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.

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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.

iCalendar support

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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.

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