Lab.SixtyFive is Gregor McKelvie's blog "inspired by smart business, good design and people who can get things done." Recently it offered up some thoughtful tips on how a small company can get more out of Basecamp.
One thing he advises when starting out: Get people to use the global to-do list.
I think for project managers it’s a great tool. You’ll instantly take to it and begin to live in it (rather than in email). The problem is getting others to take a similar approach, as it’s not their role to be organised. It takes change. The first thing I’d recommend is to encourage people to use the global to do list. If users slowly get used to seeing a list of things to do in one place then it makes getting off to a good start in the morning a bit easier.
Also, start getting people used to posting messages.
The first thing that many people do – especially the project managers is create to do lists. That’s because they are “organising”. Whilst you need to do this, I think a great place to start getting users used to the change is using the message board. It’s simple and people understand adding comments. When you start using Basecamp you should be thinking “how do I collaborate” not “how do I organise”.
I use Basecamp and Highrise in meetings and discussions all the time. Clients use it too. To make it work, you’ve got to build it into everyday processes. For example, in project meetings project Basecamp on to the wall or display it on screen. Put notes into Basecamp and assign tasks in the meeting. This is a good visual mechanism for people to see that Basecamp is where they need to go if they want project information – or to see who is doing what.
Do you have a tip for how to use a 37signals product? Let us know.