Basecamp Project Management Guide (Features, Pros, Limitations)
Okay, you must be here because you have a hunch that maybe Basecamp is the right project management tool for your organization.
Maybe it’s because they have been in the game for over 15 years.
Or perhaps it’s because the folks behind Basecamp developed an entire program framework; now that’s some cool stuff.
But business decisions can’t rely on maybe(s) and cool stuff.
It needs to be backed by solid facts and figures.
To help you decide, we’ll cover Basecamp project management in depth in this article.
Let’s head to basecamp. 🏕
What Is Basecamp?
Basecamp is a popular project management app that helps remote teams organize tasks, track project progress, and collaborate over tasks.
Basecamp also has a mobile app for Android and iOS devices, which can help a remote team manage projects on the move.
What is Basecamp used for?
Basecamp is mainly used to:
- Manage multiple projects and tasks
- Communicate with your entire team or specific members
- Create and track project progress and schedules
- Store project-related documents
Basecamp is a suitable solution for both startups and large corporations. And if you have remote team members, they can just hop on the app and start collaborating too.
4 Key Features of Basecamp
Let’s check out what makes Basecamp an excellent communication and project management tool:
1. To-do lists
Complicated problems don’t always warrant complex solutions.
Sometimes all you need is something simple, like a to-do list.
To-do lists form the backbone of Basecamp.
It helps you break down large, complicated projects into smaller tasks. You can then assign tasks to your team members and set deadlines.
Completed a task?
Just tick it off to mark it as complete, just like checking off items on your grocery list. 🛒
Basecamp also lets you:
- Archive to-dos for future reference
- Assign multiple people to a specific task list
- Add notes, images, or files to a list
Wanna check out the best to-do list apps for 2021?
Explore the top 14 to-do list apps available today.
2. Hill charts
When it comes to flying, Batman certainly doesn’t rank high up on the list.
But when it comes to planning, he’s definitely #1.
And that’s because he always takes an eagle’s-eye view of the situation to plan efficiently.
Similarly, you need to see the bigger picture to ensure your project runs smoothly.
Basecamp’s hill charts help you do just that.
In the hill chart, you can group tasks (aka your to-dos) into two phases: ideation (uphill) and execution (downhill).
Team members can manually drag and drop to-do lists across the hill based on their progress. And with a glance at the hill chart, you can tell how things are moving.
3. Message boards
Want to announce a project update? Or maybe plan a virtual party with your remote team? 🥳
Use Basecamp’s message boards to get the message across.
Message boards let you organize conversations about a specific topic on a single page. Based on your post type, you can categorize it as announcements, questions, pitches, and more.
It also allows you to:
- Sort posts alphabetically, by date, and the latest comment
- Embed images into your message
- Customize who gets notified about the post
4. A powerful quick search feature
A quick search feature might not sound really cool until you think about Google’s net worth today. 💰 And sometimes, you’re just low on the energy juice and need a tool that can quickly pull up data for you.
With Basecamp’s quick search feature, you can effortlessly search for particular terms, messages, and files. It also lets you narrow down results with filters for to-dos, comments, client emails, and more.
Want to share a relevant result with your project team?
Hit the copy button on the result to grab a link that you can share with your teammates.
If you’d like a deeper look at some of Basecamp’s other features, check out our Basecamp review.
3 Key Benefits of Basecamp Project Management
Now that we’ve covered four delicious Basecamp features, we’re gonna add some cherries on top. 🍒 Not one, not two, but three!
Here are three great benefits of using Basecamp for project management:
1. Helps you organize project files in one place
Managing multiple projects and keeping track of project data is no easy task.
Fortunately, Basecamp’s document management and file storage features can help you out here.
Each project has a separate doc and file sharing section to ensure everything is organized correctly. You can track each file’s version history and even use a color-coded system for better file storage management.
This way, your team members can be on the same page (literally!) and avoid making things complicated.
2. Built-in chat features for streamlined communication
Sometimes you just need a quick reply.
With Basecamp’s built-in chat feature, Campfire, your teams can discuss anything they want and get answers instantly.
It’s just like having a quick chat around a campfire! 🔥
3. Supports integrations for increased functionality
Some people like extra mayo in their sandwiches, while others prefer honey mustard.
(Team mayo FTW!)
Anyway, it goes without saying that the same applies to workplace software. Recognizing the power of different tastes, Basecamp lets you integrate the app with other popular tools.
You can choose from apps for time tracking, reporting, client relationship management, and more. This way, you can keep all your favorite apps and streamline processes across them.
6 Major Limitations of Basecamp Project Management (With Solutions)
Wouldn’t it be amazing to have a genie that grants all your wishes? 🧞
You could ask for collaboration software that solves e-v-e-r-y-t-h-i-n-g (*wink* *wink*).
Unfortunately, Basecamp isn’t that project management and collaboration tool.
Here are six significant limitations of Basecamp:
(Click on the links below to jump to a specific limitation)
- Limited project views
- No task priorities
- Limited progress tracking functionality
- No native time tracking features
- No advanced customization options
- Expensive pricing plans
1. Limited project views
You gotta stay relevant to the times you’re in, right?
But it looks like Basecamp didn’t receive the memo.
It’s been 15+ years, and the tool still uses to-do lists to manage projects. You’ll have to rely on a third-party integration to use Gantt charts, Kanban boards, and other project management features.
But why go for Basecamp and its expensive integrations when you can have it all with ClickUp?
Unlike Basecamp, ClickUp doesn’t restrict you to to-do lists. It offers a wide variety of project management features, suitable for teams of all sizes.
And here’s the main course:
ClickUp solution: flexible project views
Looking at things from different perspectives is essential, especially when your eye is on better project results.
And that’s why ClickUp gives you a host of different Workspace views to choose from, like:
- List view: see tasks as a simple List and quickly group, sort, and filter them
- Box view: helps make informed decisions about who you can assign tasks to
- Calendar view: great for project planning and resource management
- Gantt Chart view: track how your project is progressing in real-time
- Activity view: get a summarized view of your team’s activities
- Mind Maps view: map out project plans using existing tasks or create a free-form Mind Map
- Timeline view: create project schedules and roadmaps in a snap
- Board view: move projects through a custom agile workflow
- Workload view: visualize your team’s capacity and manage workloads
2. No task priorities
Basecamp’s to-do list lets you create tasks for your project.
However, various tasks will have different priorities. Sorta like how cheese is more important than garlic when cooking lasagna. 🧀
Unfortunately, Basecamp doesn’t let you prioritize tasks. Team members could end up spending time on a low-priority task instead of an urgent one, which could derail your entire project.
ClickUp solution #1: Task Priorities
When learning something, you might use highlighters to mark important words.
ClickUp makes use of something like that. It gives you four color-coded flags to indicate task priority:
- Urgent (red)
- High (yellow)
- Normal (blue)
- Low (grey)
With a quick look at your tasks, you’ll know what needs urgent attention and what can wait for later.
3. Limited progress tracking functionality
Remember Basecamp’s hill chart?
Well, it has a major problem.
And we aren’t talking about the manual effort required to update it each time.
The real issue here is that you could end up with inaccurate data as each member could feel differently about the current progress. For example, someone might feel that 50% of the task is complete and update the chart accordingly when only 30% has been actually completed.
If you don’t want your entire project to tumble downhill, you need a project management tool that lets you track the progress of multiple projects accurately. You need ClickUp.
ClickUp solution #1: Custom Statuses
Every project has unique stages.
For example, a software development project may need planning, testing, and deployment phases. On the other hand, a sales project may need stages like prospecting, negotiation, etc.
With Custom Statuses, you can track the progress of each phase the way you want to. You can create a customized workflow that suits both your team and project.
ClickUp solution #2: Dashboards
Project management is all about seeing the bigger picture.
That’s why ClickUp’s Dashboards give you a high-level overview of everything that’s going on in your Workspace. It’s the best way to monitor project progress and identify bottlenecks.
4. No native time tracking features
Tracking project time is essential to bill your clients accurately and gain insights into your team’s productivity.
Unfortunately, Basecamp doesn’t have any native time tracking features. If you want to track the time spent on tasks, you’ll have to go for a Basecamp integration.
ClickUp solution #1: Native Time Tracking
With ClickUp’s built-in global timer, you won’t have to leave the app or use a third-party app to track time.
Just start and stop the timer for a relevant task from any device you’re logged in. ClickUp will automatically track your hours down to the second.
Already have a favorite time tracking app?
And no, you won’t have to pay for these integrations.
ClickUp’s Free Forever Plan comes with 50+ native integrations! Take notes, Basecamp. 😏
ClickUp solution #2: Time Tracking Widgets
Straight off the bat, ClickUp offers you several Time Tracking Widgets that you can add to your Dashboard.
You get Widgets like:
- Time Reporting: visualize all your time entries with different filters
- Billable Report: see only the billable project time
- Time Estimated: quickly view time as a team resource for managing projects
- Time Tracked: know how much time each team member has tracked
- Timesheet: see time tracked for a given week, month, or any custom range
This way, you won’t have to spend time worrying about where all the time went!
Wanna learn how to use your time more effectively?
Check out our guide on how to use time tracking to finish projects faster.
5. No advanced customization options
While Basecamp seems like an iron-clad tool, it’s got a pretty big chink in its armor.
What do we mean?
Since Basecamp’s pretty simple, it doesn’t offer many customization options.
However, different departments need to customize their projects and workflows to reflect their needs accurately. Unfortunately, Basecamp doesn’t offer much in this department.
ClickUp solution: intuitively customizable
Remember Custom Statuses in ClickUp?
Well, that’s not the only thing you can customize. 😉
Here’s a quick look at what else you can customize in ClickUp:
- Custom Fields: add additional data to your projects to manage them the way you want
- Custom Roles: create a well-organized workflow with specific user roles
- Custom Notifications: choose how and when you receive notifications from ClickUp
6. Expensive pricing plans
Basecamp’s paid plan costs $99/month.
Not only is it expensive but it’s also a flat rate. You’ll have to pay the same amount even if your team has four members or 40 members.
Sometimes simplicity comes at a cost. 🤷
On top of that, Basecamp’s free personal plan only lets you manage three projects!
ClickUp solution: flexible pricing plans
ClickUp’s Free Forever Plan is enough to kick Basecamp out of the water. You get unlimited projects, unlimited users, and a wide variety of awesome features for free. 🤩
And instead of a flat fee, ClickUp’s paid plans start as low as $5/month per user with features like unlimited file storage. As the pricing is on a per-user basis, you get your money’s worth.
But that’s not all. 😛
Here are even more reasons why ClickUp is the ultimate Basecamp alternative:
- Docs: create onboarding documents, wikis, and user guides right inside ClickUp
- Reminders: manage personal projects with personal Due Dates and Reminders
- Collaboration Detection: know when someone views or edits the same task or document as you
- Clip: a native screen recording feature that eliminates the need for third-party software like Loom or Vidyard.
Time to Break Camp
Sure, Basecamp is simple and has some decent project management and team collaboration features.
But is it a fantastic, all-in-one project management solution?
A robust project management app like ClickUp offers you advanced functionality and a lot more flexibility. From features like recurring tasks and 100+ Automations to task Dependencies, ClickUp is the ultimate Basecamp alternative.
Try ClickUp for free today to experience what the best project management software can do for you. No strings attached. 😊