Hi Lisa and Bob!
The software I used previously was fantastic, but it was a freebie from a friend who owned the company. She can no longer offer it for free and because it doesn't have all the features I need, I made the switch (as you know) to new software.
The new software is amazing but does not offer quite the same client interaction, so I created my own client interaction page! This message area is actually a template for a blog (as you probably can tell), but works great for messaging, because all project messages stay in one place. You may reply by commenting.
You may subscribe to the RSS feed, I can alert you when you have a message here, or I can simply send a copy to your inbox- keeping these as record only posts.
I'd love to hear what you think!