Web Dev, Linux, WordPress & More

Basecamp Collaboration Software

by eric on July 20th, 2006 in: Web Design

After getting myself into a bit of a pickle with too many web design projects going at once and losing the thread of things last winter, I went on an extensive look for better project management software. And I found Basecamp.

In the past I’ve used ACT! for Windows as a contact manager and selling tool, and while it’s a splendid contact manager, it doesn’t have a lot of great project management features and doesn’t allow for easy online collaboration.

Most mail clients like Outlook have some sort of contact manager as well, but these are meant for just that – contact management – not projects and again don’t use the web for easy collaboration.

I’ve even resorted to the old DayTimer, but keeping projects in written form only is a dangerous thing, now that I have a cat that (truthfully) eats my homework. Also, being a webgeek, you’d think I’d actually leverage some of the power of the Net, right? Well, I have.

Being in the web design and web hosting business, I’ve heard of all sorts of Open Source project management solutions and looked at many including dotProject, phpProject, and many more. While these programs are free, and may do the job on my end, I found them entirely too confusing for customers and, truthfully, a little more than I needed.

What I really wanted was an easy way to manage customer projects that allowed customers and contractors access to common project data and offered file storage, messages, notes, date milestones and to-do lists for each project. Also, auto-notification of updates to each project can save lots of time in communication.

I first heard about Basecamp through a link from Jeffrey Zeldman at alistapart.com and decided to check it out. Being rather impressionable, and looking up to this chap as a designer, I signed up for the trial and quickly realized this works perfectly for what I need.

Even though this product is not free to me (I upgraded quickly) it is worth well more than the cost in the time savings and stress reduction.

Since I started using Basecamp, 37signals has constantly been making improvements.

So, check out Basecamp – I bet you’ll like it too.

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