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Review: 3 things marketers love about Basecamp 3

Oh, Basecamp 3. You are every marketing agency's gift from the high heavens. When you were discovered in that computer-sized bassinet along the riverside, all of life stopped to bask in your glory. Jaws dropped. People turned to each other and questioned how they ever managed to work on projects before your time.

Okay, I exaggerate the point for dramatic effect. But, the important thing is this: Basecamp 3 is the best project management tool. Ever.

Here’s my larger-than-an-elevator-but-smaller-than-a-conference-room pitch.

It’s transparent

It’s more transparent than a polar bear’s hair (yes, their hair is transparent). It’s more transparent than a window pane. It’s more transparent than ZBLAN (the most transparent material in the world).

Basecamp projects

Basecamp 3 is the very definition of transparent project management. For example:

  • You can view all the tasks on your list. Within each task, you can view all the correspondence attached to the task.
  • You can view a holistic overview of a client project and see all notes, campaigns, projects, messages, schedules, check-ins, and any documents and files.
  • You can see what tasks have been completed and by whom (and when!).
  • You can hide tasks and files from clients without having to setup a separate ‘internal only’ project.

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In short, from the start of a task to the bitter end, the entire team is in the know and kept up to date.

Basecamp projects 2

Looking for something?

As a 20-person marketing agency that works with lots of interesting clients, project management and organisation could get overwhelming. But, it doesn’t thanks to Basecamp 3’s ‘find’ button.

Basecamp searchbar

Search by person, project or even type of task (i.e. to-do lists, comments etc). If Jane in accounting left a comment on a task in a client project, you can search for it here, instead of having to click and scroll your way through mountains of information before you find what you need.

Hill charts

We don’t use Hill Charts at Articulate at the moment, but I think that might change soon.

The idea is that work is like a hill. There’s a ‘figuring things out’ stage and a ‘making it happen’ stage, or, in IBM business speak – ‘strategy’ and ‘execution’ (no, not murders and executions, unless the project really has gone awry).

Once you’ve built your to-do list, you can add grouped tasks onto the Hill Chart where you think they fit best. As work is completed and ticked off, you can move the dot along the timeline to see where you’re at. Better still, this chart sits at the top of a project, so it’s the first thing that managers can see offering them a holistic overview of the progress on a project.

Hill Charts

Why do marketers love it?

Beyond the generic joys of project management software, why is Basecamp 3 so great for a marketer like me?

Well, marketers work on a lot of different projects at any one time, and in this distributed workforce era, keeping track of those projects collectively can become a conundrum.

By putting a client’s work in an individual silo, it promotes focus for the marketer, and real-time project updates promote holistic clarity for the manager. Macro and micro at the same time. Do you really need much more?

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Callum Sharp

Marketing Copywriter and the go-to SEO guy at Articulate. Lover of Jack Kerouac, strong coffee and travelling. I can't afford a house because I like avocados too much.