Features on Basecamp That Can Help You Manage Work Better

Modern technology has thrown open new doors for companies working with large, virtual teams, distance employees, and long distance business partners. It’s made it easier for teams to communicate…or has it?

An increasing number of companies are finding that as their organization grows, their ability to organize their teams goes out the window. Excessive numbers of emails, status meetings, watercooler talks and group chats have project managers struggling to stay ahead of the curve, and employees wondering what they got themselves into.

Basecamp was designed specifically to address each of these issues, providing a central, streamlined, multi-purpose platform for a broad scope of business needs.

Project Management

Project management is what typically brings organizations to Basecamp in the first place, so let’s start there. Basecamp provides its users with a broad array of tools for effective team management and project work, including:

  • Daily executive summaries for business leaders
  • Task view and delegation tools for project managers
  • Team member view of assigned tasks that they can submit for review and check off as done. This is visible to the whole team in real time, freeing up team members from the need to hunt down status updates.
  • A single project and/or team hub to store important documents and resources, group chat and works in progress
  • A team message board, eliminating the need for large amounts of email traffic
  • A central hub for company-wide message sharing and information

I don’t feel like I’m doing Basecamp enough justice here-they really do have a very easy to use, accessible system. When you’re done reading this, take just a minute to swing on over to the Basecamp home page and view their video demonstration. They do a much better job of walking you through Basecamp’s features than I could!

Fewer Meetings

When I was researching Basecamp’s features, this was the one that jumped out at me. How many hours have we all spent in meetings that could have been emails, losing hours of work just so management can hear what your team has been doing?

With Basecamp, there is no need for unproductive status update meetings, because the information is available through the Basecamp hub. Each project has its own location. Project managers and teammates can go to the project board to see what everyone is doing, what’s been done, what hasn’t been done, and what’s coming up.

Basecamp also provides management with the ability to send either a team-wide or company wide blast asking what employees have been doing each day. Team members take five minutes any time that it’s convenient to them to answer the question, centralizing all of the information and providing managers with a ready view of what is being accomplished at any given point in time.

Affordable Pricing

Everyone always wants to talk price when you start talking about project management tools, and Basecamp is no different. It’s one of the first, however, that’s truly tailored to work with companies of almost any shape and size. Rather than requiring companies to pay on a per-user basis, Basecamp offers unlimited users and unlimited projects for $99 a month or $1,000 per year.

No one is expected to sign a 12 month (or even a one month) contract blind. Organizations can try all Basecamp features free for 30 days without providing any credit card information up front, a vast improvement over project management tools that only offer a taste during the trial period and require payment information at the very beginning, leading to billing errors and frustrated customers.

Because so many businesses are currently using Basecamp, they’ve been able to offer non-profits and charities Basecamp services at a 50% discount, and access is given to teachers and students for free.

Resources

Those who aren’t familiar with Basecamp may be familiar with the books Rework and Remote, both written by the founders of Basecamp and intended to reframe the way we look at doing business. The company also operates a regularly updated blog titled Signal v Noise, where industry experts share their thoughts on technology, software, design and current events.  I would strongly encourage anyone, regardless of whether you’re doing business with the company or not, to take the time to read Signal v Noise and take advantage of the priceless information they provide.

Thanks for reading, and don’t forget to go view the video demonstration over at the Basecamp website.

**We are in no way, shape or form affiliated with Basecamp, and no one around here is getting paid to endorse the product or their blog. We just happen to think it’s an undervalued resource that more people need to know about!**

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Renee Malove

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