Task Management

Read Deadline Management for Cantilever's policy on your individual role within the team regarding deadlines.

When you work at Cantilever you will have Basecamp todos assigned to you. These todos correspond to bundles of work that Cantilever must do. You will also have separate tasks that you need to keep on top of. During on-boarding, for instance, you will have to fill out forms to send to HR. You may have a recurring finance or project management task to handle.

Basecamp isn’t very good for personal tasks – it doesn’t do reminders, repeating tasks, geographic proximity, and it’s hard to find your tasks on your phone without a lot of tapping.

Basecamp is for work that requires a handoff or approval before it can be considered complete, or for work that must be visible to the rest of the team. Most parts of an actual deliverable should be in basecamp, even if they don’t require handoff, as it aids visibility.

You are responsible for logging and tracking your own obligations, and your sub-obligations within Basecamp todos. Your obligation may be macro, encapsulating many Basecamp todos (Finish CSS Tasks for RP 2.1) or micro (JT re: question on design comp task)

All team members should maintain their own system for managing their personal responsibilities, related or unrelated to a Basecamp task. This can be paper, TextEdit, OS X Reminders, Remember the milk, Gmail todos, Todoist, OmniFocus, Things, etc. If you are a super-human, your "system" may be your brain. This doesn’t work for most people.

If you like Basecamp and want to keep your work in one place, you can create and use your own personal Basecamp project to manage your own work. The most important thing is that your queues and conventions not bleed into the team‘s queues, which should be kept clean and unified.

Some people use their inbox as a pseudo-task manager. We do not recommend this either, as there are many responsibilities that fall out of one's inbox, and most people have too many responsibilities to suitably manage this way.

For instance, during a sales process, there are a lot of things we have to do before there is a proposal. We may start with a Basecamp task called:

  • Create proposal

This task will involve lots of personal todos on the part of the writer:

  • Email the lead by X date
  • Research
  • Taking notes, writing proposal draft
  • Setting up meetings

Those tasks are all personal. They don‘t need approval or handoffs. Then once a draft is ready, the Create proposal task would have a handoff chain: from Andrew, to JT, to Rebecca for proofreading, then to JT for fixes, and Andrew to send to the client. Many hands, therefore Basecamp.

After sending the proposal, Andrew might have a personal task scheduled for two days from now:

  • Follow up with lead re: proposal

The Basecamp todo is closed, but Andrew still has a personal obligation around the work, and an expectation per our sales practices. This is not a good fit for Basecamp.