Tracking the InfoWOE Project

InfoWOE Post Collection

After mapping the action items of InfoWOE the next step is to define tasks, the domain of project management applications. For the Eee PC-as-Internet-device these need to be online and as simple as possible.

I have been a fan of the Ruby on Rails guys at 37signals for a number of years. They produce minimal but effective web applications all of which have productive free versions. Their approach is:

Work well. Over 1 million people and businesses use our web-based applications to get things done the simple way. We aim for the software sweet spot: Elegant, thoughtful products that do just what you need and nothing you don’t.

These sentiments of 10 years standing mirror those of my own DotSoft tools :

Small, lightweight and really useful.

I signed up for their initial Basecamp project management product at least 18 months ago although I did little with it. Nevertheless it became an automatic choice for InfoWOE and I use it primarily as a sophisticated to-do list manager (also available as the separate Ta-da List product).

Basecamp Project Manager

Your project (only 1 in the free version) can be shared between co-workers and clients as needed. Milestones are self explanatory. The Messages features acts as an internal blog with commenting and maximum 2 free writeboards (a separate free 37Signals product) act like wiki pages. The Search feature is essential as always. Crucially Basecamp is Eee PC-friendly.

At the recent AusWeb 2008 conference a presenter, Andrew Sweany, used Basecamp as an example of a more productive tool compared with Microsoft Project at Monash.

I must put in word here for a potential Australian competitor for lightweight online project management, Remember The Milk. It started life as a simple to-do list task manager but has expanded its feature set considerably by adding simple CRM, sharing and notification schemes. The time investment in Basecamp has essentially made me lean that way for the present.

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About Michael Rees
Academic in IT interested in Web 2.0 and social media

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