Honestly? I’ve never been good at planning out my ideas.
It’s not even something I’m new to. I’ve just never had the patience- when I’m given a project to do, nine times out of ten I immediately have a bunch of relatively fully-formed images in my head of what I want to do and I just want to get them down and out there, working into them as I go. But what I see in my head changes much faster than I can draw- a new and better design may appear before I finish an initial sketch, as well as a way of taking the parts from other ideas that I liked an incorporating them into one final design, be it a character, an environment, or a scene. Hence, the first sketch I draw of an idea can sometimes be technically the fourth or fifth draft. This kind of method of working means not a lot to show short of three or four versions of a final product. I use some visual notes now and then, but by notes I mean literally notes. As in the visual equivalent of shorthand. Crappy doodles that are probably indecipherable to anyone else, but I can tell it’s a rough sketch of what the sleeves of that jacket are supposed to look like from behind.
It’s fairly rare that I draw a complete mental blank (unless the subject is vehicles, in which case it’s nearly inevitable) and am forced to do things the old fashioned way and come up with a logical plan to come up with ideas. It’s even rarer that I actually have a substantial amount of ideas that are radically different enough to create a coherent train of thought on paper.
The bottom line is, I fail hard at planning my work. If I took the time to think about some kind of structure before jumping straight into design, maybe I’d come up with more developed ideas- technically I am, after all, running with pretty much the first idea I get. I’ll probably try to expand my visual library more in future and refer to it, as well as add to it, before laying down designs.