I have been doing research realted to project management toolsets … I have always been good at keeping track of multiple projects, but the time has come to really upgrade the tools we have in place so everyone at the Solutions Institute can be in the loop. We had been using some decent open source tools to keep track all sorts of things, but the interface seemed to keep us from really taking advantage of the stuff and it was a real pain giving our student workers and clients access to our file shares. Recently I started really looking into the tools that 37signals builds — both Backpack and Basecamp are very well designed and fit the needs they are addressing. Yesterday we went ahead and got our own Basecamp account and are loving how it all works.
One of the things we wanted was obviously a strong suite of project management tools, but the other reason we went with the 37signals stuff was that it is a lesson in good design. We are moving so much further towards new ways of building interfaces and applications that having these tools gives us a glimpse into the minds of some very smart people.
So far,a day into it, we are really enjoying the tools. It is nice to know we have a document storage solution that is accessible by the team anywhere at anytime, lets all my staff see the big picture, and gives us a way to organize all of our project tasks. Good stuff.