@Colleen Thanks for showing interest in my concerns!
When talking about flexible formats for retrospectives, I can see two ways forward: a) list based view or b) board based view.
List based formats are more easy to handle (especially for multi-user edits), can be stored and exported, and thereby will allow integration with other tools. As far as I have seen groupmap.com is quite good in maintaining various kinds of list views. It could serve as a blueprint for your plans.
Board based views allow a graphical view with flexible placement. Grouping and assigning entries to a topic is happening visually, so items could be placed between “buckets”, which can be nice, as it offers additional options, or can be devasting, as this fuzzy logic cannot be exported or exchanged. realtimeboard.com gives an example of this kind of working.
To be honest, I do hard to say which approach I would prefer. Lists can be backed up by a visual representation, but it will not be the same like working on a board. On the other hand side multiuser interactions on a virtual board can be quite confusing, as there is no replacement for the interactions in front of a board, having people watching each other and managing access to the board amongst them.
Thereby I would be interested in the opinion and experience of others as well.