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:
To-dos work a similar way. You’ll see notifications whenever due dates are added or shifted on your assignments:
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!”
Why is this misleading? If you click through to the Schedule itself, you’ll see there’s actually a to-do due tomorrow:
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:
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:
Now, we show avatars for each participant and to-do assignee as well as times for events that happen at a specific time:
Templates Project Templates were also missing to-dos. That led to situations like this where the Schedule looked blank:
In fact, there may have been several to-dos:
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.
Big update today! Starting right now, Basecamp 3 customers will see an entirely new design when they flip over to the Schedule screen in any team, project, or HQ.
The schedule used to look like this…
It was colorful, and it provided a nice overview if you only had a few events, but it quickly got out of hand if you had a lot of events or to-dos mixed in. And when you wanted to get in there and see exactly what was happening next week, or if there was anything on the schedule this Friday, it fell down pretty hard.
So we fixed it. And more!
And here’s the new schedule…
At the top you have a grid showing the current month + the next month. You can page through the months using the arrows top left and right. Every event or to-do that’s due on a given day is represented by a dot. Three events, three dots. If there are no dots, there’s nothing on the schedule for that day. Now you can see gaps and openings and weekly overviews — something that wasn’t possible with the previous design.
Below the grid is a straightforward agenda view. Events are clearly grouped by days (if there’s anything on a given day). And you can jump around the agenda view by clicking around in the calendar above. Want to see what’s happening next Wednesday? One click and it pops right to the top of the agenda view. This was something you couldn’t do before.
Events (or to-dos) that span multiple days are shown in a couple ways. First, if they’re on the current day, they show an “Until” right under the event. And then, they’re shown in light grey at the top of subsequent days. They’re also repeated on every future day so you can get a very direct sense of what’s happening on a given day. You couldn’t see this in the previous design because they were only shown at the top of a month, and not on individual days where the event occurred.
One of the really nice benefits of this is that you can see overlapping long-running events. In the example below, you’ll see Tom is out on sabbatical, and then “SU” starts his sabbatical on the 23rd. Now from June 24th — 30th you’ll see they are both on sabbatical. This was non-obvious in the previous design. Now it’s clear as day.
Here’s another before and after. Before on the left, after on the right…
You’ll notice the previous design (on the left) doesn’t show that KA, JS, AB, and CJ are even out on the 24th— you’d have to go back up to the top of that month to figure that out. Forget to do that, or not even realize you have to, and you’re missing out on important information. This is fixed in the new design.
Lastly, we’ve pulled this design over to two more places: “My Schedule” and the “What’s coming up” report. An example:
Summarizing the improvements on the new schedule design:
Jump to any day to see exactly what’s happening that day. Just click a cell in the grid at the top of the schedule and the agenda below updates instantly with the selected day right at the top.
Now you can see gaps in time. Looking for an empty day to schedule something? Now it just takes a quick glance at the grid at the top to spot openings.
See busy days or weeks at a glance. Lots of dots tells you there’s a lot going on on a specific day or week. Just click into a cell to see exactly what’s up.
See long-running events on every day they occur. You no longer have to scroll back up to earlier in the month to see if there’s something happening on a given day.
Jump back in time using the same interface. Previously, if you wanted to see past events you had to flip to a separate tab called “Looking back”. This wiped the screen clean and listed old events. It was cumbersome to see something that happened yesterday. Now you just navigate using the grid at the top and jump between future days and past days the exact same way.
Plus a variety of smaller improvements, specifically around speed and performance.
One more thing… Now that you have a calendar view up top with dots that represent events, you may be wishing for a way to assign colors to different kinds of events. We agree! While we haven’t built this into this first revision of the schedule, it’s something we’d like to do down the road.
So there you have it. An all-new and improved schedule, available today in your Basecamp 3 account. You’ll see the same design in the iOS and Android apps as well!
We hope you find the new design useful, and thanks again for your continued support.
If you’re a Basecamp customer, thanks so much! And if you aren’t, but you find yourself struggling with messy email chains, overwhelmed by chats and txts, finding stuff slipping through the cracks, and generally feeling like your process is breaking down, it’s time to give Basecamp 3 a shot. It’s free to try.
A question about my calendar came up. And as we were getting into it, I asked the questioner a question back about how scheduling works at their company. It was at that moment I learned how blissfully naive I am about the insanity that goes on in most companies.
To be clear: I’m glad I’m blissfully naive about it. I could never work the way a lot of people are forced to work.
As many people know — and as I didn’t — in most companies people don’t really control their own time. Everyone can see everyone else’s calendar, and people can pick away at each other’s time.
“Ah, an opening! Let me grab it before someone else does!”
“There’s a gap… Fill it!”
“Someone blocked out 4 hours to themselves? Oh good! That means they’re available and not stuck in meetings… I can hit them up then.”
You can see everyone else’s schedule? That makes any spare time, any free time, any unclaimed time like seams of gold stuck between rock in the quary. Mine it!
What. The. Fuck. This is not OK, but apparently it’s oh so normal.
This — THIS — may be the reason so many companies are so fucked up. Why so many people are driven to work late nights, weekends, etc. Why life has to fit into work’s leftovers. When people don’t control their own time, of course someone else will push you to the limit. It doesn’t cost them anything, but it costs you everything.
Imagine if anyone could just take some money out of your bank account when they needed it. Time’s more valuable than money, yet that’s exactly what people are doing with other people’s time.
Yes, I know you can decline an invitation, but what % are declined? Slim!
No thank you
At Basecamp, we don’t share calendars. Everyone controls their own calendar, and no one can see anyone else’s calendar. You can’t claim time on anyone else’s calendar, either. Other people’s time isn’t for you — it’s for them. You can’t take it, chip away at it, or block it off. Everyone’s in control of their time. They can give it to you, but you can’t take it from them.
It’s not a special privilege for ownership or the CEO. Everyone controls their own days at Basecamp. Time isn’t a commodity we trade. No one can turn your day into theirs.
Whenever I’m at a coffee shop, and I walk by people with their laptops open to their calendar, I’ll often see something like this:
Or a game of calendar Tetris like this…
What?? I can’t identify with this level of busy.
Here’s my actual calendar for January and the first couple weeks of February, 2017:
I always leave Monday’s open, and only pop something on there that’s casual or spontaneous. Like today I’m going to over to a friend’s office to check out their new space.
Fridays are for nothing, too. That way if something has to happen that week for sure, I can always pop it on Friday.
And other than that, maybe one or two things on a given day. Mostly nothing. Mostly open so I can make decisions about my day that day, not days or weeks before. This lets me make the best use of my time when I know how I want to use that time. When’s that? At that exact moment.
I don’t want to say no to something that comes up today at 2:30 because I agreed to something 3 weeks ago at 2:30. Yes, occasionally that happens, but I want to design that situation to be an outlier rather than the norm.
What do I do with all that empty space? My job! I design, I write, I think, I work!
I know some people love being appointment-busy and scheduling everything out precisely — that’s just not me, and never has been. Different strokes for different folks for sure.