What to do when Basecamp goes down: the perils of online project management

What to do when Basecamp goes down: a guide

What to do when Basecamp goes down: a guide

Yesterday Basecamp went down. It was the most agonizing way to spend 36 minutes on a Monday morning. (I don’t use Basecamp for personal use, but guess where I do use it? The day job. Where I was trying to get a jump start on prioritizing and planning my week. And I couldn’t access anything. Rawr.) Especially considering that – irony! – we had just spent the last week and a half getting über-organized. So where was everything?



Unfortunately, this is something that comes with the territory of using online project management. But there are a few things you can do to help mitigate this annoyance…which are, of course, conveniently collected for you below.

Note: this is for instances of “crap, this is down for a few minutes/hours,” not “holy shit it’s completely offline and is never ever coming back.” I’m not paranoid enough to plan for that. And if that happens, honestly I’ll be just as screwed as the rest of y’all. 

Always know your priorities

This is why it’s important to stop sucking at priorities. If you always know what your top three priorities are, at any given time, then you know what you need to be working on. You might have to do some thinking and checking of email to be for sure on what your next steps are, so it won’t be as efficient as if you had easy access to things, but you’ll at least be working instead of staring at the computer screen swearing a blue streak.

Keep at least some of your notes outside

This is where Evernote comes in handy, because it syncs for offline access – so you can access some version of your notes wherever you’re at, as long as you have your phone/tablet/computer with you (and how often is that not the case? be honest!). You can also use Google Docs with offline access, or – stay with me here – a notebook. (These are my favorite.) As long as you’re keeping said notebook organized, of course. (More on that coming soon.)

Use task tools with offline access

Unfortunately, there aren’t a lot of really good tools that include offline access/syncing. And even then, you’ll want to make sure it syncs on your phone or tablet pretty regularly – otherwise, you’ll just wind up looking at your to-do’s and notes from three weeks ago, and that’s no bueno. Here’s three options:

Wrike: It looks like the mobile apps sync for offline access.

Droptask: Okay, I have got to review this. That aside, same as Wrike – the mobile apps provide offline access.

Daylite by Marketcircle: Which is one of the only well-designed project management/productivity tools that isn’t made primarily for functioning in the cloud.

That’s all I got. I guess there’s always the handy-dandy option of keeping everything analog…but y’all know how I feel about that option!

Photo credit: Elvis Kennedy