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Toolkit Tuesday: Project Management 101: Basecamp, I Heart You.

It’s been almost ten months since I started Belle Communications. It took about six months to realize I had a project management problem. At first, I tried various tools to help manage client projects, but none of them seemed to fully get the job done. It was makeshift at best. Then, about eight months in, we brought in a new client and with them over half a dozen new projects. Things blew up big time. Inboxes overloaded and stress began to mount. I quickly realized that we needed a real project management solution REALLY fast. So I decided to do

basecamp-logo

It’s been almost ten months since I started Belle Communications. It took about six months to realize I had a project management problem. At first, I tried various tools to help manage client projects, but none of them seemed to fully get the job done. It was makeshift at best.

Then, about eight months in, we brought in a new client and with them over half a dozen new projects. Things blew up big time. Inboxes overloaded and stress began to mount. I quickly realized that we needed a real project management solution REALLY fast. So I decided to do some crowdsourcing via my Facebook profile that went something like this:

ThinkBelle.com Belle Communications BasecampThank you friends! As you can see, Basecamp was the crowd favorite. So I decided to give it a try … Fortunately, they have a free 60-day trial.

Starting from Scratch  basecamp-logo

I admit I was nervous to use something as serious sounding as ‘project management software’ and I doubted whether we needed something quite so robust. However, we knew we needed major help, so we were willing to overcome obstacles and learn a new process.

The learning process is the first reason why I heart Basecamp so much. It’s SO EASY to use. Within minutes, we were setting up all our client projects, adding team members to the projects, assigning tasks, creating to-do items, and uploading documents. Seriously, wow.

I felt like a weight had lifted in a matter of minutes.

Super Easy, Uber Functional

This tool gets the job done. Plus, I love the simplified look and feel. It’s intuitive and awesome. Here are some of the aspects of Basecamp we LOVE and the reasons why we are now paying customers:

  • Cloud-based (this was mandatory for us)
  • They have an app! This is super convenient because, just like Evernote, you can update on the go and because it’s based in the cloud, everything syncs up!
  • It’s super easy to catch up on projects if you get behind or are out of the office for a bit:

Belle Communications BaseCamp

  • You can have your to-do list, projects, emails, and supporting documents all in one place! (This. Is. Huge!)

Belle Communications Basecamp Projects

  • You can choose which team members are a part of projects and add clients to projects … Oh, and if you don’t want clients to see all / certain information (like edits and project feedback) you can adjust individual settings within each project. You are in complete control.

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  • It has a clean, intuitive, layout.
  • My one word of caution: It’s SO easy to create projects, you may find yourself making more than you thought you would. And with those projects, there is an increased fee. For example, Basecamp’s basic plan includes 10 projects for $20 / month. During the free trial, we got a little carried away and created 34 projects. Now it looks like the bill is going to be closer to $50 / month.

Verdict? Basecamp I Heart You

Basecamp is now an integral part of everyday life for our team. We have less email, less confusion, less stress, and more fun because of Basecamp. If you have to manage multiple clients with multiple projects or even one client with multiple projects, you should definitely sign up for the free trial and test Basecamp out.

Oh and let us know what you think … If you use Basecamp, share some tips with us in the comments below because we’re still learning as we go.

~ Kate

Kate Finley

Founder + CEO of Belle
Currently thriving in Puerto Rico