Managing A Studio

Ive been a designer/developer for some years now. I now manage a very busy studio with lots of projects coming in. I find myself spending my whole time firefighting and finding it increasingly harder to stay on top of project progress and whether clients have been informed and who’s done what.

Ive tried various things like MS Project and BaseCamp - but always end up going back to simply using the Task Pane and Calender in my Outlook and writing up projects on a white board. This is far from ideal and Im sure there is a much more efficient solution, but am stumped on finding that solution!

I feel I need something which is a mixture of BaseCamp and MS Project. I find BaseCamp very limiting in some ways (no gantt chart, no flexibility on emailed notifications of milestones, cant apply one task to more than one person etc…). I like MS Project for its gantt chart view, but havnt used it much and it seems a bit OTT for planning web projects.

Im curious to hear from other studio managers out there who need to juggle a lot of work and coordinate designers, developers and freelancers (not to mention the sales people!).