There are some weeks where it seems that you get a lot done but it all seems like small and unrelated things keep coming up for you to deal with? That was this week at Breaking Even Communications. Good news is it was all pretty manageable.

Here are a few things that happened this week:

Forgetting to do something finally made me try Basecamp project management software.

Project management is one of those things you always mean to do, like cleaning your bathtub. All it takes is one metaphorical slip to finally make you get on your hands and knees. Yup, I finally forgot to do something so it was finally time to manage the details of these different projects at BEC.

I’ve tried a few different free or cheap project management software options only to find something missing. I finally decided to try out Basecamp, which is one of if not the most popular project management software online that will end up costing me around $50 a month if I decide I like it.

Basecamp has several of the features I have been looking for including:

1) It’s web-based. Since I am all over the place traveling and own a PC desktop computer, a Mac laptop, and a iTouch, I want something where I don’t have to worry about conversion and syncing issues.
2) There is a lot of support. Those who know me well know that just because I like the internet doesn’t mean I’m good at using software. I need something with an easy-to-use interface and extensive available help.
3) It involves both graphic and linear organization. I like seeing everything in a calendar and I like seeing all tasks for one project on one page. This is the reason Google Calendar was no longer going to cut it for me.
4) I can create client and other user logins. This is a value-added service I can offer my clients. They can see progress on a project and communicate with not only me but others working on their project. How professional.

I know that there will not be one software that solves all my issues but if I can find an interface that solves some of them (and that I don’t mind staring at all day), that’ll be good for me! And with a free thirty day trial, I’m sure Basecamp and I will get to know each other really well.

I relearned that you should never assume, and ask a lot of questions.

I was trying to find a way for my client to read RSS feeds. Did I bother asking her what programs she used or anything useful like that. Nope. Instead, I was looking some elaborate solution for how to take RSS feeds and get the results emailed to her. In other words, I didn’t bother to ask her questions and made life way more complicated for myself for a few hours.

A few emails back and forth and I learned that my client used Outlook 2007 for email management, which supports RSS feeds. Had I asked those questions earlier, I would have saved myself some time. I keep adding to my list of potential questions to ask incoming clients… and I think this is a very good thing!

I had a collaborator quit on a project…and dealt with it.

By far the most significant event of my last week was having a designer step out of a project three weeks in.

Initially, I panicked. Then, I realized this was an opportunity. I’ve ‘met’ a few graphic designers over the course of the last week and now have several great possibilities to offer my client. And even though there isn’t work for all of them at the moment, knowing more graphic designers, and having examples of their work and price points, will help me do my job better. (Are you a web designer, web developer, or graphic artist? Contact me and tell me about your work. I love knowing more people so I can match them up with business owners who need the work done!)

As the expression goes, all’s well that ends well and the week certainly did. Hope yours was equally interesting!

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