|Easy to use||Calendar slightly sluggish at times|
|Plethora of functions and features||Nothing groundbreaking in regards to planning the project for the future. While the calendar is useful, it leaves room for something more.|
|Excellent for seeing projects as a whole and also the details of each item within|
Basecamp is a simple to use yet highly functional project management system. While it does not have as many features as some alternatives, the features that it does provide are simple to use, whilst being versatile. Basecamp allows project managers and users to create projects, assign users, create calendars, to do lists, and allows for users to catch up on previous project history that they may have missed out on while away.
The user interface is extremely friendly and easy on the eyes. Due to the fact that project management can be quite complex due to the vast array of tools and sections in most project management software, Basecamp provides an interface that is not only simple to use, but very responsive too (in most parts of the system). It is made clear to the user what the software is currently doing, and also keeps the user aware of their place within the structure of the system. Adding, editing, and deleting new notes, to do lists, projects, and users is so simple that project managers will be able to do this with ease.
Basecamp is proud to say that they have one of the easiest to use calendars around. They are not wrong – this calendar provides substantial functionality, allowing the user to add to do’s, reschedule, and even provides support for multiple calendars. The only downside to the calendar is due to the fact unlike the rest of the system; the response rate of the user interface can be a little sluggish at times.
One of the most prominent features of Basecamp is built right into the interface. As seen in the screenshot, you can actually flick between various aspects of a project like a physical folder or set of papers. This is not only aesthetically pleasing, but provides substantial navigational power for all users.
Inviting people and/or entire departments
Basecamp makes it extremely easy to invite and remove people or entire departments from a project. It offers an interface with the means to add people using either their name or their e-mail address. To add a person by name, they must already be in the system and/or must be assigned to a different project already. It even goes a step further and offers the ability to auto-complete names so that the person inviting others does not have to type the full name.
All project managers should know exactly what each person’s tasks are and their current progress within each task. While having this ability is effective for tracking each person’s work, it is also important to be able to identify which people have room for additional tasks to be assigned to them. This will allow project managers to effectively manage resources by assigning tasks to the appropriate resources with the aim of delegating work packages and tasks to the right people. Basecamps answer to this is “People Pages” and they detail exactly what each person has been doing in regards to the project, and also it provides the ability to display all current and past “To-Do” listings.
Have you ever been away from the office or without internet access for hours, days, or weeks? Basecamp’s Catch Up feature allows users to view history on projects, day by day. It displays all the to-dos that were done on that day, discussions that were made on the project, and even shows which people contributed to a project on any given day. Given Basecamp’s extremely easy to use interface, this is an invaluable feature to catch up on the project if you have been absent.
For a comprehensive web based system, Basecamp is surprisingly responsive and fast. Almost all aspects of the site load almost instantly, including the search function. The system loads and performs transitions as if it were a desktop program for the most part, however, as previously mentioned, the calendar can be slightly sluggish at times, but this does not really detract from the overall experience.
Ease of Use
For a system with a healthy amount of features, Basecamp is extremely intuitive and easy to use. It is a stress-free environment and facilitates the user in whatever they are trying to do. No longer will you have to refer to the manual for every scenario – at least not with Basecamp. The system presents itself in such a way that even a novice user is able to navigate and utilize the interface and the features it contains.
Ultimately, Basecamp is a complete solution and is extremely easy to use and has robust functionality. While some alternatives offer even more features, Basecamp certainly gets the job done professionally, without cluttering the user interface with too many features. While there are no serious flaws to this software, a team or a project manager still must determine if Basecamp is an appropriate system for their actual needs for the project. While the software seems near perfect on paper, it is important to also review alternatives in order to decide which project management software is best for your project(s).