Xtrant helps group convert “Rails to Trails” in Arkansas

Mason Ellis, Bret Budolfson and Lawson Baker leading the Southwest Trail.We love it when people use Xtrant to make things happen.  We especially love it when they use Xtrant to make cool things happen.

So it was really exciting when we met a small band of professionals from Little Rock, Arkansas who had a cool idea—and were using Xtrant to get big results.  As cycling enthusiasts, they have plans to construct a huge new biking trail.  This trail will be developed on 67 miles of abandoned railroad bed and will meander through beautiful Central Arkansan scenery and past historic sites and architecture, following the old Rock Island Line from Little Rock to Hot Springs.  Referring to themselves as the “501c3 Boys”, Lawson Baker, Brett Budolfson, and Mason Ellis see this as so much more than an upcycled railroad line.  It’s a way to grow connections between people and place, healthy bodies and healthy economies, a community’s history and its future.

When they took on this project, they realized they were going to need a very specific kind of tool to manage it on top of their already busy schedules.  According to Lawson, “Most large trail systems like this need to put together a 501c3 to get donations and have a place to organize funds.”  Realizing how challenging this can be, he added, “We needed different people to have access to different documents.  I didn’t want all the content being in ten different spots, and I didn’t want my email inbox bombarded with us talking about a project when we could see it in a different way.” 

That way was Xtrant.  With all the information compiled in one, easy to access project, these cyclists-turned-entrepreneurs coasted down a new, streamlined flow of productivity.  With each member of their team fully informed, they each work to advance the project without wasting time wading through emails, resending attachments, or repeating information.  They are making things happen faster and more efficiently.

The Southwest Trail Xtrant Project In Action

“When I first saw Xtrant, the main thing that I liked about it, and the reason I wanted to use it, was for aggregating content in one spot.“  Lawson said, “I knew at one point we were going to have lots of pictures of lots of stuff, and some of it would be on HIS computer and some of it would be on MY computer and we wanted it to be accessible to everyone, and I did not want a million email chains going back and forth.”

As they continue to handle fundraising, publicity, and write proposals for what’s being called the Southwest Trail, Xtrant is helping them stay accountable to each other, and focused on the next step.  Brett recommends it as a way to stay connected and get more accomplished:  “It works well for situations where you don’t have a project manager, per se.  We just have different people contributing to the project but no one is in charge of it.  So everyone can keep an eye on it, and that works well because we all have a busy schedule.”

This is Xtrant at its best: making an ambitious project not only possible, but straightforward, simple and exceptionally doable.