As a content marketer, does your cursor resemble a pinball bouncing around different programs and websites?
Click to email. Click to the content calendar. Click back to email. Click to the file sharing service. Click back to the content calendar. Click back to email.
Or maybe it resembles an escalator, forever scrolling down as you try to find that one email about that one project from weeks ago.
Wouldn’t it be nice if everything you needed was found in one central location, organized by project and not timestamp?
To the content marketer’s delight, such a blessing does exist: The project management web app called Basecamp. The goal of Basecamp is to assist you in managing your company’s projects and internal communications in a way that keeps important messages and deadlines from slipping through the cracks.
With its centralized system, you spend more time accomplishing tasks and less time organizing pieces of information.
How Basecamp Eliminates Common Communication Problems
The more tools you use for communication, the more likely it is that messages will get lost among the different mediums.
I once had a boss who would contact me with emails, text messages, Facebook messages and an internal messaging system for the same project. I spent as much time shuffling between the messaging systems trying to keep track of all her requests and edits as I did actually working on the project!
Don’t be that boss. Centralize your messaging on one platform to help streamline your communication.
Basecamp allows you to keep all of your communication within the program itself.
The Basecamp dashboard allows you to organize messages around a given topic rather than by the date of the message. You can send messages in a set discussion board (goodbye, hopeless attempts at corralling messy email chains!)
You can even forward emails right to your discussion board and integrate with other online communication tools—but a bit more on integrations later.
If you need to ask an employee (or all your employees) a quick question, simply shoot out a message on the group chat or instant messaging features. No need to clutter up the main group communication channels if you don’t need to.
Another great feature of Basecamp is how it organizes files. Files are uploaded inside a given project, so employees no longer need to email each other asking for the updated version of the PDF. It’s all available within the project.
Delegate… and Then Blissfully Forget About It
The top productivity experts preach the discipline of writing everything down. Our brains are great at analyzing and problem solving… not so much at remembering.
The more you can get out of your brain and onto paper—digital paper, that is—the more brain energy you free up to get back to leading and innovating.
With Basecamp, you can easily set up a project and then move on without keeping it in the back of your mind. First, you create to-dos to delegate work and deadlines to ensure the work gets done on time. Then, you set up automatic check-ins prompting your employees to update you on their progress. You can make daily, weekly, or monthly reminders depending on your preference.
Basecamp also allows for the generation of reports. These give you a crucial snapshot of the situation, from overdue projects to what’s already been finished. No more boring meetings where staff members sit through as you all update each other on the current status of projects!
After this initial set-up, you can “forget” about the project and move on. You just created a well-oiled machine that can run on its own without you feeling the need to micromanage or check back in.
Learning the Basecamp System
It strikes terror in the heart of employees when they get wind of a new software coming to the business. They envision weeks of aggravation and stress as they slowly adapt to this complex new tool, losing precious work time along the way.
Not so with Basecamp. The system is highly user-friendly, making the transition to it a matter of minutes rather than days.
My introduction to Basecamp took place a few months ago when I joined an Australian marketing firm that relies on the program.
I nervously created my account, imagining sending confused “I don’t understand how to use this program” emails to my boss and enjoying the delayed communication that comes along with working across time zones.
Instead, within a few minutes, I felt fully comfortable with the program. Now each day I check Basecamp for my assignments, submit my work and talk to my manager as needed. I found Basecamp incredibly intuitive and easy to navigate and I found myself grateful my boss chose such an employee-friendly service.
Anyone is naturally nervous about learning a new program, but rest assured, there’s no need to stress about switching over.
Basecamp Apps and Integration
Basecamp is designed to be used across platforms so your employees can stick with whatever platform they’re most comfortable using. You can use the service on iOS and Android devices, on Macs or PCs, and on a variety of browsers (Internet Explorer, Chrome, Safari and Firefox). For those smartphone devices, there are Basecamp apps specifically designed to use on them.
Basecamp is designed to be a thorough program, so there’s really nothing extra that you’ll need to download or pay a higher fee to get included in your service. Their many add-ons are simply free and open source goodies and integrations with other project management tools.
You’ll be happy to hear that, if you want to streamline your work with tools you already use, Basecamp also plays nice with other 3rd party tools including Zapier, Tick, Ganttify, Time Doctor and Hubstaff.
Help, I’m Confused By Basecamp
Basecamp is designed so well that you probably won’t encounter any difficulties. That said, if you do get confused and need help, you can reach out to their customer service team.
They take your time seriously, with an average response time is about 10 minutes. Basecamp states that you can expect a response between 8 AM and 6:30 PM CST Monday through Friday. Simply reach out with the email form on their website and get the help you need as soon as possible.
The Cost of Basecamp
Basecamp functions on a simplistic pricing structure. If you’re a student or teacher, congrats! You get to enjoy Basecamp for free.
If you’re a non-profit or charity, you’re also in luck. Get Basecamp for 50%!
If you’re a business, you’ll need to pay $99 per month (but you can save 15% if you pay for the year upfront).
That’s it! There’s no fee to add new users and no fee to add projects. You enjoy unlimited users and projects when you make the purchase.
If you’re still a bit hesitant and wondering if Basecamp is right for you, that’s okay. The company is happy to provide a free, 30-day trial. And if you find that it’s just not enough time to make an informed decision, let them know. They’re willing to extend the trial a tad so you can feel confident in your decision.
Adding Basecamp to your arsenal of content marketing management tools can be a great move. You may be able to replace a number of paid tools you use already, like if you have a separate internal messaging service, project management service and file sharing service. This alone can save you money by cutting down the number of paid tools.
Using Basecamp can also affect worker productivity as everything is organized into one central location.
No more pinballing cursors bouncing around from websites and apps.
No more escalator cursors scrolling down trying to find that one file or that one email.
With Basecamp, your workday gets more efficient and streamlined—and your cursor gets a much-needed break.