I’ve started using the KanBan system for keeping tabs on ideas and projects through various phases of development. Essentially you have columns (usually To Do, In Progress, Complete) and you drag tasks or cards from one column to the other (or move a sticky on a board) as the status changes. I think it’s usually used for software development.
I’ve adapted this so I have the following columns (Idea/In development/Work in progress/Submitted/Published)
Obviously the most cards I have are in the Ideas column and when I am fleshing one out or researching it, I drag it into the development column. If I actually write something it goes into the Work in progress column etc. Personally I try to have only one project in the WIP column at any one time but it doesn’t prevent me adding ideas to column one or researching/outlining other ideas that are in column two. I also colour code cards according to their medium (screenplay/play/novel/short story)
After trying various software solutions I’ve plumped for a web-based system called Kanbanflow, although I also tried Trello, both free for light users, both have +ives and -ives: Trello has an iPad app for instance. There doesn’t seem to be much in the way of desktop apps for this sort of thing so for the moment I am stuck using the web, which isn’t ideal.
And yes, you could probably knock something up in a spreadsheet…