriate column.

View or Edit Details

Select an editable field on the card. For example, you can edit the name, the Estimate, To Do , and Owner fields on a task card. Changes are automatically saved when you select away from the card. To view or edit more details on the card, select the work item FormattedID or hover over a card, select the gear menu, and select Edit.

Add New Work Items

Select the Add New button at the top of the app to add a task, defect , defect suite , test set , or user story. If you add a task, you must also specify the parent from the drop-down menu.

Custom Board Add New

Filter Cards

You can filter by owner, or you can use the advanced filtering option. To use advanced filtering, select Add Filter next to the filtering tray. Default quick filters are owner and type. To add another quick filter, select Add Filter. To hide your advanced filters, select Hide Advanced. The filter icon lists all active filters numerically. You can clear your filters by selecting Clear All. Your filters will remain active when you navigate away from the page. Learn more about advanced filters here.

Select Fields to Show on Cards

Search or scroll to select fields to display on the board. Select Apply to save your changes.

show fields

Mark Cards as Blocked or Ready-to-Pull

If you cannot work on a card, or a task associated with a card, you can mark it as blocked to notify your team of a problem. Blocked cards display on the board with a red border. Hover over a card and select the stop sign icon to set the blocked status.

After the stop sign icon is selected, the Blocked Reason field displays. Type the reason for the blocked status, then select outside of the card to save. You can edit the Blocked Reason by selecting the field on the card. When a blocked status is removed, the Blocked Reason field is cleared out.

When a card is ready to move to the next stage of development, you can mark it as ready-to-pull to update your product owner or other team members. The card displays on the board with a green border. Hover over a card and select the checkmark icon to set ready-to-pull status.

ready and blocked

Choose a Color for Cards

Use the color picker icon to change the top border of the card. This icon is located by hovering on the bottom of the card.

choose color

Copy or Delete a Card

You may copy or delete a work item by hovering over a card and selecting the gear icon.

Custom Board Actions

Action How To
Change status Drag-and-drop a card from one state column to another.
Expand or collapse rows Select the arrows on the right side of the row to expand or collapse.
Select cards to display on the board Select the Show on Cards icon. You can search for fields to add to the cards and select the checkbox next to the field to display it on the card.
Add new work items Select the Add New button at the top of the board.
Filter cards on the board Select the filter icon. You can refine what you see on the board by selecting multiple Fields, Operators and Values.
Filter by owner Select the Show work owned by drop-down menu and choose a team member name. User stories and tasks in the iteration owned by the team member display.
Show additional fields on cards Select the Show on cards icon, located next to the Filter options, and select or deselect checkboxes for fields you want to show on the cards on the board.
View or edit fields Select an editable field on the card. Changes are automatically saved when you select away from the card. You can also hover over a card, select the gear menu and select Edit.
Delete a card Hover over the card, then select the gear menu from the bar at the bottom of the card and select Delete. The task is recoverable from the Recycle Bin.
Block and unblock cards Hover over the card and select the blocked icon. To unblock, select the blocked icon again.
Mark as ready Hover over the card and select the checkmark icon. The card will display a green border along with a green checkmark when marked ready to pull.
View associated story details Hover over the user story ID to view the percent done, owner and state fields. Select the user story ID to open the editable detail page for that story.
Add a discussion Hover over the card, then select the + icon to add or respond to a discussion.


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