Great online services for your church: Basecamp
After the free services provided by Google Apps and Dropbox, we come to one that you have to pay for – but which is worth every penny. Basecamp is a brilliant way to organise projects in your church, alongside the capabilities of your ChurchInsight website.
Managing church projects, whether large or small, is always an organizational challenge. Basecamp is a wonderful tool that allows you to view the progress of a project and all communications concerning it, assigning to-dos for your team all in one easy-to-use system.
Coordinating schedules for project meetings is a challenge regardless of the size of your team. By using Basecamp, we have greatly reduced the number of meetings, in person or via phone conference, allowing more time to be spent on Endis projects themselves. Basecamp allows for up-to-the minute communications and updates so that the entire project team is on the same page at all times – resulting in greater productivity.
Key features of Basecamp
- Communicate – Basecamp has a wonderful communication tool built in so that you can forget about long email threads. It offers emails (with simple check boxes to select recipients), comment options for messages, to-dos and milestones, as well as an option to subscribe to a Daily Digest for all activity on your specific project.
- Share – Basecamp supports all popular file formats including Microsoft Word, Excel, Photoshop, PDFs, and PNGs. It automatically generates a preview of the file so you won't have to download every one. Basecamp will even send an email notification to other people on the project when a new file has been uploaded.
- To Dos – You can easily assign tasks to your team members, with due dates, as well as view the overall project through the Basecamp calendar (works with Google Calendar, Outlook, Backpack, .Mac, and iCal). Basecamp also offers a time tracking option with their plus-level accounts.
- Templates – Basecamp offers an easy way to create templates for repeat projects meaning you don't have to start from scratch every time.
What else does Basecamp offer?
- Multiple languages – Basecamp has been translated into Spanish, French, Italian, German, Finnish, Portuguese, Danish, Dutch, Polish, Swedish, Greek, Russian, Hungarian, and Japanese – with more languages apparently on the way.
- Mobile phone compatibility – No apps are required. Just visit basecamphq.com on your phone’s browser, and you can view your projects on the go.
- Third party tools and apps – There is a long list of tools, software and apps that you can integrate with Basecamp.
- Writeboards and Campfire Chat – Basecamp offers creative ways to communicate, while tracking who said what as well as online access to conversations that you may have to catch up on later.
We know that everyone loves free online services but Basecamp is one facility worth paying for. They offer a 30-day free trial so you can see if it suits you. But we wouldn't be without it at Endis.
Feel free to ask us more about how we use Basecamp on Twitter or Facebook. And we'd still love to hear which online services you would not be without.
Adam Johannes, 29/09/2011