I’ve been using a product from a company called 37 Signals for quite some time now called Basecamp. Basecamp is a web-based, project management program that allows for good collaboration within a company on projects. It offers a message senter, uploading of files, to-do list, milestones, a whiteboard and the ability to comment on anything posted. My favorite feature is the emailing of reports, when someone post a comment and reminders of when assignments are due. I’ve tried out a number of other project management programs and Basecamp is at the top of my list.
37 Signals also created a number of other helpful programs that help small, medium and large businesses to be more organized and productive. The one I’m recommending is called Highrise. Highriseis a less complicated CRM, contact manager program. Most CRMs (Customer Relationship Management) have a lot of gadgets and functionality. I’ve discovered that in the small business world, most folks end up only using a small portion of the functions: emails, to-dos, calendar, and opportunities. Highrise developers cut some of the fat from large CRMs and simplified the functions of their web-based Highrise to offer a more user friendly program and productive software. Highrise is quite simple to use and affordable. While most CRM programs (like Salesforce, SugarCRM and countless others) charge a monthly fee per user, Highrise is available for a small monthly fee and allows for a bundle of users. For example, for $25 a month, a company can have up to 6 users have full access to Highrise with limited deals or opportunities. The best rate is $50 a month for 10 users and unlimited opportunities. For a small business guy like me, I can utilize the free version…and absolutely love it! If you think $50 a month is high, ask me why I think it is affordable and very reasonable! If you want the full capabilities, say from Salesforce (mobile included) you will likely spend $65 per month per user.
One of my favorite things I like about Highrise is the to-do list/task function. I always have a pile full of small projects going on. Highrise makes it simple for me to write down the action items and be sent an email when those items are due: even down to the minute!
(note: I do like Salesforce CRM and endorse it. I also realized a lot of small business users (my audience/clients) cannot afford or will use all the functions Salesforce has to offer. If you have the money and want a lot of functions…oh and will use them…go with Salesforce!)