Which tools do you use for long-term planning?

When you just start it's hard to plan 1-3 months ahead, however after few years and validated product you usually start to have longer-term plans, for 1-2 quarters ahead. How do you do that planning and which tools help you? Do you create a roadmap? Do you structure customer feedback?

  1. 2

    I don't do a lot of long-term planning for my product as it has fairly few features and is not too complex. What I do need to keep track of is content ideas. I like to outline them and organize them in any way I see fit without any restrictions. To those ends I LOVE using Figma. It's meant for mocking up UI, but it has collaboration so anyone can contribute to my plans or review them and I can lay out my plans in any way I see fit.

    Here's an example:

    1. 1

      Oh, that's an interesting use-case for Figma. You might want to have a look at Miro which I think does much better what you're doing in Figma, and also has a free account.

  2. 2

    I may have the minority opinion here, but I think that long-term planning from a feature-set perspective isn't necessarily the way to go.

    Basecamp, for example, doesn't keep a backlog. When they are ready to decide the next item to work on, they get together and talk about the work that needs to be done, weighing the pros and cons. https://basecamp.com/shapeup/2.1-chapter-07

    1. 1

      I think it's a bit confusing to talk about the backlog and long-term planning like a roadmap. I hate backlogs myself since they never shrink, only grow :-D However you always have a vision for the product, a long-term vision that doesn't change so often even though your features constantly change. Heck, product vision can stay the same even when you pivot.

      Long-term plans change more often, but I believe many people still have/create something like a roadmap. Or just have it in their head. It's def something of a burden when you're just starting and having an MVP, but when you have a stable enough product with clear vision, you don't change direction often, do you? It's something I'm currently having with one project.

      Everyone's situation is different and I'm not advocating for anything but rather just curious what others do and which tools they use.

  3. 2

    (Google) Spreadsheets and docs for data/graphs predictions.
    Notion for general day to day of writing down things.

    tbh, whilst I've had loose plans for the next 6-12 months, I've never really been too concrete about it. I feel like things change too quickly. Not sure if that is just me though.

    1. 1

      Not, not just you :-) And thanks for the tool names. Looks like Notion is very popular among IH community, a tool I tried multiple times and failed to get used to.

      But you gave me some food for thought that even such projects like yours (I mean the stage you're at and the size) can change a lot still. Future plans are rarely set in stone, except I guess banks and other large corps, but I'm certain everyone has them.

      1. 1

        Nothing beats Google Docs/Sheets

  4. 2

    Omni-suite of tools and self-built PM applications. I also use OneNote/Notion quite a bit.

    1. 1

      You've got a very interesting professional profile. From a database developer to UI/UX person. Wish we were in the same city, would buy you coffee to have a chat :-)

      It's the first time I hear about Omni tools other than their Graffle app which I used ages ago. That's for the info!

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