Last Updated: October 12, 2015 1

Write Board Has Migrated to be the Heart of Base Camp and BAck Pack Products

Found In: Business

With the internet came the programming languages to support the building of web sites and the programs that pass the data backwards and forwards from the servers and the users. And with many of these programming languages, they were usually developed by private companies and then released later for other people to use as they wish. This spawned the whole concept of ìfreewareî and of software that is shared by millions at no cost. One such company did this with the product called Ruby on Rails, originally developed by 37 Signals in Chicago, before they released it for free to the general public and it has in its own rite became a very powerful web development tool for building industry strength web site platforms. 37 Signals used its team of very smart people to build a number of applications, after they moved away from simply building web sites for clients. That is, they moved away from pure web development into the field of building web site applications. And one of these applications is Write Board. Write Board is a non real time online document editor which enables many people to work on one documentís creation over time, with each person logging in at different times and places.

It’s All About Tracking Version History of Documents People Collaborate On

Launched in October 2006, Write Board can be integrated with other products of 37 Signals; namely Base Camp and Back Pack. Back Pack is an intranet solution for small businesses which need a personal information management tool for all their employees to use. Its main features are to allow user created pages, their to do list, calendar functions as well as photo galleries, notes and file attachments all of which can be accessed by smart phone technologies. Base Camp is a small business project management tool with all the usual to do list and other functions we come to expect from PM software. And it was during 37 Signalsí development of it that they came to develop Ruby on Rails. So while Write Board is a stand alone product, most people tend to use it from inside either Base Camp or Back Pack so as to use even more functionality. And one of the great features that make it so useful is its advanced editing tracking system, so that rather than just show the last time, date and who made that editing change; many copies of the document can exist, each created by different people so that comparisons can be made by the review team before a final selection is made. In this way, the contributions of many can each be considered, and or the final document can be rolled back to a previous draft. In fact, the tracking system is often the main reason why people choose to use Write Board.

Shared Chat Room History Tracked for Changes and Updates

The unfortunate thing is that 37 Signals is retiring Write Board as a standalone product which has always been free to registered users. It can still be accessed in its entirety by subscribing to the other products Base Camp and Back Pack; which are paid for products with a 45 days free trial subscription. Certainly the retirement of Write Board is not slowing anyone down. Just the Base Camp product alone has an average of five thousand businesses signing up every week, for use by all of their internal staff. As a project management tool, it is very easy on the eye and to use. After creating your free 45 days trial subscription you are presented with a simple to follow ìexploreî button, and from there they run you through all of the things you can do. As a project management suite of applications, it makes sense that the To DO List is a central part of its operation; a hub if you like of all the activities that people get up to, especially as most of what needs doing is done in a team situation. As such, each to do list item can have ancillary chat sessions going on by those people also allocated to that task. This chat can include task updates and progress issues, as well as further work that needs to be attended to by other team members. The idea is that no new information is lost, and that it is always accessible information easily found in the notes, files and chat history related to each To Do List item. By this method, no honest effort is ever wasted; and no useful piece of information is ever lost. And those is where the Write Board functionality comes it to its own with its shared document editing and its editing tracker functions.

An Online Web Application for Smart Companies with Smart People

All new software takes some time to come to understand and to form habits that become the routine for how to use it. Write Board is no different in this regard; however its intuitive interface makes to job of forming these habits and understanding all of the power of what it can do make it a stress free learning curve. A lot of the explore functions are video presentations. If a picture is worth a thousand words, then video at twenty five frames a second is all that much more powerful to engage in. Other than the videos to learn from, there are also a number of screenshots to show you all of the other functions and tools available. As with all project management tools, projects can be viewed in a Gant Chart format os that all of the individual tasks that comprise the total project can be shown in critical path order with their progress shown, so that at a click the whole project can be seen for any potential bottlenecks have or could develop. It is a pity that all project management software tools donít also have the functions of Write Board included.