Globalization has transformed the world into one big village as barriers between countries are broken down by technology. This means one thing: the definition of collaboration and teamwork has evolved.
Where it was once difficult to communicate with a colleague in a different country, it has become a commonplace practice for organizations to open branches all over the world. Differences in time zones and location are no longer hurdles to collaboration.
The need for time management has led to organizations adopting project management as one of their strategies to help them achieve more in less time. It goes further to reflect the digitalization of project management in the 21st Century.
Why Do You Need Digital Project Management Tools? 🤷♂️
Digital project management at its simplest means reaching personal or organizational goals using digital means – websites, software, platforms, tools etc.
Over the years, tech companies have come up with tools to help teams organize and manage their projects better. In the process, digital project management tools have become more specialized, targeted at certain types of organizations or industries to cater to individual and corporate needs.
Whether you are a student, freelancer, team leader or CEO of a company, you need a digital project management tool to help you manage time and get your work done faster. The question now becomes, which tool do you opt for? Which solution is better tailored to your specific need?
In this article, I will be placing a spotlight on two juggernauts in the digital project management space: Basecamp and Asana. As we place these two tools side by side, comparing their features, you can make a more informed choice on the project management software to go for.
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Overview of Basecamp and Asana
Basecamp is a project management solution and team collaboration tool that was founded in 1999. It was first known as 37signals and then later rebranded to Basecamp in 2014. A popular software, Basecamp recorded millions of users as of 2021.
Asana is a cloud-based task management and content management system that allows businesses to manage, collaborate, communicate, and organize their tasks and projects. It is the most flexible and customizable project management tool on the market.
You can use both tools to efficiently collaborate and manage tasks with your team members. This makes your workflow more seamless and efficient. Where the difference between the two is seen is in their unique features, strengths and weaknesses.
Basecamp Vs Asana: Features
Basecamp dashboard shows all the teams and projects you are a part of and displays its menu on the top bar. When you select a project, you see attached tabs like ‘Message Board’, ‘To-Dos’, ‘Docs & Files’, ‘Campfire’, ‘Schedule’, and ‘Automatic Check-ins’. You can also choose between the card and list view to display these items.
On Asana, you get a more traditional user interface. On the left, there is a navigation menu with the detailed tasks visible in the rest of the window. There is also the option of shrinking the navigation menu and making the dashboard full screen. Asana lets you view your tasks in different formats like timeline, list, and calendar view. There is an added feature that also lets you view the tasks of each project separately.
The Asana interface is perfect for both basic and advanced users but there is still a steep learning curve to access the more in-depth features available. However, Basecamp is more simplistic and does not offer a variety of viewing styles for high-level users.
Basecamp supports integration with more than 70 tools and apps. They include Zapier, Pleexy, Harvest, Everhour, Clockify, Timely, GanttWork, ScrumDo, Proposify, Akita, Honeybadger, Git Helpers, Toggl, DNS Check, and Ziflow. These tools range from time tracking solutions to proposal writing software.
On the other hand, Asana offers integration with more than 220 tools. The list includes Microsoft Teams, Adobe Creative Cloud, Tableau, Microsoft Office 365, Gmail, Google calendar, Power BI, Salesforce, Canva, Figma, Lucidchart, YouTube, InVision, and so on.
Asana provides more varied integration options with well-known brands giving Asana an edge over Basecamp in terms of integration support.
Basecamp vs Asana: Are You Getting Ripped Off?
Both tools have a pretty straightforward pricing structure. Basecamp offers a free personal plan, perfect for students, teachers, freelancers and entrepreneurs working on personal projects. You can upgrade from Basecamp free plan to Business Plan for additional features.
BaseCamp Free vs Business Plans
Its business plan is priced at $99 per month or $999 per year if you pay upfront. Basecamp Business grants access to unlimited users, unlimited projects, and 500GB of storage space. Basecamp also offers a 10% discount for non-profits and charities.
On the flip side, Asana offers four plans: a Basic (free) plan and three paid subscriptions. The Premium, Business and Enterprise Plans are paid subscriptions. The Basic (free) plan allows for a team of up to 15 members, unlimited tasks, messages and unlimited storage of up to 100MB per file. The Premium Plan costs $13.49 per user monthly (and $10.99 per user billed annually) with subscribers enjoying task templates, unlimited dashboards, unlimited free guests (which allows non-team members and clients to view team projects), advanced search etc.
Asana Free vs Paid Plans
Asana’s Business Plan comes with all the features of the Basic and Premium plans including advanced integrations with tools like Adobe Creative Cloud, Salesforce, Tableau, Power BI. The Business plan costs $30.49 per user monthly and $24.99 per user annually. The Enterprise Plan attracts Custom pricing and is a huge attraction as it comes with extra data security and control, guest management, custom branding and access to faster customer support.
Asana also offers a feature called Asana Nonprofit Discount that allows eligible non-profit organizations to enjoy a 50% discount for an annual Asana Premium or Business plan. According to Asana, all Asana’s Nonprofit Discount recipients also have access to the Asana Advisors program; a volunteer group of Asana employees who are available to help non-profits use the software with ease.
Scalable organizations would have a slight preference for Asana as access to added benefits employ a pay-as-you-use model.
Basecamp vs Asana: Task Management
Basecamp offers features that help teams facilitate project tracking and completion effortlessly. The platform lets team collaborate on tasks with a Campfire feature that serves as a forum for team members to discuss and announce crucial topics. Basecamp also offers a scheduling tool to help users keep track of project milestones and deadlines.
Asana prioritizes team collaboration and project management, so, it enables users can schedule and track tasks easily. Project managers can also view tasks through a shared team calendar.
There’s a Workload management tool that lets you manage and track the workload of each team member. With Basecamp, you can’t set permissions for team members or manage task dependencies for team members.
BaseCamp vs Asana: How well can you track time?
One of the drawbacks of both tools is their lack of time tracking features. If you’re managing projects for a third-party client, time-tracking and billing are two compulsory features your project management app should have. Unfortunately, neither Basecamp nor Asana offers any time tracking option. No matter which platform you choose between these two you need to integrate additional tools for time-tracking and billing.
Asana vs Basecamp: Unique Features
Basecamp has no reporting feature. This is a huge drawback especially for teams as it is not possible to keep track of assigned and completed tasks. This also means that teams are unable to track the number of tasks assigned to each team member and measure the time spent on each task. However, you can use integrated apps to generate reports from your Basecamp project data.
To Asana’s credit, the tool comes with the Universal Reporting feature. This feature transforms raw numeric data of projects into charts and graphs meaning that anyone can create graphical data visualizations without much difficulty.
You can share reports easily with this feature. Reports are an essential part of successfully executing team projects and Asana’s reporting features puts it in the lead.
Asana vs Basecamp: Customer Support
The support options on Basecamp and Asana are similar. Both platforms grant users access to FAQs and how-to guides. However, there is a difference in those eligible to access better support options.
Basecamp’s users have access to short video tutorials or live classes, which can help with tool basics and minor issue resolutions. Users can also check out other resources like FAQs and how-to guides. If none of these work, there is the option of contacting customer support.
Asana offers a comprehensive knowledge base for its users that contains FAQs regarding common issues like software troubleshooting, billing, and tool usage. However, only Asana Premium and Enterprise users can access priority support, onboarding resources, and webinars, offered by the Customer Success Management team.
Basecamp provides a better support facility to its customers compared to Asana. Besides live classes, it offers customer support to all users, while only the paid plan users of Asana can get priority support.
Asana vs Basecamp: Flexibility
Unlike Asana, the number of users doesn’t affect basecamp pricing; its business plan is unlimited. This means significant savings for companies as they grow in size.
The main advantage of Asana is collaborating internally and externally; it grants access to non-team members or individuals outside your organization. For premium subscribers, you have an unlimited number of guests on projects, so you can allow a client to access project information.
However, guests have limited access, which is a fair deal.
Asana is great for team collaboration but it’s not perfect. Its major limitation is its poor budget management tools. Its multi-project management also sucks.
Organizations in need of a multi-project management tool might have to integrate other tools into Asana or look elsewhere.
Asana vs Basecamp: Who Is It For?
Asana and Basecamp are both targeted at individuals and organizations of all sizes, however, their features differentiate their target audience.
Basecamp relies heavily on team communication, you can see it in its task management feature. Its main function is to create the tasks, assign them to the team, and then set a deadline for tasks.
The tool also allows teams to exchange messages using live chat, share documents and assign daily tasks to each team member. Its features like Message Board and Campfire also establish it more firmly in the team communication bracket.
While it is true that the main objective of both platforms is collaboration, it is the supervision of this collaborative process that makes Basecamp a project management solution.
Basecamp is the type of project management software project managers prefer when trying to supervise large teams that are focused on creative pursuits. It offers robust collaboration features and easy-to-use storage options without being too expensive. Basecamp seems more suited for growing organizations and large companies because its fixed price offer means that companies don’t have to pay added fees to include team members on the platform.
Asana is a solution more geared towards small and medium businesses. Because it is a free solution for teams of 15 people or less, even large companies that have independent work teams may find its packages beneficial. It offers good communication tools with its inbuilt browser and messaging features and makes it easier for teams to take the time to talk to each other.
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