Basecamp 3 for Android 3.5 — Catch Up!

When you’ve been away from your Basecamp 3 account for a stretch of time and need to get current, it can be tough to know where to start. On top of that, opening each Hey! item individually can take a while.

That’s why the Android team (Jay, Jamie, and Dan) developed the new Catch Up feature, available in the latest update to the Android app.

Android Catch Up — part of a balanced diet.

How it works

When you have two or more unread Hey! items in your Inbox, you’ll see a “Catch Up” button.

Tap that button, you’ll go to Catch Up mode, where you can swipe through your unread items one by one. The unread count will appear at the top and your items are optimized for easy reading.

My favorite part is using “Mark as Unread” to keep items in the Hey! inbox. This is perfect for when you want to quickly browse through everything, but give a second look important things later.

Here’s what Catch Up looks like in the app, start to finish:

Available now!

Basecamp 3 for Android 3.5 is available from the Google Play Store. It’s got the new Catch Up feature (Android 5.0 and above only) along with the usual group of bug fixes and overall polish. Try it out and leave us a review in the Play Store.

Don’t have Basecamp yet? Sign up today, the first 30 days are free.

Basecamp’s Employee Handbook is Public!

Basecamp didn’t have an employee handbook for over ten years. When new people were hired, they were largely left to figure out how the company worked on their own. Our new hires were tasked with maintaining, improving, and supporting Basecamp’s products without any context about how those products came about. Our interns admitted they didn’t know who at Basecamp did what job, so they had trouble all summer knowing who to ping with questions. And I’ll admit that I thought ‘judo’ meant something literally about fighting for an embarrassing length of time.

When we were a company of 20 people, the sink-or-swim format worked okay. But as we grew to more than 50 employees, we needed something more structured. So, last year we started putting together a handbook.

Basecampers are great at writing but not so great at documenting, so we constructed everything in the handbook from scratch on Github. We went back and forth clarifying some of our more nebulous values and policies, and I tried to effectively communicate just how much food we eat at meet-ups.

Until today we kept the handbook private, accessible to only current Basecamp employees. But why keep it to ourselves?! The handbook is most useful to our newly hired folks and interns before they start at Basecamp. In fact, our newest programmer Rosa said:

I had access to the employee handbook weeks before starting, and I loved that. I read it several times, not only because it was informative, but also because it made me feel super happy and excited about joining.

We want all of our new employees to have that experience! On top of that, we want to publicly share our values and policies in external publications and oh, hmm, this blog. Maybe other companies can crib some of our cooler policies. Maybe the way we clarify our company values can help someone else clarify their company or individual values. So we took publicity to the extreme and made the handbook viewable to everyone on Github. Making our handbook public reinforces Basecamp’s dedication to transparency, and it means that the entire internet can now point out my typos!

very polite typo notifications

So please read, rip apart, steal from (with credit), compliment, and criticize our new handbook. It’s our eternal work in progress!

New in Basecamp 3: List view for Projects and Teams

The change from Winter to Spring can provide a lot of inspiration for our team. We take time to listen to the rain, the wind, the flowers until they whisper the secrets to the way forward. Frequently, this growing season plants in us the ideas for the future of Basecamp.

Nature can be very gentle, but direct.

OK, OK, the truth of our new List view feature has a lot less to do with communing with nature and a lot more to do with listening to customers, but it’s still exciting! While a lot of customers like the card view, projects with longer titles are truncated and sometimes look strange. With a large number of teams and projects, the card view can be overwhelming.

Designer Scott and programmer Pratik heard the call! They teamed up to create a new feature which available to all Basecamp 3 users today. Now, you can see your teams in projects in a new List view, which groups projects alphabetically for quick scanning:

List view in Basecamp 3

Changing your View

To change your Team or Project, click the ••• menu at the top right of the section.

Switch using the ••• menu at the top right

Jump to your projects and pin them

The Jump menu still works the same with the Card or List view.

Filter your projects with the jump menu

Pinning is available from the ••• button at the right of a project or team:

Pin a project

New Project Flow

With the addition of the list view, we adjusted the flow for creating a new project or team. There’s a cleaner New button, where you can create a new project from scratch or a template and manage your templates.

Add a project

Faster, List View, Load, Load!

Previously, Basecamp 3 would load full menus for pinning and renaming for each project. By loading those menus asynchronously, we reduced HTML on the Home page by 45%. In addition to being just a bit more helpful, this redesign makes loading the whole home page faster.

A GIF of Basecamp loading wouldn’t make sense, so pretend that this is Basecamp.

Try it today!

List view for Teams and Projects act independently of each other. Basecamp 3 will also remember your preference no matter if you’re using the desktop apps or a browser. (List view for mobile apps will come in future updates to those apps.)

A list view was one of our most popular customer requests and we’re very happy to add it in Basecamp 3. If you don’t have a Basecamp 3 account yet, sign up today, the first 30 days are free.

New in Basecamp 3: Message Types

One of the best ways to improve a product is to look at hacks and workarounds your customers have come up with, understand the why behind the how, and then figure out how to turn those little innovations into full-blown features so everyone can benefit from them.

That’s exactly what we’ve done with a brand new feature we launched today called Message Types. And whose hacks and workarounds did we model this feature on? Ours!

How we’ve been doing it

At Basecamp, we’ve been prepending many of our message board posts with emojis to classify them as this type or that type. For example, when we write up announcements everyone should know about, we put the 📣 emoji in front of the title like this:

Or when we pitch big ideas to one another, we prefix the subject with a trusty 💡 lightbulb:

And when we write up heartbeats (our internal term for detailed project updates), we use a heart ❤️ like so:

Prefixing subjects with emojis like this really pops the purpose of the post. At a quick glance, you know what type of message you’re about to read. It also helps different types stand out when browsing a long list of subjects.

Now this pattern is built into Basecamp 3!

Now everyone who uses Basecamp 3 will have an easy way to mark their messages as being this kind or that kind. We’ve decided to start folks off with our default set of message types (Announcement, FYI, Pitch, Question, and Heartbeat), but everyone is free to create their own.

How existing customers can enable the feature

While new customers have this feature turned on by default, we’ve made it opt-in for existing customers. If you’re an existing Basecamp 3 customer, and you want to turn on message types, go to Adminland (from the top right corner of the Home screen) and click the “New: Set up message types for this account” under the “Because you’re an administrator, you can…” section.

Look for this to turn it on.

Once it’s on, when you go to post a new message, you’ll see a new option above the title to select a type. It’ll look something like this:

“Something else” is pre-selected. If you don’t want to pick a type, just leave “Something else” selected. If you do want to select a type, just click the appropriate one. If you want to edit the available message types, click the “Edit message types” link in the top right corner.

And when the message is posted, the emoji will appear at the beginning of the title in both the index view and the message itself:

Create your own conventions

One of the great things about this feature is that it gives customers (a) room to personalize and (b) establish conventions within their own team. “Hey if you find a bug, go to Basecamp and hit the ‘💩 Bug Report!’ type.”

We think you’re going to find message types really useful. We’re eager to see what customers do with them.


Can we set default message types for every new project? 
Yes! The “Set up message types for this account” link in Adminland lets you create your own set of defaults that’ll be the default for every new team or project you create.

Can we change them on a per-team/project basis?
Yes! Go into any team or project, click into the message board tool, click the green “Post a message” button, and then click the “Edit message types” link in the top corner. You’ll see a screen like this that lets you change the types for the specific team or project you’re on:

Can we filter a message board by just a specific type?
Not yet, but this is something we’d like to add down the road. We agree that it would definitely be useful to just show announcements or just show heartbeats or just show pitches. It just didn’t fit into this release, but it’s certainly something we’ll be evaluating moving forward.

We hope you enjoy message types in Basecamp 3! We’ve got more great stuff coming shortly. Thanks again for your continued support. If you aren’t already using Basecamp 3, we invite you to give it a try. It’s free for 30 days, so there’s no risk. After you try it we think there’s a very good chance your business will change for the better.

New in Basecamp for Android 3.4

The last update for their app was only a month ago, but Team Android at Basecamp has kept a steady pace to release a new version of the app, chock full of slick new screens and updates to features you already love. Here’s what you’ll find in the latest version, available today:

New Hey! Menu

The new Hey! menu brings all your new @mentions, Messages, Comments, To-dos, Events, and Campfire chats into one place. If it’s new in your account, it’s in your Hey! menu.

Hey! is for horses and Basecamp notifications.

Improved Pings

Pings are a great way to reach out to someone on your account without creating noise for your other colleagues in a Team or Project Campfire. This update makes them even easier to use on Android. Now, each Ping with an individual user gets its own color with a profile picture:

Ping a friend.

Group pings are now clearer. Tap the colored toolbar to see who is participating in the Ping. You can also tap a participant’s profile picture to see that person’s time zone and other information:

Purple is the color of our true group Pings, in the morning when we rise.

You can also send a Ping from any screen in the app. Here’s how it works:

Fixes and Fine Tuning

In addition to those great features above, the team added a little polish all over like swiping right to go back to the previous screen and displaying to-do list descriptions. They also made some adjustments to make drafting and saving messages and comments smoother.

Get it today!

Basecamp 3 for Android 3.4 is available now from the Google Play Store. If you don’t have a Basecamp 3 account yet, sign up today, the first 30 days are free.

Try it out and let us know what you think in a comment below — Jay, Jamie, and Dan would love to hear from you. And if you have a chance, please do leave us a Play Store review too. Thanks!

New for Basecamp 3: Desktop App Updates

I keep the Basecamp 3 desktop app open all day. I used to keep Basecamp open in the browser, but would sometimes accidentally close that tab and would miss a Ping or @ mention. The support team depends on communication, so now Basecamp 3 is my most used app after my web browser. Our account is really active throughout the day but notification settings help make sure my attention goes where I want it to be. Having the app available makes it easy to catch up when I need to.

We just released a new version of our desktop app for Mac and Windows, including new navigation buttons to let you go back and forth in your account. (Jazz personality, G mentality helpful, but not required.)

Since we added the back/forward buttons to the navigation bar, we moved your list of accounts to the new Account menu. If you’re on multiple accounts, you can switch between them quickly from the Account menu.

A logo only 00’s kids will understand.

If you want to see the pages you’ve recently viewed or copy the address of your current page to share with others, you can do that from the new Page menu.

Page menu

Navigation buttons were one of the top requests of our desktop app users, and we’re really excited to have them in the latest release. If you haven’t got the desktop app yet, download it today, on your Mac or Windows (64-bit) machine.

New in Basecamp 3: Flexible Automatic Check-ins

The automatic check-in is one of my favorite features to introduce to new Basecamp users. It’s such a simple idea: Ask everyone a question each day, week or month. See all the answers together. Knowing what everyone’s done that day, or what they plan to do that week, cuts down on uncertainty and saves everyone from excess meetings, but my favorite outcome would be the deeper understanding and appreciation I have when my colleagues answer a question that isn’t necessarily work-related.

Pizza burglary is one of Ann’s unique hobbies.

I feel like I know my coworkers a little more each time I find out what’s inspired them this week or even what they’re cooking. Reading their answers reminds me every week how funny, thoughtful and creative they are.

Inspiration is perishable, so we ask this every week.

Collecting ideas for what to Instacart later.

Our customers love check-ins as well and one of the most frequent requests we’ve gotten is to further customize the day and time the reminders are sent. When they were launched, Check-ins were limited to every day, or Monday/Friday. You could only ask them at the start or end of the day, which happened to be 9am or 5pm in each user’s time zone.

Previous Check-in Options

As a remote company, we know that not everyone has the same schedule. Monday and Friday might not be your starting and ending days. Now, you can pick any day and time to send a check-in to your team in Basecamp 3.

When you set up a new check-in or edit an existing one, you can choose the specific days to send the check-in:

And choose a specific time:

We also adjusted the end of the day to 4:30pm so that Basecamp won’t send the reminder as you’re heading out the door.

We hope you love this update. Check-ins are one of our favorite features and there are so many uses for it. Try one today: Replace one status meeting with a Check-in this month or ask your team something fun each week. Ask them—they won’t say no, why would they?

If you aren’t using Basecamp yet, let me ask you to 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: Basecamp 3.3 for Android: Smoother To-dos and Video Comments

These are the Android app updates you’re looking for.

Basecamp to-dos are now faster and more fluid in the Android app.

In previous versions, creating and re-ordering your to-dos was a little more clunky. Our Android team put in some hard work to make them easier to use and they did an incredible job.

In addition to those smooth to-dos, if you’re using Android 5.0 (Lollipop) and up, you can now add video comments to messages or your Check-ins! See it in action here:

We’re really excited for you to see the latest updates. If you try it out, why not give us a review on the Google Play Store? We’d really appreciate it.

Like what you see, but haven’t tried Basecamp yet? What are you waiting for? Sign up today for a free 30 day trial. If you need some help, we can show you the Basecamp Way or you can ask us a question to get a quick answer from our fantastic support team, 24/7.

New in Basecamp 3: Jump Menu

Any time we launch a new feature in Basecamp, the support team likes to keep track of what customers say about it after release. When we launched the new Home screen a few months ago, customers loved it, but missed the easy access to switching between projects they had with the previous Basecamps menu.

Well, Kris, one of our designers, got up and nothing got him down. He heard the call and pitched a Jump menu at the beginning of this month to help users get to where they need in a flash. While I figured this was a small project and not likely to take a full cycle, I was surprised and delighted by how quickly it went from pitch to feature.

Only 80s kids will understand.

Now, you can jump quickly between projects, from anywhere in Basecamp. It’s as easy as hitting Command-J (Mac) or Ctrl-J (Windows). The jump menu will pop up and you can start typing to narrow down on the project, team, or your company HQ. Click or hit Enter on the selection and you’ll jump right to where you want to go.

Command J!

And here’s a secret shortcut: Type ‘My’ to jump to your assignments, bookmarks, drafts and recent activity.

The Jump Menu is available in the Basecamp 3 desktop apps and your browser. Give it a whirl in your account today!

Only 90s kids will understand.

What’s new in Basecamp 3.3 for iOS

Basecamp 3 is one year old and we’re celebrating with the most significant update since launch last fall. It’s available now in the App Store! Here’s a quick look at what’s new…

Basecamp 3 is also available on Android, Mac, and Windows — anywhere you’ve got a web browser and an internet connection. Still haven’t tried Basecamp? Here’s what a 1,000 of our customers said when we asked, “What’s changed for the better since you started using Basecamp?”