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.

One thing we’d like to have is the concept of a 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 mostly comprised of backlogged tasks, but I didn’t want to lose the categorization of them 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’. When we’re doing our regular status call/screenshare 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 reassign the task to “Ready to Test”. Now, if you’re a bigger shop and have a dedicated resource, say “Terry”, you could just reassign to Terry (your QA person), but if you’re a smaller shop, this “Ready to Test” user will suffice just as well, and communicate the status to everyone at the same time.

So one of my morning drills is to look at tasks assigned to “Ready to Test” (aka me). BONUS: you can view tasks assigned to “Ready to Test” across ALL your projects in Basecamp using this method. If you’re just creating task lists for these (backlog, testing) in your individual projects, you’d need to go into each one 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 own shortcomings and having to come up with new workarounds there as well.

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

What are your workarounds?