Some recent posts at the 37signals Product Blog:
Baltimore Sun uses Basecamp to manage “a million moving parts”
“My Department operates as a mini creative agency within the greater organization of The Baltimore Sun Media Group. We do design and development work for clients both internally and externally. This work spans most media and includes: web sites (big and small), banner ads, e-mail newsletters, admail, video production, logos, illustrations, print ads, tradeshow signage, etc. This keeps us pretty busy and we use Basecamp to manage all of our projects from start to finish.”
Entrepreneur Mom uses Basecamp to manage all her client “schtuff”
“I’m training all my clients to use Basecamp instead of sending me multiple emails so rather than sifting through Gmail to find the latest correspondence or searching my computer to resend a file that they don’t remember receiving, we can communicate through Basecamp and upload all the files related to a given project.”
Shaw Builders creates multimillion dollar homes with Basecamp
“The biggest problem we have is communication and avoiding the he said/she said syndrome. It seems that everyone has selective memory and most homeowners are overwhelmed with the number of decisions that have to be made when building a custom home of this caliber. Basecamp has saved the day numerous times by simply providing a document trail. I can easily use Basecamp’s search capability to isolate documents or massages that relate to a particular task. This has saved us a tremendous amount of aggravation and money. On a past project I had a homeowner who insisted that the railing of his 2nd floor deck wasn’t built correctly. When I pulled up the meeting notes and the AutoCAD drawing through Basecamp within 2 minutes of his ‘brain fade’ I was able to quickly put his argument to bed. That helped to enforce our credibility and saved us from having to rip the railing out at our cost.”
Author and conflict resolution consultant uses Backpack as “business home-base and sanity tool”
“Backpack is my business home-base and my sanity tool to manage it all. It’s set to load when I open my browser each day because I do almost all my administrative work from Backpack. I love that I can access my project files from any Internet-connected computer and from my iPhone. And I love that everything I need for a client or business project is in one place. When I’m busy or on the road, that helps keep me organized so I can give my full attention and energy to my clients.”
Chi-Town Daily News uses Highrise to manage newsroom
“Highrise has turned out to be unexpectedly well-suited to managing a newsroom…Highrise enables us to collect contact details on our volunteers in one location, assign the volunteer to an editor, track stories to completion and send automated reminders when deadlines are missed.”
Basecamp helps “green team” save $2,000 a year and keep a zero carbon footprint
“Before Basecamp, we used to open a jacket folder for each project and put all the material inside of that folder, which basically means print everything, all the way from the initial job request, all versions, reviews, to the final invoice. I ran some numbers and I realized that we will save an estimated $2000 a year just in paper, folders and print related costs; but even more important than the savings is that we’re adopting green practices.”
New Highrise Feature: File view
We launched a new Highrise feature called File view. Here’s a video showing you what it does and how it works.
Improved Backpack Calendar Reminders
“We pushed an update which allows you to notify everyone, select people, or just you via email/sms of an event on the Backpack Calendar. Prior to this update, everyone in your account was notified on every event. That lead to a lot of unnecessary notification.”
New project switcher in Basecamp, bigger file upload limit, and more
A new feature that makes it easier to switch between frequently accessed projects…Also: 1. People using Basecamp file storage can now upload files up to 100 MB each. Before the limit was 30 MB. 2. When you’re inside a project you’ll see a printer icon in the right corner of the screen next to the Search tab. Clicking that icon will give you a print-friendly version of the page you’re currently on. 3. We’ve made some of the text links at the top of the screen bigger so they’re easier to see/click.
Derek Newman: Backpack calendar makes family planning “a lot easier”
“The other tool I use daily is 37signals Backpack application…I use it to take notes on books, digital reading, and anything else that I want. We also use the calendar feature to coordinate our family. Having one central calendar the entire family can access and change makes our lives a lot easier.
Basecamp is a Webware 100 Award Winner (again)
Basecamp is a Webware 100 Award Winner (again) in the “Productivity” category. The Webware 100 is made up of the 100 best Web 2.0 applications, chosen by Webware readers and Internet users across the globe. Over 1.9 million votes were cast to select the winners.
Computerworld: Don’t miss out on Highrise
Computerworld.com published a list of 11 sites not to miss. On the list: Highrise. “Highrise keeps track of your relationship with your customers, providing a place to track and share their contact information, background notes and records of interactions.”
Backpack is “killer” according to Business II Business
“Backpack now comes in a multi-user version that really makes this tool more like a powerful, on-demand, simple to use, Intranet for small business. You can create as many users as you like (price varies with number of users) and each user can have their own calendars, effectively creating an online sharable calendaring system. The newsroom feature is a like an activity dashboard that also keeps group messaging tidy…”
Tips and tricks
Going from “hi” to Highrise
“I know it’s kind of silly but I just like my little story. See, my Highrise dropbox is under the name “Highrise”. So every time I forward an email to my account I just type hi ! Mail completes the rest… It just feels great, I can manage the biggest part of my work with an application as simple as ‘hi’. :)”
Tips for getting the most out of Backpack on the iPhone
Just Another iPhone Blog recently posted “Tips and Tweaks Make 37signals’ Backpack A ‘Must Have’ iPhone Application.” It discusses using iBackpack to make your Backpack pages look nice on your iPhone and also links to a Forum post that shows how to add a custom Backpack icon to your iPhone home screen.
Example Basecamp welcome messages from R.BIRD and Koke Creative
Here are a couple of Basecamp welcome messages used by two different design firms. Each welcomes clients to Basecamp and encourages them to use it as their first point of contact.
How to use an Access Database and VBA to work with Highrise (or other apps)
“In this article, I am going to describe how you can use an Access Database and VBA to manipulate a Web 2 application called Highrise, a customer relationship management (CRM) tool from the highly successful Web2 company, 37Signals. Why pick this online product? The main reason is that I love using it, it has a well-written Application Programming Interface (API) and it is free for your first two hundred contacts. Why might this be relevant and interesting to you, the reader? Because you will be performing these tasks on a database that is hidden behind the security of a website, something that has always been beyond the abilities of Access.”
ProjectLocker, a hosted Subversion and Trac system, adds Basecamp integration
“ProjectLocker has just added Basecamp integration to its product suite. Subversion users who host at ProjectLocker can now: 1) Send commit messages from Subversion to Basecamp as Basecamp messages. 2) Create new ProjectLocker projects from existing Basecamp projects. 3) Associate users in ProjectLocker with users in Basecamp, so that messages actually come from the committing user where possible.”
How Doodlekit’s two-person team was inspired by Getting Real
“The next day we started Doodlekit. We scrounged up $300 each, grabbed an old refurbished PC from Ben’s basement, slapped in some extra memory from my old computer, and we were off ‘getting real’! A year and a half later (just 4 months ago) we had our first major release of Doodlekit. Since that time our membership base has increased to over 15,000 and our revenues have gone up 10 fold. We have zero debt.”