An In-Depth Basecamp Review for 2024

Our Verdict

Basecamp is a no-frills project management tool with unique functionality like Hill Charts

Basecamp isn’t as popular as tools like Monday, but it’s unique and deserves its own review – from creative agencies to large businesses, over 75,000 people use it.

The no-frills approach to the pricing, functionality, and usability of the platform can either be a benefit or a flaw, it all depends on your preference and specific needs.

While it lacks customization and features like automation and time tracking, there are unique attributes that make it the go-to for many, including the Hill Charts and built-in collaboration tools.

There’s a minimal learning curve, unlike many others, too, but it’s not the best choice for everyone. We recommend reading this Basecamp review before deciding as we compare it to others we’ve tested.

 

Pros

  • Daily alerts for both stakeholders
  • Really simple and easy to use
  • Straightforward pricing
  • Built-in chat system
  • Unique features like Hill Charts

Cons

  • No time tracking
  • Lacks advanced features like complex reporting
  • Big jump in pricing plans
  • Lacks a free plan

In this Basecamp review, we explore a unique project workflow and management tool’s USPs (and flaws), it’s pricing, core features, and how it compares to leading rivals. While it has features others don’t, it lacks functionality that could be a dealbreaker for some. It’s not the best choice for everyone.

Basecamp Pricing

Unlike Basecamp competitors, this tool only has two plans, and the jump in price is quite high. Here are your options compared:

Basecamp Basecamp Pro Unlimited
Starting Price $15/user/month $299/month
User Limit 15 Unlimited
Free Version 30-Day Trial 30-Day Trial
Task/Project Limit Unlimited Unlimited
Time Tracking
Project Views 4 (Hill Chart, Line-Up, Card Table, and List) 4 (Hill Chart, Line-Up, Card Table, and List)
Automation
Custom Fields
Approvals Unlimited Unlimited
Templates
Security 2FA, Firewall, Internal and External Surveillance, HTTPS 2FA, Firewall, Internal and External Surveillance, HTTPS
Integrations 80+, Including Zapier, Zoho, Harvest 80+, Including Zapier, Zoho, Harvest
Basecamp - $15/user/month

Basecamp – $15/user/month

If you have 15 or fewer staff within your organization, then this is the package for you. Unlike other “per seat” packages from other providers, such as Monday, Basecamp offers a flat price.

This base plan also gives you all of Basecamp’s features, too, including 500GB of storage per user. What’s amazing about this plan is that it’s a month-to-month payment, so you can cancel anytime.

This makes it a top choice, particularly for freelancers and anyone after project management software for small teams, such as small creative agencies, for example.

To add to this, you can also add clients and support staff as guests for free. The no-frills pricing and getting full functionality from the base plan is easily Basecamp’s core selling point.

Basecamp Pro Unlimited - $299/month

Basecamp Pro Unlimited – $299/month

Practically everything stays the same with this plan, but the big difference is that you can add unlimited users with this tier, and the file and document storage is increased to 5TB.

As you’d expect, you also get 1:1 onboarding, and you’ll be the first in line to their 24/7 support team. Importantly, the billing will be annual, and surprisingly, they accept checks.

This is quite expensive when compared to rivals like ClickUp, for instance, which offers unlimited users on the free plan — as well as time tracking and custom fields, for example.

Also, having just two plans with a high jump in price isn’t the best option for everyone — there are fewer options for gradual scaling, and for many, this will be expensive.

Basecamp Features

Basecamp is one of the best project management software solutions, but it really depends on your needs and budget. Here are some of the unique features we found noteworthy during our Basecamp review.

Automatic Check-Ins

Automated Check-ins

Did you know that an average of 23 hours a week are spent on meetings? That’s nearly a full day clock rotation wasted instead of being productive on more important tasks.

Basecamp does regular check-ins with your team instead of scheduling daily stand-up meetings. You can ask a very simple question such as “What did you do today?” at the end of their shift.

You can schedule it to daily, weekly, or monthly, and choose which team you are sending the check-ins to — their responses will all be in a centralized location. Will they forget these check-ins?

Basecamp lets you send automated notifications to each team member. We also found it was quite interactive, as you can comment on each of their answers.

This feature saves a significant amount of time and helps improve transparency across your organization. It’s also a feature that’s unique to Basecamp.

Hill Charts

Basecamp's new Hill Charts

Hill Charts aren’t typical line charts. They’re like milestones or Gantt charts but much clearer and more precise, giving teams a good overview of where each project stands.

It’s very different from your typical progress report, too. Basecamp designed this to streamline all projects’ progress instead of just relying on your To-Do List.

They’ve made it look like a hill for a reason, and it’s separated into two sections:

  1. The Uphill section is where you put the projects that are being planned, or that need problem-solving before they can progress.
  2. The Downhill section is where you move the dot once brainstorming and planning are done — it’s now being executed.

A dot (representing the project) is manually placed, which is the main drawback of this, but it’s efficient for identifying any roadblocks early.

As a project manager, you can also add multiple projects (dots) to track within the same Hill Chart, moving each one manually to represent the progress.

Everyone can view the chart so that they can see if your project is moving or not, and you can even add annotations so that everyone is aware of what’s happening.

Pings and Heys

Basecamp's Ping feature

With Basecamp’s Pings and Heys, you won’t need a third-party messaging app anymore. Think of it like a combination of Google Chat and Slack.

Heys is like a general chat or a broadcast channel that’s similar to Slack, wherein you can create channels for a specific client or project and use @mention to notify a specific individual.

It has read receipts so that you’d know if anyone missed your message. It has threads for a more structured discussion, too, and you can also format your message in any way you want.

Pings, on the other hand, is for direct messaging, but it doesn’t stop there. Like Google Chat, you can even create a message and turn it into an actionable task.

To-Do’s

Basecamp’s To-Do’s is the platform’s bread and butter. The simplicity of it is why users love Basecamp. Same with their pricing, it’s a no-frill task manager integrated into your projects.

The dynamic drag-and-drop functionality makes it easier to prioritize and move tasks from each list. You can assign users, map due dates, and create “sub-tasks” for more complex projects.

You may think that those are just basic features, but that’s where they shine. You don’t have to fill in multiple fields, create custom settings, or even manage dependencies.

One of the main issues of some other project management apps is the clutter, which results in overlooked tasks and missed deadlines. That said, Basecamp’s To-Do’s is like a double-edged sword.

You get the simplicity but not the extensive customization that other software, like Monday or ClickUp, offers.

Basecamp Integrations

As mentioned above, while Basecamp lacks more advanced tools compared to other software, like ClickUp‘s AI and Jira‘s scrum views, it offers powerful integrations.

Basecamp has over 80 external app integrations called “Doors”. The most notable apps on their list are Zapier, Trello, Harvest, GitHub, Figma, Hubspot, Zendesk, and Freshbooks.

It’s very easy to set up; just select the app you want to use, and there will be step-by-step instructions you can follow. Unfortunately, some apps aren’t yet listed, such as Power BI, Salesforce, and ServiceNow.

80+ is still a world away from many rivals, too, as we saw in our ClickUp review, for example, which offers 1,000+ integrations, as does Asana.

That said, unlike most, with Basecamp, you get all integrations regardless of the plan. Whether the number and available integration options are a plus or a downfall depends on your specific needs.

Basecamp Customer Reviews

Basecamp reviews indicate that the majority of users are mostly happy with the tool. For example, it’s rated 4.1/5 on G2 (from 5,000+ reviews) and 7.9/10 on TrustRadius.

The platform has amassed over 75,000 users, so what do most love and hate about Basecamp? For starters, usability is a key praise you’ll find across review sites, including Reddit, for example.

A review of Basecamp on Reddit

It’s a no-frills solution, and many commend it for this — however, on the opposite spectrum, some Basecamp reviews highlight how it lacks functionality and customization.

Among the praise is also Basecamp’s easy collaboration (both with internal and external users), as is the fact that the app is continuously improved and experiences zero outages.

A review of Basecamp

Besides limited functionality and customization, the lack of pricing plans and the jump in price is another flaw some highlight on popular review sites, especially as the plans don’t differ much.

What is Basecamp Good for?

Being one of the best online project management tools, Basecamp caters to a lot of remote teams. It’s cloud-based, so you don’t have to install anything and don’t need an IT expert to set it up.

Also, by providing a huge amount of storage, Basecamp is perfectly suited for creative teams—like graphic designers or website developers, who can easily share files within this system.

As a no-frills solution, it’s also an ideal pick for non-profits and educational institutions, for example — if you only need to onboard a maximum of 15 users, that is.

However, if you need automation, advanced reporting, and even time tracking and more customization capabilities, then Basecamp isn’t the ideal choice.

It’s also not the best choice for agile teams as this framework isn’t supported. If you’re still on the fence or you want to consider other options, keep reading, as we’ll explore the best alternatives below.

Basecamp vs Top Competitors

With the market expected to reach $6.54 billion in 2024, there’s no shortage of options. Here’s a head-to-head comparison outlining the main ways it compares to the best Basecamp alternatives:

Basecamp Monday Wrike ClickUp Smartsheet Teamwork
Best For Creative Teams Ease of Use Software Development Free Project Planning Spreadsheet-Style Planning Small Businesses
Starting Price $15/user/month $9/user/month $9.80/user/month $7/user/month $7/user/month $5.99/user/month
Free Version 30-day trial Free Plan Free Plan Free Plan Free Plan Free Plan
Compatibility Android, iOS, Mac, Web Browser Android, iOS, Mac, Web Browser Android, iOS, Mac, Web Browser Android, iOS, Mac, Web Browser Android, iOS, Mac, Web Browser Android, iOS, Mac, Web Browser
Top Features Hill Charts, Automatic Check-Ins, Built-In Collaboration Goals and Strategy, Portfolio Management, Procurement Cross-Tagging, Dynamic Forms, Kanban Boards Hierarchy View, ClickApps, Automations and Dependencies Proofing, Account Administration, Digital Asset Management Client Collaboration, Resource Management, Retainer Management

Basecamp vs Asana

Asana is ideal for any team, whereas Basecamp’s starter plan is suited for small businesses and the higher-end plan for large businesses — with not much wiggle room in between.

Asana does have a learning curve, though, whereas Basecamp is pretty easy to use. That said, unlike Asana, Basecamp does lack templates, automations, custom fields, and time tracking.

Basecamp also only offers a free trial, whereas Asana offers a free plan (In fact, Asana is easily one of the best free project management tools).

Although Asana is more expensive than some rivals, it’s cheaper than Basecamp, too, starting at just $10.99/user/month, and it offers more options for scaling at a cheaper price than Basecamp.

Recommended Read: Our Full Asana Review

Basecamp vs Trello

Both Trello and Basecamp are known for providing excellent visualizations when it comes to reporting. Trello is popular with its Kanban boards that are used to manage tasks and projects.

But Basecamp also has this; it’s called “Card List.” It offers the same Kanban board style, and it connects directly to your Hill Charts. Both are also known for their simplicity.

That said, Trello offers more customization, automation, and cheaper scalable pricing plans to choose from. It even offers Gantt, table, dashboard, and map views.

Overall, it really depends on your specific needs and, importantly, your budget.

Read More: An In-Depth Trello Review for 2024

Basecamp vs Monday

Both Basecamp and Monday offer intuitive user interfaces, but Monday is hard to beat in this respect — it also offers far more customization and pricing plans for scaling.

Monday also has a great free plan, something that Basecamp lacks altogether, and although time tracking is only on the Pro plan, this is still an option with Monday.

Overall, having used both tools, we’d recommend Monday over Basecamp in terms of scalability, affordability, usability, and functionality.

We’d recommend trying both free versions of these tools to test them for yourself before deciding. You can get a good overview of the tool in our review on Monday, too.

Recommended Read: A Full Monday.com Review

How We Test Project Management Tools

For over a decade now, our team has been one of the most established voices on all things tech. We ensure that we provide clear and unbiased reviews on all the latest and best products.

We gather our information by personally testing these services ourselves and combining this data with other real-user feedback to ensure we’re offering a good overview of what you can expect.

Our testing period covers its usability across apps, hands-on experience with the features (including integrations), and even checking the reliability of the support and online documentation.

How to Choose the Best Project Management Solution

There’s no one-size-fits-all solution when it comes to managing projects. Here are some of the most important things to consider before deciding on the best project management app:

PriceFeaturesScalabilityEase of UseIntegrations

Price is obviously the first thing you need to think about. Determine a clear budget and look for solutions that fit within those constraints. However, it isn’t all about the price; it’s also about the value for money on offer.

According to Statista, functionality is the number one factor being considered when choosing a project management tool. Make sure it offers all of the essential features your team needs at the price you’re willing to pay.

Consider your team’s growth trajectory. Will the chosen solution seamlessly scale with your expanding needs? How much will it cost to scale with the provider, and does it include everything you’ll need feature-wise?

Learning curves vary from provider to provider and depend on your experience with similar software and the functionality on offer. To gauge whether it’s a good fit for your team, we recommend taking advantage of any free trials or plans on offer before committing.

No tool does it all, and being able to connect to the apps your business or team already uses will help streamline your workflows. Note the apps you use daily, and be sure to check if the provider offers integration with them. Also, check whether certain integrations are limited depending on the plan.

FAQs

Is Basecamp similar to Jira?

What is Basecamp used for?

Does Basecamp replace Slack?

Nick Saraev
Tech and SaaS Expert

Nick Saraev is a writer & entrepreneur who pivoted from a path in medicine to forge a series of successful digital media businesses. He's been featured in Popular Mechanics, Apple News, & Bloomberg, and is an Amazon Kindle best-seller. He has extensive experience in the tech and SaaS industry, writing in-depth guides to help users grasp technical concepts better.