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Basecamp is great for basic task management needs.

basecamp alternative
Basecamp fills a need for small teams to manage their work online in a collaborative atmosphere. Basecamp is great for beginners by virtue of its simplistic design, easy navigation and basic features. One thing we like about Basecamp is its ability to get people used to the idea of project management in a fun and quirky way. When we initially talk to Basecamp users looking for more functionality, they easily gravitate to the features we’ve built into WorkZone.

Basecamp was born out of a need for simple project management.

Before Basecamp was Basecamp, they were 37signals. 37signals was a web design firm founded in 1999. As time went on and work began to pile up, founder Jason Fried realized he needed a simpler way to manage all the work. Projects were disorganized and late. They needed a simpler solution so they built the first version of Basecamp in 2004. Since then, millions of people have used Basecamp to manage their projects
basecamp alternative

But Basecamp lacks a few essential features to tackle complex work.

visibility across all projects
Visibility Across All Projects

Basecamp’s inability to see the big-picture of project statuses across departments, clients or campaigns, makes it difficult to keep everyone up-to-date and on the same page.


Projects with more than a handful of tasks should be organized into tasks and subtasks to give them proper structure. Basecamp shows all tasks at the same level, making it best for very simple projects.

task dependencies
Task Dependencies

Dependencies link related tasks so that later tasks update automatically when the dates of earlier tasks change. In Basecamp, all tasks are independent; changes must be updated manually.

Project Templates

Basecamp 3 does not offer project templates, so every project needs to be created separately, rather than reusing project plans that have already been created.

Basecamp limits visibility into your work.

basecamp limits visibility
Basecamp only allows users to view one project at a time, which severely limits a project manager’s ability to manage. Project management tools need the ability to view multiple projects at once so it is easy to see where all projects stand. Catching delays before they wreck a deliverable is essential to a project manager’s success. Limited visibility is typical in lightweight project management tools like Basecamp.

Basecamp lacks Task Dependencies.

The need for task dependencies is one of the classic signs that a team is outgrowing Basecamp. In fact, it is one of the most requested features we hear from our former Basecamp users. In most projects, certain tasks cannot begin until other tasks are completed. As projects become more complex and involve more people, the ability to link tasks and alert the next responsible party becomes an essential feature for project managers.
basecamp lacks task dependencies

Basecamp is missing robust Project Templates.

project templates
Basecamp 3 lacks the ability to duplicate projects quickly, making a project manager spend time recreating projects again and again. Some of our former Basecamp customers have told us they still need to use Excel as crutch to help Basecamp perform. Managers and teams that could use project templates are wasting their time recreating projects. Within WorkZone, any project can be saved as a template to re-create at the click of a button.

Basecamp does not manage workload.

workload reporting
When projects and teams begin to grow in volume and complexity, a project management tool needs to help a project manager manage resources across the team and multiple departments. Basecamp has no way to see how much work has been allocated to a specific resource. Without this visibility into the workload of team members, some team members will have too much work and some too little, making the whole team less efficient.

What is the best alternative to Basecamp?

It is a tough question and we would love the answer to be WorkZone but we believe that organizations should choose the tool that solves their business goals the best. From our first conversation, we will explore your current process with Basecamp, your biggest pains, and try to align them with what WorkZone offers. If we are not the right solution for your team, we will tell you.

Watch how simple and easy-to-use WorkZone is for your team:


WorkZone was designed for power and simplicity.

Basecamp describes itself as “famously easy to use” because of their simple and clean interface. However, task tools like Basecamp are frequently not enough for complex projects, leaving many teams wanting more to get their work finished. It’s the careful choice of features balanced with ease of use that WorkZone is “famously known for”.

“We enjoy using WorkZone WAY more than we ever enjoyed Basecamp. Being able to see the status of all projects, workload of the team members, and overdue tasks all at a glance means that we’re spending our time talking about the creative work of the agency instead of manually cross-checking project status.”

– John Bohman, Production Director

WorkZone helps teams run smoothly and effectively.

Better Organization

From getting everyone on the same page to keeping documents stored in one place online, WorkZone gives teams a reliable and consistent method of organization.


More Productive Meetings (or even eliminate them!)

WorkZone gives managers complete visibility to all their active projects. Meetings naturally become more productive because the discussion shifts from status updates to more strategic conversations about hurdles to overcome or how the team can add more projects to their plate.


Improved Communication and Collaboration

WorkZone consolidates communication into one centralized location online. Gone are the days of using your inbox as the location for all project files, comments, and updates. By getting comments out of the inbox, project managers and other team members have one spot to reference for updates or questions.


Monitor Progress and Identify Issues Early

Marketing project management software is essential to tracking tasks, as a manager can easily check on the status of assignment at any time. WorkZone allows a manager to get the big picture view to all open activities and the ability to look down the line to anticipate problems.


A web-based, modern solution.

web based project management
Like Basecamp, WorkZone is accessible anywhere as a web-based tool. WorkZone lets multiple users (on PCs or Macs) work simultaneously on projects and sends email alerts when projects/tasks need attention. Never miss an update because you are out of the office again.

“WorkZone is web-based so staff can access it anywhere. E-mailed ‘to do’ lists help people see what they need to be working on now as well as what they have coming up. Project Managers can easily see if their projects are on track, at-risk or in danger of not being completed on time.”

-Kristen Walcheski, Northeast Michigan Community Service Agency

Benefits of cloud based project management software

accessible anywhere
Accessible Anywhere

Work wherever you have the internet. For organizations that have remote workforces, the ability to access their work remotely is invaluable.

lower costs
Lower Costs

Though cloud software is usually paid monthly, the setup and licensing costs are generally lower. When you factor in maintenance advantages, you could end up saving a bundle.

Easier Training

Getting new workers acquainted with your plans and projections is far easier when you can get them plugged in with a new login right away, rather than having to fiddle with settings and installations on different machines.

Hassle Free Maintenance

While you might think an infrastructure hosted across many servers would be more susceptible to troubleshooting headaches, the best project management software handles all upkeep for you.

Centralized document management keeps teams organized.

What makes centralized document management so valuable for a busy team?

No more emailing attachments back and forth
– Keep v1, v2, v3, etc. off your hard drive
Control who views/edits documents
– All comments organized by project, task, or file
WorkZone includes powerful and secure document management software (similar to Microsoft Sharepoint, but much easier and cloud-based). Send email links to alert team members of new documents needing review. Use WorkZone’s simple approval workflow to get signoff on documents before you move forward.

“Without WorkZone, I don’t know how we’d stay on top of our rapid-pace workload, and the many deliverables we’re responsible for producing without missing something.”

-Maria Harmer, True Sense

Every Customer has a dedicated Success Manager

(Say goodbye to ticketing systems!)

You get a dedicated Customer Success Manager who provides one-on-one training and support for all users—including you, your team, your bosses and your clients. Anytime you or your team has a question, simply give us a call at 610-275-9861 and speak with your Success Manager within seconds.

“The Customer Success team is phenomenal. The software can be the best in the world; however, it’s the support team that can make it or break it… WorkZone has exceeded my expectations.”

-Sherri MacCheyne, University of North Carolina Greensboro


Expedite creative review and approvals workflow.

Request approvals on files or webpages. WorkZone automatically emails an approval request to the appropriate parties, tracks and records responses, and alerts overdue approvals helping keep the project on time. An approvals dashboard shows you where everything stands.

WorkZone formed the backbone of the intake process restructuring by providing a reliable platform for the organization and presentation of documents, and the automation of the review and approval process.”

-Bill Gast, Mangos

See all projects at once.
Basecamp does not give you the big picture view that you need to monitor project statuses across departments, clients, or campaigns. With an all status view at your fingertips within WorkZone, managers can quickly report project status to upper management or prep for last minute meetings easily.
see all projects at once
basecamp is not on a mac
Keep everyone focused on their work.
A major difference between WorkZone and Basecamp is how individuals get their work assigned to them. WorkZone provides daily to-do lists via email or a dashboard designed to keep the team working and keep their manager out of the weeds. Basecamp does not allow for a to-do list, leaving the project manager to dole out daily work.
Identify items at risk.
See what tasks are on track or falling behind with status alerts. Late tasks are highlighted and can trigger automatic email alerts. Projects and phases slipping behind schedule are flagged with colorful caution symbols.
see all projects at once

What is Basecamp?

Every product within the project management software industry has a unique value proposition. Some are packaged and developed to appeal to tech-savvy users while others are touted to be especially suited to creative industries. Basecamp is branded as “Everybody’s favorite project management app” by virtue of its simplistic design, easy navigation and basic features.

Basecamp was launched in 2004 by 37signals. Leveraging the trend of remote collaboration and understanding the fact that it doesn’t cover advanced user requirements, Basecamp has invested in supporting a large number of APIs. Many users are enticed by the sheer variety of integration options available. Basecamp as a project management platform lies in a “sweet spot” where it provides the most essential project management features in conjunction with simple collaboration and document sharing options. It is affordable yet efficient.

A Ruby-on-Rails version of Basecamp was launched in 2012 and this makes three distinct flavors of the app available in the market. Basecamp Classic is the “old is gold” version launched in 2004. Basecamp (also branded as the New Basecamp) is an improved variant with more features launched in 2012. Basecamp Personal is a reduction of the 2012 version in order to offer a very streamlined tool for personal project management.

37signals is an advocate of one-account login, very much like Google as users can switch between all subscribed 37signals products from one central dashboard.

Who uses Basecamp?

Basecamp has a quirky sense of style and a very informal feel to its interface. It regularly makes use of attractive visuals and irreverential sketches to leave users in stitches. On average, around 5,000 teams join Basecamp every month and 2013 saw 2,000,000 projects completed to satisfaction. Basecamp is a favorite of innovative entrepreneurs and the majority of the users are small business ventures and startups on their way to expansion. The creative sector uses Basecamp in unique ways to complete simple to reasonably challenging projects.

A look at a case study featured by Basecamp clarifies the scope and size of the projects considered ideal for this project management tool. KEEN footwear is a proud Basecamp success story. They use salvaged material to construct their stores and serve a highly niche buying space. They saw an 8 month project involving 40 people to the finish line based solely on the power of the features offered by Basecamp. The main goal of the project was to organize the store design and acquire new fixtures. The involvement of the IT Team was non-existent. As the project matured, Basecamp provided simple tools like a synced Calendar, custom to-do lists and a great sense of community to foster creativity.

This obviously doesn’t rule out a technical project from succeeding on the platform, but more often than not Basecamp users are innovative individuals with out of the box thinking, great leadership ability, and a more relaxed informal work culture.

What is the learning curve to Basecamp?

Basecamp describes itself as “famously easy to use” with one of the main reasons behind their popularity being the simple and clean interface. Without bombarding the user with too many advanced features, an uncluttered interface enables quick and enthusiastic company wide acceptance of the platform. Since Basecamp offers a “Be a Basecamp Pro in 30 minutes” training series, users can grasp the basic features within half an hour.

Training materials are available for Basecamp. Belle Communication’s Tuesday Toolkit is a blog written by Basecamp evangelists that illustrates how advanced features can be accessed and used effectively. Basecamp also offers “Weekly Classes” and “Live Q and A” to stay connected with users. The exhaustive Frequently Asked Questions, ebooks, and videos educate users about different aspects of Basecamp, transcending features and discussing subscriptions and productivity. The book “Basecamp for Beginners” by Todd Kelsey is an authoritative book and covers the tool comprehensively.

What are the most popular features of Basecamp?

Basecamp has a number of popular features. To-dos allows creation of lists with specific tasks for individual team members. These lists support addition of task details and other attributes. Collaboration and discussions give users the ability to keep all discussions pertaining to a project in one virtual account. Dates and milestones allow managers to set up milestones with due dates and assign these to team members. Notes is an upgrade from the Classic version, which allows team members to jot down details of projects in the form of comprehensive notes. Supporting a wide variety of formats, Basecamp allows all files and documents of a project under one virtual roof. There are other more advanced options and these can be properly capitalized upon after sitting through a training session or a trademark Basecamp webinar.

Does an internal IT department need to help support Basecamp?

No, they do not. Before investigating the IT support issue it’s important to understand the type of application Basecamp is. Described as an “in-cloud” project management and collaboration tool, it doesn’t have to be deployed on premise to start working. Interested companies simply purchase a subscription account depending upon the number of projects lined up for execution and the team member count.

As a result, the issue of IT support is rendered moot to a large extent. Basecamp claims that everything is taken care of at their end as they constantly strive to ensure security of data, server up-time and overall reliability and customer satisfaction.

The Basecamp website itself offers exhaustive FAQs and the minor tech issues which crop up from time to time can be sent to the dedicated support team via a ticket for resolution. Less than 4% of all Basecamp users choose to contact support over the course of a month and this bodes well for small teams with no IT staff.

What are the alternatives for Basecamp?

Alternatives for Basecamp can be both free and paid. This is largely because of its reputation of being “simple” and “streamlined” that allows even freeware to compete for its market.

Alternatives for Basecamp need to be organized into two groups. One pertains to applications with more or less similar features and abilities but with tweaks and improvements to make them flexible and the other pertains to more nuanced and richer tools especially for people looking to upgrade in terms of functionality yet stay away from the complicated hassles of MS Project or Oracle SAP.

Free & comparable Basecamp alternatives include Smartsheet, Asana, ActiveCollab, LearnDash, and Storm. Richer Basecamp alternatives include WorkZone, Wrike, Clarizen, Zoho, and CentralDesktop.

Still have questions about WorkZone as a Basecamp replacement?

Call: 610-275-9861