Milestones, Projects and To-do lists
Basecamp has the concepts of projects containing milestones, with milestones containing to-do lists. Due dates can be set on milestones, but not on the multiple to-do lists they can contain. For my general life-fixing projects (like “Cleaning Up My Finances” or “Create New Blog”, although the later might be better categorised as a making-my-life-more sad activity than a life fixing one) milestones work quite well. These tasks typically consist of a series of phases, each with their own tasks.
With using Basecamp as a general Getting Things Done tool in addition to a Getting My Life Fixed tool, I find myself wishing for something less “heavy” than a milestone but with the ablity to specify a due date in the same way as a milestone – a to-do list with a due-date would be good enough. The additional benifit of to-do lists with due dates is that you can then better organise milestones themselves. The alternate approach of course is to create more milestones – I’m tempted to create one milestone for each days tasks, but I’m not sure what benifit that would bring beyond taking advantage of Basecamp’s excellent calendar display.
Striking one item of my now many lists, I checked out the iCalendar support in Basecamp. Simply put you can subscribe a tool which supports the
webcal protocol to synchornise events with a changing feed. In OSX’s iCal this creates a new read-only calendar named after the Basecamp project (in addition to the default “Home” and “Work”) with the milestone’s appearing as events. From iCal you can then complete a milestone via a hyperlink, however disapointingly despite iCal’s support for to-do lists these are not imported. This may be a problem with the
webcal protocol, althought I’d have to check what I believe to be the defining specification in the form of RFC 2445 to see.