I can't remember the first studio that I worked at where we used post-it notes on walls to track the status of the project and tasks but it's something that has stuck with me and I've introduced it to any new places I go to work. I recently introduced it at a client's site in order to track the Facebook game we are making. The only problem is that for the most part we all work remotely.
Working remote is great but that means in order to track projects we start having to resort back to the old methods of passing around XLS files and while that works I really do miss being able to look at a mass of different coloured post-it notes and see in one look what the status of the project is. There's also something rewarding about being able to shift notes around into different orders - something that cutting and pasting rows in a spreadsheet just doesn't satisfy.
There are other solutions out there for project management and I've tried a few of them but they always end up over-complicating the process, post-it notes are simple, they are piece of paper with something written on them and you can move it around or get rid of it. I really like that simplicity.
The schedule of the current project I am on is incredibly insane but over the last few days I decided to take some time off and do a 'me' project. Normally that would be a small game to get the creative juices flowing again but this time I decided to try and emulate the post-it note experience but from a web-page so that we can write on notes, move them around and delete them.
What came out of this experiment was www.boardtastic.com which is live mult-user post-it note board. I deliberately kept the interface very simple but you can write new notes that have a title, the 'note' itself and a colour. It's fun to see the notes move around seemingly on their own as somebody else is re-arranging them on another computer somewhere. It's completely open, anybody can use it and you don't have to log in, although you can set up a private area that is protected with a password if you don't want the world to know all about your project.
Time will tell if www.boardtastic.com will be as rewarding an experience in project management as post-it notes are but I hope it's a step in the right direction. All I need to do now is convince my producer to use it :)†