37signals: Basecamp / Highrise Review

27 06 2007


I’m a huge fan of 37signals. For those of you that are not familiar with them – in their own words:

“We’re a privately-held Chicago-based company committed to building the best web-based software products possible with the least number of features necessary. Our products do less than the competition — intentionally. We’ve been in business since 1999 and love what we do.”

They make incredible web based software and have a fresh approach to application design. Instead of making bloated software that has every bell and whistle a user will never even bother with, they attempt to have as few features as possible. It’s a great methodology that works well with rapid application development. Jason Fried, the company’s founder, expands on this topic in their book, Getting Real (you can read it free here).


Highrise - Simple CRM

Highrise, their newest product, is touted as Simple CRM. While I wouldn’t call it a full fledged CRM replacement to some of the larger competition, this product is top notch. The only real criticisms that I have on this product:


1 – method of organization. You have the ability to use tags and also can set up cases, but I would love to see better categorization (maybe through hierarchical tags?)

2 –task system. The ability to assign tasks to yourself and others is great, but there is a current limitation in that you cannot see other people’s task lists. This could be an issue if you assign a task to yourself and 2 other people. Let’s say that the task is to follow up on a prospective client, and 2 people complete the task! Now you’ve got to do a bit of damage control. I’d love to see a revamp on this section – tasks emailed to you needs a bit of help too.

Still, what’s great about Highrise and 37signals overall is their customer service. They really listen to you. Seriously. They don’t just route you to some guy on the phone in India that’s thousands of miles away. Try emailing them – you’ll hear back directly from the development staff – what a concept!

Latest Highrise News

Highrise just underwent a wonderful improvement last night. The Highrise dashboard now has listview, a more concise way of looking at tasks, emails, notes, etc – the same great way that Basecamp already does.

Read on for more Highrise update information.


Basecamp is where 37signals all began back in 2004. It’s an amazingly well thought out Web Project Management program. You have the ability to track and manage projects in this slick web based tool. This it very useful when you have remote teams working on things. I’ve been a big fan of this product, and encourage my clients to use it as well. You can even add people at your client’s location to the individual project – so no more “what’s the status of the project” droning on contact calls! The client can just login and see up to the minute progress!


If you’re interested in signing up for Basecamp, try the walkthrough, and when you’re ready – try signing up through my affiliate link below:

Basecamp project management and collaboration




6 responses

28 06 2007
VeronicasLore.com » 37signals: Basecamp / Highrise Review

[…] Read the full story… […]

6 07 2007
VoIP Lowdown » Carnival of Emerging Technologies #5

[…] Wallace presents 37signals: Basecamp / Highrise Review posted at NowSourcing. Brian’s review about the popular 37signals products – Basecamp (web […]

10 07 2007

@Veronica & @VoIP Lowdown: thanks for the trackbacks!

25 09 2007

Clients are usually resistant to “just login” any system. That’s why I prefer those project management tools that don’t require additional steps from my stakeholders. I use and recommend Wrike (http://www.wrike.com). Clients can simply add wrike@wrike.com to the email recipients to create orders. Or I can share necessary project with my client by adding his email in the system. The client gets status update to his email inbox. That’s it. Smart notifications save us much time. Give it a try.

P.S. If you are interested in more information: http://www.pcworld.com/businesscenter/article/134816/project_management_lite_basecamp_and_wrike.html

25 09 2007

@ann: you raise a good point. Some clients just don’t want to bother with another login. Still, one of the good things about Basecamp and the other 37signals apps is that they integrate with OpenID – so you can have one login for many systems.

Still, I’ll read up more on Wrike.

Please also take note that this blog has moved to: http://www.nowsourcing.com/blog/

22 06 2008

For us, what was missing, was the ability to manage our team, they’re rights and have access to a wide array of applications in a secure environment, which is exactly what YouFig offers (www.youfig.com)… on YouFig, community admins have access to all aspects of the community, see who’s doing what, which is really important to us as a company, on top of all the applications (documents, spreadsheets, videos, pics, files, calendars, gmail/outlook integration, groups) that youfig offers… and they’re not charging for it. Definitely recommended.

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