Recent places Highrise has been spotted in the wild
Congratulations 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.
Since 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.
If 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.
I 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 (email@example.com).
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.
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:
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.
Women are not making it to the top of any profession anywhere in the world Sheryl Sandberg
190 heads of state / 9 are women
Of C-level jobs only 15% are women. Numbers haven’t changed since 2002 and it’s decreasing
It’s clear there’s a problem.
So two years ago, three very dear friends of mine formed a social enterprise company called Girls to the Moon, in hopes of hosting events and workshops to help young girls be their best selves, impact their communities, and create a more inclusive culture.
And it was packed. It was sold out and had a long waiting list. We can’t be more proud of the girls who attended and participated.
Just a tiny snag… planning was a huge burden given the demand. One of those “good problems to have” 🙂
With one of the co-founders running for office this year, I was asked to step in and help out as we planned the 2nd annual campference event. Last year, planning was done using different variations of Google Docs, but things were getting lost in the shuffle. And with four people now involved, context on communication with sponsors, speakers, and volunteers was paramount.
Girls to the Moon all happens in our spare time. We all have full time jobs, so the amount of time we are able to spend on the campference and other events needs to be as focused, yet as asynchronous as possible.
When managing an event there are a lot of moving parts. 56 different people were involved in planning the campference.
What Highrise tools did we use to stay on top of that?
The four of us were all responsible for different things. Courtney handled speakers and social marketing. Knight took care of our sponsors and other marketing tasks. Courtenay helped connect the dots with her context and connections, plus dealt with logistical things she had institutional knowledge on. I handled volunteers and venue logistics.
As you can see, a lot of moving parts.
An entire marketing and logistical plan was written out, then broken down into Highrise tasks. Every Sunday, we would get together to go through the previous week’s tasks, and assign new ones for the week to come. All tasks were marked “let everyone see this task” so we all had continual context, and could even follow up with each other.
What’s the best email address to use to reach Dr. Rager, who’s teaching our puberty session? What is our volunteer coordinator Lizzie’s Twitter handle? What session is Renee Burwell hosting?
Names, email addresses, physical addresses, social media information, and any custom data we needed to keep is stored in our contacts. We can also leave notes about people, keep files (like presentations!), and create fields for information specific to us, such as the name of the session someone was leading.
And contacts don’t even need to pertain to this year either. If someone expressed interest in speaking or volunteering but wasn’t able to join us for this particular event, they were added anyway and we used tags to identify them.
We have different volunteer tags in our Highrise account, one for volunteer, and one for 2016volunteer. Those marked volunteer we can go back to for future events and ask about their availability, we didn’t have to completely disregard them in a spreadsheet or other document because they weren’t available this time.
There is nothing worse than more than one person working with someone and not having context on the relationship. For example, Courtney was our main point of contact for speakers. She would then hand them off to me to talk logistics on the day, such as whether or not they had a slide deck to project during their session.
By forwarding all important email responses to Highrise via our own dropbox addresses, everyone could see the conversation history with each speaker, sponsor, and volunteer.
Sponsorships make events happen, and Deals were the perfect tool to keep track of them all. With Deals, each sponsorship opportunity could be marked as accepted (won), declined (lost), or pending, plus a value amount added to them.
Anything we needed to keep regarding that sponsorship could be kept there, like the contract we would send if they signed on for the event.
In Highrise, we had three segments of people we needed to communicate with: speakers, sponsors, and volunteers. They were tagged with their respective segments, and we could communicate with each group in bulk, instead of spending our time emailing each person individually.
This was especially helpful when seeking out volunteers. We had already started keeping contacts in Highrise who had expressed an interest in volunteering at the event, so when the time came to formally ask, we just had to send one easy email to all.
Any random files and notes we needed to keep about the event that weren’t associated with a specific person were kept in a Case. This meant that we actually had several places where information could live.
I specifically liked having all of our sponsor logos directly in the case, instead of digging through Google Drive to find them, they were right there. We also used the campference case to collect things like links and color specifics about the t-shirts we ordered.
Did We Need Other Tools?
The only outside tools we used were Slack to chat with each other, and the occasional Google Docs spreadsheet for things such as finances and time slot organization. Those spreadsheets could actually be linked directly to the Case we had set up for the campference, so all of our information was technically in the same place.
We also used Trello to “whiteboard” the sessions for the day. But 90% of the event was completely run in Highrise.
Having full context on all of those people who helped us make the event so special, plus specific spaces to accomplish major tasks meant we could all work in our own time yet still stay totally on top of the entire event. ‘
This year’s event sold out and got rave reviews:
Great day! Thanks for allowing DaysForGirls to be part of it. The girls put together 85 personal hygiene kits for distribution all over the world! — Cas Wucher
Looks like another success!! Look at all those inspired young women! …can’t wait till my girl is old enough to attend! Bravo to the GTTM Team for spreading such awesome waves of empowerment & leadership to the next generations — Meagan Norman Fowler
Looking forward to doing it all again with Highrise next year.