by Stephanie Watson
Published on 8 February 2013
Basecamp isn't the first project management app to be introduced here (we already reviewed Mavenlink, Clarizen, Attask (now Workfront), etc,..), but it is one of the most popular ones, and for good reason. It offers so many features as standard, such as having single-page projects and a place to combine your projects, employees, companies, vendors and other details in one cloud-based location.
As a freelancer who often uses Basecamp with various clients, I can tell you already that I love Basecamp. Let's learn more about why with this Basecamp review.
Basecamp is one of the only project management apps with single-page projects, regardless of how big or small your project is. That way, no data is lost and your team will be able to follow the projects quickly and easily. Another benefit to having everything in one place is that you know it is all secure and safe.
All projects are on one page, even if you have 20 or 50 projects going at one time. A quick look and you know what's going on. This is very useful when you have multiple projects with multiple contractors working simultaneously.
When a project is completed, archive it so it is stored for later use if you ever need to look back on it. Basecamp also now offers a personal membership plan for individuals who want to use the project management tools. So, even if you're a one man or woman operation, who manages projects, whether for business or not, Basecamp will work for you.
In the past, basecamp was only for business professionals and small business owners who had work-related projects to manage. However, they now offer a personal plan that lets individuals organize their projects and update followers of projects that aren't related to their business.
This option is less expensive than the business plan with all the same features. No matter what plan you choose, you get access to features like adding team members, keeping groups organized and viewing all current projects on a single page.
With Basecamp, you will find dozens of features that make it beneficial for business and personal use. It is fast loading and very easy to use. You can use it to get caught up on projects after business trips, use the web-based calendar and assigned tasks, recover information from projects completed years ago, collaborate with others in real-time documents, organize people into groups and categories, and invite people and companies to your projects. The list of functions is truly endless.
The newest feature to hit Basecamp is the Basecamp Breeze which lets you create email lists. Each of your groups will get a separate email address and you can invite up to 50 people to that group. That way, if a member sends an email to the group email address, each person in the group gets it right away. This is going to save time and energy from sending multiple emails. It is great for sending emails to your book club, family members, friend, church groups, committees, or other uses.
Basecamp has a long list of integration partners and through their open API they integrate well with other business apps you may use such as customer support apps ( Zendesk, Desk.com) where you can automatically create a todo in Basecamp each time there is a new support ticket or even Google Calendar so you can create a todo when there is a new event in your calendar. CloudWork provides a good number of Basecamp integrations.
To start with, the sign up process and interface of Basecamp is easy to use and loads very quickly. This makes it even easier to use. Once you sign up, you are directed to the home page where you can search for a project, person, company or group.
You will also have different tabs to choose from such as the Project, Calendar and Everything tab. To view or edit your projects and see them on one page, click on the Projects tab. Here, you will see a list of current projects, access old projects, view sample projects and add a new project by choosing from 3 different templates.
Basecamp also includes a web-based calendar that can be accessed by clicking on the Calendar tab. This lets you view the next 6 weeks of projects and appointments, a list of calendar items, list or projects with settings to customize the calendar and alerts.
One of the most popular features is the Everything tab. Here, you can choose from different options such as viewing every discussion, review all open to-do lists, see every single file, read all text documents, or show all forwarded emails on a single page.
With Basecamp, you're going to find a long list of benefits, such as adding updates and notes, attaching documents, email without signing in, sharing filed by dragging from your desktop to the app, and viewing everyone's schedule.
If there is a downside, it will be that the lower costing plans are rather limited with how many projects or people you can have. If you're a one person business, the cost might be too much for you. The other downside is that I have discovered is that sometimes it's hard to get clients to use the system.
True life disclosure here: I love Basecamp, but I often could not get my own clients to use my system, but rather they always wanted to use their own. I'm very thankful when my clients are using Basecamp, and disappointed when they aren't because those clients aren't as organized as clients using Basecamp are.
Basecamp makes it easy to afford their software as there are five different plans to choose from. The plans include Online Simple Start, Online Essentials, Online Plus, Online Essentials with Payroll, and Online Plus with Payroll. Each plan has a low monthly fee and differs in the number of projects, users and features you get.
Again, if you're a single business person with a low number of projects you might find the price prohibitive but I am here to tell you that it's worth it to give it a try. However, even if you can't get your clients to use Basecamp for business, perhaps you can find use of the new personal option.
Whether you need to manage a small project for your book club or little league team or multiple large projects for business, you can find a use for Basecamp. With low monthly costs, a free trial to start with and multiple features on each plan, there's nothing to lose.
Ratings: ease of use 5/5, features 5/5, value 4/5 and ease of deployment 4/5