Fanatical About Backpack

I think amongst my cadre of hyper-geeky, super web savvy friends I was probably a little late to get to Backpack. About a month ago however I was faced with a challenge. I had a bunch of information all over the place and I wanted to consolidate it. I’d always liked the idea of a “personal wiki” that I could have anywhere and had considered installing something on my machines for this. I had even installed OpenWiki at home but it’s a dead open source project with no future. What to do? I’d heard about Backpack so I decided to give it a serious look. I’ve been using it for a little over a month and I can’t imagine working without it now.

Backpack is a personal information management web tool from 37 Signals. It’s a great example of simplicity in design yielding great power. Backpack is one of those services that you discover new features and functions all the time, even after using it for a while. I’ve been able to get rid of at least five different “places” that I stored things and move them all onto Backpack.

Let me share a somewhat obscure example of how I’m using Backpack. I recently moved this site to a 3rd party hosting service. They don’t provide backups, so I have to do that myself. Backpack becomes a great part of this workflow. I have a script that backs up the database, compresses it, and then emails it to Backpack. Every page on Backpack has an email address so it just appears as an attached file. Awesome!

Backpack now joins the very elite ranks of web tools that I pay for – happily I may add. I can only hope that they continue to add features galore and make the experience even better.

Jamie Thingelstad @jthingelstad

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