I'm fairly new to board game design and I found that it's hard to keep track of all the ideas I have:

  • Which ones are good
  • Which ones I've not thought properly about
  • Which are a mechanic, a game or a theme
  • and other things...

Worst of all is that with iterations of a game, I found it hard to keep track of what new "feature" is in what stage.

I keep everything in my trusty notebook (see header picture), however written paper isn't the best thing to search in and/or add items. Specially when you've got notes scattered across many pages.

One thing I have used in the past for Software Dev projects is Trello.

My Trello board showing the Ideas/Todo, Design/In Progress, Ready and Done lists.
This is what my Trello board looks for Stardust right now

It works like a Kanban board where you can define lists and write your tasks in little cards.
These cards can be dragged onto the lists and inside each card you can have further details.

Writing things in a notebook is easy because you can just quickly write (scribble, really) some notes or some diagrams before you forget it and look at it later.
As I said, paper isn't really the best thing for searching or for volatile documentation. What I tend to do is at the end of the day, I transfer those notes to my Trello board, into the Ideas/Todo section of the game I'm working on (or the ideas section of my All Games board).

The way I structure my board is to have a number of stages and make each card move from the left to the right: from Ideas to Done (and then archival to reduce clutter).

I think it's all a bit self explanatory but in case it isn't:
1) Any idea or task that I have to do I put them into "Ideas/Todo" and it sits there until I get a chance to explore it.
2) It then moves into "Design/In Progress" so that I know what I'm currently doing and at what stage I am.
3) The "Ready" stage holds all the cards that relate to design where it's been relatively finalised and it needs replicating to the PnP, the Tabletop Simulator and my physical prototype. Other tasks may skip the "Ready" phase and go immediately into "Done" (e.g. "Get quotes from printers").
4) The last stage is "Done" where I move the cards into when I don't have any more actions to do on them. On the weekend, I usually archive them all as I like a clean board.

Having some sort of organisation like this makes it easy for me to jump into "Work on board games" in a scheduled fashion since I always have a list of things to do.
It also lets me work on multiple projects at once since I can go to its board and see where I was at when I last left it.

I'd like to know what you do.