Blue metal compass on the old world mapAs we get that much closer to the launch of Basecamp Next, the developers at 37signals are starting to provide us with more and more information about what we can expect from the next-generation project management suite. We already know about the increased caching and the introduction of individual pages for each person, but what about some of the more advanced features for power users?

You could certainly make your way around the online utility the conventional way by scrolling down the page and clicking on the appropriate links, but if you really want to be as efficient as possible with the next version of Basecamp, you’ll want to know about some of these hidden gems. This way, you can get your work done more quickly and, dare I say, in a more stylish fashion to boot.

The Double-click Scroll

What if you encounter a page in Basecamp Next that is extraordinarily long. If you were to move your mouse over to the scroll bar and drag it to the bottom, that would take quite a bit of time. It would take even longer to give your finger a workout by using the scroll wheel on your mouse.

Main Basecamp Next User Interface

Main Basecamp Next User Interface

One of the hidden navigation features is the double-click scroll (not an official name). In effect, the developers have divided your browser window into thirds. If you double click in the margins in the top third of the screen, you’ll jump to the top of the page. If you double click in the margins in the bottom third of the screen, you’ll jump to the bottom of the page. Yes, you could just hit “home” or “end” on your keyboard, but this can come in handy if you’re in a text entry field or if you just don’t want to use your keyboard.

The Stacked Memory

When you open certain items in Basecamp Next, a page “stacks” on top of your current one. This is similar to the “Cards” function in webOS. To get back to the previous page, you simply click on its exposed border.

Stacked Pages in Basecamp Next

Stacked Pages in Basecamp Next

What’s interesting is that when you do return to the originating page, you aren’t sent to the top. Instead, the browser will remember your exact location on that page. This way, you don’t have to re-scroll to where you were. This isn’t just section-based either, as it will remember where you are in that particular section too.

The Shifted Jump

As mentioned above, many items tend to open as a “stacked” page in Basecamp Next, but that may not always be what you want. With uploaded files, for instance, you may still want easy access to the context of the conversation and project.

Shift Jump Feature in Basecamp Next

Shift Jump Feature in Basecamp Next

So, while clicking on the corresponding link will open up a “stacked” page by default, you can shift+click to simply jump to the section that you desire. In the screenshot above, for instance, you’d jump to the “files” section rather than have it open as a new stacked page.

The G+ Shortcut

No, this has nothing to do with Google+. Instead, it’s a quick keyboard shortcut. Located along the top of the Basecamp Next page are five navigational links: projects, calendar, daily progress, everyone, and me. These correspond to 1, 2, 3, 4, and 5, respectively. If you hit G+1, you’ll jump to the projects tab. If you hit G+2, you’ll jump to calendar, and so on. Additionally, if you hit G+F, you’ll jump to the search bar at the top-right.

What else does Basecamp Next have in store for us? With the launch only a short time away, we’ll be learning all sorts of fun stuff soon enough.

Image credit: Scanrail / Fotolia

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