Searching for a Worthy Successor to Backpack

 •  Filed under Knowledge Management, Posts

Do you remember Backpack? If you don't, it was a knowledge base web application where you could store notes, images, drafts, attachments and other gubbins. Since 37signals changed their name and focus to Basecamp, Backpack has been left to quietly sit on the sidelines. There was a time that I loved using Backpack but after a while I tried a few others. Overtime though nothing compared to the functionality that Backpack offered.

Frustrated, I've been looking for alternatives to Backpack. Here's a few I've tried in the last few days.

Trello

I use Trello mainly for managing clients projects but I do have a couple of other boards here that I use. I tried to create a board that would serve my needs as a knowledge base board but there's two dislikes I have about Trello. Sharing individual cards isn't possible unless you share the board the card belongs to and viewing a card on it's own has too much clutter.

FAQT

I signed up to FAQT when I first seen it on Hacker News a few weeks ago and initial impressions are good. Markdown based 'cards' that can be categorised and shared. Fulfills most of my needs as a knowledge base and there is a few features I would like to see but my biggest bugbear is that FAQT is currently free and therefore there's a chance the service won't be around forever.

DailyMuse

Lastly there's my own DailyMuse application. It's comprises of a collection of snippets with a single snippet being sent to you daily. It's nice for things like quotes and lists that I like to review periodically but as a knowledge base application it lacks a few features that FAQT has. For a while though DailyMuse has been trundling along as a micro-service with a very focused aim, but maybe it's time to turn that on it's head and make it into some more that appeals to more people. It would offer the same functionality that it offers today but would also include the ability to create and share information in the form of pages. It's an idea I've been thinking about but reluctant to act on.

There's probably more in terms of knowledge base applications out there that do the same thing, but to be honest I would rather be using an existing service for this rather than using another service and having more of my data spread out on the Internet.