Base Camp, Campfire, Backpack, Writeboard, Ta-da List – hunh?

One of my very smart blogging buddies pointed me towards in a post the other day. (Which very smart blogging buddy, I can’t remember due to the large quantity of wine consumed at the 40th and 60th b’day parties this weekend… feel free to step forward identify yourself for smart-blogging-buddy  credit!)

ANYWAY, the guys over at 37 signals have produced a whole series of award winning Web 2.0 tools for working collaboratively over the hinternet.  Perhaps useful working on restaurant guides with teams in cities that are far.

I’ve taken a quick look at their portfolio of apps and they look pretty interesting:

BaseCamp“project collaboration”

— useful for tracking all those milestones you zoom right by while you are having online meetings and making endless to-do lists.

Ta-da List“Sharable to-do lists”

— useful for creating those aforementioned to-do lists, and for voluntelling your honey to do stuff without ever having to see the “you’ve-got-to-be-shitting-me” face.

Backpack“organize info for personal & business”

— another place to create time consuming lists of stuff you may or may not ever get done. But this time it’s personal.

Campfire– “Group Chat for your business”

— for afternoon chats with far flung friends under the guise of online meetings, when MSN really doesn’t let you keep a detailed enough log of all your witty quips.

Writeboard“collaborative writing”

— useful for endless rewrites of stuff that was probably good enough to start with, but you’ll never know, because you are too busy finding a way to incorporate everyone’s edits, comments and corrections to actually use the content.

I’m giving them a test run to see if there is value in the free versions, what the return on investment might be on the pay-per-use versions (most are monthly subscriptions), and if these might provide an easy to integrate tool set for the CheapEats Teams across Canada (and hopefully beyond.)

So my tech-savvy and not-so-savvy friends, I’m wondering if you have played with these tools and what you thought of them? Anything that you found particularly useful or effective? Anything that you found particularly irksome, annoying or dodgy?

Alexa Clark

Alexa is a digital marketer and author with over 20 years in digital & interactive communications in the food and tech industries. Alexa's CheapEats Restaurant Guides, for both Toronto & Ottawa, were Canadian best sellers. She is a recognized authority on social media and has been named one of Canada's 20 Leading Women in Social Media.

4 thoughts on “Base Camp, Campfire, Backpack, Writeboard, Ta-da List – hunh?

  • September 1, 2006 at 11:20 am

    Neat – don’t love all the new web 2.0 apps! Thanks for sharing, if nobody comes forward – I will take the credit for it – hehehehe

  • September 1, 2006 at 11:29 am

    I use Backpack as my virtual stickynote.  I keep little code snippets, URLs and other bits there.  Also ideas for blogging.  I use the free version, so you only get 5 pages, but I have found that sufficient.  I really like Backpack.

    I’ve also used BaseCamp and really like it.  It didn’t work in a big corporate setting where we were trying to manage a HUGE project .. but medium and small size projects worked quite well.  It can take a bit to get used to their mental model for things, but if you’re not tied into some crazy project management methodology, then Basecamp is nice and lightweight and nimble.

  • September 1, 2006 at 1:17 pm

    Backpack and writeboard are great.  I think Skype to better choice for me and my pals than Campfire.

    You should read this and this post by Anil about the new style of office apps.  While these posts focus on Google, they give a good idea on how the world is more than MS office.

  • September 2, 2006 at 12:06 am

    So Basecamp is pretty neat, and it incorporates all the functionality of Backpack, Tada List, Campfire, and Writeboard.  I do think Basecamp is the best collaborative project manager available anywhere, and it has definitely made my life much easier.

    I’ve played with the other ones independantly, and they’re all neat applications (though Tada List leaves a lot to be desired) but really, Basecamp is the behemoth of all 37S apps.


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