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7 Great Add-Ons For Basecamp

These 7 apps and add-ons will help you get the most of the Basecamp cloud project management and collaboration platform.

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No matter how good a cloud platform is, it's often truly brought to life by the apps, add-ons, and integrations available to users and IT pros.

Basecamp, the project management and collaboration suite from 37 Signals, is no exception. It offers a lean, manageable menu of extras created by third-party developers for everything from mobility to analytics to backup. The trick, of course, is picking the right ones based on your needs and use cases.

In an email interview, Nick Narodny, cofounder and SVP of business training at Grovo, shared four of his must-have Basecamp extras. (If you need a crash course in how to use Basecamp, Grovo offers a half-dozen online training videos free of charge.) We tacked on a few more for good measure.

Rappel

"Absolutely necessary for anyone with an iPhone [who] needs to access Basecamp projects on the go," Narodny said. Rappel is more expensive than some other apps for Basecamp, but according to Narodny, the $9.99 price tag is well worth it for heavy iPhone users. "Rappel offers the full functionality of the Basecamp on the Web, plus the speed and simplicity of a well-designed mobile app."

[ What IT trends do you expect to see for small and midsize businesses this year? See 7 SMB Technology Predictions For 2013. ]

UpcomingTasks

UpcomingTasks offers a mobile alternative for users who don't want to pony up for a paid app, or for the legions who use Android devices. "Also a great option for the Basecamp user on the go, UpcomingTasks is a super-simple way to check Basecamp tasks from any mobile device," Narodny said. "It's free to use and it's not limited to Apple products."

EasyInsight

With growing demand for easy-to-use methods of slicing and dicing large piles of data, it shouldn't come as a surprise that the "Reporting, Charts, Planning" category of Basecamp extras is the most robust. Narodny likes EasyInsight for its ability to produce highly visual reports. The EasyInsight platform also works with other popular cloud platforms such as Amazon Web Services, Google, and Zendesk.

"If you're a visually oriented person, or if you [simply] need reporting features from your Basecamp projects, EasyInsight is a great addition," Narodny said. "Once you've connected [the two applications], EasyInsight can build graphs and charts based on the information in your Basecamp account."

Zapier

Integration is the name of the cloud game for many organizations. Zapier integrates Basecamp with more than 140 other online apps, including Evernote, Facebook, Google Apps, WordPress and Yammer. "Zapier connects Web-based services together so you can create automated tasks from one service to another," Narodny explained. "For example, if you want to create a Basecamp task each time you get an email with a particular label, you can connect Basecamp with Gmail and build the formula. Or, if you've got big files shared with others in your Basecamp account, you can use Zapier to sync a Dropbox folder as a backup for those files."

To follow on the heels of Narodny's recommendations, here are three more Basecamp apps for your consideration:

Statusboard

We seem to focus on making sure our apps are available on the small screen -- specifically, our phones and tablets. But it's less than ideal to huddle the team around an iPhone. While still in beta, Statusboard enables you to put your Basecamp information on an office TV monitor or other large-screen display. It also includes integrations for Google Analytics and Twitter data.

Wappwolf and Yoxel

Backup and sync features are critical when managing a large quantity of documents and other data across a project team. There are several Basecamp extras for these functions, depending on which other platforms you use and what you want to sync. Wappwolf will automate backup and sync between Basecamp and Box.net, Dropbox and Google Drive. Yoxel syncs Basecamp calendars and tasks with Exchange and Google Apps.

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anon5673744808
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anon5673744808,
User Rank: Apprentice
9/10/2013 | 10:11:44 PM
re: 7 Great Add-Ons For Basecamp
We found that trying to use the Basecamp discussions for all communication was not very practical. To resolve this we created the Work Bins Outlook Mail for Basecamp Plugin. The purpose of the plugin is to allow users to continue using their email for communication while working on a project in Basecamp. It is a great fit for projects that involve vendors that are not and should not be users in an organizations Basecamp project. This is especially true in cases when users need to send mail to a support@ email address and have no idea who will be on the other end. In my past experience with Basecamp, IG«÷ve found that these types of emails tend to be very important to archive as a discussion so your whole team can reference them, the Work Bins plugin does that for you. The plugin also gives users a good way to categorize their emails by project to make their inbox more manageable.



The plugin was a byproduct of a larger development effort and will eventually be a part of our enterprise cloud storage platform. For now we are letting people download and use the plugin for free. Check it out at http://www.work-bins.com/produ... and please let me know what you think. I am hopeful that our plugin will make it even easier for organizations to start using Basecamp and get their employees on-board.
EllaM728
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EllaM728,
User Rank: Apprentice
7/22/2013 | 11:34:11 AM
re: 7 Great Add-Ons For Basecamp
I agree with you Spencer. As long as I have been a basecamp user, I found it's great for collaboration and project tracking but it really lacks good scheduling abilities. Now I am using proofhub (www.proofhub.com) to manage my team as well as my work.
SpencerKelly
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SpencerKelly,
User Rank: Apprentice
4/25/2013 | 8:26:38 AM
re: 7 Great Add-Ons For Basecamp
As a long time Basecamp user I find that it's team scheduling abilities are a little weak. As a result I've been using Workstack (www.workstack.me) to help me schedule my team's tasks on a single calendar view.
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