When it comes to bringing your team together, improving your productivity, and staying focused, you’ll be hard pressed to find a better companion than project management tools. The world has become flooded with project management software over the last decade, all eager to meet this modern demand.
Two titans of this industry are Basecamp and Asana, who have both gained significant popularity. As well as a loyal user base at their backs. Today we’ll be pitting these two against each other, and looking more closely at what each of them has to offer.
What is Basecamp?
Basecamp is an expertly designed project management tool. With both a desktop and app client at its foundation, Basecamp aims to provide a workspace that you, your team, and your clients can work together on with ease. Providing a wide range of tools, information, and intuitive features to keep everybody on the same page, and productive.
What is Asana?
Asana has an interesting past. The first iteration of the software was developed out of Facebook, but two executives named Justin Rosenstein and Dustin Moskovitz. This first iteration works as an internal tool to keep the Facebook team focused and productive.
However, the tool was made public in 2011 and quickly gained popularity in the wider market. Providing a range of impressive tools for project managers to optimize their teams work flow, collaborate with their clients, and much more!
Basecamp is an impressively designed project management tool, with a strong reputation for results. Let’s explore some of the key benefits that the platform has to offer:
Extensive Collaboration Features
Basecamp is, at its core, designed to allow teams to collaborate. There are many features baked into the fabric of Basecamp’s design that make this a simple affair. Everything from people being able to work on the same platform as you, to tasks being assigned to other team members, to a range of communication features that make it easy to stay up to date with each other.
Real-Time Chat – Campfires
Basecamp has a native chat client in its platform, called Campfires. This feature allows teams to communicate in groups, or in personal one-on-one chats, with ease. A chat feature is not something that is supported on all project management platforms, so it’s a big plus to see it included here in Basecamp.
Supported, and Sync, on All Platforms
Basecamp is supported on all platforms. This includes any desktop operating system that can use a web browser, as well as having an app as well. This app is available on iOS, Android, and Windows.
Furthermore, Basecamp will seamlessly sync between all of these applications. Meaning you can update your Basecamp on the go via your phone, keep up to date with a current project status, and reply to chat messages whilst you are out of the office.
Basecamp Provides A Free Plan
Basecamp is a paid service, and provides a range of paid options to get the most out of the platform. However, thankfully the platform also offers a free version. This version comes with a few limitations, blocking you from the wealth of Basecamp’s features. However, the free offerings are more than enough to begin using the platform.
Wide Range of Integrations
The developers behind Basecamp have put in the work to provide support for a wide range of third-party integrations. This is especially important for many specific industries that commonly use programs such as Slack, or programs of that nature.
You’ll find that Basecamp supports the majority of commonly used professional applications on the market. Meaning you can tailor your Basecamp workspace to fit your own personal, and company specific needs.
Asana is a project management tool that has been built to improve you and your team. Let’s look more closely at the key pros that you can expect from using the platform:
Great User Experience
Asana’s user interface has undergone an extensive decade of optimization. With an impressive eye for detail on what exactly project managers need. It is easy to use, operates smoothly, and doesn’t leave the end user frustrated with hidden features.
Projects are color-coded for ease of use, and provide a wide range of personalized options for users to customize their own Asana workspace to their liking.
Improved Work Efficiency
Asana, coming from a heavily corporate environment, has a strict focus on improving work efficiency. It’s this metric alone that provided the platform with so much praise when it was an internal tool at Facebook.
The platform allows you to keep an eye on your weekly tasks and project progress. As well as being able to see how other members of your team are progressing. It is easy for managers to point out bottlenecks that are urgent, and optimize how the team is working to better meet the goals of the company.
Asana focused on an element of collaboration above all else. As it is one of the most important assets of a project management platform. Asana allows users to easily invite other people into their workspace, and assign people to projects with a few simple clicks.
You can use the platform to communicate in real-time through native chat support, and file sharing. As well as team-wide alerts that help to keep people up to date with the current status of their projects, and the work of other team members working alongside them.
Tons of Integrations
Asana has had over a decade of integration support built into the fabric of the platform, and you’ll be hard pressed to find a project management program with more support in this area than Asana. Tools such as Bridge24 can quickly be used to improve the platform’s exporting capabilities, and stands as just one of hundreds of supported third party integrations.
When it comes to working for any company, protecting the sensitive information that you work with daily is a vital asset. Asana knows this, and has provided the platform with a range of security options. It allows you to securely back up information, use a firewall to secure your data, and provides a range of permission options to make sure your most sensitive information never falls into the wrong hands.
They Have a Free Plan
Asana provides a free plan, designed for small teams and individuals. The team behind Asana knows that these groups may not have the capital to invest in Asana upfront, providing them a pathway to using the software without any commitment.
The free Asana plan is quite limited. Yet, despite this, still provides enough functionality for individuals and small teams to begin using the platform and take advantage of many of its core features.
Perfection isn’t possible in any piece of software, and Basecamp is no exception to this rule. Let’s take a moment to have an honest look at some of the drawbacks of the Basecamp platform:
No Time Tracking
Time tracking is an incredibly important feature for project managers to have. Allowing you to see how much time is being spent on tasks, and identifying where your workflow bottlenecks are.
Yet despite this, Basecamp does not provide any native time tracking support. Requiring users to use a third-party solution to keep track of this metric. Yet, due to the nature of time tracking, this can be a difficult solution when the majority of your work is housed on the Basecamp platform.
Basecamp is a very limited platform when it comes to customization. You can really alter the UI, or the functionality of the platform all that much. You have power over minor options, such as muting notifications, however when it comes to any deep changes, you’ll be out of luck.
This could prove to be a big issue for project managers who need to tailor their project management platforms for very specific needs. This can be true for anything that works with a complex data matrix, or with a large amount of software development involved.
Limited Chat Features
Whilst Basecamp does provide native chat support, through their Campfires, the platform has a surprising amount of limitation behind this feature. You have no advanced chat features, you can’t archive chats, and there is no way to moderate these chats from an administrator role.
No Tags or Labels
One glaring shortcoming of the Basecamp platform is a complete lack of tagging or labelling features. Despite the platform’s extensive organizational features, that allow you to create deadlines, roadmaps, and manage large amounts of information, you can’t place any tags or labels on these features that would help to prioritize them. A frustrating reality of the platform that can create significant difficulties down the road.
Lack of Advanced Project Management Features
Basecamp is a platform that provides a wide array of features, yet if you are a more seasoned project manager, you will begin to notice a trend behind these features. Many of them are incredibly shallow, provide no customization, and are very limited in their application.
If you have the desire to get more out of any of the features provided by Basecamp, you will quickly run headfirst into the platform’s surprising resume of limitations.
Asana has been in the market for over a decade now, yet despite this, there are still some shortcomings to its project management platform. Let’s explore some of these drawbacks more closely:
Not Very Friendly to New Users
Asana is created with seasoned project managers in mind, and is designed by this very same group. This is a good quality of the platform; however, it is a double-edged sword in one key area.
The Asana platform is extremely difficult for new users, who may have limited project management exposure, to begin using. Many of the features, and even the UI, is designed to be used by experienced users. This required an incredible amount of time investment in the beginning to get up to speed with how the Asana platform works.
You Cannot Assign Multiple People to the Same Task
An incredibly frustrating issue with Asana is that you can’t assign multiple people to a task. If you are a project manager that is handling a complex set of projects, and need to assign a team to a single project, you are out of luck.
This requires you to either have users assigned to duplicate tasks, which clutters your project map, or simply not assign them at all. Some users get around this by using Asana accounts that encapsulate an entire team. However, for a project management platform of this nature, this shouldn’t be an issue that project managers need to deal with.
Projects Can Get Complex
Asana’s extensive list of features has a bad habit of overcomplicating even the most basic tasks. If you team wants to work on a simple project, you can quickly encounter features that will create an air of confusion around how this team is to go about their work.
This is a result of the Asana platform being designed for more seasoned use, and this is a positive. However, it can often feel as if you are wrestling with the complexity element of the platform at times. Leading to time lost, and productivity dropping.
No Time Tracking Feature
Time tracking is a helpful feature that provides a great overview for project managers to keep an eye on where bottlenecks may be cropping up in their team’s workflow. Time tracking is used by just about every major company on the planet.
Despite this, Asana provides no native time tracking feature. Meaning that Asana users need to use a third-party solution if they wish to add the feature.
No Two-Factor Authentication
Two factor authentications are, without a doubt, the easiest way to improve security. This is incredibly important for companies that are handling very sensitive information, that cannot under any circumstance, fall into the wrong hands.
Despite this, Asana does not provide any 2FA support on their platform. This includes support for any third-party 2FA solutions, such as Google’s 2FA app. This means that, if one of your team members has their password hacked, your entire Asana board could be accessed.
Advantages That Asana Has Over Basecamp
Let’s take a look at the key advantages that Asana has over Basecamp:
Asana’s integrations are absolutely worlds ahead of what Basecamp can offer. Whilst the Basecamp platform does provide a range of integrations for the most popular third-party tools, Asana supports just about every program you could possibly imagine.
More In-Depth Customization
Absolutely nobody in the industry can even come close to the level of personalized customization that the Asana platform offers. It is possible for two uniquely tailored Asana platforms to look nothing alike. An impressive feat that is sure to impress professionals in industries of all kinds.
Who Should Use Basecamp?
Basecamp is well suited for project managers who are not looking for an overwhelming amount of complexity to their platform. Basecamp provides a reliable and easy-to-use solution to getting your team, big or small, on the same page with their project commits. As well as keeping them up to date with deadlines.
However, once you wish to add some complexity to the mix, you’ll find yourself struggling with Basecamp’s limitations.
Who Should Use Asana?
Asana is designed for seasoned project managers, and users who are already well equated with project management software. The features are advanced, provide an incredible amount of customization and flexibility, and have made an effort to provide support for almost every specific industry out there.
Whilst Asana is difficult to pick up in the beginning, these groups will find a larger return on their investment of time with learning Asana compared to Basecamp.
Which is Better for Project Management?
Whilst Asana is more difficult to pick up, it is far more effective at project management. Allowing users to not only customize their platforms to their unique requirements, but also providing a huge range of integrations, off-site support, and more features than you could possibly ever need.
Which is Better for Collaboration?
There is no winner in this department. Both Asana and Basecamp both provide great support for collaboration, in their own ways. They have all of the tools you require to bring your team, or your clients, together in one space and work effectively.
Which is Better for Boosting Productivity?
Whilst this will be subjective, Basecamp pulls ahead a little in this department. Due to the simplistic nature of the program, you won’t be wasting time with setting it up. Allowing you to get down to the task at hand. Coupled onto this is Basecamps fantastic notification system, and clear deadline roadmap, all helping you stay in touch with where you need to be.
Pricing: Asana vs Trello
- FREE plan (Basic)
- Premium 10.99$
- Business 24.99$
- Enterprise (custom)
- FREE plan (Basic)
- Trello Gold 5$
Both Asana and Basecamp are fantastic pieces of project management software, with their own strengths and weaknesses. It’s no surprise that both of these programs have developed loyal user bases behind them.
With Asana providing unparalleled support for the professional project managers, and Basecamp having a smooth and clean design that is easy to use, there is something to love about both of these. It’s all about understanding your own needs, and picking the project management solution that best meets your needs.