According to Basecamp they have helped over 285,000 companies complete more than 2,000,000 projects in the last year. Those are some pretty impressive numbers. Could Basecamp help you get that sticky project over the line?
What is it?
Basecamp is a really simple, yet highly effective project management tool. It’s a freemium web service (they provide several levels of licensing) accessed from your browser and can be used to manage pretty much any project you can think of.
It’s extremely easy to use and is built for collaboration. The iOS and Android versions give you the chance to take Basecamp anywhere, making it ideal for teams dispersed across different locations and users regularly on the go.
Basecamp’s biggest feature may well be its ease of use. Designed to be as simple as possible, the interface resembles a blank sheet of paper and the functionality has been created to make setting up and managing projects almost as easy as jotting down ideas onto a fresh piece of A4.
You can set up projects from scratch or use templates saved from existing projects. Also, the archive functionality is a neat feature for storing away completed assignments without actually deleting the stored files and discussions.
Once your project has been established you can create discussion areas for invited members, manage and track to-do lists and upload and share files. You can even move ‘to-dos’ between projects, which is a useful addition if you find yourself repeating similar tasks across projects.
In addition, users can handily sort and view text documents in list form. The same feature is available for files. Meaning instead of generic icon and file names, you see actual thumbnails of your uploads, making it much easier and faster to find what you are looking for.
Another great feature is an in-built calendar view, which lets you keep an eye on the progress of a project. You can also switch to a view to show you the tasks each user has been designated and their current progress. The calendar view has been recently revamped to allow users to customize the way they view appointments and receive notifications.
Depending on the package you pick you can manage anywhere from ten to an unlimited number of projects at once. When you login to Basecamp you will see all of your projects are available from a simple to navigate menu. It really is designed to be as easy to use as possible.
Which leads us to…
Who is it for?
Basecamp is perfect for collaboration, making it ideal for projects being worked on by fragmented teams. Its simplicity will appeal to users who are unfamiliar with complex project management tools and are looking for a straightforward way to manage tasks from one location.
It can be especially useful for businesses that regularly collaborate with freelancers and independent consultants. When working on creative or research based projects that feature numerous attachments, the ability to download multiple files at once comes in especially handy.
As Basecamp is so simple to learn, it is easy to invite external team members with no prior experience of the service into the process and have them quickly grasp the fundamentals of any project.
As we touched on previously, Basecamp can be accessed from any browser, any mobile or tablet device that can access email and through their iOS and Android apps.
Users are emailed daily activity updates (which can be customized) and if desired can respond to discussions via their email client without needing to login to Basecamp directly.
Alternatively, the new Gmail ‘View on Basecamp’ button takes you from a Gmail thread to your Basecamp project space in just one click.
We are big fans of Basecamp and use it regularly to manage projects internally and with external collaborators. The low barrier to entry makes it easy for new users to pick up and you needn’t be experienced in project management software to make the most of its features.
If you do ever run into any problems (which will be rare with such a reliable product), Basecamp have an awesome customer service and support team always available to lend a helping hand.
That being said, if you have experience with advanced project management tools you may be left slightly disappointed by a lack of more powerful features available.
Nevertheless, Basecamp does what it sets out to achieve: to help you get projects completed with minimum fuss.
We’ve only ever had very positive feedback from clients and collaborators alike. And it’s been fundamental in helping us pull projects into the end zone.
In the end, isn’t that the fundamental reason any of us are using project management tools?