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May 5, 2005 6:39 AM   Subscribe

It's a blog, a wiki, a todo list, a calendar. It's a place to keep and share your photographs and files. It's "Backpack" from 37 signals.
posted by seanyboy (33 comments total)

To do:

* Look at this site when I have more time
* Shave back
* Call Grandma
posted by ColdChef at 6:46 AM on May 5, 2005

Great, now I just need an assistant to upload my crap to it.
posted by furtive at 6:52 AM on May 5, 2005

Great, now I just need an assistant to upload my crap to it.

I need an assisstant to help my assisstant first correlate all of my paper crap, my PDA crap, my crap in Outlook, my crap in various orphaned blogs and web projects, and to stick a siphon in my head and get anything out that I forget.

Perhaps it isn't exactly worth it...
posted by thanotopsis at 6:54 AM on May 5, 2005

"Free accounts don't include image hosting."
"Free accounts don't include file hosting."
posted by furtive at 6:56 AM on May 5, 2005

It's three identical links.
posted by mischief at 6:56 AM on May 5, 2005

I'm not very impressed. It's rather expensive ($5/month) for a glorified version of tadalist.

The reminders seem tacked-on and not fully thought through. Why aren't they integrated into the actual pages?
posted by smackfu at 6:58 AM on May 5, 2005

I tried it out earlier in the week and yeah... it's alright but I wouldn't pay money for it.
posted by PenDevil at 6:58 AM on May 5, 2005

Also note:
There are four Backpack plans ranging from a completely FREE plan (5 pages, 10 reminders) to $5/month (20 pages, 40 MB disk space for images/files, 100 reminders), $9/month (100 pages, 100 MB disk space for images/files, 200 reminders), or $19/month (500 pages, 250 MB disk space for images/files, 300 reminders) for our top plan. Sign up for the free plan to get started. No credit card is required to sign up. You can upgrade or downgrade your plan at any time.
posted by mischief at 6:58 AM on May 5, 2005

It does seem expensive. Hopefully they'll bring the price down when Jot comes out. I'm not a huge fan of 37 signals either, but they're definitely pressing all the "Web 2.0" geek buttons at the moment.

mischief - yeah, it's three identical links. I though the first link wasn't obvious enough, so I copied it over every "it's" on the post. Whatcha gonna do. I considered it a stylistic statement.
posted by seanyboy at 7:08 AM on May 5, 2005

It's a list.
posted by Civil_Disobedient at 7:12 AM on May 5, 2005

[It's good]

I love this bit:

Backpack is so flexible and easy, you'll use it to...
Keep track of houses you're considering buying

Finally, an answer to my problem. :)

37 Signals literati might be able to inform me, is this supposed to be an enhanced version of Tada lists, an intermediate form of Tada and Basecamp, or something different altogether?

I have a Tada list, and I like the idea/technology/presentation, but I can't seem to motivate myself to keep visiting and updating the page. It's just not centralised enough for my life, I guess. It would be perfect if indeed my mobile phone and my calendar and my 1,138 loose notes were contained within the site; but then, I love my scattered collection of incoherent scribblings an awful lot.

With this innovation, I'll give it a second look though.
posted by goodnewsfortheinsane at 7:14 AM on May 5, 2005

Well, I can finally get rid of all those silly pens and pencils cluttering up my desktop. You know, that wooden thing.
posted by kozad at 7:17 AM on May 5, 2005

What! You have a wood effect wallpaper file on your desktop. That's *so* 2001 dude.
posted by seanyboy at 7:22 AM on May 5, 2005

I wonder if the google, who like to give away wads of space for nix, are planning on widening the gmail garden to include other useful toys or integration of some of their other products?
posted by peacay at 7:25 AM on May 5, 2005

It's a nice site. Looks professional and clean. It's just too bad I don't need to be that organised. Of course I'm sure others will find it useful, though.
posted by sjvilla79 at 7:28 AM on May 5, 2005

A new 37Signals product? Let the bloggergasm begin!
posted by spilon at 7:28 AM on May 5, 2005

It's a future example of a failed business plan. Somebodies going to do something less polished looking with MySQL and crontabs and give it away for free.
posted by substrate at 7:35 AM on May 5, 2005

i never get the hype of a "new" 37signals product... yes i've used it, but it's just a list... their rhetorical "simplify, simplify, simplify!" is kinda grating

posted by slater at 7:35 AM on May 5, 2005

How so substrate? Wasn't "free" the downfall of a lot of dot com sites in 2000-2001? Will people trust something that looks less polished and free despite how well it performs? Maybe, maybe not.

I have no use for yet another PIM and I think their pricing structure sucks but at least they're being smart and charging for it out of the chute rather than pulling the rug out from under their user base.
posted by KevinSkomsvold at 8:02 AM on May 5, 2005

Imagine your are chained to your computer all day. And imagine you are also imprisoned in some kind of fortress where pens and pencils are forbidden.

Backpack is the tool for you.
posted by thisisdrew at 8:07 AM on May 5, 2005

Will people trust something that looks less polished and free despite how well it performs?

You're thinking the wrong way.

Will people with enough time on their hands (that is, not that much) get together and make their own (free) version of something that's not terribly complicated in the first place? The answer is yes.
posted by Civil_Disobedient at 8:11 AM on May 5, 2005

Isn't this run by that Erik Benson guy?
posted by grouse at 8:12 AM on May 5, 2005

It's crap. Like this FPP.
posted by Slagman at 8:47 AM on May 5, 2005

Isn't this run by that Erik Benson guy?
Er, no. Although Erik Benson is a deadbeat.*

I was disappointed with Backpack for one reason: The reminder function is limited to one contact point (email address or phone number). You can change that contact, but it affects all reminders. It seems like it would be incredibly simple to allow users to assign whichever email address they'd like to each individual reminder, but that's not currently possible. When I asked them about this, I was told Backpack is intended for individual, not group, use. Well, what if I want one reminder to go to my cell phone but the rest to go to my email? It's ridiculous that I'd have to log in and change my settings after I get that phone reminder in order for this to occur.

*Erik made good (to everyone except Shaun, who wasn't there) at SXSW this year by buying a case of beer and not drinking it. He took off for another conference and left it for us to drink. Yay!
posted by me3dia at 8:48 AM on May 5, 2005

The answer is yes.

They will build it but who will come?
posted by KevinSkomsvold at 9:08 AM on May 5, 2005

I have a clipboard I hang on my office wall. I enjoy the process of making tomorrow's list of tasks on a fresh sheet of paper each night. I have My Yahoo as my home page - complete with calendar, notepad etc.

It's all working out fine.
posted by davebush at 9:36 AM on May 5, 2005

I was really hoping it would be like that "hipster PDA" (which consisted of index cards and some paperclips) and describe an actual backpack. Oh, the disappointment.
posted by Pyth at 11:35 AM on May 5, 2005

Civil_Disobedient: A slightly clever person could easily make Scoop do all the stuff that backpack does. I would imagine Drupal could be set up to replicate this too.

The real question here is just how good is their marketing.
posted by rusty at 2:27 PM on May 5, 2005

I've given up on keeping all of my data in one application, webified or otherwise. I'm happy to have it strewn all over my ibook and server, and searchable by Tiger's "spotlight".

/basking in the false sense of enhanced identity that comes from owning an Apple product.
posted by mecran01 at 2:46 PM on May 5, 2005

37 Signals literati might be able to inform me, is this supposed to be an enhanced version of Tada lists, an intermediate form of Tada and Basecamp, or something different altogether?

Um, it appears to be yet another permutation of The One Good Idea.

It's written in Ruby, with Rails, and appears to be deeply similar to many of the Rails tutorials out there, so hacking your own should be trivial.

And, yes, I expect a free, open-source version to come along shortly. Probably written in Python or PHP.
posted by Ayn Marx at 4:48 PM on May 5, 2005

I spend all day chained to the internet - and all evening as well. I have given it a go and liked it so far - It lets me keep a to do list and notes for various projects whether I am at home or at the office without having to carry anything around or use a USB key.

It also reminds me to stop for pet food on the way home via cell.

I think its groovy.

BUT I have my own web space and don't really need the pay plans. I can just link to my own server for that stuff.

Yes, I could have just installed a wiki on my own server.

No, I don't have the time or the energy to do so. So for me this is really nice.
posted by jopreacher at 4:53 PM on May 5, 2005

slagman: I'm rubber and you're glue.
posted by seanyboy at 3:01 AM on May 6, 2005

I didn't see much of an improvement over TaDa Lists until they rolled out the Backpack Mobile functionality today. Being able to access my todo lists from my cell phone's crappy little web browser is a thing of beauty. The amazing thing is, it's actually usable in that format, unlike every other WAP web app I've tried to use. Not so much for adding new items, which would be a pain, but its pretty much perfect for checking off shopping lists on the go, and... um, well probably just that.
posted by shinji_ikari at 7:25 PM on May 10, 2005

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