Eric Gockel

Written by Eric Gockel


Following up on the recent post by 37signals on Basecamp workarounds (and a prior post of our own), here’s another of ours.

We’d like to have the concept of status’ for a to-do. So we’ve created additional Basecamp users for the use of pseudo-statuses:

  • Backlog
  • Ready to Test
  • Ready to Push


For some of our larger clients, the to-do section is mainly comprised of backlogged tasks, but I didn’t want to lose their categorization by simply moving them to a ‘backlog’ task list (and having to drag in/out when active). So now, I can keep my categorization by simply assigning tasks to ‘backlog.’ Then, when we’re doing our regular status call/screen share with a client, we can just filter the list by the user = backlog.

Ready to Test

Another problem we’d run into is that when our developers would complete a task, they’d mark it as complete. But, technically, it wasn’t. It still needed to get tested. So now, they re-assign the task to “Ready to Test.” Now, if you’re a bigger shop with a dedicated resource, say “Terry,” you could just re-assign to Terry (your QA person). Still, if you’re a smaller shop, this “Ready to Test” user will suffice just as well and communicate the status to everyone simultaneously.

So one of my morning drills is to look at tasks assigned to “Ready to Test” (aka me). BONUS: using this method, you can view tasks assigned to “Ready to Test” across ALL your projects in Basecamp. If you’re creating task lists for these (backlog, testing) in your projects, you’d need to go into each individually.

Ready to Push

Same deal for “Ready to Push.” After I’ve checked out the tasks marked as “Ready to Test,” I’ll re-assign them to “Ready to Push,” and the developer for that project will check that “user’s” list daily for their push items.

These are certainly workarounds, but I felt they were easier to live with than switching to a different app with its shortcomings and developing new workarounds.

UPDATE 5/2018: We’ve changed the Ready to Test “user” to “QA” and just re-assign back to the developer after QA (me) has tested with a note ‘ready to push.’

What are your workarounds?