When I’m working on a project, whether it’s with a client or personal, I use Basecamp. It’s the easiest way I’ve found to keep me from getting distracted and/or overwhelmed. By the way, I’ve tried Asana. It sucks. It’s like paying to run Windows 98 on an android phone. Slack is fine if you want people from work to be able to text you and expect an immediate response 24/7, but I value my schedule and enjoy a life without the anxiety of work stress when I’m on personal time. If you do, too then you’re gonna love this.
Anyway, when I send a project invite to a client, Basecamp gives me an opportunity to send them a message along with the invite email – which they pre-populate with this boring bit of absolute zero:
“Hi there. We’ll be using Basecamp to share ideas, gather feedback, and track progress during this project. Simply log in or create an account and you’ll be up and running in no time.”
That shit is boring. Plus I want to say so many more things to these people that make them feel comfortable about using this (potentially) new system for carrying out their fancy new project. If I’ve learned anything from flying Southwest, it’s that when you have a captive audience that’s the best time to try to be funny.
Here’s what I came up with:
This is Basecamp, your new project management friend. You and me are gonna help [High End Homes] get project managed and stay organized so everyone working on the project can keep track of their jobs.
You can reply directly to email notifications from me and I’ll post them in the comment thread, without you ever having to log in. I’ll even post any attachments as files for everyone to access. You can do it from your phone too (we have a slick app).
Just don’t do it while driving! I don’t want to have to help someone else project manage your funeral or distribution of possessions to your loved ones.
1. Give them a cheesy nickname, like it was penned from the sh*tty later seasons of the Office. But make sure it implies you know their name. “J-Bone” is short for Jacquelyn. If I was sending one to myself, I might use “M. Night Slebodnik” or something else to that effect. This personal touch will earn the recipient’s interest and make them think this project management system is borderline NSFW for its wild nickname guidelines.
2. First line says outright, we’re friends. Then we talk about working together. Friends with a robot? I’ve got you now.
3. Notice it keeps a tone that it’s coming entirely from Basecamp. This way you can get a little edgy and if someone gets offended you have some plausible deniability.
4. The end takes a turn for the dark, but in a caring way. It says “Hey don’t text and drive because you could die and to make death more real, think about what will happen to your stuff.” People hate not being able to use their stuff, so this legitimately scares them into thinking twice before texting and driving – which you all should be thanking me for.
5. The closing reiterates friendship and project wrap-up (or eminent death) – 2 things every good work relationship are based on. Plus I worked a hashtag in there because people think they’re gonna get plucked out of mediocrity to write on SNL for using a creative hashtag (ahem).
There you have it. Now get to work!
If you want to use Basecamp with Square Pocket Design Co. on your next project, get in touch.
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