12 alternatives to Basecamp

I’ve spent a great deal of time investigating and using a multitude of tools for web based data and project management, communication, authoring, and collaboration. It’s amazing the amount of attention this type of software receives from developers and designers.

Of all the software I have surveyed, Basecamp from Chicago based 37signals, gets by far the most press. Deservedly so, as the quality they deliver far exceeds their marketing acumen.

But as you might expect, there are alternatives, and considering the amount of time you will spend using the software, and your own unique needs, it’s useful to try as many alternatives as time will allow.

While there are certainly more definitive lists, the following are what I found most interesting or useful.

Web based project collaboration tools

Huddle – Huddle combines online collaboration, online project management and document sharing using social networking principles.
Redmine – Redmine is a flexible project management web application. Written using Ruby on Rails framework, it is cross-platform and cross-database. Redmine is open source and released under the terms of the GNU General Public License v2 (GPL).
Action Method – Action Method is a radical approach to productivity and project management.
Google Sites – Google Sites is a free and easy way to create and share webpages.
Project Pier – ProjectPier is a Free, Open-Source, self-hosted PHP application for managing tasks, projects and teams through an intuitive web interface. ProjectPier will help your organization communicate, collaborate and get things done Its function is similar to commercial groupware/project management products, but allows the freedom and scalability of self-hosting.
5pm – 5pm can be your central location for project and task management, team collaboration, time tracking, reporting and more…
OpenGoo – OpenGoo is an Open Source Web Office. It is a complete solution for every organization to create, collaborate, share and publish all its internal and external documents.
Kindling – Kindling is an idea management and collaboration tool for groups. We know how important it is to find good ideas within your company, so we created a tool to help foster great thinking. Kindling is for groups, businesses and organizations.
2collab – 2collab works by being a social bookmarking site where you can store and organize your favorite internet resources – such as research articles from any publisher, blogs, websites, and more. Then, in private or public groups you can share your bookmarks with others – your colleagues, distributed research team, or the wider pool of experts in your field. Members of groups can evaluate these resources (by adding ratings and comments) and add their own bookmarks.
Mindquarry – Mindquarry is an Open Source collaborative software platform for file sharing (documents, images, media files, etc.), task and project management, team collaboration and Wiki editing that meshes simplicity and functionality. As a result, knowledge workers are able to connect with team members and share information from wherever they are, effectively improving team-work and increasing productivity within the company.
Goplan – Goplan is an online project management solution. It allows teams and individuals to collaborate through tasks, file management, real-time chat, online calendaring, and many other features.
Co-op – Co-op allows you to stay in tune with your co-workers. Ask questions, share knowledge, track time, and update agendas all in one place.
Others:
Evernote – Evernote allows you to easily capture information in any environment using whatever device or platform you find most convenient, and makes this information accessible and searchable at any time, from anywhere.
Getsignoff – You may produce the best website designs ever, but getting sign off is always painful. Presenting designs to distant clients and managing their feedback is challenging. GetSignOff provides a mechanism for presenting your site designs, managing feedback and organising multiple versions of a design.
More information on collaboration and collaborative software:
Levels of Collaboration – David Coleman
A Manifesto for Collaborative Tools – Eugene Eric Kim
Collaborative Software – Wikipedia
Knowledge Management and Collaborative Models – Susan Cowan
Managing Collective Intelligence – Oliver Zara



37 comments Write a comment

  1. Also check out Intervals. It is a web-based time tracking, task management and project management tool that picks up where Basecamp left off. It’s ideal if you are looking for more features without compromising the simplicity of Basecamp.

  2. Small teams often need to cover both the sales and operations activity. This calls for additional tools integrated into the PM solution.
    Solve360 is Project Management meets CRM for serious business. Intro video http://is.gd/lYIL

  3. Nice list! We use our online project management tool in-house. It’s web based, so it’s easily accessible and it’s great for straightforward task and time management. Even has a punch clock and pdf invoice generation. Solid!

  4. Nice list! We use our online project management tool SantexQ in-house. It’s web based, so it’s easily accessible and it’s great for straightforward task and time management. Even has a punch clock and pdf invoice generation. Solid!

  5. Another great alternative is Central Desktop. Central Desktop is a pure web-based social technology platform for next-generation business teams to interact, share and manage their daily work activities from anywhere at anytime. It is a SaaS based enterprise web 2.0 solution for communicating, connecting, collaborating, & working on content with the people within and outside your business firewall more efficiently.

  6. I suggest you to take a look at Teamwork. It is a great web solution for manage your projects, with a very complete set of features.

  7. I am myself working as a designer and i use basecamp for the project management. Being a designer what is required is reviewing of designs. The problem i have always faced is the use of emails that the client has to use so to eleborate the changes and other things required in the designed mocks. Using basecamp also didnt provide any solution for the problem and then came an add on named Proofhq. it was thought that it may provide a solution but what i saw was that Even the Micro account costs $17
    per month and just 30 proofs a month!! around 5 proofs would just be wasted knowing the functionality itself. Though i would
    really like some product with similar functionalities to come up at an effective cost where thing can be inbuilt, ofcource we
    need some gud updates so many years basecamp providing this service but we cant see much big time updates or big time
    functionalities though u may count some small ones. But i really appreciate the simplicity basecamp provides that is much
    better in comparison of http://www.activecollab.com or Huddle or zoho or any other product. I have heard of an upcoming product
    called proofhub (www.proofhub.com) that is going to be a powerful project management system as well as provides these add on
    facilities with simplicity though i didnt find much about it on the net but got to know about it from some friend of mine and
    i believe him as hes the 1 who made me aware of basecamp. We can not stick to a product let alternatives show some light and yea hope some alternative solves we designer’s problems soon. thank u for the post

  8. I am myself working as a designer and i use basecamp for the project management. Being a designer what is required is reviewing of designs. The problem i have always faced is the use of emails that the client has to use so to eleborate the changes and other things required in the designed mocks. Using basecamp also didnt provide any solution for the problem and then came an add on named Proofhq. it was thought that it may provide a solution but what i saw was that Even the Micro account costs $17 per month and just 30 proofs a month!! around 5 proofs would just be wasted knowing the functionality itself. Though i would really like some product with similar functionalities to come up at an effective cost where thing can be inbuilt, ofcource we need some gud updates so many years basecamp providing this service but we cant see much big time updates or big time functionalities though u may count some small ones. But i really appreciate the simplicity basecamp provides that is much better in comparison of http://www.activecollab.com or Huddle or zoho or any other product. I have heard of an upcoming product called Proofhub that is going to be a powerful project management system as well as provides these add on facilities with simplicity though i didnt find much about it on the net but got to know about it from some friend of mine and i believe him as hes the 1 who made me aware of basecamp. We can not stick to a product let alternatives show some light and yea hope some alternative solves we designer’s problems soon. Thank u for the post

  9. Nice list! Check out the newly released Zoho Projects 2.0. The UI has been revamped and it now has an integrated wiki/chat. Provides a Twitter-like project messages stream too.

  10. Glasnost21 is another option and is different in four ways:
    First, it is specifically designed for collaboration outside the firewall, with clients and suppliers as well as colleagues.
    Secondly, as an Adobe Flex application it provides an exceptional user experience and makes information remarkably accessible.
    Thirdly a dedicated Image Management module means vastly superior handling of digital assets.
    And lastly, the Contact Management Module provides ‘lite’ but powerful CRM functionality as well as email campaign management.
    Introductory tour at http://bit.ly/4bcCc

  11. Hi All,
    We are happy to announce the launch of eGangLion.com ,it is a project management application which can be used to take care care of all kind of management tasks in a project and helps in team collobration.
    Here is a list of some activities that can be taken care of with the help of eGangLion:
    1. Task Management – Creation of new tasks,assignment of tasks to various team members,tracking the tasks.
    2. Todo list management – You can manage your own todo list and project specific todo lists and can track it seamlessly in the project.
    3. Planning with the help of Gantt charts.
    4. Storing documents,minutes of meetings.
    5. Managing wiki for the project.
    6. Generate invoices for the customer.
    7. Maintain timesheet for various group members.
    8. Have a birds eye view of your tasks using calendar.
    These are only couple of functionalities supported by eGangLion and there are many more that can be used.
    All in All eGangLion is a perfect project management and team collobration tool that can help you manage your project/team in an organised manner using eGangLion.
    The best news is that eGangLion.com is completely free and you can use to manage as many projects as you want.
    We welcome you all to use eGangLion for your projects and provide any suggestions/updates for eGangLion , We will be happy to incorporate your suggestions.
    Welcome to the eGangLion community.
    Team eGanglion.
    http://eganglion.com/
    admin@eGangLion.com

  12. For anyone looking for a simple project management tool, check out Zen (http://agilezen.com). It is based on the idea of lean project management and kanban from the Toyota Production System. It organizes tasks into different phases on a web-based board.

  13. I have used almost all project management systems online. The best one i have found and currently using is ProofHub(www.proofhub.com). It’s dead simple and actually designed to work they way everyday people work, instead of making them adapt to something new. Paid as well as free versions available. Give it a try.

  14. Hey Nice Article, So many gud project management software included. I am quite happy with new version of ProofHub. It is been upgraded with Latest tools now.

  15. Add one more, Wrike.com to your list. Many of our customers switched from Basecamp to Wrike, when their business evolved. Wrike has more of the “real project management stuff”: Gantt charts, due dates, email integration, reports, etc.

  16. This is a great list. Please also check out WizeHive (http://www.wizehive.com) to collaborate and streamline project management. With unlimited secure, private workspaces, groups can upload, edit and comment on files, post notes, organize email, share conversations and calendars, manage tasks, and send updates to your workspace via email, Twitter and mobile devices. Instantly increase your productivity by easily monitoring activity across ALL workspaces at once.
    Our form builder, data utilities, and workflow tools enable collaboration around business processes such as managing projects, processing resumes, evaluating funding requests, scheduling development releases, and more.
    Our free plan offers 1 workspace for unlimited users and 1GB storage. More workspaces start at $9/month. Good luck!

  17. Thanks for this list, but can you work up on the list a little more and include WORKetc that is fast trailblazing and making significant inroads in CRM project management (http://www.worketc.com/CRM Project Management). It is an amazing tool that makes you see at a glance every aspect of your business.

  18. I must admit to being a bit biased, but thought I’d bring your collective attention to our app Skylight.
    Its free at the moment, easy to use and keeps tracks of bookings, contacts, clients, projects, rates, budgets, time tracking.. etc.. You can have multiple accounts and businesses.
    We’re in the BETA phase so would appreciate any input and suggestions to make Skylight even better.
    And please dont just take my word for it
    We’ve had a lovely review from AppStorm that you can read here:
    http://web.appstorm.net/reviews/project-management/robust-management-with-skylight/#more-7510
    Sorry for the self-promo, but really do think it is one of the best options and lowest cost out there. And I’ve tried many of those listed here.
    Please do get in touch – or sign up for a free account! http://www.skylightit.com

  19. I have used proofhub and to me proofhub seems to be the second best project management software present these days + it has both free and paid packages which is a bonus.

  20. Hi Amy, Thanks for suggesting such a nice tool, I am now its paid user and it is helping us a lot in managing all my work.