No matter how much responsible you are about your work, you are bound to forget tasks at times. It becomes tedious at times to manage tasks of a whole team; monitoring each one’s task and also having a clear view as to how much progress has happened in work. In such situations, team management apps come as a saviour. You sure must have heard of Basecamp as a project management tool, but today I am going to discuss some exclusive Basecamp alternative.
App stores are flooded with apps that help in managing your team seamlessly.
But are all these apps worth trying?
How do you know which one will save your time and energy?
Basecamp and Basecamp Alternative
I faced the same situation some 10 months back. As our number of projects and customers increased, it became more difficult for me to manage tasks. Unknowingly time was wasted, the work speed lagged and I found it difficult to keep a track of who is doing what. Not just me, but our whole team seemed to be oblivious of what the other person is doing. So, we decided its time we start using team management apps. Since, the app market is already overflowing with team managing apps, we decided to start with Basecamp.
On right time 37Signals understood the need of web designer/agencies and came up with Basecamp– a clean, simple and elegant way of managing projects and collaborating with clients. I personally loved Basecamp.
Frankly, $20 or so every month did not seem much compared to the services I was using. I liked the fact that Basecamp did not try to do everything. Rather it did one thing and was perfect. But in two months’ time, I started looking for basecamp alternatives. As our projects and customers increased, I found Basecamp less useful. The one problem was, 37Signals did not try to improve Basecamp. Rather, additional services like Campfire and Highrise came into market from them. Some other pressing issues with Basecamp were-
- For using chat feature, I was asked to sign up for Campfire.
- Time tracking was missing – this feature can be availed by third party integration.
Sad that even the “New” Basecamp came with no trace of time tracking feature claiming that no one was using it. Well, we were and we loved it!
Basecamp refused to grow, but my team was! I needed better options and best basecamp alternatives now.
Best Basecamp Alternatives that I tried:
While building a team during last 10 months’ time, I tried many team management apps. Here I will discuss about picking up the best basecamp alternatives, along with their pros and cons. I tried to find the best option, but honestly, nothing is perfect. I realized every app has its strength and weakness. So, instead of searching for the perfect solution, I turned my focus to what problems I was facing with Basecamp. I started to look out for apps that will help me solve these problems first.
Basecamp Alternative – Team Work
Next I tried Teamwork. Why I tried teamwork? I was browsing through reviews of different project management apps, when I chanced upon Topten REVIEWS. There I saw Teamwork has received a verdict of 7.88 out of 10. I scrolled down the list of features and reviews featured against each. Hence, I decided to try Teamwork. The first thing I noticed in Teamwork is an entire page dedicated to a detailed comparison with Basecamp. Among its 100,000 companies mentioned like Pepsi, Forbes and EA. Here are some of the features to love about Teamwork PM:
- Sophisticated search – Enables you search any term quite easily.
- Continuously updates iOS and Android apps – These apps are loaded with latest features.
- Time tracking feature even available on mobile app.
- Milestone Tracking – Enables to break large tasks into small achievements.
- Integration with 3rd Party Apps, like, Google Calendar, even Gmail and other Google Apps.
Best part about Teamwork Project Management tool, is that it readily available Zapier integration, which opens up wide integration of advanced web applications.
Although Teamwork’s free plans allows unlimited users, it allows just two projects and 10 MB storage. To upgrade, you need to have a paid plan at $12 per month. With that you get just 5 projects and 1GB storage. To avail unlimited projects, the price goes up to $149 per month and at this price you get 80GB storage. Another disadvantage of Teamwork is features are price-restrictive, especially those in regards to integration with storage apps like Dropbox and Google Drive.
Basecamp Alternative – Wrike
At one of point of time, I also tried Wrike. The fact that Paypal, Adobe, HTC, Disney and Nissan use this, I thought to give it a try, check the features, that our team might need. From Wrike, I liked the fact that resources and deadlines are moved centrally which helps teams to align fast.
Features of Wrike are worth mentioning here are:
- Elegant and simple to understand interface
- Detailed time-tracking feature
- Integration with Google Drive, Dropbox, Box, as well as mobile apps
- Provide Free up to 5 users and with 2GB storage.
Wrike has all useful carts including, Gantt Chart, Baseline Chart and Performance Chart which shows and tracks all progress and achievements according to the plan. With great collaboration with all the team members, Wrike also include real-time document editing, where you everyone can collaborate at single sheet, similar to Google Docs. Another, very different offer from Wrike, came in form of exclusive case studies, learning resources and industry performance benchmarks. All these helped us in gaining more knowledge about our industry.
Wrike is a great project management tool for:
- Marketing Teams
- Creative Teams
- Project Management Teams
- Product Development Teams in a company across the Globe.
Not only this, if your company uses Google Apps then, Wrike has very close integration with them, you get to:
- Easily attach documents staraight from Google Drive
- Save time with Gmail gadget inside your Gmail account
- Integrate tasks into your Google calendar
Now only these, looking at overall feature integration of Wrike with Google Apps, we can call it Google Project Management Tool.
Pricing model of Wrike: Paid version of Wrike starts at $49 per month for 5 GB storage and unlimited projects. Upto 5 users, you can try free plan of Wrike.
Basecamp Alternative – Asana
I had heard a lot about Asana . So, I decided to try it. Asana is a wonderful Basecamp alternative and a great team management app. It allowed me to add more than one person to a task, track what others are doing, mark a task finished and also create different teams as per my need.
Features I loved about Asana:
- User-friendly interface, easy to understand
- Integration with Google Drive, Dropbox, Slack, GitHub, WordPress and many more – these are all the apps we use day and night.
- Perfect for Small and Mid-size businesses; specially for growing startup like us.
- Mobile and tablet compatible – One of the most required feature for flexible team.
- Social Media sharing and Time tracking feature available
- Ability to see teammates’ tasks and priorities
- Follow tasks and add followers to them
- Set due dates and goals – Reminder is wonderful feature
- REST API for customers to build custom-interfaces
Pricing model of Asana: Freemium Model, you can try Asana for Free.
Asana offers open source Chrome extension and its REST API can manage users, projects, tasks, workplaces and stories! This Task Management software serves companies like Twitter, Uber, Foursquare, LinkedIn, Rdio, NationBuilder, and Airbnb. Rosenstein from Hops & Hominy compares the working of Asana to a healthy human brain. He opines Asana is the future where coordinating collective actions will be hassle free for every organization on earth. To Rosenstein, Asana has its heart in helping people self-actualize, help their fellow men and leverage their potential.
Asana was great until the trial period expired. The paid version seemed costly for us, since all these features I was getting by paying at Asana, I could avail them for free at Podio. Also, you can find my Wrike vs Asana review.
Basecamp Alternative – Podio
- Android, iOS and Web-browser compatible
- Integration with Dropbox, Evernote, Google Drive, Zendesk and Freshbooks
- Full open API
- In-built IM and video chat
- Includes private and open workspaces
I immediately took a liking to Podio. Any app that connects me to Evernote and Freshbooks, is always a welcome. So, Podio was my next trial. Although Asana promised “Teamwork with emails”, I still took a liking to Podio for its integration feature, especially its integration with Campaign Monitor, Dropbox, and Google docs. The icing on the cake was our custom integration with Mailchimp alternative – Mailerlite.
Podio also has a freemium model. However, I would say this is where Asana out beats Podio. Podio offers free version for a limited access rights and functionality control to up to 5 users. After that it is $9 per employee, per month. Asana definitely wins.
Pricing model of Podio: Upto 5 Employees and 5 External Users, Try Podio for free.
Comparison with Basecamp:
In hunt for a perfect tool for project management, I started with Basecamp, followed by using other tools over time; one by one. Here is very first comparison of Basecamp vs Asana:
- Basecamp cost varies on the basis of projects and storage. For instance, at $20/month, 10 active projects and 3GB space can be used. Asana, on the other hand, can be called a basecamp alternative free app. Most small businesses can do with the free version. For those who cannot, unlimited projects at $50 is more than reasonable!
- Basecamp provides unlimited projects at $150/month worth 100 GB. If you require more, you need to buy the complete package of 500GB space and a priority support at $3000 straight! Asana has a different take on storage. A company spokesperson quoted “Asana doesn’t specialize in storage functionality, so instead offers integrations with cloud providers Dropbox, Google Drive, and Box. For individual files uploaded to Asana, there’s a 100MB limit per individual attachment”.
- Basecamp has a ‘master’ calendar for the whole team. Also you can have specific project calendars. Asana hosts the option of having personal calendars as well as project-specific calendars.
Next comparison I want to do with Basecamp vs Podio:
- Podio provides a birdview of all the tasks across the workplace unlike Basecamp which reveals the ‘To-do’ lists only. In Basecamp you will need to navigate across all the Accounts to know the status of your task.
- In basecamp ‘Discussions’ pick up from where To-dos take leave, but sadly these are separate features. Podio has the Task comment threads and descriptions features in contrast to Basecamp.
- Basecamp definitely has its priority set to clients engaging priority; and it is perfect. Podio has a weird way of showing the “contacts”. They have something called “External Users” which are supposed to be either contacts, or clients! It is confusing, in other words.
- However much we negate emails, it ultimately boils down to one truth- emails are important. Your clients may have different systems to worry about. In such cases, emails are saviours. Basecamp does this most effectively and beautifully. The email notifications for project activities are a seamless way to have control. Podio is a mixed bag in this case. There are a lot of features that keep users wondering what’s happening. The lack of integration of emails for actual conversations is where Podio lags.
After Podio, lets compare Basecamp vs Teamwork:
Well, Teamwork went on to have a detailed overview of how it has all the features that are missing in Basecamp. Starting with Time tracking, recurring tasks, assigning multiple people to one task, advanced privacy options- Teamwork kind of built itself keeping Basecamp in mind I think! To add to that, they also list down reviews from ex-Basecamp users who now uses TeamworkPM. Seems like Teamwork took the Basecamp vs Teamwork bit too seriously!!
Comparison of Basecamp vs Wrike:
Features available in Wrike only are:
- Can include one task in several projects
- Several projects and subprojects can be viewed on one screen
- Cross-project prioritization available
- Office files can be edited without downloading
Wrike allows you to share a single task or the whole project, while Basecamp allows to loop-in someone in a discussion only via email.
While Basecamp gives Newsfeed, Wrike has-
- Customized reports
- Hierarchy of projects
- Recurring tasks
- Gantt Charts
- Customized Dashboard
- Task dependencies
More Basecamp Alternatives that I used:
Bitrix24: Bitrix24 is a social Intranet for your business. It is a task management app, integrated with document sharing and time-tracking with social network apps. What it offers include blogs, calendars, files, tasks, photos, workgroups, likes, task comments, and more! It advocates a freemium model. Get the free version here. You can also avail the Enterprise Version of Bitrix24.
Zoho Projects: Break down your complex tasks into simple milestones and task lists with Zoho Projects. Features that Zoho offers makes it a strong Basecamp alternative software with time tracking. Names like Techcrunch, PC World, New York Times features in their customers’ list. Its integration with Google Apps, Dropbox and Github, along with new mobile apps makes Zoho Projects a simple Basecamp alternative.
Atlassian Jira: Atlassian Jira, another Basecamp alternative, has more than 23,000 customers and an user-base of 30,000,000. LinkedIn and NASA are some of the prominent names among others who use Atlassian Jira. It includes Google Apps integration, time management and tracking features, and also has a HTML5 enabled mobile interface. Jira also has self hosted option for a one time price of $10 for 10 users, $1,200 for 25 users and so on. If you are to use Jira on an open source project, Atlassian will let you use it for FREE.
Freedcamp: Freedcamp is an open source Basecamp alternative. It is most explicitly cited as “the closest free alternative you will ever get to Basecamp”. With 140,000 customers at bay, Freedcamp by Enavu has Google, ABC and Chase Bank in the list. The simple interface, social media integration, browser alerts and other communication tools make Freedcamp one of the best Basecamp alternative software. It is free for unlimited users, but it comes with only 20MB storage. You can upgrade it to 1GB at $2.49/mo. Unlimited storage is available at $39.99/mo.
Mostly all of them are mobile compatible and have social media integrations. Basecamp is good in the initial stage, but sadly Basecamp stood rooted to its original features, with no improvisation at all.
These are few slick tools worth noticing if you have a smaller team or is a solo-preneur. You can also check some of these open source project management tools for small business referred by Capterra. Know any other alternatives? Tell me in the comments.