This post kicks off a series of posts designed to share how we use our own products for our own business. It’s something we don’t talk that much about, but it’s something a lot of people have asked about. So here goes.

PROBLEM: We didn’t have a simple, accessible-company-wide list of email newsletters we’d sent out.

SOLUTION: Make a Backpack page.

We use Campaign Monitor to send out our email newsletters. While Campaign Monitor does keep a list of previous newsletters, it’s not convenient for everyone else at 37signals to log in and go through the overhead of another app just to see a list of previous newsletters. So we made a Backpack page instead. We’ve made the page public so you can see it for yourself.

Dead simple, one page, quick summaries of every newsletter, grouped by product, direct links to the HTML versions of the newsletters. The page is shared with everyone at 37signals. It’s also tagged “37signals” “Newsletter” so anyone can find it quickly if they haven’t added it to their Backpack sidebar.

Whenever Jamie sends a newsletter he takes about 60 seconds to add the link and brief description to the Backpack page. We use Backpack page dividers to group the newsletters for different products and add each newsletter as a note. The note subject is the date and the note body is a link to the newsletter plus a summary of the main points.

And that’s it. Not rocket science, but who needs rocket science? Backpack is anti-rocket science.

It’s just a shared Backpack page with a list of stuff grouped up, linked up, and summarized up. In one place all the time so everyone knows where it is.