Tech Note - BaseCamp Project Management

A few months ago, a friend put me on to a website called BasecampHQ.com. It is a web-based project management application. I have been using it for the last month or so and all I can say is Wow! I have begun rolling it out for all of my firm clients and response has been tremendously positive. Basecamp is an extremely user-friendly project management solution that is simply perfect for small-firm and solo practitioners. (It would probably be great for large-firm practitioners too but you will have to work through your IT committee or whatever so I can't really speak to that.) One of the most difficult thing with representing any large base of clients is keeping everyone on track and on the same page as far as what is being done, what still needs to be done, and who is responsible for seeing that each item gets done. Frankly, I often feel like herding cats would be an easier endeavor. Well BaseCamp helps with all of this tremendously. It allows you to set up a web-based communications hub for each client or client matter that will keep all email messages, calendar items, to-do lists and important files centralized in one location. Now, instead of simply emailing a file of some draft discovery to a client to review, with a few clicks, the file is uploaded to the hub, an message is sent to my client asking her to review it and get back to me, and a checklist item is added to my client's to-do list indicating the task needs to be done. I can also add a deadline in the calendar for when I need a response from my client and easily follow up with her if I don't hear back in a timely manner. Another feature I like is the Whiteboard feature, which allows my client and I to work collectively and collaboratively on the same document. The system tracks who made what revisions and when they were made and greatly improves efficiency in drafting important letters, interrogatory responses, etc. Another great feature is that the calendars created in basecamp can be "subscribed" to by my desktop calendar program (I use Apple's Ical) and is automatically updated with any changes to any of my clients' BaseCamp calendars. I control all of the security for all of the client hubs so that clients can only access their own matters while my staff and I have access to all.

BaseCamp also has a time-tracking feature, however, I have not yet used that much as my time tracking is built into a larger accounting software structure here at my office. The software is available for a monthly subscription and you can cancel the service anytime without a long-term commitment. I think it is great for lawyers and encourage you to give it a look.Here is a link to the software tour and free trial.

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