Basecamp Makes Me More Productive
I was using Reminders for a while as my to-do list and I really liked it. In fact, I still think its the best option for a simple task list. But I got to the point where I wanted more capability out of my to-do list. I wanted a calendar that was integrated with my projects, to-do's, and separate events. I wanted it all to be compatible with email. I wanted to be able to pull other people in seamlessly.
I wanted these functionalities so badly that I honestly thought about learning to program just so I could build the killer app I had in my head. I quickly realized this wasn't the best solution for my problem. Surely, I thought, there has to be something out there that does what I'm looking for.
Then one day, I was on Basecamp working on some projects for Anomaly AVL, when it hit me, 'what if I use Basecamp as a life-management platform?' I had always seen Basecamp as the best solution for project management, but I hadn't really ever thought of my life as compatible with Basecamp because I never saw my life as different projects.
Then I discovered that a new account gets a 60 day free trial. So I ran with this idea and decided to give it a 2 month test run. I'm a month in to my experiement and I've got to say, it's going really well so far.
How I'm Using Basecamp
I've got a project for each of the main focuses I have right now. One project for all things Modern Tribe, one project for my website, one project for everything home related, so on and so forth.
Within each project I have to-do lists, comments to remind me of specifics, uploaded files, and text documents full of ideas, partial blog posts, contact info, etc.
I use the Basecamp calendar to map out my to-do's across all my projects, as well as to track important dates and events that aren't project related. For instance, the Michigan footbal game tomorrow afternoon. Go Blue!
Pros and Cons
- Mobile App experience isn't perfect, lacks some functionality especially in the Calendar
- $20/month after 60 day trial ends (Reminders was free)
- To-do's can't be given a specific time deadline, just a day
- Incredibly powerful
- Can rope anyone in to a project
- Easy to learn
- Comment, attach files to anything
- Text documents!!!
- Integrates well with Email
The question that must be answered is whether or not the pros outweight the cons. I'm on my computer most of the day, so the lack of functionality in the mobile app has yet to be a real issue, and the lack of specific timing of to-do's isn't that bad. (You can arrange your to-do's in any order you want, so this really solves the problem)
The biggest con then for me is the price. Do I really want to shell out $20 a month?
Well, yes I do. Simply put, I'm more organized and productive because of Basecamp. I've trained myself over the past month to 'Basecamp All The Things'. I've got a really good grasp on it's functionality and I've figured out pretty well where my projects belong, how they interact, and where things need to go in order to stay on track. For these reasons I see $20 per month as an investment into making my life better. Plus I can probably find a way to write it off as well, bonus!
If you're looking for a great way to organize your life and get more productive, try out the 60 free trial. You don't even have to put your credit card info in, it really is a free trial. And just so it's clear, I'm not getting paid to write this post. I genuinely love Basecamp and what it does for me. I hope it's just as beneficial for you!