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The 12 Best Basecamp Alternatives

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Update 2/21/17: This post has been updated with additional Basecamp alternatives that have proved themselves worthy over the past year and a half. We’ve updated the piece to have 12 options instead of the original 9.

It’s been thirteen years since 37Signals came out with Basecamp, its signature project management software.

Originally conceived as a simple tool for freelancers to manage things like website design projects, Basecamp has ballooned into one of the most popular project management software solutions. With over 285,000 customers, 15 million users, and hundreds of thousands completed projects, there’s no denying Basecamp has been hugely successful.

Its simplicity and collaborative approach to managing projects stood in stark contrast to the waterfall method and complexity of Microsoft Project when Basecamp was first released in 2004. This simplicity has been the rallying cry of Basecamp ever since, and for ten years it’s managed to prevent feature bloat and to keep the user experience easy to pick up and learn.

However, this philosophy of simplicity über alles has its share of detractors, and complaints that Basecamp doesn’t include some basic functionality, like embedded time tracking or an easy task list view are common online.

Additionally, hundreds of new project management software products have been released in the intervening decade; many offering similar usability at a comparable (or lower) price point.

The Best Basecamp Alternatives

The twelve PM software products listed below meet two distinct criteria:

  1. They are all at or below Basecamp’s price range (in the $99/month range for unlimited projects and users).
  2. They all prioritize simplicity, ease of use, and transparency within the platform.

These twelve project management systems are absolutely worth a look if you are currently considering signing up for Basecamp, or if you’re already using Basecamp and looking for some alternatives. All of the solutions in the list are web-based and true Basecamp alternatives.

Used Basecamp? Leave a review!

1. ActiveCollab

Offered in both web-based and self-hosted flavors, ActiveCollab has acquired over 10,000 customers since 2007, including heavyweights like the Apple, Harvard University, and Adobe. A slick, modern UI and integration with Xero for time tracking and invoicing round out the offering.

ActiveCollab starts at $25 per month for the SaaS version, which includes five users, 5GB of storage, and unlimited projects, and goes all the way up to $299 per month for unlimited users, 500GB of storage, and unlimited projects. Additionally, there is an option to buy a self-hosted version of the software for $499 and install it on your own server if you happen to want to customize and tweak it.

Used ActiveCollab? Leave a review!

2. Asana

With over 40,000 customers, including Dropbox, Tesla, and Uber, Asana promises “teamwork without email.” Google Drive integration, the ability to forward an email to Asana and have it be automatically turned into a task, and a comprehensive list of keyboard shortcuts make Asana a top contender for usability and functionality.

Asana is priced based on the number of users and is actually free for the first 15. After 15 users the premium tiers start at $8.33 per member per month. All tiers include unlimited projects and tasks, and premium tiers include private projects, unlimited dashboards, advanced reporting, and priority support.

Used Asana? Leave a review!

3. Atlassian JIRA

JIRA from Atlassian has over 35,000 customers with over 45,500,000 users and is a great Basecamp alternative for tech teams. Clients include NASA, Twitter, and Pandora. JIRA includes integration with Google Apps, time management, and tracking, and an HTML5 enabled mobile interface for team members on the go.

Pricing starts at $10 per month for ten users and increases to $1,000 per month for 2,000 users. Additionally, like ActiveCollab, JIRA has a self-hosted option for a one-time price of $10 for ten users, $1,200 for 25 users, and on up to larger enterprise offerings. Of note, if you plan to use JIRA for a qualified open source project, Atlassian will actually let you use it for free.

Used Atlassian Jira? Leave a review!

4. Freedcamp

Billed as “the closest free alternative you will ever get to Basecamp,” Freedcamp, by Enavu, boasts Google, PayPal, and Airbnb among its140,000 customers. A simple user interface, similar in feel to Basecamp’s, as well as group communication tools like a wall, browser alerts, and social media integrations make Freedcamp a robust PM solution. We also ranked it as the #2 free and open source project management software available.

Freedcamp is free for unlimited users, projects, and tasks,

Used Freedcamp? Leave a review!

5. Mavenlink

Some 50,000 organizations use Mavenlink’s “growth management software,” including BuzzFeed and the San Antonio Spurs. Integration with QuickBooks and Google Apps, as well as mobile optimization, and time tracking functionality are all strengths of Mavenlink’s system.

Mavenlink starts at $19 a month for up to five users. For project management with financials or customization for create and professional services automation, pricing starts at $39 a month per user.

Used Mavenlink? Leave a review!

6. Podio

Used by customers like Volvo, the NFL, and Sony, Podio boasts a robust app marketplace with integrations for tools like Zendesk, Evernote, and Freshbooks, and also includes private and open workspaces, and a built in IM and video chat.

Pricing starts at $9 per employee per month, with discounts available for enterprise-size teams.

Used Podio? Leave a review!

7. ProWorkflow

If you like Basecamp for its ease of use, you’ll like ProWorkflow. Don’t confuse simplicity with a lack of features, though; ProWorkflow offers time tracking and financial management in addition to a slew of project management features like timelines, project tasks and subtasks, and resource reports.

ProWorkflow’s professional version starts at $20 per month, per user and includes 25GB of storage, SSL security, client access, invoices, and permissions settings. Upgrade to $30 per month, per user for 50GB of file storage, project templates, and customization options.    

Used ProWorkflow? Leave a review!

8. Teamwork Projects

A feature-rich project management solution, Teamwork Projects even has an entire page dedicated to comparing it to Basecamp. Some functionality lauded by users includes a sophisticated search, time tracking with integration into Freshbooks, and continually updated iOS and Android apps. Some of its 255,000 customers include Spotify, eBay, and Forbes. Teamwork starts at $49 a month for unlimited users, 40 projects, and 20GB of space. Pricing scales with increased project and storage functionality.

Used Teamwork Projects? Leave a review!

9. Wimi

Looking for project management software that’s truly dedicated to small business success? Meet Wimi, an all-in-one project management app with unified workspaces, extensive user permissions settings controls, and detailed task and reporting functionality.

Best of all, Wimi is incredibly reasonably priced. Users can get started for free with up to eight projects, 10GB of storage, and up to 10 guests. Upgrading for more file sharing and users starts at $5 per user, per month. The enterprise level caps out an astonishing $12 per user, per month. That version includes full-service integrations, unlimited projects, unlimited guests, and a “customer success program” that comes with a private API and dedicated customer service attention to your account.    

Used Wimi? Leave a review!

10. Worksection

Worksection poo-poos the idea of trying to stuff all of your project management needs into one dashboard; there’s too much information, and for Worksection, too many features to include on one page.

By allowing space for different “sections” (including, but not limited to, project management, file management, and business planning), each activity has breathing room, encouraging users to focus on their task at hand. You can find Hyundai and Burda among the 12,000 teams using Worksection.

The features that Worksection offers tie directly into its pricing model. For example, the free version allows for two active projects, a calendar, and hardly any storage (50 megabytes). Its $49 a month plan, for example, allows 50 active projects, 50GB of storage, and a calendar, along with Gantt charts, time tracking, a timer, accounting features, and FTP storage. The professional version of Worksection does not limit the number of active projects, offers 250GB of storage, includes all the above-mentioned features and SSL encryption and an account on your business’ domain.

Used Worksection? Leave a review!

11. Wrike

Wrike’s 4,000 customers include PayPal, and Capgemini. Online document collaboration through integration with Google Drive, Dropbox, and Box, as well as free mobile apps, and detailed time-tracking are a few of the powerful features in this project management tool.

For up to 5 users and 2GB of storage, Wrike offers a free version, and paid plans start at $10 per user, per month for 5GB of storage and unlimited collaborators.

Used Wrike? Leave a review!

12. Zoho Projects

One of the smaller solutions on this list in terms of customer numbers, Zoho’s project management offering is nonetheless a strong alternative to Basecamp, and includes customers like Techcrunch, PC World, and the New York Times. Standout features include integrations with Google Apps, Dropbox, and Github, mobile apps, and time tracking.

Zoho Projects offers a free version for up to one project and 10MB of storage, and the paid versions, which include time tracking, start at $25 per month for 20 projects and 10GB of storage and go up to $80 per month for unlimited projects and 100GB of storage.

Used Zoho Projects? Leave a review!

Other Basecamp Alternatives to Consider?

While I think the above twelve options are the closest potential alternatives to Basecamp, there are several other products that, depending on your needs, may also deserve to make your PM software shortlist.

Solutions like Copper Project, Huddle, Smartsheet, and Project Manager are all established options with deep customer bases.

Know any other good Basecamp alternatives? Leave a review for software that we missed and share in the comments below!

Looking for Project Management software? Check out Capterra's list of the best Project Management software solutions.

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About the Author

Rachel Burger

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Rachel is a content manager for Capterra, a free online resource that quickly matches businesses to their software needs. She specializes in project management tips, tools, and tricks . She also runs her own blog on content marketing. On the rare occasion Rachel isn't writing, she's reading, hiking, jogging, or spending time with her friends and family.

Comments

I’ve been using Arc 9 to manage all my creative projects, especially ones that require direct client interaction. It’s definitely the easiest platform to use because, it combines all the best features of traditional collaboration software like; basecamp, vimeo, and dropbox, into a single web application.

I love that not only is it great for video (which is nearly impossible to find these days), it handles everything else with ease. You can upload almost any type of image, coding/development script, pdf, text, or file without having to convert them back and forth. I am still most impressed by the features available for sharing, which instantly turn projects into fully branded presentations. You can invite clients (via email) to view your work in customized private portals, with annotation tools that encourage both written and visual feedback.

I’ve found it to be the perfect solution for many of my creative workflow obstacles, and I really think other creatives would benefit from it as much as I have.

http://www.arc9.com

I would like to mention proofhub here. Best basecamp alternative. It has more features than any other PM software. It has everything that is missing in Basecamp. Look and feel is also good. Try https://www.proofhub.com

I’d add project management tool Plan First by Biz First http://planfirst.bizfirstonline.com it really addresses .Some of my pain points around changes, risks etc. I loved its reports – they are awesome.

I’d like to mention Worksection here, because as for me it’s the best Basecamp alternative.
It has all the requirement features ( task assignment with start date and deadline, time-tracking, Gantt chart, emails, external groups with access to specific projects (for clients, freelancers, etc.).
Using Worksection you also can comment directly on tasks to spitball new ideas and leave feedback, attach files directly to tasks from Box, Dropbox, Google Drive, or your computer, review and edit attachments right from the workspace.

I really recommend it!

Oh, it’s a really good site, Cassie.
So clear and vivid!
Think, it’s the best way to find more information about project management software.
Many thanks!

Thanks for the great post.

I’ve tried many basecamp alternatives, but the closest one I ever found till this date is http://www.timelyprojects.com

I use Trello.com for simple todo cards, but when it comes to project management and collaboration, I find timelyprojects.com lovely…

Great list! We use http://www.eagle-space.com on our company and is working great so far for us. 🙂

Holy crap. Podio is amazing. You can totally customize EVERYTHING so that your project management experience is perfectly tailored to exactly how you and your team work. This is the most feature packed project management suite I’ve seen, and while the learning curve is a little steeper, the end result is fantastic. Thanks for this article, it’s been most helpful.

A new basecamp alternative : https://gladys.com
Projects Management, Collaborative software and Creative communities management (ideas, inspiration…)

Based on your 2 considered criteria – price and ease of use – I think you missed RationalPlan:
http://www.capterra.com/project-management-software/spotlight/74048/RationalPlan/Stand%20By%20Soft

Although on the other hand I would say that Basecamp is not a real project management application but rather more like a ToDo list or task management product. And RationalPlan offers a lot more in terms of functionality.

For the past few months I have been using Colarosa (https://colarosa.com/). It’s really intuitive, and the dashboard is well organized. I use this with almost every new client project. I tried Basecamp and Podio and they just didn’t cut it for my needs. It’s worth checking them out: https://colarosa.com/

I’d highly recommend LiquidPlanner be considered (disclosure, I work at LiquidPlanner) for these reasons: it’s great for small, distributed teams that want collaboration, document sharing and detailed analytic and reporting in one online package. In addition, if you find it a constant struggle to hit deadlines on time LiquidPlanner is a super helpful tool as it will predict when work will be completed. You can check out a video of how it works here http://liquidplanner.wistia.com/medias/hdg5r49s67?embedType=iframe&videoFoam=true&videoWidth=550.

I’d highly recommend ProjectToolBelt (http://www.projecttoolbelt.com). It offers many things that other project management software don’t have – assigning multiple users / teams to projects, document library with search, customer contacts management, copying project templates, timesheets integration (with approval workflows to different project managers), timesheets analytics and flexible customization settings. You can create and assign tasks with start date and deadline, costs, detailed time-tracking. And track time and generate reports for billing.

ProjectToolBelt is also fully integrated with a HRIS package – Planmyleave – an online leave management software (http://www.planmyleave.com) as well as Travel and Expense Management. Their online support team is great and help documentation is getting better. ProjectToolBelt is free while Timesheets and HRIS-Leave Management is at just $1/user/month.

My team recently found SuiteDash ( http://suitedash.com ) and really like how so many tools are integrated into one interface. The PM is really intuitive, and has all the time tracking, invoicing and communications bells/whistles that makes this type of thing really usable. Great support, and new features added all the time. And, best of all, it’s really very reasonable as far as price.

I often find tools in this area are either way too complicated or too simplistic. To this end http://www.workstack.io looks like it gets the balance right between power and simplicity with an intuitive drag and drop interface and splitting the project into Team and Project Views.

Arrangedly (http://www.arrangedly.com/) has become a critically valuable tool at our Home Health Agency. The ability of the tool to work for both our clinical team, as well as our business staff and marketing teams, is proof of its fluidity.

[…] La plateforme ne fait pas cavalier seul dans son domaine. Plusieurs alternatives ont également vu le jour au fil des années. Voici quelques alternatives à Basecamp. […]

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Capterra visitors can get 6 months free on Hive’s professional plan (https://hiveteams.com) with the code ‘CAPTERRAHIVE’. Hive is what Basecamp would have built if they’d started today.

May I also add https://gridle.io in the list. In from couple of years. Has functionalities like Projects, tasks, sub tasks, recurring taks, files, chats, audio-video calls and a personal assistant bot. Its free for users upto 5, offers unlimited storage.

[…] : expériences personnelles ainsi que Capterra pour complèter la […]

Kahootz, (www.kahootz.com) is used widely in the public sector, (NHS and MOD) for small and large projects. You can try it for 30 days for free and includes all the features, (document collaboration, task management, tailored workspaces etc) that you would expect.

Thank you for the great article. We have been looking for a solution similar to Basecamp, but we need something that is fully secure. Either run and controlled on our own servers or fully encrypted from point to point with nothing in the clear outside our users. Any thoughts?

Projectplace and Tenrox are ISO 27001 certified with role-based access controls, 99.9% uptime, and two-step verification. Maybe start there? You could also reach out to the folks at Software Advice who give free tailored product recommendations (they make their money off lead recommendations so you don’t need to pay anything).

I’d like to recommend Deskun (deskun.com) as a low price alternative for startups and small businesses. There are tasks with priorities, deadlines, delegation, internal notes. You can also use templates to save time creating new tasks.

Thanks Peter. It looks like Deskun is more of a help desk Gmail integration than a true project management Basecamp competitor.

Another alternative for Basecamp that I’d recommend is Zillable. It is an awesome virtual collaboration platform and a project management web application that can help you manage your VAs. You can also use it for free so check it out!

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