Communication is the lifeblood of any project. Even if you have the resources in place, the best team available and a flexible plan that addresses every risk imaginable, you’ll still crash and burn if communication is poor. That’s why, before any project is initiated, it’s key to have a strong communication tool in place.
Basecamp is a real-time communication platform that adds to-do lists, calendars and file sharing. It’s not a full-service project management software, however; though it’s a nice tool to help teams collaborate and track due dates.
Pros and Cons of Basecamp
On the positive side, Basecamp has a simple interface that makes tracking document progress and task management easy for most users, regardless of their familiarity with the software. It’s web-based and has an app, which is also helpful for teams that work off-site or remotely.
However, the more functions you pile on Basecamp, the more complex it gets, which is a downside when trying to manage tasks and collaborate. Then there are the key features that any project needs that are missing from Basecamp that can get in the way of effective workflow.
If you’re struggling to make Basecamp work in your organization, there’s still hope, as there are a number of less confusing and more powerful Basecamp alternatives out there. Here are five, which we think are worth investigating. Who knows, you may find a perfect fit for your next project.
2020 Best Basecamp Alternative Rankings
ProjectManager.com is a cloud-based project management software that facilitates communication, collaboration and much more. It’s an intuitive platform where teams can collaborate and work together more productively. Practical tools free teams to work more independently, whether in a waterfall, agile, hybrid, dead-line driven or lax environment.
Teams can collaborate whether they’re in the same office or working in different countries. Comments can be made at the task level, along with documents and images, which keeps everything organized. More than that, if team members need to pull in the project manager or another team member, they can @ the person, and they’ll be notified via an email alert.
Like Basecamp, ProjectManager.com allows you to create projects that are made up of tasks. But unlike Basecamp, that’s only a fraction of their features. ProjectManager.com has multiple views of those projects, including kanban boards, task lists and calendars, so teams can work how they like. There are Gantt charts for managers that lay tasks out over a timeline, with barcharts showing duration, and milestones noting project phases.
The kanban board keeps teams focused on the task at hand. It’s a visual tool that shows the workflow in columns of to do, doing and done, which helps teams avoid costly bottlenecks that slow down their progress. There’s also a calendar view, like Basecamp, but it’s more than a placeholder for dates. Tasks can be viewed in a calendar for those who prefer that, but there’s also more flexibility to filter and even add new tasks. Easily drag and drop tasks to update deadlines, or expand the details to get more information.
ProjectManager.com has a task list view, too, like Basecamp’s to-dos, but ProjectManager.com offers more functionality. Teams can personalize their task list, which is then reflected across all project views. There’s also a filtering function to search by due date, owner, project and much more.
And that’s just the tip of the iceberg with this software. It has additional features like resource management, schedule management, reporting and more. We recommend taking them up on their free 30-day trial offer to see how it can help you manage your next project.
ClickUp is a project management app that offers an array of features beyond just simple task management and collaboration. For one, it has three ways to view a project: list, board and box. The list is a high-level view of your team’s work, which can be grouped, sorted and filtered. Board is a drop-and-drag workflow tool that appeals to teams working in an agile framework. Box view shows who is working on what and whether their tasks are allocated correctly.
While the company uses the tagline “One app to replace them all,” there’s a bit of hyperbole to that statement. For one thing, reporting is limited, which is a significant shortcoming. Additionally, ClickUp doesn’t have the greatest user interface. While as a Basecamp alternative there are certainly more features, but they’re not well-organized and it’s easy to get lost in the software. The free tool is a good place to start, but it doesn’t provide any of the tools that project managers and teams need. Even if you decide to invest, the features prove too much for small projects and underperforming for larger projects. That being said, it’s a good solution for expanding your project management capabilities without getting too sophisticated.
nTask is a tool that manages tasks and files, and it helps with scheduling meetings and making checklists for project teams. It has collaborative tools, task management and time tracking. Already you can see how it widens the lens on your project as a Basecamp alternative.
It’s nice that nTask can integrate with other tools like Slack, though it would be more helpful if it folded a communication feature into its own software. That said, most of the features are free, so it’s hard to complain too much about a product that helps you manage your tasks for free.
There are no templates, which are a valuable tool to get a head’s start on projects. Adding documents and photos is available, but it’s not an ideal as you can’t see the visuals in the project window. There’s little customization or formatting options. But if you’re looking for inexpensive task management, give nTask a look.
ProofHub is a project and team collaboration software, which helps teams plan, organize and deliver their projects. Like other Basecamp alternatives, it has kanban boards for self-directed teams and custom workflows, with task progress notification. There are also Gantt charts and task lists to assign to one or multiple team members.
In terms of communications, teams can create discussion topics to collect team and client conversations in one place. They have an @ function to call out other people in the project and loop them into discussion. Notifications are great, but because users can choose which ones they receive it can create a bit of notification pollution. Give ProofHub a chance if you’re looking to expand your feature set, and you don’t need advanced functionality.
Slack has become the communication platform embraced by businesses for its ability to reduce the clutter of email and foster better team communications. It’s definitely got a “cool” factor going for it, though, honestly that vibe is hard to hold onto. There’s always another cool brand coming around the corner.
You can customize the program, which is great for startups and smaller teams. It’s easy to use and set up, add team members and create channels for specific departments, all of which makes for a smooth communication platform. It’s also fun, creating bots, posting emojis and GIFs, but those bells and whistles hide what is essentially a one-trick pony.
There’s no file preview to see something before downloading it, you can download conversations to archive them, but mostly it just has no project management features outside of communications.
Therefore, if you’re looking for task management, resource management, anything to monitor and track progress or report back to stakeholders, you’re going to have to saddle this software with a bunch of other apps. Nobody wants to use a makeshift project management software.
ProjectManager.com is a cloud-based project management alternative to Basecamp. It has the communication platform you need, with unlimited file storage and comments tagged to tasks to keep conversations easy to follow. But it adds to this great communication feature with tools that help project managers plan, monitor and report on projects, while giving teams the collaborative environment they want to work more productively. See what ProjectManager.com can do for you by taking this free 30-day trial.