When you work with people who live across the country and around the world, you need a special set of tools to collaborate and keep in touch. AgileBits has been a remote company since its inception almost 10 years ago, and we’ve tried a lot of solutions to help keep us on the same page. Today, I want to tell you about Basecamp, a powerful, collaborative to-do app that helps us stay on top of all of our projects.
Basecamp is a web-based project management solution that can be as simple or as complex as we need. At its most basic level, Basecamp allows us to create to-do lists and share them with our various teams, wherever they are. Basecamp’s power is in its ease of collaboration though. We can assign tasks to our teammates, track due dates on the built-in calendar, and discuss items easily. This all happens within the context of various projects, enabling me to stay on top of my things, and remain blissfully unaware of the projects outside my purview.
Release, Rinse and Repeat!
Basecamp’s project templates are a feature I only recently discovered, but it’s already one of my favourites. With 1Password being developed across five platforms, we have a fair few releases and app updates that we want to tell our users about. From a social marketing standpoint, each of those releases looks roughly the same: we need to write release notes, update screenshots in our User Guide and press kit, write a blog post, and plan which features we’ll highlight in our various channels over the coming days. Now I’ve got a handy template for releases that includes all the tasks that we know we’ll need to complete, and all the necessary people are pre-assigned; it’s such a time saver!
My world at a glance
Basecamp sends daily, optional emails letting me know what has changed in all the projects I follow, so that I can stay up to date without having to manually look into each project. I can also enable email notifications for tasks to which I’m assigned, so that I know when a deadline is approaching.
As our team grows, it’s getting harder and harder to know all the things, and we’re working to find ways to keep everyone in the loop. Weekly calls are scheduled with developers and support team members to discuss the top feedback from our customers, and to review progress on open bugs and feature requests. Because not everyone can participate in these calls, we store the notes in a Basecamp project so that we can get a CliffsNotes version of what’s happening on each platform.
We use Basecamp for social media style guides and for collecting relevant internal information. Its integration with Google Docs makes it a convenient place to organize our blog posts: each proposed post is assigned to an author and a Google Doc containing the draft is attached. This means I never have to go hunting through the piles of docs in my Google Drive to find a particular post.
There’s a lot more that’s awesome in Basecamp, but this is how it has made my life easier. See how Basecamp can organize your chaos on their site and let me know what features you love in the comments.