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Basecamp - anyone used it?

http://www.basecamphq.com is a new project management tool from the blokes at http://37signals.com

Has anyone here used it? What's your opinion about it? These guys are always being called usability experts.

Karl Max
Wednesday, May 05, 2004

I'm trying it out right now with a team of 5 people (4 internal and one contractor) as we put together a standalone project where I work.

Folks who are dedicated to Project Management (with the capitals) and/or can navigate MS Project in their sleep will probably not consider it a real Project Management tool.

Anyone who is used to developer-centric groupware like you'd find on SourceForge or Tigris will probably be disappointed as well, since there are no real file or code management tools.

However, as a central place for collaboration (via a very blog-like interface) and information-sharing across a distributed team, it does nicely. The RSS and iCal feeds throughout come in handy.

As far as usability, so far there have only been a couple complaints from my team. One is the bloggy nature of the messages -- if you're not used to that kind of communication (as our contractor was not), it might be a bit confusing. Also, the "Textile" formatting engine can get in the way on occasion (such as when you're posting code fragments).

I like it so far, but I think we'll only use it as a collaboration space in conjunction with tools like Joel's simple project management spreadsheet alongside the Subversion repository (code) and the wiki (docs) tools we use now.

But then I'll do anything to avoid using MS Project. I mean, I even considered using TaskJuggler (http://taskjuggler.org/).

MSM
Wednesday, May 05, 2004

I forgot the other component in our project management toolset -- a bug tracker, which is also missing from BaseCampHQ. (We don't use FogBugz, though that's only out of inertia; I used it once before and it would actually be my choice now.)

As a software-development project management tool, BaseCampHQ is probably lacking a number of critical features, but then I don't think the 37signals folks intended it specifically as a software dev tool. As a collaboration tool or PM for "softer" (not exactly the word I want) projects, it works well enough.

MSM
Wednesday, May 05, 2004

We've been using it since it came out and we're thrilled with it (and it looks like <a href="http://basecamphq.com/buzz.php">we're not the only ones</a>).

It's simple, fast, and focused and doesn't suffer from featuritis. Quite refreshing actually.

There are products with more features, but since our clients have to use it as well, the less features and the easier to use the better. Basecamp has that base covered.

Bryan Joyner
Wednesday, May 05, 2004

looks pretty... i may try it out for a project, but it's all hosted so i wouldn't use it for main work projects (no need to stick confidential info, even just titles of info, on someone else's server, thank you).

do graphic designers (apparently the target audience) use bugs or other issue tracking mechanisms? or is it always send out-review-make all changes, so the need for more complex issue tracking solutions isn't so pressing.

mb
Wednesday, May 05, 2004

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