New in Basecamp: Improved Schedule Cards

A more complete picture of what’s coming upThis was a classic case of “How hard could it be?” that started as a series of customer requests and bug reports. People wanted to see their events AND their dated to-dos on their Basecamp 3 Schedule cards. Totally reasonable, right? Like anything involving dates, timezones, and computers, it took more than a little wrangling… But now you can!Let There Be To-dosHere’s a great example from our Ops Team. Before, we only showed upcoming schedule events. That triggered a misleading message that said “Nothing’s coming up!”Nothing’s coming up! Maybe?Why is this misleading? If you click through to the Schedule itself, you’ll see there’s actually a to-do due tomorrow:Surpise!You wouldn’t have known that glancing at the Schedule card. With the changes we just added, you’ll now see something like this when you’ve got upcoming to-dos:Voila! Just like the full ScheduleWho and When?Another thing was missing from the previous design: It wasn’t clear exactly who was involved in an event and precisely when it was happening. That’s because we just showed the name of the event and the date on which it occurred:What time is dinner, anyway?Now, we show avatars for each participant and to-do assignee as well as times for events that happen at a specific time:A lovely group and an early start.TemplatesProject Templates were also missing to-dos. That led to situations like this where the Schedule looked blank:Nohting to see here… Or is there?In fact, there may have been several to-dos:The full pictureWe hope this makes Schedule cards more useful for you. Stay tuned for more updates to Basecamp 3!Got feedback or ideas to share? We’d love to hear what you think about the new features. You can contact us on Twitter or share your thoughts via our Support form.New in Basecamp: Improved Schedule Cards was originally published in Signal v. Noise on Medium, where people are continuing the conversation by highlighting and responding to this story.

Source: 37signals

The world needs more modest, linear growth companies. Please make some.

14 years of linear growth at Basecamp.Exponential growth gets all the glory. Every startup story that lands on the cover of a magazine has a hockey-stick chart to flaunt. Yes, disruption is driven by such violent expansion, and the world needs some disruption some of the time. But for the other 360 days out of the year, what it also needs is some modest, linear growth.Linear growth is what happens in domains that aren’t animated by network effects (and when no artificial growth hormones are injected!). It’s the simplicity of good products sold at reasonable prices that find happy customers. These customers talk to friends and colleagues in other businesses, and over time that word of mouth spreads the good vibes, which turns the business up.But the limelight has no patience with such simple, slow methods as word of mouth. It’s not infectious enough. Not exponential enough. That’s a shame.Because the world is full of problems that needs solving by people who are willing to put in the work for the long haul. I’m not talking about the freakish 120-hour/week, seven-year death marches, but the patient, sustainable work that might last a lifetime. Problems that yield better to people sticking with it.These problems rarely provide the world with more platforms, but the world has enough platforms. If everyone wants to be the foundation, then there’s nobody left to serve as the beams or cladding or tiles. That’s a recipe for a concrete and corporate wasteland.It’s also a recipe for monoculture. Network effects have given us spectacular stories of unfathomable growth, but it’s also given us monopolistic conglomerates that poison the market and its variety.I’m no particular fan of advertisement, but it’s still clear as day that the world is much worse off for having all the value of that trade captured solely by Facebook and Google. Yeah, that’s disruption, and no, it’s not the kind that makes the world better off. It’s creative destruction without creative regeneration. More black hole, less forest-fire cleanse.Capitalism as a system is prone to all manners of dysfunction, but few are as fatal as that of monopolies backed by exponential growth. Markets as a force for good quickly break down and get perverted when only a few power players remain to call all the shots.Maybe such concentration is “natural” in a few domains, but that doesn’t mean we should stand idle by and let it corrupt both business and society. In an era past, trust busters knew how to protect the common good by opposing the behemoths of industry with antitrust fights and laws. AT&T had a “natural” monopoly, and it still deserved to be broken up. Such memories are unnecessarily quaint now, and even when brought up, it’s through a myopic literal lens (Facebook + Google aren’t causing “higher prices”, therefore they’re not bad monopolies. Bullshit).But the discussion of whether the regulators will once more mount up shouldn’t distract us from doing what we can today. Which is to inspire a new generation of entrepreneurs to nobler goals than simply to become caliph instead of the caliph.Which is pretty much all the business press and other spectators (and speculators) are obsessed with these days. Who’s going to be the next Google? The next Facebook? The next Apple? These are interesting questions, but they’re not the only questions, and by posing them over and over again ad nauseum, we’re restricting the conversation and constricting our imagination.What if the next NEXT THING wasn’t a supplementation of an existing network-effect megacorp, but a proliferation of a thousand or million smaller businesses that were given the time and place to breathe and thrive?But for that to happen, it needs not only to be seen as feasible, but desirable. That to eschew the exponential demands of investors is a sign of strength, not a mark of weakness. That to be content with linear growth is streak of independence, not absence of vision.We are in dire need of such reprogramming of the entrepreneurial boot loader. So many faithful decisions are taking in the early stage of a business that locks its course for perpetuity. Very few ventures get to turn back the clock and have a do-over on their cap table. Epiphanies that come too late might as well not come at all.You can’t move a tree by blowing at it softly once the roots are down. But you can radically change where a seed will land by doing the same.I promise I’m not trying to make a lame plea for “children are the future”, although that’s both trite and true. New businesses are started by adults of all ages. Every single one of them have the power to pick how they’ll nurture their growth when it’s started. Choosing to chase the exponential is just that, a choice. Which also means that choosing the linear is a choice too.Which I guess is really my chief argument here. Or appeal, even. That more people choose the path of linear growth. That they embrace it with vigor and pride. That they make no apologies for wanting a modest and sustainable business that can live in harmony with other shops of the same description.The path of linear growth has been the trajectory of Basecamp for 14 years today. It’s brought beauty and warmth to millions of people who’ve used our product. It’s brought stability and a home to the fifty-odd people we employ at the company. And it’s brought the deepest of meanings and satisfaction to Jason and I for owning it.May you make your own fortune as you take a swing at the same.Does this tickle a fancy? Stroke a nagging? I’m sure you’d like my other writings on the topic, then. Start with RECONSIDER, then Exponential growth devours and corrupts, then maybe Enough. Well, my whole back catalogue is full of these kind of ideas, really. So do dive in.The world needs more modest, linear growth companies. Please make some. was originally published in Signal v. Noise on Medium, where people are continuing the conversation by highlighting and responding to this story.

Source: 37signals


You in business? What are you doing to last? Not to grow. Not to gain. Not to take. Not to win. But to last?I wouldn’t advocate spending much time worrying about the competition — you really shouldn’t waste attention worrying about things you can’t control — but if it helps make the point relatable, the best way to beat the competition is to last longer than they do.Duh? Yes, duh. Exactly. Business is duh simple as long as you don’t make it duhking complicated.So how do you last?Obviously you need to take in enough revenue to pay your bills. But we’ve always tried to reverse that statement: How many bills do you need to pay to limit your revenue requirements?Rather than thinking about how much you need to make to cover your costs, think about how little you need to help you survive as long as you want.Yes, we’re talking about costs. The rarely talked about side of the equation. I’m honestly shocked how little attention costs get in the realm of entrepreneurial literature.Whenever a startup goes out of business, the first thing I get curious about are their costs, not their revenues. If their revenues are non-existent, or barely there, then they were fucked anyway. But beyond that, the first thing I look at is their employee count. Your startup with 38 people didn’t make it? No wonder. Your startup that was paying $52,000/month rent didn’t make it? No wonder. Your startup that spend 6 figures on your brand didn’t make it? No wonder.Even today… Some of the biggest names in our industry are hemorrhaging money. How is that possible? Simple: Their costs are too high! You don’t lose money by making it, you lose it by spending too much of it! Duh! I know!So keep your costs as low as possible. And it’s likely that true number is even lower than you think possible. That’s how you last through the leanest times. The leanest times are often the earliest times, when you don’t have customers yet, when you don’t have revenue yet. Why would you tank your odds of survival by spending money you don’t have on things you don’t need? Beats me, but people do it all the time. ALL THE TIME. Dreaming of all the amazing things you’ll do in year three doesn’t matter if you can’t get past year two.2018 will be our 19th year in business. That means we’ve survived a couple of major downturns — 2001, and 2008, specifically. I’ve been asked how. It’s simple: It didn’t cost us much to stay in business. In 2001 we had 4 employees. We were competing against companies that had 40, 400, even 4000. We had 4. We made it through, many did not. In 2008 we had around 20. We had millions in revenue coming in, but we still didn’t spend money on marketing, and we still sublet a corner of someone else’s office. Business was amazing, but we continued to keep our costs low. Keeping a handle on your costs must be a habit, not an occasion. Diets don’t work, eating responsibly does.Try it for a year. Think less about revenues and more about costs. In many cases they’re easier to control, easier to predict (seek out fixed costs that’ll stay the same as you grow, vs things that get more expensive as you grow), and easier to manage. But only if you keep them in mind as you make decisions about how you’re going to last — and outlast.Fired up about a new idea, but can’t seem to get traction to make it happen? Chat rooms aren’t traction, they’re treadmills. Lots of talk without going anywhere. You need Basecamp 3 — discussions, to-do lists, schedules, the ability to hold people accountable. Don’t just talk about it, do it with Basecamp.Outlasting was originally published in Signal v. Noise on Medium, where people are continuing the conversation by highlighting and responding to this story.

Source: 37signals

Managers, screw the Golden Rule

Don’t treat employees the way you want to be treated. Here’s why.“Treat others the way you’d like to be treated.”This is The Golden Rule we all learned growing up. As a manager or CEO in a company, you’d think it would make sense to follow it too. Managers should treat their employees the way they’d like to be treated, right?Not quite.In a recent interview I did with David Heinemeier Hansson (DHH), the Creator of the popular web framework Ruby on Rails and Chief Technology Officer at Basecamp, he shared this insight: You shouldn’t treat other people the way you want to be treated because the other person isn’t you.The other person has different preferences (beliefs, ideas, and experiences) and is going to react to a situation differently than you. You might think something is reasonable or fair, but that’s you thinking that, not the other person. You cannot assume that the way she would like to be treated is the same as the way you’d like to be treated.David admits to being guilty of this as much as anyone, saying that when he does this, “I’m trying to be empathetic to my own mirror image, which is not actually a very good definition of empathy.”In fact, it’s self-centered in many ways to assume that if you treat others the way you’d like to be treated, other people will like it too.One of the most memorable examples for me of this is when I talked with another CEO a few months ago. He told me how his company had implemented an unlimited vacation policy recently. In theory, he thought it was going to work great. It’s what he had always wanted when he’d worked at other companies himself — unlimited vacation, what could be better?But then something interesting at his company happened: No one in his company took vacation. Maybe a day or two off here and there, but people took less vacation with the unlimited vacation policy than they had in years before.I was a little shocked when he first told me this. What went wrong? The CEO learned is that none of the employees wanted to be seen as “the slacker” or “letting the team down.” Everyone else was afraid of taking vacation, so no one went on one.After realizing this, the CEO replaced the unlimited vacation policy with a requirement that people take at least two weeks off of paid vacation during a year. It’s not what he would have necessarily wanted, but that’s not the point. If you’re a great manager or leader, you shouldn’t be operating from the point-of-view of what you want, you should be operating from the point-of-view of what others want.Instead of practicing The Golden Rule and assuming other people are just like you, what should you do?The answer is deceptively simple. Ask.Ask your employees what type of vacation policy they’d prefer or what work environment they’d like to be in. Here are some examples of things you can specifically ask:How do you prefer I give you feedback? In-person or in writing?When you are most productive in a day? During the morning or the afternoon? Or even at night?How much social interaction is important to you? Should we plan more team-bonding outings or have more regular company lunches?How often would you like to get together for one-on-ones? Once a week, once a month or once a quarter?How would you like to recognized for your work? Do prefer verbal praise in front of others, or more privately? Are small gifts or tokens of appreciation a good way to signify gratitude?How much direction or context do you like before kicking off a project? Do you need space to gather your thoughts initially, or do you like having a lot of suggestions from me upfront?Don’t just assume their answers are the same as yours. Ask, listen, and then act accordingly. The Golden Rule need not apply.If you’re looking to learn more insights from David and other leaders from around the world, consider joining The Watercooler 💦 — our online leadership community with almost 400 CEOs, managers, and executives (including David!) where we talk about everything from hiring, firing, company culture and business growth.This article was originally published for, where I write a weekly column on leadership.Managers, screw the Golden Rule was originally published in Signal v. Noise on Medium, where people are continuing the conversation by highlighting and responding to this story.

Source: 37signals

Running in Circles

Why Agile Isn’t Working and What We Do DifferentlyAgile started off as a set of values. Values are subtle and abstract, so as agile spread, what spread wasn’t the values but the practice of working in cycles. Cycles are easy to explain and easy to copy.People in our industry think they stopped doing waterfall and switched to agile. In reality they just switched to high-frequency waterfall.Agile became synonymous with speed. Everybody wants more, faster. And one thing most teams aren’t doing fast enough is shipping. So cycles became “sprints” and the metric of success, “velocity.”But speed isn’t the problem. And cycles alone don’t help you ship. The problems are doing the wrong things, building to specs, and getting distracted.Claiming there’s a True Agile™ somewhere in the past or future doesn’t help either. When your team struggles with shipping, you need practical steps you can apply here and now. Not just an ideal.Cycles are good. We work in cycles at Basecamp. But in addition to cycles you need three other practices to ship on time and in good health.Deliberate resource allocationDesigners and developers can’t make progress if people constantly pull at their attention. It doesn’t matter if support finds a bug or sales needs a new feature. Allocating resources means dedicating resources. Whoever allocates the time and money to build a feature must also protect the team so they can do what was asked. It takes a mandate from above to secure the team’s time and attention. The team is doing this and only this during the cycle.At Basecamp we start each cycle of work with a team of three: one designer and two programmers. They have nothing to do but this project. If you feel you must fix bugs the moment they arise, then dedicate resources for that. If you have tension between sales and product, make a choice for this cycle. If you don’t have enough people, rotate cycle time among departments.Only management can protect attention. Telling the team to focus only works if the business is backing them up.Mutable requirementsIf a team works to a spec, there’s no point in iterating. The purpose of working iteratively is to change direction as you go. Defining the project in advance forces the team into a waterfall process. If every detail of the plan must be built, teams have no choice when they discover something is harder than expected, less important than expected, or when reality contradicts the plan.At Basecamp we kick off each project with a core concept. We do our homework on the strategy side to validate that some version of the idea is meaningfully doable in the time we’re allocating. We’re also sure that less than 100% of the concept will ship. Not everything will make it but the important things will. If we aren’t sure, we’ll slot something else into the cycle and come back when we’ve honed the concept enough.To start teams off with a concept like this, you have to separate the core from the periphery. Separate the things that are absolutely important from the things that were just “ the idea we had for how to do it.”A single UI decision can cause a week of unnecessary work. A programmer could struggle to refactor a bunch of Javascript only to discover that the detail wasn’t core to the concept. The designer just happened to pick that interaction without knowing the cost.In practice, this means giving the teams power to redefine scope. Some things are essential and other things aren’t. The team must be able to know the difference and make calls accordingly. To reinforce this, we give teams low fidelity hand-drawn sketches when a cycle starts and spend more time on motivation than the specifics of design and implementation.One of Jason’s sketches for the team that built To-Do Groups. They ended up choosing not to build the “add” buttons below each group.Uphill strategiesTeams that track “velocity” and “story points” treat integrationas if it’s linear labor. Software integrationis not like moving a pile of stones.If work was like that, you could count the stones, count the time to move one, do the math and be done.Work that requires problem solving is more like a hill. There’s an uphill phase where you figure out what you’re doing. Then when you get to the top you can see down the other side and what it’ll take to finish.The uphill phase is full of false steps and circles and dead ends. It’s where you encounter the unexpected. The programmer says “yeah that’ll take two days” but then they start touching the code and the reality is more complex. Or the designer says “this interaction will be perfect” and they test it on the device and it’s not what they hoped.The most important question for a team isn’t “what is left?” but “what is unknown?” Can you see the edges? Have you gone in there and seen everything that needs to change? The only way to gain certainty is to roll up your sleeves and engage with the reality of problem.At Basecamp our teams seek out the areas with the scariest unknowns and work on them first. This uphill work requires strategies. We wrote about these in Getting Real. Open the code, spike something that works, load it with real data and try it. When the whole feature is too big to prototype, factor out the most important pieces and spike them.Different phases of the uphill and downhill workThe uphill work is where you learn what’s hard and what’s possible and make value judgements. Here’s where you make decisions about those mutable requirements because you’re seeing the real costs and opportunities in the implementation. Learning uphill requires the focus and time given to the teams by deliberately allocated resources.We’ve done this informally for years, focusing on unknowns and chipping at them first. We recently started formalizing this with the Hill Chart. A question we often ask these days is “where is that on the hill?”Here’s a snapshot from the Search in Place project that shipped in October.First reworking search results, then moving them into the navAnd here are some moments in time from the To-Do Groups project.The three most important pieces went over the hill firstWrapping upIt takes a whole business to shipWhether teams work in cycles or not is just one part of the story. An “agile” team isn’t going to get very far if management doesn’t protect their time. And if they don’t have flexibility to change requirements as they learn, late nights and late delivery are guaranteed.Designers and developers can learn the uphill strategies from Getting Real to gain certainty instead of crossing their fingers. Whoever sets requirements can give teams the room to push back in the uphill phase. And resource allocators can take more responsibility to guard the focus of their teams.We’ve been doing it for 15 years. Hopefully sharing some of these techniques will help you do it too.Running in Circles was originally published in Signal v. Noise on Medium, where people are continuing the conversation by highlighting and responding to this story.

Source: 37signals

Move Slowly and Fix Things

Synoptic Table of Physiognomic TraitsRuminations on the heavy weight of software design in the 21st century.Recently I took a monthlong sabbatical from my job as a designer at Basecamp. (Basecamp is an incredible company that gives us a paid month off every 3 years.)When you take 30 days away from work, you have a lot of time and headspace that’s normally used up. Inevitably you start to reflect on your life.And so, I pondered what the hell I’m doing with mine. What does it mean to be a software designer in 2018, compared to when I first began my weird career in the early 2000s?The answer is weighing on me.As software continues to invade our lives in surreptitious ways, the social and ethical implications are increasingly significant.Our work is HEAVY and it’s getting heavier all the time. I think a lot of designers haven’t deeply considered this, and they don’t appreciate the real-life effects of the work they’re doing.Here’s a little example. About 10 years ago, Twitter looked like so:Twitter circa 2007How cute was that? If you weren’t paying attention back then, Twitter was kind of a joke. It was a silly viral app where people wrote about their dog or their ham sandwich.Today, things are a wee bit different. Twitter is now the megaphone for the leader of the free world, who uses it to broadcast his every whim. It’s also the world’s best source for real-time news, and it’s full of terrible abuse problems.That’s a massive sea change! And it all happened in only 10 years.Do you think the creators of that little 2007 status-sharing concept had any clue this is where they’d end up, just a decade later?Seems like they didn’t:People can’t decide whether Twitter is the next YouTube, or the digital equivalent of a hula hoop. To those who think it’s frivolous, Evan Williams responds: “Whoever said that things have to be useful?”Twitter: Is Brevity The Next Big Thing? (Newsweek, April 2007)Considering these shallow beginnings, is it any surprise that Twitter has continually struggled at running a massive, serious global communications platform, which now affects the world order?That’s not what they originally built. It grew into a Frankenstein’s monster, and now they’re not quite sure how to handle it.I’m not picking on Twitter in particular, but its trajectory illustrates a systemic problem.Designers and programmers are great at inventing software. We obsess over every aspect of that process: the tech we use, our methodology, the way it looks, and how it performs.Unfortunately we’re not nearly as obsessed with what happens after that, when people integrate our products into the real world. They use our stuff and it takes on a life of its own. Then we move on to making the next thing. We’re builders, not sociologists.This approach wasn’t a problem when apps were mostly isolated tools people used to manage spreadsheets or send emails. Small products with small impacts.But now most software is so much more than that. It listens to us. It goes everywhere we go. It tracks everything we do. It has our fingerprints. Our heart rate. Our money. Our location. Our face. It’s the primary way we communicate our thoughts and feelings to our friends and family.It’s deeply personal and ingrained into every aspect of our lives. It commands our gaze more and more every day.We’ve rapidly ceded an enormous amount of trust to software, under the hazy guise of forward progress and personal convenience. And since software is constantly evolving—one small point release at a time—each new breach of trust or privacy feels relatively small and easy to justify.Oh, they’ll just have my location. Oh, they’ll just have my identity. Oh, they’ll just have an always-on microphone in the room.Most software products are owned and operated by corporations, whose business interests often contradict their users’ interests. Even small, harmless-looking apps might be harvesting data about you and selling it.And that’s not even counting the army of machine learning bots that will soon be unleashed to make decisions for us.It all sounds like an Orwellian dystopia when you write it out like this, but this is not fiction. It’s the real truth.A scene from WALL-E, or the actual software industry in 2018?See what I mean by HEAVY? Is this what we signed up for, when we embarked on a career in tech?15 years ago, it was a slightly different story. The Internet was a nascent and bizarre wild west, and it had an egalitarian vibe. It was exciting and aspirational — you’d get paid to make cool things in a fast-moving industry, paired with the hippie notion that design can change the world.Well, that motto was right on the money. There’s just one part we forgot: change can have a dark side too.If you’re a designer, ask yourself this question…Is your work helpful or harmful?You might have optimistically deluded yourself into believing it’s always helpful because you’re a nice person, and design is a noble-seeming endeavor, and you have good intentions.But let’s be brutally honest for a minute.If you’re designing sticky features that are meant to maximize the time people spend using your product instead of doing something else in their life, is that helpful?If you’re trying to desperately inflate the number of people on your platform so you can report corporate growth to your shareholders, is that helpful?If your business model depends on using dark patterns or deceptive marketing to con users into clicking on advertising, is that helpful?If you’re trying to replace meaningful human culture with automated tech, is that helpful?If your business collects and sells personal data about people, is that helpful?If your company is striving to dominate an industry by any means necessary, is that helpful?If you do those things…Are you even a Designer at all?Or are you a glorified Huckster—a puffed-up propaganda artist with a fancy job title in an open-plan office?Whether we choose to recognize it or not, designers have both the authority and the responsibility to prevent our products from becoming needlessly invasive, addictive, dishonest, or harmful. We can continue to pretend this is someone else’s job, but it’s not. It’s our job.We’re the first line of defense to protect people’s privacy, safety, and sanity. In many, many cases we’re failing at that right now.If the past 20 years of tech represent the Move Fast and Break Things era, now it’s time to slow down and take stock of what’s broken.At Basecamp, we’re leading the charge by running an unusually supportive company, pushing back on ugly practices in the industry, and giving a shit about our customers. We design our product to improve people’s work, and to stop their work from spilling over into their personal lives. We intentionally leave out features that might keep people hooked on Basecamp all day, in favor of giving them peace and freedom from constant interruptions. And we skip doing promotional things that might grow the business, if they feel gross and violate our values.We know we have a big responsibility on our hands, and we take it seriously.You should too. The world needs as much care and conscience as we can muster. Defend your users against anti-patterns and shady business practices. Raise your hand and object to harmful design ideas. Call out bad stuff when you see it. Thoughtfully reflect on what you’re sending out into the world every day.The stakes are high and they’ll keep getting higher. Grab those sociology and ethics textbooks and get to work.If you like this post, hit the 👏 below or send me a message about your ham sandwich on Twitter.Move Slowly and Fix Things was originally published in Signal v. Noise on Medium, where people are continuing the conversation by highlighting and responding to this story.

Source: 37signals

The value of human, exploratory testing

Ann and Michael find things programmers never would have.Since unit testing and test-driven integrationburst onto the programming scene in the early 2000s, too many programmers have deluded themselves into thinking that they could ship high-quality software with automated testing alone. It’s a mirage.Don’t get me wrong. The industry took a big leap forward when the tooling and conventions for automated testing got put in the spotlight. But in many corners, it also threw the baby out with the bathwater. Automated testing does not replace “testing by hand”, it augments it.Testing by hand, or exploratory testing, is a crucial technique for ferreting out issues off the happy path. It is best carried out by dedicated testers who did not work on the implementation. Those pesky auditors who have the nerve to try using the application in all the ways a real user might.None of this is news, of course. I remember reading a statistic long ago saying that Microsoft had three testers for every developer. That sounds wild to me, but I suppose if you’re trying to keep three decades of backwards compatibility going, maybe you do need that sort of firepower.What it is, though, is forgotten wisdom. Especially in the small and mid-sized shops. Propelled by the idea that automation could take care of the testing, dedicated testers weren’t even on the menu in many establishments.For many years that included us at Basecamp. Yeah, sure, programmers and designers would sorta click through a feature and make sure it sorta worked. Then we’d ship it and see what users found.But we leveled up in a big way when Michael Berger became the first dedicated tester at Basecamp several years ago. He’s since been joined by Ann Goliak. And between the two of them, we’ve never shipped higher quality software. Far more issues are caught in the dedicated QA rounds that precede all major releases.What Ann and Michael bring to the table just cannot be replicated by programmers writing automated tests. We still write lots of those, and they serve as a very useful guide during development, and form a strong regression suite. But they’re woefully insufficient. And it doesn’t matter whether they’re unit, functional, model, or even system tests. They’re no substitute for a fresh pair of human eyes bent on breakage.I hope we start seeing a renaissance for human testers at some point. Not just as something to do if there’s time, but something for dedicated individuals to do because it’s effective. Long live manual testing!Ann and Michael just finished testing a major upgrade to the todos feature in Basecamp 3. You should give it a try.The value of human, exploratory testing was originally published in Signal v. Noise on Medium, where people are continuing the conversation by highlighting and responding to this story.

Source: 37signals

New in Basecamp 3: To-do Groups

A little thing that’s a big deal.For years, we’ve been making to-do lists in Basecamp that looked like this:See those === DIVIDERS ===? We were trying to group related to-dos together within a list. All we wanted was to bring a little structure, and an extra ounce of organization, to a single flat list.We weren’t alone. Whenever a customer showed us how they use Basecamp, we’d inevitably run into a similar === DIVIDER === pattern. They were trying to do what we were trying to do.We were all hacking it. As of today, the silliness is over. No hacks required!We just launched To-do Groups in Basecamp 3!What’s a group?A group is like a sublist on a list. It’s organization, it’s structure, it’s an envelope, it’s a box. It has a header, and to-dos grouped below.The anatomy of a Basecamp 3 to-do list with two groupsWhen you drag a group header, all the to-dos under that header move with it. If you click the header, you go to a separate page with just those to-dos on it. You can discuss a group, you can archive a group, you can see all the to-dos completed in a specific group, you can ungroup a group. You can make as many groups on a list as you’d like (but you can’t make a group inside a group — that would lead to an eventual, over-organized mess).How to make a groupThere are two ways to make a group of to-dos on a list.To make an empty group (which you can fill later), click the hamburger menu to the left of the list name. Select “Add a group”Make a group from the list header2. To group together to-dos that are already on a list, shift-select multiple to-dos (hold down shift, and click the hamburger menu to the left of each to-do you want to group), and select the “Group them” item in the menu.Group some existing to-dos togetherAdding to-dos to a groupThere are a couple ways to add to-dos to a group.Simply drag an existing to-do down below a group header. It’ll snap into place and be part of that group for now on (or until you drag it back out).Or click the hamburger menu next to the group name, and select “Insert a to-do” from the menu.Insert a new to-do right below a group headerMoving all to-dos a group togetherTo move a group of to-dos together, just click+hold the drag handle/menu to the left of the group header. Then drag above or below any other group. To make it easier to move, the header will collapse to a single line and the number of to-dos you’re moving will show up as a little badge to remind you you’re moving multiple to-dos at once. Like this:Isolating a group for review or discussionOne of the great bits about groups is that clicking on the group header will take to a separate page which isolates just that group of to-dos. Now you can focus in, have a discussion about the entire group, add to-dos to that group, and see all the completed items for that group.On the left we have a full list with a few different groups. On the right, I’ve clicked on the “Android” group header and now I just have open/completed to-dos from that group, plus a conversation about the group below.Ungrouping to-dosMake a group, but decide you’d rather have them “loose” again? Easy, just select the menu next to the group name, and select “Ungroup”. The group header slides out, fades away, and the to-dos jump up to the top of the list where any other loose, ungrouped to-dos are listed.Ungroup to-dos that were grouped togetherUse casesTo-do Groups are excellent for organizing work around disciplines (to build this feature designers need to do this, programmers need to do that, and when QA finds something fishy they can log things, too). Or for moving work through phases. You can drag to-dos between phases, set up work in advance, and even keep future phases empty until it’s time to slot work in.A couple of simplified examples of how groups bring structure to to-do listsAnd here’s an example from an actual project we have running right now:BONUS: Add to-dos from anywhere in a listEven if you have no need for groups, we just made Basecamp 3’s to-do lists better for everyone. Before you could only add to-dos from the bottom of the list using the “Add a to-do button”.Before today, the “Add a to-do button” was the only way to add to-dos to Basecamp lists.If you wanted to add a to-do at the top of a list, or somewhere in the middle, you had to first add from the bottom and then drag the to-do into place.No longer!Now you can add to-dos anywhere in a list. Just click the hamburger menu next to any existing to-do, any existing group header, or the list title itself, and you’ll see an “Insert a to-do” menu item. Select that and you’ll be able to add a to-do right in place.The big ideaWe set out to incorporate and improve on hacked patterns we saw in the wild. We did that. We set out to make to-do lists more powerful without making them more complicated. We did that. We set out to keep to-do lists the same for those who didn’t want to use groups. We did that. We set out to prevent over-organization and sub-sub-sub-lists. We did that. We set out improve baseline to-do list interactions (like adding anywhere). We did that.In addition to these new features being available on the web-based version of Basecamp 3, they’re also available on the desktop versions for Mac and Windows, and on iOS (iPhone and iPad) and Android.We’re really proud of this new release, and we hope you find it especially useful. Goodbye === HACKS ===, hello GROUPS!All growing businesses run into the same fundamental problems. Hair on fire, buried under email, overwhelmed by chat, too many tools, stuff slips through the cracks, information spread everywhere. End all that with Basecamp 3. After switching to Basecamp 3, 89% of business owners report having a better handle on their business, and 84% report more self-sufficient teams. Get it all together in one place with a single system: Basecamp 3. Try it free today.New in Basecamp 3: To-do Groups was originally published in Signal v. Noise on Medium, where people are continuing the conversation by highlighting and responding to this story.

Source: 37signals

Can You Sell Water?

Selling is a core skill. You have to know how to sell, whether it’s a product, an idea, or yourself. In 2012, Basecamp CEO Jason Fried saw the results of a bottled water-selling challenge at Techstars Chicago, a bootcamp program for startups. That one-day competition is the starting point for a conversation that includes the art of negotiation, Jason’s experiences selling knives, tennis rackets, and software; and other adventures in business. You Sell Water? was originally published in Signal v. Noise on Medium, where people are continuing the conversation by highlighting and responding to this story.

Source: 37signals

To Meet or Not to Meet...That is the Question

One of the most frequent dilemmas I experience as a Digital Project Manager (DPM) is whether something warrants having a meeting...and if it does, who do I invite?
Nobody likes having too many meetings, especially if they aren't valuable, but we also don't want to have epic Slack or Basecamp threads on one topic that could have been easily resolved with a quick meeting. That balancing act is tricky, but it's important. When you find the right balance and schedule meetings for your team only when they are needed, you will likely see a couple of benefits. First, there will be a higher level of engagement within the meetings and second, the team may experience a positive morale boost given they are able to better focus on their work.
Here are four things I consider when deciding whether to schedule a meeting or not, and four things I consider when determining who to invite.
Should we have a meeting?

Who will this meeting be valuable for? And how valuable will it be?
When it comes to ad hoc meetings, it can be tempting to schedule them to gain clarity for yourself or a single team member. Before gathering everyone for a "quick check-in," consider the true purpose of the meeting. As an example, if I'm watching a conversation in Slack and I'm confused but the team members involved in the discussion all appear to be on the same page, I should probably wait to schedule a meeting. In this case, I would make a note to clarify decisions/action items/next steps once the discussion is done. If you think critically, you can usually determine if a meeting is convenient for just one or two people, or if it would be helpful for all that would need to attend.

Is it an important client meeting / do we need client "face time"?
Not every meeting that every person attends is going to be clearly valuable for them. There are instances where it's important we meet as a team, even if everyone won't have an active part in the meeting. For example, there may be times when the client is concerned or panicking and we need to include team members on a meeting to help put them at ease -- even if as a PM you could just as easily clear up whatever is going on. Sometimes, we just need to meet (especially with clients) and team members should be open to that assuming it does not happen all the time.
If I do have to invite someone to a meeting where they will mostly be an observer, I try to reach out after scheduling the meeting and explain why I need them there.

If I'm considering a recurring meeting, can we start with another tactic or fewer meetings first?
Daily stand-ups at Viget are not the standard, as some team members (including the Project Managers) may be on several projects at once. If every project had daily standups, that could result in an hour or more of meetings every morning for some team members, which may not be sustainable. As a result, our "standups" typically consist YTBs (posting what you did Yesterday, Today, and any blockers) in Slack.
When thinking about scheduling recurring meetings (daily, twice a week, weekly, etc.) first see if there is another way to accomplish what's needed in that meeting that would require less time. Can we utilize Slack or start with fewer meetings first? If those don't work, can we try meeting a couple times a week before moving to daily standups? Pulling back on the number of meetings (especially when teams or clients are used to it) can be a lot harder than adding meetings.

What does the team think?
Getting team buy-in on the presence or absence of a meeting is one of the best things you can do. If you aren't sure if a meeting is necessary, ask for the team’s input. More often than not, when I ask, teams ask that I do set the meeting up. Knowing everyone is on the same page can help get a meeting off to the right start and keep it efficient and valuable. Again, it's awesome to head into a meeting with a shared understanding of why it's important and why it will be valuable. When in doubt, just ask.
Who should attend the meeting?

Okay, so you've thought through and determined a meeting is necessary … now, who all needs to be there?
Who will realistically be an active participant?
Sometimes a team member can get value out of a meeting by being a silent participant, but in most cases if they'd never have something to say, they aren't going to gain much from joining. If you can't really think of how someone might contribute to a meeting and you just want them to "feel included" it's probably best to leave them off the invite.

Will solid notes be enough for non-active participants?
So, I just mentioned that simply wanting someone to "feel included" is not a good reason to take up their time with a meeting. However, what if they wouldn't likely be an active participant but what's being discussed is important for them to know? The big question to ask here is if you know your notes would give them the information they need from that meeting. Sometimes conversations are too intricate and notes can't really convey all the necessary information, but that should be a pretty rare situation. Take good notes and give some time back to team members who aren't required at the meeting.

What is the likelihood of the discussion veering off of the agenda?
There are plenty of times that I have an agenda set for a meeting that points to a particular team member not being necessary, but I know the client has a habit of talking about whatever is on their mind. If you believe there's a good chance a client or team member is going to take the meeting in a new direction, it may make sense to invite more folks to the meeting.

What does each team member think?
Once again, if you aren't sure, the best thing you can do is ask the team member. Tell them what the meeting is about, and why you think they may (or may not) want to attend. If they have all the information, they can make a decision based on their schedule that day and what they have going on. They will appreciate being able to make their own call, and if they do attend, you will know they are interested and engaged.

When scheduling meetings, remember to think critically, err on the side of not forcing folks to take part in a meeting they don't need to attend, and definitely don't be afraid to ask folks directly if they think it'll be a valuable use of their time. I think you'll find including only those team members that need to be in a meeting will result in better, more interactive meetings as well as happier teammates.
Are there any considerations I missed? I've love to hear them in the comments!

Source: VigetInspire

Cut the Noise - Five Slack Features You Need to Use

Slack is a core part of my day-to-day. It's the tool that I spend the most time in and it's how I handle all internal communication, including project, team, and company discussions, from 1:1 conversations to group chats. It's increasingly become a primary client communication tool, as well. 
With so many purposes and so many participants, it can be challenging to not only stay on top of Slack discussions but balance meetings, communication in other tools (Basecamp, Github, email), and work itself. I've found these five features to be key in cutting through the noise and making Slack a valuable communication tool:
This one's going to earn me some 👋  reactions, I know, I know. I'm still going do it though, and here's why: It's important for me to be present in project channels and client teams when I'm playing an active role. When that time has passed, though, I've found that I can reduce Slack noise simply by leaving channels that I no longer need to be a part of. Sure, I could stay in every channel and try and follow along on what's happening on every project, but the time required to keep up isn't met by a large reward. I'm better served by clearing my Slack (and my brain) and allowing teams to loop me back in when necessary.
Not ready to commit to /leave or fear the public shaming that comes with that exit? Mute might be more your speed. Mute allows you to temporarily silence a distracting channel so that you can return when you're ready.
This is a crucial one for me, and I don't give out my stars lightly. A starred channel is one that I prioritize first and one that needs my most immediate attention. I try and keep my Starred Channels list to 10-15 channels. Then, when I'm focused on Slack, I can tackle unread activity in those channels first.
See something on Slack but know you can't tackle it right away? /remind allows you to set a reminder of your choosing, and it's a great way to quickly snooze something for future you to address.
Command + Shift + K
The Direct Messages menu is a lifesaver for me in those moments where I know I saw a message from someone while I was [insert multitasking activities here], and I simply can't remember who it was from or what it was about. This menu shows your most recent DMs, so you can easily catch up on your latest conversations. No more lost messages.
Bonus: Notification Preferences
Setting up notification preferences that work for you is the foundation for any good Slack setup, so spend some time getting familiar with the available options. You can customize your notification preferences at channel and team levels. You can also set different preferences for desktop versus mobile. I personally don't like a ton of notifications because I'm in Slack so frequently, so I choose to set them carefully. I like notifications for direct messages, mentions, and keywords in client teams, which I have pushed to mobile if I've been inactive on my desktop for a few minutes. I don't get notifications at all on my desktop for the Viget team. I rely on the badge icon to let me know when there's a DM or mention that needs my attention. Find what works for you and don't be afraid to adjust it over time. Notifications don't need to be a set it and forget it feature.
These features, combined with these preferences, are the key to my Slack sanity. They help me stay on top of the most relevant discussions without feeling overwhelmed by the noise and activity happening across channels and teams.

Source: VigetInspire

A Kotlin long-term update: calm, peaceful, and productive

It’s kind of hard to believe, but we’ve been writing Kotlin at Basecamp for 20 months now! And with the first ever KotlinConf starting tomorrow, it felt like a good time to reflect on my time with Kotlin.When I first started off with Kotlin, I was a bit…excitable. I was blown away by all the incredible things it could do. Compared to Java, it made my life so much easier and I was just much happier working with it. I was so excited to be learning this shiny new tech that I would tell anyone that would listen about all its wonders.Now, almost two years in, things are different — in a good way.The big thing is that I’m (mostly) past the initial “holy shit this is awesome” moments of discovery when you first come over from Java — finding out about all those crazy things you can’t do in Java, all the fantastic niceties that become your favorites, and all the little things that save you tons of time. Of course I’m still learning new stuff regularly, but for the most part I’m not running into any huge surprises day to day.And so from that perspective Kotlin has become, well…uneventful. Wonderfully, lovably uneventful!At its best Kotlin is extraordinarily reliable, unfussy, and pragmatic.And while those words might not generate feelings of uncontainable excitement like I experienced at first, they paint an important picture of how awesome Kotlin is, deep down. They’re the things that really matter in a calm (and consequently a productive) work environment.It’s awesome that the language is rock solid stable after upgrades. It’s awesome that every feature has been thoughtfully considered and prioritized against practical, real-world uses. It’s awesome that JetBrains dedicated 5+ years to get to a incredibly stable 1.0.And it’s awesome that once you get the hang of it, Kotlin simply gets out of your way so you can get shit done, fast.At this point in my Kotlin journey, my daily workflow is calm, peaceful, and productive because it’s uneventful. I may not be shout-from-the-rooftops excited about every little Kotlin feature anymore, but that’s OK. What really matters most to me is that Kotlin is a rock solid, stable foundation for my work now and in the future. And that’s worth a lot when shipping good work is the one true reliable measure of success.Past and present aside, the future is bright too. The language is progressing at a fast clip (coroutines!), and the tooling around it is getting better every day. And perhaps most importantly, community involvement — blog posts, conference talks, Stack Overflow answers, and libraries — continues to expand rapidly too. These are exciting times!I’ve had so much fun over the past couple of years building Android apps, and Kotlin’s been a big part of that. The progression from initial excitement to calm productivity to looking ahead at its bright future has been an absolute blast. I cannot wait to see what’s in store for us at KotlinConf and beyond!If you enjoyed this post, please do hit the 👏 button below. Thanks!We’re hard at work making the Basecamp 3 Android app better every day (in Kotlin, of course). Check it out!A Kotlin long-term update: calm, peaceful, and productive was originally published in Signal v. Noise on Medium, where people are continuing the conversation by highlighting and responding to this story.

Source: 37signals

What’s new in Basecamp 3.6 on iOS

This feature-packed release of Basecamp for iPhone and iPad is available in the App Store today. Here’s a look at what’s new.Improved attachments and sketchingIt all starts with a redesigned file picker. Tap the paperclip button anywhere in Basecamp to see clear buttons for each kind of thing you can attach. They’re all first-class — especially Sketch which got a big boost in this release. Now, before you upload an image to Basecamp you’ll have the option to draw on it first. It’s great for highlighting and making notes — or just having fun.Pick an image (left), tap ‘Sketch on image’, then add your drawings before uploading to Basecamp.In addition to sketching on images, we’ve also beefed-up the drawing tools. You can now choose the from 3 line weights and 5 colors to add variety and interest to your sketches. Also new: save your Basecamp sketches or share them to other apps.Works great with Apple Pencil on iPad Pro, too.Drag and Drop Files on iPadOne of the coolest new features on iOS 11 is drag and drop and it’s now supported in Basecamp. You can now select one (or more) images from the Photos app, for example, and simply drop them into Basecamp! Here’s how it looks:Drag one or multiple files into Basecamp.Easier invitesAwhile back, inviting people to your projects got easier with the introduction of special links you could send to people that would automatically invite them to the project — no need to enter their name and email. On iOS we took that a step further. With one tap you can now share the URL with others via Messages, Email, Airdrop — or any other apps you use on iOS. It’s the easiest way to get people into your projects yet!iOS 11 updatesFinally this release includes several fixes and improvements for iOS 11. The most notable one is for people who were unable to upload images to Basecamp because they were using iOS 11’s new space-saving HEIC format. Now when you upload an HEIC image, Basecamp will automatically convert it to a compatible format (jpg). It all happens automatically and behind-the-scenes so you won’t have to do a thing—it just works!That’s all for now. We’re cooking up more for the next release. Stay tuned!As always, please keep your suggestions, feedback, and bug reports coming our way. We’ve got some neat stuff coming in the next version so if you’re interesting in seeing it before everyone else, we have a few openings in our private beta. Send us an email and we’ll invite you.❤️ The iOS Team at Basecamp, Tara Mann, Dylan Ginsburg, Zach Waugh, and me.What’s new in Basecamp 3.6 on iOS was originally published in Signal v. Noise on Medium, where people are continuing the conversation by highlighting and responding to this story.

Source: 37signals

New Search and More in Basecamp 3!

It’s been a hot minute since I’ve told you about what we’ve been working on in Basecamp 3. The entire team has been plugging away at making it the best it can be. Here’s the latest features available for all Basecamp 3 accounts:SearchBefore, searching in Basecamp was a bit like making your bed with a cat around. Yes, the job will get done, but it probably could have been faster and your assistant wasn’t as helpful as it thought it was. Today, we announce the new search feature in Basecamp 3, faster and better than ever! This is a huge update to our search feature, brought to you by designer Conor and programmer Pratik.Making it work.Now you don’t have to go to a separate page to search. Click ‘Find’ in your toolbar and you’ll see our new search tool, right in place. You can filter by type of item, who posted it and the project or team it’s in. Basecamp will start displaying your results right away. You can also filter away Pings and Campfires, making it much easier to find what you’re looking for.You can see the new searching feature in action below. Sometimes support has to share whitelisting information with customers who have tighter security at their company. In this example, I just searched for whitelist and filtered by Documents and our support’s project. for To-do CompletionsApplause is a lovely feature that was previously only available for individual items like comments, messages, and documents. Basecamp designer Kris and programmers Jeffrey and Flora have now brought Applause to to-do completions. Now, when someone completes a to-do, you can let them know you appreciate their hard work by giving them applause.Kris lives for the applause.That applause will also appear in their Applause Report, every morning around 9am.Filter Messages By CategoryBy popular demand, Kris and Flora also brought us filtering messages by category. Now when you’re viewing messages in your teams or projects, you can narrow them down by category.Until next time!That’s it for now. The whole team is working on great ideas as always, and we’d love to hear what you think about the new features. You can contact us on Twitter or share your thoughts via our Support form.If you haven’t tried the latest version of Basecamp yet, sign up today for a free 30 day trial. Our team can show you the Basecamp Way or you can ask support a question to get a quick answer, 24/7.New Search and More in Basecamp 3! was originally published in Signal v. Noise on Medium, where people are continuing the conversation by highlighting and responding to this story.

Source: 37signals

From an internal Basecamp announcement re: pings/IMs

Direct/instant messaging is something many people are doing more and more often at work. And while it’s a handy way to quickly get ahold of someone, it’s a forceful interruption often coupled with an expectation of a quick response. That makes it costly communication. And that’s why the etiquette around it is important.Recently we noticed some internal behavior around pings (Basecamp 3’s name for direct/instant messages) that we didn’t like. David and I discussed it and we decided to post an internal announcement to everyone at Basecamp detailing the problem as we saw it. We also suggested ways to improve the efficacy of a ping, and reduce the burden of empty notifications for everyone.I figured this might help other people outside our walls, so here’s the announcement in full (and here’s a link to the announcement in Basecamp itself if you want to share or reference it elsewhere):📢 “Ping” / “You there?” / “Yo” / “Hey”Direct one-to-one (or small group) messaging is an important part of working together. It’s very useful in a variety of situations.But there’s a dark side. I’ve been seeing it crop up more and more, including in my own behavior, so I wanted to call it out and make sure we’re all aware of it (and stop doing it).Do you ever start a ping with someone by first trying to get their attention? You say “ping” or “there?” Or “hey!” Or “Yo” (or whatever). You begin with a whistle, and then you only send the rest of your thoughts once someone has whistled back. I do this all the time. It’s time to stop.Sending a ping with no information would be like sending an email with a subject “Hey” but with no body. Then only when someone emailed you back saying “What’s up?” would you follow up with a separate email containing your complete thought. That would be silly, but it’s exactly what we’re doing with pings.What’s worse, compared to emails, pings are very interruptive. Being pulled away from your work to check out something with no information in it is bad for everyone involved.So, let’s think of pings more like emails. You wouldn’t send an email asking if someone’s around to respond. You’d send the email — a complete thought — and someone would eventually get it, read it, and respond in kind. So when we send pings, don’t lead off with an empty “you there?” question. Instead, share the complete thought so when someone sees it they can respond with an answer, vs a “Yeah, why?”So instead of…Me: Ping. You: What’s up? Me: Got time to catch up today at 3:30pm? You: Sure. Me: How’s team room 2? You: Perfect, see you then.You’d send…Me: Got time to catch up today at 3:30pm to review the latest breadcrumb design? You: Yup, how’s team room 2? Me: Perfect, see you then.In the first example, I started with a whistle — just an empty “Ping”. You had no idea why I was writing, so you had to respond with another empty whistle back.In the second example, I my initiation included my complete ask. When you see it, you respond with a complete thought back.The differences are subtle, but meaningful — especially when multiplied by the hundreds of initial pings we each likely receive every year. If you’re going to reach out and talk to someone directly, give them information to act on, don’t just whistle at them and wait for them to ask what you’re whistling about.This should help introduce a bit more calm into direct messaging. It should cut back on the number of individual notifications, and also help everyone get to the point quicker so they don’t get pulled away from their work without a clear reason.If I ping you with a “ping” or “hey” or “there” — please call me out on it!— JasonDavid added a comment:Couldn’t agree more, and I want to cop to being as guilty of this as anyone.In addition to using pings with greater care, I think it’s worth considering when posting the purpose of your ping as a fully formed message or todo in a fitting project could work instead. I’ve often pinged someone about something that really just needs to be a todo request or a message to the team. I will do better.…One way I’ve been thinking about pings is this: If we were in an office, would this be important enough for me to walk over to someone’s desk, interrupt them in whatever deep thought they might be in, and ask this? The answer is frequently no.And it’s even worse with pings because you can’t see the rest of the foot traffic. Your interruption may well just be a quick question, but it may also well be the fifth someone had to field that day.None of this means you shouldn’t ask questions, or seek help, or get input. Just that you should think about the timeliness of your requests and what format is the best fit.I hope this was useful.From an internal Basecamp announcement re: pings/IMs was originally published in Signal v. Noise on Medium, where people are continuing the conversation by highlighting and responding to this story.

Source: 37signals

Take A Stand

Flowers for Dreams put this pop-up on their website after the white supremacist rally in Charlottesville.Business and politics tend to make uneasy bedfellows, but in these divisive times, even businesses that have historically stayed out of hot-button issues are coming off the sidelines. In this episode: An online florist tells racists to shop elsewhere; Basecamp stops reimbursing employees for Uber rides; and a Chicago couple creates a lighthearted product with a serious message about the treatment of female bodies. you’d like to get new Rework episodes delivered to your phone as soon as they’re released, subscribe via Apple Podcasts, Google Play Music, RadioPublic or your favorite podcatcher app!Take A Stand was originally published in Signal v. Noise on Medium, where people are continuing the conversation by highlighting and responding to this story.

Source: 37signals

Say No NoIt’s easy to say yes, whether it’s to a customer request or a deadline from your boss. But saying yes too many times can result in an unmanageable workload or distract you from the stuff you really want to be doing. It’s good to practice saying no and setting boundaries. In this episode of the Rework podcast: A personal organizer helps her clients say no to physical clutter; a programmer at Basecamp peers into the abyss of burnout and steps back just in time; and a healthy meal-planning startup rejects complexity, even if it means letting some customers go. No was originally published in Signal v. Noise on Medium, where people are continuing the conversation by highlighting and responding to this story.

Source: 37signals

What’s new in Basecamp 3.5.4 for iOS

🍂 Fall is here, there’s a new version of iOS, and with it comes a new release to Basecamp for iPhone and iPad. It’s available in the App Store today. Here’s a brief look at what’s new:Quick jumpQuick jump is one of our favorite new things in Basecamp this year and we’re excited to bring it to iOS. It works exactly like the desktop version, especially on iPads with a keyboard attached (either 3rd party keyboards or iPad Pro with the Smart Keyboard). Command + J to start. Arrow up/down. Enter to select. Type to filter. It’s just the same.Quick jump to projects, people, or recently visited items.It’s also available on as an experimental feature on iPhone. That’s an atypical approach for us so let me explain. As of today you can quick jump by swiping from the top edge of your iOS device with two fingers. It works pretty well but the gesture makes this feature hard to find on your own, it can be difficult to execute reliably, it gets overridden by a system gesture used by iOS’s Voice Over, and until we hold one in our hands, we’re unsure how well this gesture will hold up on the iPhone X.Quick-jump on iPhone. Swipe-down with two fingers to access recent items. Type to filter.That said we’ve been using it internally for weeks so we know it’s useful. Rather than hold it back until we have a better idea, until we get it perfect, we made the decision to ship it and see how it fares in the wild. To be successful this feature needs to be quickly and easily available anywhere you are in the app and today the best means to accomplish that is with a gesture which can be triggered anytime. We hope with daily use and your feedback, new solutions will present themselves. We’ll continue to evaluate and evolve in upcoming releases.Rich text editingIn our previous release we added support for the new rich Color tool. This time we’ve kept pace by adding support for the new Horizontal Rule tool. We also reversed our decision to match the Basecamp desktop and remove the indent/outdent tools. While normally it makes sense to offer the same tools on all platforms, it’s the tab key that made indent/outdent expendable on desktop. Without a tab key on iOS (unless you have an external keyboard) we left users with no way to indent. This update brings them back.Horizontal Rule, Outdent/Indent.Keyboard ShortcutsIn addition to command + J to quick jump we’ve added shortcuts for quickly opening the Home, Hey!, Activity and Find tabs on iPad.Hold the command key to see available shortcuts on iPad.Finally we included a few fixes for issues with iOS 11.As always, please keep your suggestions, feedback, and found bugs coming our way. We’ve got some neat stuff coming in the next version so if you’re interesting in seeing them before everyone else, we have a few openings in our private beta. Send us an email for details.❤️ The iOS Team at Basecamp, Tara Mann, Dylan Ginsburg, Zach Waugh, and me.What’s new in Basecamp 3.5.4 for iOS was originally published in Signal v. Noise on Medium, where people are continuing the conversation by highlighting and responding to this story.

Source: 37signals

Highrise about town

Recent places Highrise has been spotted in the wildPhoto by Christine Roy on UnsplashConference organizingCongratulations to the Girls to the Moon team for another successful Campference providing a safe space for girls to keep kicking ass! Alison directs operations for the group and we know how tough it is to keep those pieces together. She uses Highrise to help.Girls To The Moon Sponsors underwrite our programmingJob interviews are ineffectiveSince starting the Highrise team from scratch when we spun off from Basecamp in 2014, we’ve learned a thing or two about hiring. A big one being how terrible interviews are for finding successful fits.What we do is find a few top candidates and we pay them for a one week mini project and see what they come back with. It’s not cheap, but it’s worse to hire someone who doesn’t work out.Many Hirers Turn to Alternatives to Job InterviewsToo many marketing optionsOverwhelmed by all the options to market yourself? Here’s 8 tips on dealing with it. Number 5? Use Highrise :)Many of my clients swear by to manage their contacts and follow-ups.8 Tips to Get Over Marketing OverwhelmStarting your own consulting businessIf you want to start your own consulting business, a ton of great advice here including using Highrise to help with the organization:Highrise adds structure and organization so teams can focus on creating, running, and growing their business rather than trying to understand who said what when and to whom and letting business fall through the cracks.The Ultimate Guide: How to start your own consulting business overseas | Nomad CapitalistBeing originalA recent vlog episode of mine reminding people how important it is to not get stuck trying “to be original”. You can follow me on YouTube here: for a CRM?And if you are in the market for a CRM, needing Highrise or something else, here are some things to keep in mind during your search.7 Dead-Simple Tips for Effective CRMI hope you enjoy the things we’ve been sharing. And I’m thrilled Highrise is finding a place in so many lives and business. If there’s anything you’d be interested in us covering, or if you’d like to interview any of us, we’d love to chat. Don’t hesitate to reach out ( about town was originally published in Signal v. Noise on Medium, where people are continuing the conversation by highlighting and responding to this story.

Source: 37signals