Jason Fried believes that there is something to be said for a simple and basic concept. This belief has been the driving force of 37signals, a company that offers web-based apps for collaboration, sharing information and making decisions. Founded as a Web design company over a decade ago, 37signals has evolved into a set of applications that millions of entrepreneurs, freelancers, small business and departments inside large organizations rely upon on a daily basis.
What makes 37signals so effective? Simplicity. There are four clean, easy-to-use online apps: Basecamp, Highrise, Backpack and Campfire. Here’s a quick take on each:
Basecamp is the project management tool of the suite tackling projects from a unique approach – focusing on communication and collaboration. Providing a dashboard to easily track a projects progress the tool also keeps all project files in one location, shows project milestones and deadlines and centralizes all team and client discussions. Basecamp isn’t new to the game, introduced in 2004 – the project management tool has helped over 5 million people collaborate on over 4 million projects to track 57 million hours of work, share 46 million files and complete 43 million to-dos. Simply put, it’s pretty impressive.
Highrise is described as a solution to help you remember the things about people that you would normally forget. As a web-based CRM system, you no longer have to worry about installing, downloading or updating information. Highrise allows you to access your contact information 24 hours a day, 7 days a week from any location. With Highrise you’ll always know who you talked to, what was said, and when to follow-up next. Over 100,000 businesses use Highrise to manage 20 million contacts and relationships.
Backpack is your organizations intranet and can help organize: discussions, documents, notes, forms, lists, photos, schedules and other aspects of the business. Also web-based, your employees can access pertinent information at all times increasing productivity and efficiency.
Campfire is a web-based group chat tool that allows you to set up password-protected chat rooms in seconds. Users can integrate with Basecamp to collaborate on a project, upload images to show up directly in the chat conversation, invite chat room attendees to a voice conference call on the fly and review past transcripts at any time.
While 37signals offers a free version of each of the apps described above – each tool also offers a variety of tiered monthly pricing plans.
Interested in learning more about 37signals and co-founder Jason Fried? We caught up with him this week on Ted.com and choose his talk, “Why work doesn’t happen at work” as our Ted.com Pick of the Week. Stay up to date on all of our Ted Picks by following us on Twitter.
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