- 1. monday.com — Best for customization
- 2. Zoho Projects — Best for easy migration from Basecamp
- 3. Forecast — Best basecamp alternative with intelligent automation
- 4. Paymo — Best for small to medium businesses
- 5. Freedcamp — Best free Basecamp alternative
- 6. Quire — Best for beginners
- 7. Backlog — Best Basecamp alternative for software development
- 8. Avaza — Best for extra features like timesheets and expense tracking
- 9. Asana — Best for integrations
- 10. nutcache — Best for visually organizing tasks
Basecamp is a team collaboration tool with a flat learning curve. As a user of the platform, I like that it offers all the key features that help you streamline projects and supports small and larger teams alike. However, basecamp has a particular way of displaying information in their user interface that drives some large teams to go looking for other tools that can provide a visual lift or automations that can help deal with complex projects.
In this post, I analyze 10 Basecamp alternative tools and show you how they compare to Basecamp. No tool is perfect, but the best collaboration tools all offer a standard set of features for communicating, file sharing, scheduling, reporting, and tracking project progress. Each is a bit different, so we lay out the criteria we use for evaluating Basecamp alternative software, and then we show you what to consider for narrowing down the choices in your specific case.
What Is Basecamp?
Basecamp is a piece of project collaboration software that enables a team of any size to discuss and share their ideas, schedules, to-do lists, checklists, and files. It also provides a casual chat room called Campfire and a message board for tracking project conversations. It is intuitive to use, and a free trial with limited options can be requested. The starting cost of Basecamp is $15.00/user/month no matter the team size.
Once you go for the PRO version, it allows you to have unlimited users for a fixed price. This can make it an attractive option for startups or smaller teams that want tons of features in a single product. Especially since you can access it from multiple devices through its mobile apps for Android and iOS.
However, Basecamp lacks in some areas where Basecamp alternatives have jumped in with their own solutions. One of these areas is budget planning. Budgeting and analytics are crucial parts of any project, and many of the Basecamp alternative tools have stepped up to the plate to enable you to track expenses, make forecasts, generate cost reports, etc.
Additionally, for some users, Basecamp’s Campfire doesn’t satisfy the needs of team brainstorming sessions due to the lack of built-in chat customization options. This and other reasons are what force some to look for greener pastures in other tools.
monday.com is an intuitive project collaboration software that enables teams to track project tasks, assign ownership, and manage deadlines with ease. Although easy-to-learn, monday.com offers advanced data insights, dashboards, and workforce analytics.
monday.com's features include all of the project scheduling, file sharing, communication, and reporting features you'd expect in a project management tool similar to Basecamp. For example, you can upload and attach files to updates on project boards, make comments, mention teammates, build and share reports, send messages, and easily organize project tasks by upcoming due dates. You can also easily manage recurring tasks and team documents by creating virtual workspaces for your team's onboarding or meeting notes for everyone to access.
monday.com has integrations with over 40 apps like Google Drive, Gmail, Google Calendar, Jira, GitHub, Trello, Dropbox, Zoom, Slack, Typeform, and many more, accessible via Zapier.
monday.com costs from $6/user/month and comes with a free 14-day trial. They offer a free plan for up to 2 users.
If you are looking for a user-friendly yet feature-rich upgrade from Basecamp, then Zoho Projects is a great option. If you are already a Basecamp user, Zoho Projects allows direct migration from Basecamp. With customizations and reporting capabilities, this tool is a logical step up.
Schedule work items as tasks and set dates, or do it with the intuitive click and drag Gantt chart interface. Go beyond scheduling and analyze timelines with critical path and baseline. The integrated social feed, chat rooms and forums give ample options for starting conversations. Add to that, the documents module that supports file sharing, version history, and collaborative file creation. Zoho Projects is one of the few PM tools that allow creation of dependencies between projects.
Fully customize the dashboards to suit your needs. Integrate with Zoho Analytics and create over 50 types of charts and reports. Export Gantt charts to PDF, and task to XLS/CSV. The interface and modules are highly customizable. All aspects of the UI from theme colors to arrangement and visibility of the various modules can be changed to suit a user's preferences. Zoho projects also offer free onboarding for its customers and a comprehensive online help guide for all users.
Being part of the Zoho's ecosystem allows Projects to connect to several of Zoho's own services such as Zoho Books, Zoho CRM, and Zoho's finance suite. The new Zoho marketplace allows 3rd party integrations as well. Zapier connections are also supported. Zoho Projects stands out in cases where there are multiple hand-offs involved. It is especially popular among IT companies, consultants and education organizations.
Starts from $4/user/month billed annually. Also has a freemium version up to 3 users for 2 projects and a 10-day free trial. No credit card information is required.
Forecast is a project management platform for resource and agile project management. The tool includes capabilities for managing the project life cycle from quote to invoice, as well as intelligent automation for predicting project delivery dates and forecasting capacity needs.
Users can create project plans for fixed price, time and materials, or retainer contracts with Forecast’s AI-powered auto-schedule feature. The AI can automatically estimate tasks, assign and optimize workload across resources, and set a project delivery date.
Task list and task card functionalities can show priorities, as well as allow users to comment, share files, and register time. Forecast offers a centralized location for the team to view and address dependencies, as well as see related subtasks.
Forecast offers customizable reports for viewing financial trends, assessing where projects and resources can be utilized more economically, and seeing how planned projects affect profitability.
Forecast offers integrations with mainstream project management tools, Jira, and accounting systems like Quickbooks and Xero with PM capabilities.
Forecast paid plans start at $29/user/month, and a 14-day free trial is available.
Paymo is a full-featured work management platform that focuses on creating an intuitive environment for teams to collaborate. It covers features like planning, resource scheduling, time tracking and invoicing, milestones, and Gantt Charts in addition to advanced task management for daily operations.
Collaboration on projects is done seamlessly via assigned comments at a task level, to avoid spamming others who are not directly involved, or discussion threads at a project level. To make sure that no detail slips through the cracks, you can securely attach files for each task, comment, or project from your computer or via the Google Drive native integration.
To stay on top of your and your team’s work, check your email and in-app notifications for any new updates in terms of tasks created, files attached, and more. Paymo also offers a wide range of time tracking tools to make sure you’re not wasting any time that should go into real work. And you’ll also get paid fairly by your clients to whom you can send periodic time reports as proof of your work. You can choose between static reports (offer insights into a specific time frame) or live reports (updated every time someone opens them).
Paymo offers a free plan to solopreneurs and individual freelancers, while paid plans start at $9.56/user/month with a 15-day free trial.
Freedcamp is a great Basecamp alternative software, providing useful collaboration features through a simple visual interface. The app enables you to track, mark up and follow your tasks, using a Kanban board and an interactive Gantt chart. It offers the option to categorize your tasks by who, when, and how the tasks are being done.
With Freedcamp’s messaging and task-overview boards, you will be able to assign members, provide them with necessary files, assign deadlines, and add sub-tasks. The built-in calendar allows you to create and customize events, tasks, and milestones.Freedcamp also has a general discussion board.
Freedcamp integrations include all of the standards: Jira, Slack, Trello, GitHub, and many others. It also syncs easily with the entire Google ecosystem, which means you can sync your Google Calendar with Freedcamp’s built-in one to keep your updates consistent across platforms and enable more report-generating possibilities.
Freedcamp costs from $3.49/user/month.
Quire is a collaboration tool which focuses on communication first. Quire is a Basecamp alternative that organizes your team’s communication into a tree-like structure. Using this tool, you can break down tasks into smaller ones, several times over.
Quire has a messaging board and a 1-on-1 chat, which is a big plus when it comes to keeping the message boards clutter-free. It provides the option to assign files and share with members, and you can also create generate charts to make simple representations of complex data. The dashboard displays a simple chart showing the progress point of all your tasks—although it’s pretty basic, it’s a useful, easy-to-read graph for keeping everyone on the same page.
Quire can integrate with mainstream project managing software like Slack, Trello or Jira, Google Drive, Dropbox.
Quire costs from $5.00/user/month.
Backlog is a cloud-based project management tool with a special emphasis on collaborative tools for developers. Backlog provides useful collaboration features like task management (including subtasks, checklists, and custom fields), milestones, file management, wikis, and more. But Backlog is more than a project management app, it's also a bug tracker and version control system in one.
For collaborating on code, Backlog has SVN and Git repositories, a differences viewer and inline comments, plus pull requests, merge requests, and branches. For quick visual reports, the app provides burndown charts, Git graphs, Kanban boards, and Gantt charts, so project managers and users alike can quickly assess projects at a glance.
While there is no one-to-one chat, users can collaborate and comment directly on issues, including tagging selected team members on important activity and updates. Nulab — the creators of Backlog — also have their own chat app called Typetalk that seamlessly integrates with Backlog to give you the communication powers you need alongside the project management tools you depend on.
Backlog works for a range of team sizes. They have a free account available to teams of up to 10, while also offering a self-hosted Enterprise option for larger companies. They also provide a mobile app on both iOS and Android for collaborating on-the-go. It integrates with Nulab's other apps and provides both Redmine and Jira importers.
Backlog allows you to assign, track, and release work, right in one app while ensuring transparency and accountability across teams. If you're looking for a tool to help manage development projects or working closely with a team of developers, this is the app for you.
Backlog is free for up to 10 users with some feature limitations or $35/month for up to 30 users. For $100/month, your team gets unlimited users, i.e. their Standard Plan.
You might have realized already that these tools are always more than “just collaboration tools”. Avaza is a cloud-based task management tool with an emphasis on resource management, but it also offers a great deal of handy features for better communication.
Avaza gives you the option to track everything in one place: from simple conversations to expense tracking, time-tracking, invoicing, kanban-style task management, and reporting. The task scheduling features allow you to assign time and monetary value to each task, which is a useful feature for communicating the priority and resources assigned to the team members who will be working on the task.
Being cloud-based, they make it easy to share files and communicate in real-time. Nevertheless, if you want more than the ability to make comments and mentions, consider integrating an additional app because it offers only basic messaging boards.
This software integrates with popular tools like Jira, Trello, Quickbooks, Evernote, Slack, as well as Google apps like Google Calendar and Google Drive that allow you to share files and events directly within the platform.
Avaza costs from $9.95/user/month.
Asana is already a popular Basecamp alternative. This team collaboration tool is a major competitor in the field of team communication software. Asana’s strong suit lies in its highly customizable nature. Even though it may seem like a bit much to get into, the visual style of this communication tool is minimalist, informative, and clean, making it easy to learn and organize things quickly.
When it comes to the baseline set of features, Asana has the whole package: project scheduling, a file-sharing module, customizable messaging system (in addition to the public message board feature), and time and expense tracking. The best thing about Asana is probably the option to create a program template for different projects. If your team deals with similar projects, you can easily apply the knowledge and processes from past projects to current or future ones. That being said, Asana helps you anticipate upcoming challenges, and it makes reporting on past events a lot easier.
One great thing regarding this particular Basecamp alternative is the option to integrate it with a ton of apps outside of its framework. When it comes to communications and planning you can integrate with Outlook, SalesForce, Slack, MS Teams, Trello, GitHub and many, many more. Even though it has its own built-in calendar, Asana can integrate with Google Calendar (along with the entire Google Suite). Asana syncs with cloud services like Dropbox, Google Drive, and OneDrive.
Asana costs from $10.00/user/month, and it has a free version, with a free demo included.
Nutcache is a collaboration tool designed to plan, track, and manage all aspects of your project using a sophisticated toolbox of color-coded schedules, task organization queues, and data reporting. It offers Agile & Scrum project management, task management tools, time tracking & expense management, and invoicing in one platform.
Use their Gantt chart to plan, track, and organize tasks visually with easy drag-and-drop editing. You’ll also find time-logging tools, which are useful for any remote workforce; users can log, track, and invoice time and expenses in a way that lets managers know where project money is going. Nutcache makes it easy to create, customize, and manage unlimited invoices with credit card and online payments. PMs will appreciate being able to control project costs by reviewing, approving, or rejecting timesheets and expenses on a daily or weekly basis.
Nutcache is easier to adopt team-wide than Basecamp, which can get complex quickly. An intuitive, colorful interface makes Nutcache good for easy discussions with other team members. Uploading files to Nutcache and attaching them to projects is a convenient way to keep all of your project data in one place, and also to share information with everyone involved in the project.
Integrations include Dynacom Accounting, PayPal, 2Checkout, Stripe, Authorized.Net, QuickBooks Online, Google Sign In, Google Drive, GitHub, Slack, and hundreds of other apps through Zapier.
Nutcache costs from $6/user/month with a “Pro” plan that requires 5 users.
Need expert help selecting the right tool?
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Best for customization
14-day free trial + free plan available
|From $8/user/month (billed annually, min 3 seats)||Visit Website|
Best for easy migration from Basecamp
Free trial available
|From $5/user/month||Visit Website|
Best basecamp alternative with intelligent automation
14-day free trial
|From $29/user/month||Visit Website|
Best for small to medium businesses
15-day free trial
|From $5.95/user/month||Visit Website|
Best free Basecamp alternative
14-day free trial
|Free version + pro starts at $1.49/user/month||Visit Website|
Best for beginners
Free trial available
|From $10.95 /member/month||Visit Website|
Best Basecamp alternative for software development
30-day free trial
|From $30/month||Visit Website|
Best for extra features like timesheets and expense tracking
Free plan available
|Plans start at $11.95/month||Visit Website|
Best for integrations
Free plan available
|From $10.99/user/month||Visit Website|
Best for visually organizing tasks
Free trial, no credit required
|From $12.49/user/month on a yearly basis||Visit Website|
Best for small teams and small businesses
Best for Gmail users
Best for drag-and-drop Gantt charts
Best free plan for a Basecamp alternative
Best for ease of use & client collaboration.
Best for content collaboration
Best Basecamp alternative for built-in invoicing
Best for multiple project and task views
Best for scaling organizations
Best alternative for its portfolio and accounting features
How I Picked The Best Basecamp Alternatives
“Before digging into our 10 Basecamp alternative apps, here are the criteria we use to evaluate each tool and make sure it offers the necessary features of a good collaboration tool.
The Basecamp alternative collaboration tool selection criteria are:
This accounts for everything from a simple milestone calendar to the functionality for scheduling appointments and events via the tool. Every collaboration tool should have some form of task assignment and scheduling feature, as well as a module for tracking deadlines.
Digital teams exchange loads of of text and media files. File sharing is not only the option to send and receive files, but also to assign priorities or labels to files and make them easily accessible from task and discussion modules.
The lifeblood of any well-organized team is fluid conversation. Message boards are a must in every collaboration tool, as is the option to choose between direct messaging and group messaging.
A Basecamp alternative tool should provide some basic reporting functionality. Many tools include basic reporting features like data exporting and some include more advanced reporting features like creating visual representation of data.
Are there free Basecamp alternatives?
In today’s market, of course, there are many free options for your collab tool needs. Keep in mind that most are freemiums, offering free versions with limited functionality. Here’s a list of free Basecamp alternative tools:
- NTask Manager (free version limited to 200mb storage)
- Open Project (requires self-installation)
- Podio (free option limited to 5 users)
- ClickUp (free option has only 100mb storage)
- Teamwork (free option has only 100mb storage & 2 projects)
- Paymo (free option only allows 1 user)
- Bitrix (free option limited to 12 users & 5gb storage)
How To Choose The Best Alternative To Basecamp For Your Team
Investing in communication for your team is essential, so picking the right software is really important! Here are some more quick tips on what to look for before you onboard and buy.
What Do You Need It For?
It is always important to understand your team’s needs first, so make a list and see what kind of criteria your team prioritizes. If you have lots of conversations, go with Quire or Monday. If you do a lot of data exporting and invoicing in your environment, consider Avaza. All in all, make a list of the main functions you want in a tool.
Who Is Going To Use It?
The size and structure of your team is important. If you need to make sub-sectors for different squads and teams, then a large-scale tool designed for enterprise is what you need. In this case, ActiveCollab or Asana can help you make the appropriate hierarchy with subgroups and customized permissions.
How Would It Fit Into Your Process?
Think about integrations and the type of additional software your team uses. For example, if you use other Zoho tools, Zoho Projects is your number one choice. If you want an offline view for yourself or your closest colleagues, Airtable is a good option.
How Long To Set It Up?
Upgrading your collaboration framework is never easy, so try to pick something that is relatively familiar to your team and makes the transition period as short as possible. For example, Freedcamp has a very familiar feel that’s similar to Basecamp, and it’s cloud-based so you can import and sync with your current apps very quickly.
Easiness Of Onboarding
No matter the size of the team, always consider that it will take some time for everyone to get used to the new collaboration tool. Quire might be the way to go if you’re looking for simplicity. On the other hand, if you want the option to customize a lot, Wrike is great—but it will take some extra time to learn.
The cost of a Basecamp alternative collaboration tool varies from $4.00/user/month to over $10.00/user/month, and with larger enterprises that scales to big numbers. Consider the growth scale of your business and consider the cost of the tool should your team expand quickly.
Collaboration software, as we have seen, comes in many shapes and sizes, from simple apps to gigantic all-inclusive project management programs.
Related tool lists:
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