Launch: A brand new way to work with clients in Basecamp 3

When we launched Basecamp 3, we introduced a new way for client services firms to work with their clients. We called it the Clientside. It was an entirely separate part of a Basecamp project where all client-facing communications lived. Essentially, it was a mini project within a project — a distinct space with separate tools and a different interface.

Conceptually it made sense, but practically it was inflexible and not collaborative enough. It worked well for some people, but it missed the mark for far more. We fell short of what we hoped we’d be able to create.

So we put our heads together and spent a couple months working on a complete revamp. Today we’re introducing something better.

Introducing Clients in Basecamp!

Starting today, not only can you send messages to clients, but now you can work with clients using all the same tools you already use with your team. That means you can assign clients to-dos, share files and folders, schedule events and meetings, chat around the Campfire, and even ask clients automatic check-in questions! If you can do it with your team, you can do it with your clients. And now it all happens in the same place as the rest of the project — no more separate Clientside. It’s everything you’ve been asking for.

You’re in 100% control of what clients see. Clarity and privacy is at the core of this new feature. That’s why everything in a project is now labeled as “private to our team” or “the client can see this”. Plus, to reduce anxiety and prevent “oh shit, they weren’t supposed to see that” moments, everything in a project starts off as private just to your team. When you’re ready to share something — a message, a to-do, a file — just flip the switch:



Whenever you post something new, you’ll have the option to specify if the client should be able to see it or if it’s private just to your team:

Blue+lock means private to your team, yellow+eye means visible to the client.

For example, here’s a to-do on a to-do list the client can see. It’s also assigned to Victor, your client:


And here’s a message thread about a revised headshot. The client can see it, and they’ve responded below:


And here’s an email you’ve forwarded in that you don’t want the client to see. It’s been marked private for your team only:


And finally, here’s a combination of files and folders. The client can see some folders, but not others. For clarity, only the ones they can see are labeled with the “The client sees this” tag:

They can’t see the “logo redesign folder” in top left, but they can see everything else.

Log-in or email-only — It Just Works!

We all know how hard it can be to ask a client to get used to using a new system. Even an easy system like Basecamp 3. So, Basecamp works even if your clients don’t want to learn anything new. Clients can respond to Basecamp messages right from their inbox, and new email they send you can be forwarded to Basecamp where your whole team can see them. Regardless if whether a client logs in and posts something directly to Basecamp, or they respond to a message via email, you’ll always have everything in one organized place inside the Basecamp project.

Fantastic! How do we turn it on?

  1. Go into a project, click the “Add/remove people” button. This is the same way you’d invite anyone to a project:


2. Then click the green “Add people” button and select “Invite a client to the project” from the bottom of the menu.


Now you’re off and running. Any existing content will be private, and anything new you add to the project will give you the option to mark something as private or visible to the client.

Back to the future?

If you’ve used Basecamp Classic or Basecamp 2, this new setup may ring a bell. You’d be right — it’s based on a similar approach. What’s changed is both the interface and the default privacy setting. In Classic and 2, everything in a project was visible to a client until you marked it private. Problem with that was that you could easily make a mistake and reveal something you didn’t intend to. But then it was too late. That’s why in Basecamp 3 we’ve flipped it. Everything is private by default. You have to expressly give a client permission to see something. It’s much safer this way. Less anxiety ahead.

What if we liked the Clientside?

If you’re an existing customer that used the Clientside in the past, you can continue to use it on any project in your account. It’s no longer an option for new customers, or for existing customers who’ve never used the Clientside before, but if you have, and you still prefer it, it’s all yours. You can even use the Clientside on existing projects and the new way on new projects. Further, if you relied heavily on the Approvals feature, you’ll want to continue to use the Clientside as there’s currently no equivalent feature outside the Clientside.


This is a big change, a big deal. We think you’re really going to like it. You’ll have the power and flexibility to collaborate with clients in true Basecamp style without any of the limitations imposed by the previous Clientside approach. And most importantly, you’ll always have 100% control over what messages, to-do lists, folders, files, Campfire chat, and automatic check-ins your clients can see and participate in. This way you can keep the private work private, and the shared work visible — all in the same project so everything is organized together.

Questions? Comments? Post ’em below. Thanks again for using Basecamp 3!

New in Basecamp 3: Get notified when someone reschedules events & to-dos

Stay in the loop when dates change

Last month, we added to-dos to the redesigned Schedule Card in Basecamp 3. This made it much easier to see what’s coming up on your projects.

But dates slip — due dates are shifted, events get moved—and Basecamp didn’t make it easy to see changes to your schedule. Starting today, whenever a to-do you’re assigned or an event you’re participating in is rescheduled, we’ll tell you about it.

Here’s how it works

Before, you’d only receive a notification when you were added to an event in Basecamp 3. Now, you’ll see a separate notification if that event gets rescheduled to a different date or time:

An event as added and then rescheduled

To-dos work a similar way. You’ll see notifications whenever due dates are added or shifted on your assignments:

Due date added and Due date changed notifications

Who will receive these notifications?

At Basecamp, we’re not huge fans of interruptions. To keep the noise down, we’ll only send these notifications to:

  • People assigned to the to-do
  • The person who made the assignment
  • Event participants

Other subscribers will not be notified of date changes. That means you can comment on an event or to-do without being inundated with notifications.

What if I reschedule something multiple times?

In another effort to avoid notification overload, we’ve grouped things together:

  • Hey! Menu: Hey! notifications are bundled for each item, so you won’t see 3 separate entries if your manager rescheduled that to-do or event 3 times in rapid succession.
  • Emails: For folks who prefer email, we’ll aggregate to-do due date changes into a single message. So if a manager sets due dates for several tasks, you’ll receive just one email about it:

A single email for recent to-do due date changes

We hope this makes it easier to keep track of upcoming events and due dates in Basecamp 3. We’re working hard on more improvements in the coming weeks. Stay tuned!


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

A more complete picture of what’s coming up

This 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-dos
Here’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 Schedule

Who 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.

Templates
Project 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 picture

We 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 3: Decide who gets notified when completing a to-do

Elevating an invisible feature

To-dos in Basecamp are pretty straightforward. At a glance, you can see who’s responsible, when it’s due, and important details you might need to know:


Unfortunately, it’s never been clear who will get notified when you complete a to-do. That made it hard to pass the baton to a coworker or tap your manager on the shoulder when you’ve wrapped things up.

Sure, you could hack things together by @mentioning someone in the Notes field or by subscribing them to comments. But if you just want to be sure someone knows when you’re done, you shouldn’t have to jump through hacky hoops to do it.

Say goodbye to hacks

Now, when you make a to-do in Basecamp, you’ll see a new field labeled When done, notify. Add people you want to notify when the to-do is completed and Basecamp will be sure to tell them about it:


Wondering who will get notified about a task you didn’t create? It’s all spelled out at the top of every to-do:


Basecamp will still send notifications to the original assigner and to everyone who’s left a comment about the to-do. But if you’ve ever wanted to hand work off to a colleague or keep someone else in the loop about a task, now you can be absolutely sure they’ll get the memo.

That’s it for now. We’ve got more great ideas in the hopper, so stay tuned. In the meantime, happy to-do’ing!


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 Year, New Updates for Basecamp 3 on Android

We’ve updated the Basecamp 3 Android app to coincide with the launch of the Basecamp 3 refresh. What’s new?

  • 💨 Navigation takes you to Projects and Teams faster
  • 🗺 Sticky titles and breadcrumbs keep you from getting lost
  • 🎨 Themes and overall styling updated to match the refresh

💨 Navigation takes you to Projects and Teams faster

Whether you have one Project or one hundred, we know you’re using the Android app to check on Basecamp quickly, on-the-go.

📌 Pinned Projects and Teams are more prominent on the Home Screen. Quickly scan for the Projects that matter to you. These pinned Projects and Teams stand out when you’re sharing a video from YouTube or uploading a photo or PDF.

Pinned Projects and Teams are more prominent.

🔍 Quick Jump to a Project or Team by typing a few letters in Search. Just start typing in the Search field. Since Search is accessible on nearly every screen, you can quickly switch back and forth between two Projects.

Jump to Projects, Teams, and People (too!) by typing a few letters in Search.

🗺 Sticky titles and breadcrumbs keep you from getting lost

Basecamp keeps everything in one place. It’s not uncommon to follow a few discussion threads across different Projects. Perhaps you’re commenting on To-dos within various To-do Lists (also spread across different Projects). We’ve made it so you won’t get lost in the Android app.

🍯 Message titles stick to the top when you’re reading discussions. This is especially helpful after you’ve tapped a Hey! notification. Bonus: Tap the collapsed title to jump to the top of the Message.

Navigation scrolls away while the Message title remans.

🍞 Breadcrumbs show where To-dos, Docs, and Files are. Dive into a To-do List or Folder. You’ll always know where you are in relation to the rest of the Project. If the breadcrumb trail gets too long, just swipe the path side-to-side. This will reveal the beginning and end of the trail.

Breadcrumbs show where things are in the Project.

🎨 Themes and overall styling updated to match the refresh

The updated Android app has rounded buttons and softened corners to match elements of the Basecamp 3 design. We’ve also updated icons and colors throughout the app.

🖍 Customize your Basecamp colors by choosing a Theme in the Me tab. Bonus: If you have multiple Basecamp accounts, you can assign a different color for each one.

Pick a color by going to the Me tab.

💯 Pings and Search are available from any screen. Keep a conversation going while you look at the details of a To-do together. Search for a link to a file to reference in your comment. Having Pings and Search available means less jumping around in the app.

Search and Pings are accessible on nearly every screen.

➡️ This is just the start…

We’ve got more planned in the coming months for customers on Android. Until then, these new updates are ready for you in the latest Basecamp 3 Android app. Download it today on Google Play!

The Basecamp 3 refresh is here!

Last month, we shared a sneak peek at some major design improvements we’ve been cooking up for Basecamp 3. Today’s the day — you’ll see those changes in your Basecamp account right now!

There are countless little tweaks and improvements throughout the entire app, but here’s quick recap of the most important new stuff.

High-level Changes

The examples we showed in the preview still stand: improved navigation, colors, and typography, better use of space on desktop screens, and more consistent placement for buttons, headers, and menus. These changes apply everywhere.



A few examples: Message Board, To-dos, and Docs & Files

New Comments Design

Comments got a big upgrade. We wanted to give comments their own identity and charm, while reducing the metadata noise that had built up around the actual writing. They’re friendly and easier to read, too.

Comments get a big bold header, simple shapes, and an all-around cleanup.

New Options Menus

There’s a slick new design for the ••• options menus that appear on every page. We consolidated all page options into these menus, so now there’s just one consistent home for all the actions you can take, rather than having various buttons and links scattered in several different places. Note: Edit and Bookmark have been moved in here too.


New Breadcrumbs Shortcuts

We built on the breadcrumbs navigation in a couple ways.

First, there’s a new and improved quick-jump button, so you can easily hop between any of the tools in a project. (The project’s name used to to pop up this menu, but now the name is a simple link, just like the rest.)

Second, now you can click anywhere on the white “back sheet” to go back up one level—or click it multiple times to go back multiple levels.

Click the four-squares button to get the jump menu shortcut, and click the backsheet to go up one or more levels.

Unified Buttons and Themes

Buttons got a lovely facelift (they’re all round now) and they’ve been themed to match whatever custom color theme you’ve picked. We also sprinkled the theme color on a variety of other elements.

The red theme.

Tidier Message Composing

Posting a message in Basecamp is an important moment, and it should feel GOOD. We simplified the message categories picker, cleaned up the new-message screen, and gave you more space to breathe—and write.

Ahhh, sweet sweet space.

Updated Design for Clientside

If you use Clientside, you’ll notice a few changes. Now there’s a big button at the top of the project to access the Clientside (this replaces the old tabs). The Clientside is now on a white sheet, and message threads are updated too.



New Clientside design

Plus…So…Much…Other…Stuff…

Those are just the biggest changes. There’s a lot more than we can list here—so go forth and explore it!

We’re just getting started

We think the refreshed Basecamp 3 is more cohesive, modern, and sophisticated, but still friendly and familiar too. We hope you enjoy the changes as much as we do.

And this is only the beginning. These updates set the stage for a ton of additional improvements we’re planning to make, so keep an eye out for those coming soon. It’s gonna be a great 2018.

Thanks and much ❤️ from all of us at Basecamp!

Previewing the Basecamp 3 refresh

We’re close to finishing up a refresh of the Basecamp 3 interface on web and desktop. We’re planning on launching it in the next few weeks, so we wanted to give you a thorough preview before it shows up in a browser near you.

First, why?

A combination of reasons, really. One, we have some new ideas that we didn’t have when we launched Basecamp 3 a few years ago. Now feels like a good time to modernize. Two, we have some cleaning up to do. We’ve updated the product hundreds of times over the last few years, and we’ve introduced some inconsistencies and rough edges. Time to pause, clean it up, and set the stage for the next few years. And three, we think this new design makes Basecamp more enjoyable to use, and far more approachable for new customers. It was a heck of a lot of fun to do, too!

Further, we’ve always believed in following the same pattern car manufactures follow. Major model updates every few years, and mid-cycle refreshes about half way into a model cycle. Basecamp Classic (February 2004), Basecamp 2 (March 2012), and Basecamp 3 (November 2015) are our major model updates (entirely new code under the hood, entirely new designs, etc), and the Basecamp 3 refresh like the one we’re about to launch in early 2018 is equivalent to a mid-cycle refresh in the car world.

Lastly, we approached this as a refresh, not a redesign. We wanted to update navigation, page layout, typography, buttons, placement, and proportions, while still retaining a familiar Basecamp 3 feel. A freshening up, not a flushing out. We know our customers are in the middle of important work, and they rely on Basecamp to help them manage the load, so we wanted to tread confidently, but change carefully.

Let’s take a look at some screens

Messages

First let’s look at the screen that shows all the posts on the message board inside a specific project or team. The new design is wider, bolder, and more confident. Fewer floating objects, stronger left margin so text all starts from the same place, stronger callout of comment count in big blue circles, less dead space at the top of the screen, more messages visible without scrolling, etc. Before on the left, after on the right.


← BEFORE | AFTER →

And now let’s compare what an actual message board post looks like. Here you’ll see a tighter layout, fewer intersecting and overlapping shapes, stronger masthead, better type, reorganized metadata, and overall better use of space. It just feels a whole lot more confidence inspiring, which is important when making company-wide announcements using the message board.


← BEFORE | AFTER →

Automatic Check-ins

Automatic Check-ins are of the most popular features in Basecamp 3, and they’re getting a well-deserved overhaul.

Let’s look at the check-in page itself. Here’s an example from “What did you work on yesterday?”. The previous design is on the left, the new design is on the right. We’ve cleaned up the top quite a bit, and replaced an “Add your answer” button with a field you can just type directly into. We’ve tucked some infrequently used subscription options into the ••• menu, vs. having them messily exposed. And you’ll also see a hint of the new answers/comment design — individual comments are now encased in a light grey shape to hold them together and separate them from everything else on the screen.


← BEFORE | AFTER →

Schedules

We’ve tweaked the schedules design as well. While it inherits the new header design you’ve seen elsewhere, we’ve replaced an ambiguous “Subscribe” button with a clearer, front-and-center “Add this schedule to your Google Calendar, Outlook, or iCal…” link. Further, we’ve tightened up the header, and given things a bit more room to breathe, so the screen just feels more solid, less floaty. Before’s on the left, after’s on the right.


← BEFORE | AFTER →

Project/Team home screens

We’ve put everything on a white sheet, vs directly on the background. It helps eliminate awkward negative gaps, shapes, and alignment, and it just tidies things up considerably. The page feels more sure of itself, and better organized overall.


← BEFORE | AFTER →

Docs & Files

Docs & Files also get a white sheet, a new masthead, a general clean up, and the new look:

Organized w/ folders

Navigation and background

You’ll see in the screenshots above, that we’ve lightened up the background. Less beige, less yellow. It’s paler, but still a trademark warm tone. We want Basecamp to feel comfortable and cozy, not cold and clinical like so much software out there.

We’ve also placed the navigation straight on the background, vs. in a strip. This cleans things up and emphases the content below rather than the navigation above. Further, we’ve added a “backsheet” behind the breadcrumb which further emphasizes hierarchy and adds some structure.

Before:


After:


“New” buttons are also all in the same place now. The current design has them centered and big in some places, while small and top left in other places. Now they’re always top left on the same line as the headline like this:



Overarching themes

While this remains a work in progress, and the final product may look a bit different from the previews you see here, the gist will be the same. We aimed to make the interface and user experience more consistent and predictable, the text more readable, and the hierarchy clearer and more intuitive. Further we tweaked the typeface, sizing, spacing, and proportions to make everything feel more comfortable, and removed a bunch of fussiness from the design. Overall, we feel great about where we’re headed here, and we’re eager to share the final version with everyone soon.

Thanks for following along, and thanks for all the feedback along the way. We’ve built plenty of it into the redesign.

All the best,

— The team at Basecamp

What’s new in Basecamp for iOS

One last release of Basecamp for 2017 is here. Get it for iPhone and iPad in the App Store today. Here’s a look at some of the most recent improvements.

Brand new design for Activity

Feeds are everywhere on mobile, so we took the best modern design patterns and applied them to Basecamp’s own feed. This is the first step in a string of improvements we’ve got planned for this screen—especially algorithmic feed ordering based on your Applause (We kid, we kid!). Here’s how it looks:

Activity shows everything happening in all your projects and teams at a glance.

All-new Find tab

Search got a lot better in Basecamp for web this fall, so we’re excited to bring those improvements to the app—with an iOS flavor. Searches are now live as-you-type and can be quickly filtered to narrow down to exactly what you’re looking for. One of my favorites is to exclude Campfire chats from search results—it can be a life saver with some keywords.

The new Find tab in Basecamp 3.8 makes it super easy to find what you need in your projects and teams.

Add multiple files to Basecamp at once

This has been a popular request from customers and it was trickier to build than you might think, so we’re excited to finally deliver. We’ve designed a brand new screen for choosing photos and videos from your device that allows for multiple attachments all at once. It works with Basecamp’s Share extension when saving files from other apps, too!

Quick-pick recent photos and videos (left) · Choose multiple images from your library (center) · Share multiple files to Basecamp from other apps (right)

New Calendar picker for choosing due dates

Previously Basecamp used iOS’s native “spinners” for choosing due dates, but we heard from many customers this just wasn’t good enough. In particular, the spinners didn’t display the day of the week, which could make planning harder than it needed to be. We’re happy to offer a new calendar picker that shows the whole month at-a-glance including weekends!

Pick due dates in context

It’s been a great year—see you in 2018!

We’re especially grateful to all the wonderful customers who’ve taken the time to leave reviews for Basecamp in the App Store. Here are just some of our favorites:




Of course, we couldn’t make everyone happy…

We hope 2018 treats you better, Cruzwhore.

As always, please keep suggestions, feedback, and bug reports coming our way. 2018 will be here before you know it and we’ve got some great stuff in the works. If you’re interesting in seeing it before everyone else, we have a few openings left in our private beta. Send us an email and we’ll get you invited.

❤️ The iOS Team at Basecamp, 
Tara Mann, Dylan Ginsburg, Zach Waugh, and me.

[Basecamp 3 Redesign] Phase 1: New Nav and a unified Hey! Inbox.

Over the next few months we’ll be rolling out a visual refresh to make Basecamp 3 even easier to use — and more approachable for new users. Today we launch the first set of updates.

Most products get more complicated as they go. More stuff, more screens, more options, more ways to do things. It’s natural — evolution tends to create more complex creatures over time. Software development is no different.

That’s why it’s on us to push back on complexity and clutter as we go. If we’re smart about it, we can add power and clarity over time, while making everything feel simpler than before. With that in mind, we’re ready to share what we’ve been working on for you.

Phase 1 goes lives today

First things first. This initial refresh is centered around simplifying the global navigation at the top of the screen.

We’re going from this:

(that’s a lot of stuff which can be especially intimidating for new users)

To this:

(simpler and more approachable, ain’t it?)

Simple on the surface, but there are a variety of deep changes behind the scenes. Let’s look at them…

NEW: A single, unified inbox called Hey!

Previously, Basecamp 3 had three separate inboxes: Pings for direct messages, Hey! for posts, comments, to-do assignments, automatic check-ins, @mentions, and Campfires for group chat rooms. It made technical sense as these are all different things that run at different speeds, but we don’t think the mental overhead of three inboxes was worth the trouble. Don’t we have enough inboxes in our lives already?

So we’re switching to a single unified inbox. Everything goes in the Hey! menu. Now if there’s something for you to see, there’s only one place to look. And it’s been totally redesigned.

It’s all right here!

At the top you’ll see a row of faces and a plus button. Want to send someone a private, direct message? Just click their picture, or hit the plus button and type their name if you don’t see them listed. We used to call these Pings, but we’ve renamed them Direct Messages. Same feature, more familiar name.

Below Direct Messages, you’ll see a NEW FOR YOU block. All your notifications flow into here. Direct Messages, new comments, new posts, threads, Campfire chats, @mentions, new to-do assignments, etc. If you need to know about it, it’ll line up right here. Direct Messages now have previews as well, so it’s easier to see what someone wants to tell you without having to click into it. And Campfires now show who posted the last chat.

Last, you’ll see all PREVIOUS NOTIFICATIONS. Once you read something in NEW FOR YOU, it drops down to PREVIOUS NOTIFICATIONS for safe keeping and easy access. Plus there’s a link at the bottom to see all previous notifications — a screen we warmly call the Heystack.

UPDATE 14 December: Based on customer feedback, we’ve changed our mind and brought back the Pings menu. Here’s the story behind that decision.


NEW: Reports roll into Activity

As part of the navigation cleanup, we’ve eliminated the Reports menu and consolidated Reports and Activity into a single screen. Now when you click on Activity, you’ll see this:


Reports that used to be in a separate menu are now front and center at the top of the Activity screen. Just click a button to switch to a different report. For example, here’s what’s on Conor’s plate:


And here are all the to-dos added and completed across our account on Friday December 8th:


Simpler, clearer, and fewer places to go to get at the information you want. We’ve also improved how you select a person for a report. You’ll see that when you select “Someone’s activity” or “Someone’s assignments.”


Revamping the global navigation by consolidating and simplifying means there are fewer places you need to go to stay on top of it all. Concentrating power in a few key places, rather than spreading it out, puts more of what Basecamp can do for you front and center. And it makes it a whole heck of a lot easier for new users to learn. We’re excited for you to get your hands on it.


Preview of Phase 2

With Phase 1 now live, let’s turn our attention to a preview of what’s coming shortly in Phase 2.

Phase 2 is a broad overhaul of key screens, while still keeping things familiar enough so people aren’t disoriented. We know our customers are in the middle of important projects, so change comes carefully.

This phase of the refresh hits things like project home pages, message boards, to-do lists, automatic check-ins, etc. Plus some more tweaks to navigation. All new typography, better use of space, fewer elements on each screen to help you focus on what really matters, consistent placement of key buttons, better proportions, a toned back background, etc. Big stuff that touches nearly every screen.

Keep in mind this is work in progress, and still subject to change, but here are some highlights:


← Message Board BEFORE | Message Board AFTER →


← Message Post BEFORE | Message Post AFTER →

The new design applied to the Automatic Check-Ins index


← Project Home BEFORE | Project Home AFTER →

So there you have it! An all new navigation and Hey! inbox is available today on the web and desktop. And a few weeks from now we’ll push Phase 2 live. We think you’re going to love the overall simplification moving into 2018.

Wishing everyone the best!

And, BTW, if you haven’t tried Basecamp 3 yet, now’s the time. Since switching to Basecamp 3, 89% of customers reported having a better handle on their business, 84% report more self-sufficient teams, and early 60% have fewer weekly meetings! Want to be there too? Sign up to try Basecamp 3 for free, today.

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 groups

When 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 group

There are two ways to make a group of to-dos on a list.

  1. 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 header

2. 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 together

Adding to-dos to a group

There are a couple ways to add to-dos to a group.

  1. 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).
  2. 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 header

Moving all to-dos a group together

To 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 discussion

One 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-dos

Make 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 together

Use cases

To-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 lists

And here’s an example from an actual project we have running right now:



BONUS: Add to-dos from anywhere in a list

Even 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 idea

We 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!


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