A Week With Backpack (Part 2)…

OK, I have very little time. We are in the middle of getting our computer deliveries in preparation for the summer here at work so I am swamped. Personal time? Well that is swamped too but I owe you, the reading public, an update to my (now more than a) week with Backpack. Therefore, this will be a short one.

I have mainly been using Backpack for my work related items and for that it has been great. I really like it, though it is still young and has some potential that it is not quite reaching. The ability to create reminders and have those sent via e-mail and/or SMS to your cell phone is a godsend. I also like the ability to create free form pages that can include lists, notes, images, links (both to other Backpack pages or to the web) and to share those pages with others. There are already many tips, tricks and hacks to extend this built in functionality to it’s boundaries. It is a great place to keep some lists, notes or light projects (if you are looking for a heavier project management tool then look no further than 37 Signals other product Basecamp which I have mentioned here before). Not only that but you can add any of these items by sending an e-mail to any of your backpack pages. A great way to add content on the fly.

There are some things I wish it had that it currently does not. For instance, I wish I could re-order the items on a page. the order in which lists (only one list per page – therefore, separate lists must live on separate pages!), notes, images and links live is very static. I also wish there was a “move this item to page named pagename feature was there so you could easily move these items between pages. This would make the “e-mail items” feature much more useful because you could just send everything to one page and move it around later. All the same, it looks like the folks at 37 Signals are working very hard to take feature requests and feedback through the Backpack forum they have put in place and so i have no doubt that many new features will be forthcoming.

Therefore, i will continue to use Backpack as I have been, mostly for work related items and lists but may move a lot of my personal stuff there in the future if the promise of the potential becomes reality.

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