July 19, 2016

6 Best Basecamp Alternatives for 2024

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No software solution solves every problem, and what works for one use case may be a much poorer fit for another. Take Basecamp for example. A standout PM tool that’s been around for over a decade, it meets the needs of numerous brands and businesses. Not all of them, though.

If you’re looking for a PM tool, and want to know about alternatives to Basecamp, this is the article for you. For more information on how we make our choices, read our methodology.

Our picks for the top Basecamp alternatives

  • Monday—Best for general use
  • Smartsheet—Best for IT simplicity
  • Wrike—Best for cross-department implementation
  • Jira—Best for tech-savvy users
  • ClickUp—Best for growing SMB teams
  • Trello—Best free option

monday: Best for general users


Pros

  • Robust product scheduling, with native task management
  • Customizable by industry
  • Facilitates easy coordination with both internal and external contributors
  • Free for up to two seats

Cons

  • Most advanced features require paid subscriptions, with some (like Gantt charts) only accessible to higher tiers
  • Automation options, with plenty of customizability
  • Easy to deploy rapidly, both in the system, and among the users
  • Features Gantt charts, Kanban boards, timeline views, and more
  • Free — no cost, up to two seats
  • Basic — $9 per seat per month, billed annually, or $12 per seat billed monthly
  • Standard — $12 per seat per month, billed annually, or $14 per seat billed monthly
  • Pro — $19 per seat per month, billed annually, or $24 per seat billed monthly
  • Enterprise — Call for quote

Monday is a solid mid-market option for those looking for more features but lower cost. It offers a great deal more functionality than more widely known “free” tools, while keeping costs manageable for small and growing teams. It’s easy to set up quickly, and easy to learn. Plus, with a free version, users can test to their hearts’ content to decide if it’s right for them.

monday.com is a software solution with a brand name that may lead to some confusion at first. It’s not uncommon for teams adjusting to the tool to have to clarify “is it in Monday, or on Monday?” But chronological confusion aside, it’s a platform with a lot to offer teams with straightforward PM needs and tight budgets.

It’s built to boost efficiency, effectiveness, and savings on overhead for numerous departments, including software development, sales, HR, and marketing. Some more advanced features may require the right subscription tier, but even then, most monday.com subscriptions are lower in cost than many of its equivalents in the market.

Smartsheet: Best for IT simplicity


Pros

  • PM features with broad applicability
  • Plentiful third-party integrations
  • Enhanced IT controls for privileges, security, etc.

Cons

  • Limited storage for free and Pro plans
  • Advanced automation and customization features restricted to Business and Enterprise plans only
  • Free plan for those with smaller teams or who need to try the solution first
  • Numerous integrations with other business productivity apps
  • Simplicity and familiarity of a spreadsheet, with much more functionality
  • IT teams will find it easy to implement, easy to manage, and easy to leverage for data privacy
  • Free
  • Pro: $7/user/month, billed yearly
  • Business: $25/user/month, billed yearly
  • Enterprise: by quote

One major component of adopting new software is the burden it places on technical teams to get up and running. Smartsheet is sensitive to this concern, and is designed to meet PM needs while limiting the labor required to get the system up to speed. What’s more, the deep user management controls will help alleviate issues regarding privacy, access rights, and more.

Smartsheet takes a different approach to project management software. While other solutions design their own UIs, attempting to make them intuitive despite being proprietary, Smartsheet leverages the ubiquity of other software to make its own more accessible. 

Smartsheet is, at its core, a supercharged spreadsheet. For teams that have previously tracked finances, work schedules, and other business processes using this old office standby, using Smartsheet will feel natural and instinctive. Much of the skills for using spreadsheets transfer over, and that alone can make it an easy sell for teams that are on the hunt for PM software.

Wrike: Best for cross-department implementation


Pros

  • Generous free functionality, and low-cost plans
  • Native task management, and unlimited task nesting
  • Free user seats for external collaborators

Cons

  • Lacks Gantt chart functionality for free users
  • Storage and other features require higher tiers to access/increase
  • Straightforward, easy-to-use PM and task management
  • Reporting features, automation, and options for data security
  • Ample free accounts, including external contributors
  • Quick to implement, quick to learn
  • Free
  • Team — $9.80/user/month
  • Business — $24.80/user/month
  • Enterprise — Call for quote
  • Pinnacle — Call for quote

Few PM solutions support implementation in as many departments as Wrike. With a platform designed to facilitate improved productivity in sales, marketing, HR, IT, software development, data science, legal, and a whole lot more, Wrike offers a uniform solution for teams looking to boost their efficiency while still maintaining a single source of truth for their productivity.

Wrike is a cloud-based project management system designed to support collaboration for distributed teams. Their free plan offers a majority of their key features, with their low-tier plans adding additional key functionality for a moderate cost. And for those looking for every bell and whistle they have to offer, there are two separate tiers for bespoke service and pricing.

Where Wrike really excels is in how it prevents additional bloat to the tech stack. By using a single PM tool for productivity tracking in multiple (if not all) departments, mid-sized organizations can limit overhead and wasted resources, all without subscribing for a dozen new tools.

Jira: Best for tech-savvy users


Pros

  • Purpose-built with IT, DevOps, software development, and other technical teams in mind
  • Robust controls for security, privacy, and permissions
  • Benefits larger teams with flat-rate annual billing

Cons

  • Interface less user-friendly for those without coding experience
  • Requires more expertise for both setup and maintenance than most PMs
  • Strong scrum and kanban support
  • Focused functionality for a core target demographic
  • UI is less rigid, more customizable, providing more freedom to tech-savvy users
  • Core features include tools for software development, service ticketing, debugging, etc.
  • Free
  • Standard — $7.75/user/month
  • Premium — $15.25/user/month 
  • Enterprise — Call for quote

Jira is built by technical experts for technical experts. Designed for the kind of users who could potentially code their own UI from scratch if needed, Jira offers more customization than potentially any other solution…provided you know how to work the tools on the back end. For teams that are poorly served by the vast majority of out-of-the-box solutions, Jira is a solid choice.

In every market, there are the generalist, and the specialists. There are multitools, and there are precision instruments. And, much as a trade professional often uses tools that the average DIY-er doesn’t even own, so it is with software that caters to very specific use cases.

Jira is a precision instrument for project management in technical teams. IT teams, development teams, and other professionals with extensive experience with computer systems are accustomed to having to build their own solutions to problems. That’s why Jira makes that process easier for them with increased customization and UI controls.

For those who are less familiar with computer code, system configurations, and terms like API and ETL, Jira may be a poor fit. The UI will likely feel somewhat alien and difficult to adopt. But for those in its target market, it’s a toolbox with just about everything the need.

ClickUp: Best for growing SMB teams


Pros

  • Enterprise-level functionality for an affordable price
  • Intuitive UI and hassle-free implementation
  • Numerous visualization options (including unlimited Gantt charts)

Cons

  • Requires time and skill investments to capitalize on advanced features
  • Android app users occasionally report buggy experience
  • Bottomless Gantt charts
  • Native chat app functionality
  • Customizable  dashboard widgets and other UI elements
  • Free
  • Unlimited — $9/user/month, or $5/user/month when billed annually
  • Business — $19/user/month, or $12/user/month when billed annually
  • Business Plus — $29/user/month, or $19/user/month when billed annually
  • Enterprise — Call for quote

It can be hard to find full feature sets for reduced subscription costs, but ClickUp offers just that. For growing teams trying to scale, teams with complex processes, or teams expecting growing pains to interfere with operations and efficiency, ClickUp offers a platform that can carry them through the ebbs and flows as teams shift and expand.

One of the biggest impediments to adopting new software is the issue of future-proofing. How long with a tool be viable before its limitations result in diminishing returns? Is it worth it to invest in software today, if it will have to be traded out in a few years? What if this results in operations grinding to a halt in the process of upgrading to a new system?

ClickUp can help teams avoid this very issue. The platform brings enterprise-grade functionality to the table, but offers prices more manageable for growing teams and tight budgets (especially if paid for yearly). For any but the most niche of use cases, ClickUp is a compelling option in the space.

Trello: Best free option


Pros

  • The simplicity of sticky notes, in digital form
  • Easy to learn, free to use
  • Paid tiers offer critical added functionality

Cons

  • May lack many features required for more complex use cases
  • Integrations and more advanced management tools require paid subscription
  • Digital kanban board, with added task management and collaboration features
  • Get nearly the entire tool for free
  • Paid users can leverage automations, integrations, and other advanced features
  • Free
  • Standard — $6/user/month, $5/user/month billed annually
  • Premium — $12.50/user/month, $10/user/month billed annually
  • Enterprise — Sliding scale based on user base

Trello’s two primary value propositions are its freemium subscription model, and its painfully intuitive interface. Free users get access to all of the most important features at no cost. And anyone who’s ever used computers and sticky notes already knows how to use Trello’s UI.

It’s hard to argue with the power of an elegant solution. Trello is a perfect example. The feature set is slim and focused, built around a core user interface that takes just moments to learn. Best of all, it can be used for free.

When considering the cost of new software, even a free solution comes with a price—that of time. Time is needed to learn how to use it. Time is needed to implement the system. Time is needed to manage, and train, and update, and…the list goes on. 

Trello is different. The entire platform functions using the same drag-and-drop controls that digital devices have depended on for decades. For teams with simple use cases, no time to implement complex tools, and tight budgets, Trello is hard to beat.

Also read: Slack vs. Basecamp

When to use Basecamp

While sharing much in common with many of its peers in the project management space, Basecamp does have a few unique value propositions that help it stand out. First and foremost, it offers free accounts for teachers and students, making it a standout choice for those particular use cases.

Beyond that, it includes native chat and collaboration functionality, as well as seamless calendar syncing for busy, asynchronous, and distributed teams. 

When not to use Basecamp

Because Basecamp shares many of the core features offered by the competitors in the rest of this list, many find other options a better fit in an alternative. Its cost is higher than most, so if budget is a primary factor, there are comparable budget options. 

And without either a free plan (except for education users) or separate tiers for different user levels, it’s often a poor fit for those who don’t need the whole package (or who need to limit user functionality based on roles). 

Featured Partners: Project Management Software

1 monday.com

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monday.com Work OS is the project management software that helps you and your team plan, execute, and track projects and workflows in one collaborative space. Manage everything from simple to complex projects more efficiently with the help of visual boards, 200+ ready-made templates, clever no-code automations, and easy integrations. In addition, custom dashboards simplify reporting, so you can evaluate your progress and make data-driven decisions.

Learn more about monday.com

2 Wrike

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Wrike’s top-notch workflow management software allows you to easily visualize priorities, boost collaboration, and maintain control of your projects. Bonus: you can move seamlessly between apps, without logging in or out. Wrike has more than 400+ integrations with popular platforms such as Google, Dropbox, Microsoft Office, and many more. Automation and AI features strip away time-consuming admin tasks so you can do the best work of your life.

Learn more about Wrike

3 Quickbase

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Big ideas aren’t simple to execute. So we’re here to help you tackle any project, no matter how complex. We’re Quickbase.

Quickbase helps customers see, connect and control complex projects that reshape our world. Whether it’s raising a skyscraper or coordinating vaccine rollouts, the no-code software platform allows business users to custom fit solutions to the way they work – using information from across the systems they already have.

Learn more about Quickbase

How we choose our top picks

At TechnologyAdvice, we assess a wide range of factors before selecting our top choices for a given category. To make our selections, we rely on our extensive research, product information, vendor websites, competitor research, and first-hand experience. We then consider what makes a solution best for customer-specific needs. By defining business needs, we can determine the essential features organizations in various sectors require and select platforms that will cover all bases.

Reputable providers known for their ease of use and customer satisfaction are added to our compilation list for further analysis. We then evaluate each solution on the list based on the features it offers, considering the platform’s usability, integration capabilities, customization options, mobile access, and any other relevant functionalities. Price plans, hidden fees, customer reviews, and customer support are also assessed in the selection process.

TechnologyAdvice writers will often take advantage of free trials and demos to get a first-hand user experience of available software. Finally, we curate a comprehensive list based on the previously stated factors, ensuring readers have the necessary tools to make an informed decision.

TechnologyAdvice is able to offer our services for free because some vendors may pay us for web traffic or other sales opportunities. Our mission is to help technology buyers make better purchasing decisions, so we provide you with information for all vendors — even those that don't pay us.
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