The COVID-19 pandemic pushed many businesses towards remote workforces, but thankfully, work is more about what you do rather than where you do it. In this age of technology, the transition to remote work has never been easier, and productivity tools like Basecamp and Microsoft 365 are there to help facilitate remote collaboration and increased productivity.
While these tools overlap in some areas, they can also be used in tandem to create a more focused and productive remote work environment. In this article, we’ll compare:
- Team Communication Features
- Project Management Tools
- Contact Management Options
While we’ve compared Basecamp and Microsoft 365, there are other tools out there that promote remote work and collaboration. Use our Collaboration Software Product Selection Tool to get five recommendations that suit your needs best.
Basecamp is an online project management software that allows teams to easily connect and collaborate from anywhere in the world. Its simple pricing model boasts a flat fee of $99/month for unlimited users, making it an affordable option for any size business. You can share documents, assign tasks, and discuss projects easily across all devices.
Microsoft 365 (formerly Office 365) is a suite of productivity tools, including web-based versions of Word, Excel, and PowerPoint. Costs are user-based, and the suite starts at $5/month per user, which can make it pretty expensive for larger teams. The product offerings include an instant messaging and video conferencing platform for easy team communication, as well as online and offline access to documents.
Team communication features
Basecamp offers an instant messaging platform within the application that allows for both one-to-one direct messaging and group chats. Additionally, you can comment on tasks and files, and there’s even an option to BCC a Basecamp project from your email, so you can save important messages from clients or team members. The Basecamp calendar allows you to set due dates, reminders, and meetings for specific teams or projects with no hassle.
Microsoft 365 includes Microsoft Teams, which features both an instant messaging platform as well as a video conferencing system that hosts up to 250 participants. You can also add email hosting through Outlook, which seamlessly integrates with the rest of the suite and allows you to easily save messages in OneNote. The calendar keeps your team organized and lets you send and manage meeting invitations directly from your email account.
Project management tools
As a project management software, Basecamp makes it easy to create and assign tasks, monitor progress, and meet deadlines. Each project received its own subsite, meaning you can add only team members who actually need access to the project rather than bogging everyone down with irrelevant notifications. And speaking of notifications, Basecamp delivers in-app and email notifications to remind you when due dates are coming up, when you’ve been assigned a new to-do, or when someone tags you, so you’ll never miss something important.
While Microsoft 365 doesn’t boast any project management features, it includes tools that can certainly make tracking projects easier. The document sharing and web versions of Word, Excel, PowerPoint, and OneNote can allow multiple people to work together on a document without having to constantly download and reupload it. Additionally, discussion boards and brainstorming forums can help your team get the inspiration they need to perform truly outstanding work. However, if project management is a really important aspect of your business, you may want to use Microsoft 365 in addition to Basecamp or another project management tool.
Contact management options
Basecamp doesn’t include a contact management system, which is why some companies use both it and Microsoft 365 together. However, the message boards inside each project make it easy to store contact information and pertinent notes to any client or vendor you might have. The handy search function also makes it easy to find these notes from the home page, so you don’t have to search through all of your different projects.
Microsoft 365 offers contact management through Outlook, allowing you to save clients and vendors as contacts to have regular touch points. Similar to Basecamp, OneNote allows you to easily store notes about your clients and vendors in an organized, easily accessible format. Finally, you can share documents and spreadsheets with clients while securing them with passwords to ensure only those you want to be able to access them can.
The pandemic has accelerated the need for remote collaboration
When companies moved their employees to remote work, it quickly accelerated any plans they may have already had for the ability to work completely remote and created processes where there weren’t any. Many companies already had some infrastructure in place to support this move, but many are now looking to supplement their initial efforts with additional softwares and applications. Basecamp and Microsoft 365 can both help your team better adjust to remote work and continue to be productive from home, even after the pandemic is over.
For more remote management tools, check out our Collaboration Product Selection Tool for recommendations that are tailored to your needs.