If you run a business or manage a team, chances are that your main form of keeping in touch with everyone is by email. But, if you’re managing multiple projects and people, it can sometimes be difficult to keep track of what’s going on – particularly if your inbox constantly fills up throughout the day. That’s why we’re big advocates of Basecamp project management software.
Basecamp launched in February 2004, and NB was one of just 45 customers to sign up in its first year. Today, Basecamp has over 3.3 million accounts, proving its staying power as a highly effective piece of project management software.
As a digital agency managing multiple projects with lots of clients and team members, we need to have systems in place to manage our workflow and assign tasks. Basecamp ticks all the boxes for us and means we have one consolidated place where we can get an overview of our business and the projects we’re working on at any given time. It really has been a gamechanger in terms of the way we manage our business, so we thought we’d share some of the ways it might be able to help your business too…
1. It’s easy to use
The best thing about Basecamp is its ease of use. The user interface is clean and simple and it’s easy to set up new projects, assign tasks, set to-do lists and create schedules. When you assign a new user to a Basecamp team they don’t need to spend hours learning how the software works or do any expensive training, they can hit the ground running straightaway.
2. Global team management
With more and more people working remotely from different locations, Basecamp has become the perfect replacement for daily, and often time-consuming, office meetings. Business owners can set up team alerts with automatic check-in questions, such as “what are you working on this week?” and “what have you done today?” to get an overview of what their teams are working on and what progress is being made.
3. A tool to track progress
As well as allowing you to set to-do lists for managing projects, Basecamp has introduced Hill Charts for bigger projects. It’s based on the idea that work is like a hill. You have the uphill phase, which is all about the planning of a project and problem solving, and then you have the downhill phase which is the execution and delivery. Using a Hill Chart, you can manually map the progress of your project. Every time someone updates the Hill Chart, a new snapshot is saved to the project’s history. This gives managers a quick overview of what's moving on a project and what isn’t, without bombarding the team with questions. NB has only just started to explore the Hill Charts feature, but we reckon it will be a really useful tool for managing any large-scale or complex project.
4. One account, multiple clients
If, like NB, you work with a number of different clients, Basecamp allows you to add individual clients to specific projects all within one Basecamp account. This is really useful for you and your business as it means you don’t have to juggle various Basecamp log-ins. It’s also good for clients as it means they can keep track of to-do lists, quickly answer any queries and get a holistic overview of their project and how it’s progressing in one designated place.
5. File transfer is easy
If you regularly attach files like PDFs and presentations to emails you’ll know how frustrating it is when you’re notified that the file size is too big or if the email bounces back. Basecamp allows you to send a single file size of 10MB as an attachment, which can then easily be downloaded by others working on your project. It also means you can store all documents and files in one place rather than have them spread over emails and stored on individual devices.
Find out more about using Basecamp for your business. Or, to give yourself a taster of what Basecamp is like and how it works, why not check out Basecamp Personal? It's a free version of the Basecamp business software, which you can use to manage personal projects and hobbies.