Wednesday, August 22, 2018

Managing the Backlog

While the word “backlog” is in the title of this blog, I haven’t really written much about my backlog and how I keep track of it.
When I use the term “backlog”, I’m specifically referring to games that I have either purchased or received as a gift but have not actually started playing. For games that I received for free as part of promotions or bundle, they only get put in the backlog if they’re titles that have already piqued my interest. In other words, the backlog represents my to-play list among games I already have but I don’t obligate myself to play every game I own (that would be insane based on my Steam inventory).
Everything that doesn’t make it onto the backlog falls into one of the following categories:
  • Rainy Day – Games that I own but am not sure I’ll ever actually play.
  • Wishlist – Pretty self-explanatory. Games I want to play but don’t own yet.
  • Gaming Shames – As I’ve covered in a previous post, these are significant classic games that I missed during their original release.
  • Mothballed – Games that I have started but set aside. I may get back to these one day.
  • Played – Instead of a list of classifying games based on whether or not I have beaten them, I use the Played list for any game that I have either finished or discontinued playing and am unlikely to return to.
You may by wondering how I keep track of all this, that’s were a tool called Grouvee comes in. In starting this blog, I tested out various backlog tracking tools, including popular ones like Backloggery and HowLongToBeat, but I found Grouvee to the most intuitive and flexible. With Grouvee, I’m able to categorize games easily and log my review scores. I also like that Grouvee features box art for every game and can be synced with your Steam account so that new game purchases are automatically added to the backlog. All this is to say, if you’re thinking about using an online tool to manage your game collection, I’d highly recommend trying out Grouvee.
If you’re curious what my backlog currently looks like, you can find it here: Capsulejay's Backlog
Also, while I’m recommending things on this topic, if you’re the kind of person that enjoys organizing your nerdy hobbies, I’d suggest listening to this episode of the Geek to Geek Podcast: G2G Podcast Ep #7. Part of my inspiration for this blog comes from this podcast.
Anyway, now when I mention “my queue”, “gaming shames” etc, you know where all that comes from. I’m interested to hear how other folks organize their game collection, so feel free to share you own backlogging techniques in the comments below!

If all this reading about backlogs and such has you in the mood to add more games to your own collection while also supporting this blog, consider picking something up from Amazon using this affiliate link: Amazon Video Games


  1. I tried a couple of those sites to keep track of the Backlog but I always keep forgetting about them. Case in point, I just logged into the only one I could remember to have signed up and the last time I logged in was two years ago...

    The closest thing I have been able to deal with the backlog is to play whichever games are uber popular, that I want to play and are pretty old. Then try to play it a bit everyday. It hasn't worked all that well so far as I tend to binge heavily on games and there is always some other game that is occupying my mind at the moment.

    1. Part of why I went with Grouvee was that it displays well on mobile. I keep it bookmarked on my phone so that I can add a game whenever I think of it. If I have to wait until I'm sitting down at my computer, I'll end up forgetting. Eventually updating my backlog just became part of my gaming routine.

  2. I tried grouvee and the major problem is it's based on giantbomb and which doesn't have some of the obscure titles I play. If it was gamesdb then at least you could submit your own.

    In the end, Google spreadsheet was the most flexible for me. You can sort and filter however you want even though it's a pain to manage though no more than backloggery.

    Unrelated but I also like exophase for trophies.

    1. Oh nm, I found the page to submit games to giantbomb.

    2. Yeah, I ran into the same issue at first. I've ended up submitting a few Japanese games and mobile games myself since those areas are kind of blind spots in Giant Bomb's database.