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The world of project management is a confusing place to be in. With so many options available, finding the right solution for your team can seem impossible. Have no fear, I’m here to help point you in the right direction!
Since you’ve found this article, chances are you’re in need of a good project management tool. Whether you’re using Basecamp and want to make a switch or are just beginning your project management journey, you’re trying to find the best project management option for your team.
I’m here to point you and your team in the right direction. By the end of this article, you’ll be introduced to some potentially perfect project management solutions. Read on to see my list of the best Basecamp alternatives, including one that you may find surprising.
Why You Might Need a Basecamp Alternative
Basecamp is a very useful tool. Its large user base is evidence enough for how useful this software is. That being said, it may not be the perfect solution for you and your team. Here’s a list of reasons customers find themselves seeking a Basecamp alternative:
No Free Plan
While Basecamp’s flat rate for unlimited use is an attractive option for larger teams, businesses that are just starting up may need a free or pay-as-you-go option.
The larger your organization becomes, the more attractive Basecamp’s flat rate becomes. When you’re just starting out with a small team, the price isn’t so attractive.
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Settling for basic and cheap project or task management tools is the biggest mistake you can ever make. You get what you pay for. If you try to save a cent - you will lose a dollar. Wasted time (at $40/hour) is far more expensive than the cost of software. There's a huge difference between process management and project or task management. Processes relieve stress, make things predictable - and help you grow and become efficient. Projects and tasks are just ad-hoc, unpredictable chaos.
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Anyway ... sorry for the interruption! Let's resume the rest of the article.
Some features commonly found in other project management tools simply aren’t a part of Basecamp. The most notable feature is time tracking, which isn’t integrated in Basecamp itself. Other missing features include more in-depth reporting, budgeting, and scheduling capabilities.
It Can be Confusing
I found that the Basecamp website doesn’t flow as naturally as some other project management tools. While most project management tools have a user interface that is immediately understood, Basecamp took some getting used to for me.
When I wanted to do something, I didn’t automatically know where I should look. I needed to browse some webpages before finding my destination.
Let’s take a look at the competition.
Teamwork is a project management tool that posits that you don’t need project management software, you need Teamwork. This means Teamwork focuses on creating clarity between all of a project’s involved parties. Teamwork is known for its simple ease of use.
Decent pricing plans — Unlike some project management tools, Teamwork offers a free plan. That’s reason enough to pique the interest of smaller teams. This plan is limited to 5 users, 100MB of file space, and 2 projects, however.
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Anyway ... we'll continue from where we left off above.
The larger plans, at $9/user per month and $15/user per month, are pretty on par with or cheaper than most competitors’ premium plans. These allow teams to scale up to unlimited users, 250GB of file space, and 600 projects. Premium plans also add a slew of features and integrations not supported in the free plan.
Ease of use — One thing that attracts many users to Teamwork is the ease of use and short learning curve it has. The user interface makes it immediately clear what needs to be done in the short-term. This ease of use makes it particularly attractive to those who are working on less complex projects.
Allows for direct Basecamp importing — One of the integrations that Teamwork offers, coincidentally, is Basecamp! This means you can easily import your existing Basecamp projects directly into Teamwork. This makes testing Teamwork extremely easy for existing Basecamp users. This feature is enough to recommend Teamwork to existing Basecamp users; they’ve got nothing to lose!
So-so iOS app — Teamwork offers some nice features, but they can be limited. They offer Gantt charts, which is a plus, but these charts aren’t accessible from the mobile app. Upon downloading the app, I also wasn’t able to register from mobile, I could only sign in.
Their app has a 2.9/5 rating on the App Store but a more promising 4.1/5 on the Google Play Store. A poor mobile app can be a big push factor for some, so try it out on mobile before committing fully.
More geared for general projects — While many project management tools offer templates for specialized types of projects, such as software development, Teamwork is more of a one-size-fits-all approach. This can be good for some, but those working on more specialized projects can find management tools more tailored to their team.
Asana is a project management tool that can serve as a good alternative to any other tool. It is a well-rounded tool that can help your team get anything done. Let’s take a look at why it’s a good alternative.
Asana offers a free plan — Unlike Basecamp, Asana offers a free plan for teams of up to 15 people. That’s a pretty good size as far as free-to-use plans go. This free plan offers only Asana’s basic functionality, but smaller teams are guaranteed to get at least some value out of the plan.
Asana has tons of integrations — Third party integrations is certainly an area where Asana excels. From Slack to Outlook to Salesforce, Asana offers tons of integrations with some big-name applications. Take a look at their full integrations list to get a better idea of just how incredibly connected Asana is.
Asana offers useful features — One thing that is often a big push factor for some project management tools is the lack of important features. This can be the case for Basecamp.
Unlike Basecamp, Asana offers dependency management, i.e. hierarchical to-do lists that are dependent on the order in which they are completed. Asana also includes things like Kanban boards which come pre-packaged with Asana.
Easy conversion — Like Teamwork, there is a way to import Basecamp projects to Asana, though it’s a bit of a work-around. You must first convert your Basecamp projects to CSV files and then import those CSV files into Asana. A tutorial on the Asana end can be found here.
Asana projects can get complex — While some project management tools focus on ease of use and more limited functionality, Asana focuses on giving users as many features as possible. With this comes a higher required understanding of project management tools. Those who aren’t well-versed in project management can quickly find themselves confused while using Asana.
Tasks can only be assigned to one person — Unlike many project management tools, Asana tasks can only be assigned to one user. This can be a potential deal breaker for some teams.
Trello is unquestionably one of the most popular project management tools out there. This can be attributed to Trello’s ease of use and small learning curve. Trello is great for smaller teams who don’t need a ton of complexity and who value a sleek, uncluttered user interface.
Scalable free plan — Not only does Trello offer a free plan, but its free plan can be scaled up to any sized team. Most free project management plans limit the number of users and projects you can have. With Trello’s free plan, you get unlimited users and unlimited boards.
Ease of use — One of the reasons Trello is so popular is that it has such a small learning curve. The Kanban project management style they utilize is very visual and self-explanatory. This coupled with an uncluttered UI makes Trello easy for anybody to use.
Paid plans are great too — The paid plans Trello offers are cheaper than most paid project management plans. For just $9.99/user per month, you get all of Trello’s features. Not a bad deal at all.
Free plan is missing features — Trello’s free plan is nice as it lets you scale up to pretty much any size, but its functionality will be pretty limited. The free plan is missing important features like using Power-Ups, more customization, and exporting data.
Enterprise businesses should look elsewhere — Since Trello markets itself as simple to use, it needs to avoid confusing clients. This means that some more advanced, potentially confusing features, are intentionally left out. If you are running a larger team that needs more complex project management, there are better options out there for you.
Monday, formerly DaPulse, is a project management tool (among other services) that takes a very visual-oriented approach to project management. Monday sets itself apart through its unique “pulses,” which are the building blocks of Monday boards.
Great design — The first thing I noticed upon using Monday is how striking and clean their layout is. Everything is bright, colorful, and poppy. This isn’t a strictly aesthetic characteristic; great color coordination makes Monday so visually oriented that users can know what’s going on at a glance.
Great templates — Monday doesn’t just provide you with their tool and send you on your way. They have 20+ pre-made templates that cover most areas that project management tools are used for. From agile software dev management to employee onboarding, you’re likely to find just what you need in one of Monday’s templates.
No free plan — Not only does Monday not have a free plan, but their paid plans are structured in a pretty unorthodox way. You don’t pay on a per-user basis, but instead purchase a plan that allows up to a certain number of users. For example, the basic plans come in packages of $25 for 5 users, $49 for 10 users, $75 for 15 users, $125 for 25 users, $250 for 50 users, and so on.
These plans come out to about $5/user per month, but that’s only if you are using the max number of users in your plan. Having one too many team members can send you into a higher price tier, and that can be annoying. You can check out their pricing plans here to get a better idea.
No dependency management — Monday project management is missing some features that are key for some project managers. Monday pulses are treated individually, meaning you won’t get any dependency management. This is one of the few complaints Monday users have reported with the software.
Tallyfy isn’t a project management tool, but it may be a good alternative for you and your team. All of the previous tools mentioned are project management tools. Tallyfy is a process management tool.
Project management tools are great for things that are unique every time we do them, i.e. projects. Often times, the things we are doing aren’t unique, such as onboarding new employees, or taking a customer acquisition approach.
These repeatable things that we do over and over again are processes, and they’re inherently different. Project management tools are specialized for projects, but there are tools out there specialized for the things we do over and over again.
Enter Tallyfy. Tallyfy is a tool that is geared to make those repeatable things go over smoother and more quickly. Let’s take a look how.
Creation of blueprints — Blueprints are Tallyfy’s way of letting you structure these repeatable things you do. They are the “master templates” of business processes. They establish the steps that are taken each time a process is done and can be deployed for each process you perform.
Blueprints are super powerful and super useful for those who find themselves repeating the same task over and over again.
Quality free plan — Tallyfy has 3 different plans to choose from, one of which being free! This means you have nothing to lose with checking Tallyfy out.
The free plan allows for not only unlimited process guests, but also the creation of unlimited blueprints! This means that even the free plan empowers you to declutter your life.
Quick setup and short learning curve — Tallyfy refers to themselves as “the only process management software that anyone can start using in 60 seconds”…and it’s true! Upon creating my free account, I was able to make and deploy a blueprint in mere seconds!