We here at Visual Lizard have been using Basecamp from 37Signals for almost a year and half now. Basecamp is a simple online project management system. We use it to track our projects, milestones, communications, associated files, to-do lists and the time we spend working. To say they we depend on Basecamp to run our business would be an understatement.
Since we moved from dotproject to Basecamp, we have been able to invite our clients into their projects. This has been received very well by almost everyone we work with. When we create a new project we immediately give all of the people involved access and invite them in to participate.
As development progresses many messages are posted to each project. Anyone involved with the project can login to Basecamp and add their voice to the thread. This has been an amazing experience for almost everyone. The one catch to this is that you do need to login to an application at a web site and leave your regular email program to respond. Leaving the comfort of their regular email client to communicate via a website is more than some people have time for.
This week 37Signals has announced that they are implementing a feature we have been asking for. They will be rolling out the ability to reply to messages coming from Basecamp directly via your email client. You can read more at their site about the upcoming feature. We are stoked.
This is one of the major benefits of using an online business tool like Basecamp compared to an offline or open source solution. News features appear from time to time that augment your ability to interact with the application.
Mark my words, any forth coming web applications in the business productivity category that do not let you interact with them via email will be considered second class from here on out.