Sadly, Basecamp Breeze is being shut down August 1st. You’ll need to use another app — perhaps Google Groups or Fiesta — if you want to make email lists now.
If we were going to give an award to the most-enduring web service ever, it’d have to go to email. Countless startups have tried to reinvent or replace it, yet none have succeeded so far. Facebook perhaps has done the most towards killing email for personal use, but now Facebook Messages has email built-in. So much for that.
In the business world, 37signals’ Basecamp is marketed as a better alternate to email for team collaboration. It’s a great tool, one we use daily here at AppStorm, but of all things, I actually manage Basecamp communications from my email account more than I do from the web app itself.
And of all things, 37signals’ latest app is an app for creating dead-simple email lists: Basecamp Breeze.
37signals has recently been cleaning house, selling Softfolio and turning off new signups for their free apps, Writeboard and Tadalist. More surprising, they also killed Backpack, keeping existing accounts intact but turning off new signups.
I found that rather sad, as I’d always liked Backpack, but had never put it to use as much as I’d like. It was a nice tool for creating free-form to-do lists mixed with messages, images, and more, and felt like a more dynamic way to manage projects than Basecamp or other project and task managers. Turns out, 37signals decided to mix some Backpack features in their new Basecamp, and is now more focused on their main flagship product.
The sad truth is, web apps don’t always last forever, just like you’re never guaranteed that any app developer will keep making updates and new versions of their product. But that can always be frustrating for existing users. So did you use Backpack, and do you wish 37signals was still developing it? Or did you never even try it out? We’d be interested to hear your thoughts in this week’s poll.
Raise your hand if you’ve tried to collaborate with others using a wiki. Most people just don’t get it, do they? Wikis, for the most part, are confusing and slow to edit, and are simply too much hassle for small projects. Wikipedia is the biggest wiki success story, but they’re not the panacea for normal business and educational collaborative writing. The market hasn’t been too rewarding to wiki products, either. PBwiki, a business built around hosted wikis, has been rebranded as PBworks and deemphasizes the wiki part of their product, focusing instead on their project manager and intranet social tools. Even the much hyped Google Wave quickly hit the deadpile after consumers found it too confusing.
After trying to use wikis for one too many group project that fizzled out because of poor tools, I set out to find something easier to use than email, copying a Word file back and forth, or the dreaded wiki that no one could figure out. Enter Writeboard. This simple online text editor takes the pain out of collaborative writing, and is as simple to use as Notepad or TextEdit. It’s a solution that almost anyone can instantly understand and start using without any learning curve. Keep reading to see why Writeboard might be the perfect solution when wikis fail.
No matter how large your business is, a standard address book likely won’t cut your contact management needs. Even freelancers and small businesses need to keep up with customers, suppliers, industry contacts, and all of the individual information about them. Depending on your business, you may need to keep up with potential deals and proposals, current issues, outstanding bills or issues, and more. What you need is a customer relationship manager (CRM) to help you keep track of everything.
The only problem is, there are so many CRM systems avilable, it’s hard to know which one to choose. Plus, most are expensive and difficult to use. 37signals Highrise is one of the more popular CRM webapps, and while it’s not necessarily the cheapest option, it’s easily one of the simplest to use while covering the features your business needs. Let’s take a look at what Highrise has to offer.
When it comes to superb web based applications, there is one company that has led the way this decade. Millions of people from all over the globe use the tools provided by the folks at 37signals. From time to time, we’ll look at different apps in the suite. Basecamp, Backpack, Campfire and Highrise — each one is a leader in its genre. But they’ve also been covered a lot and we’re not going to repeat the past with lengthy reviews of each. Rather, I’ll be sharing tips on how to use their tools better — as well as how to integrate them with other great web and desktop tools.