Basecamp was launched in 2004 and secured its status as the pioneer of online project management.It was a born to project managers (who had long suffered with keeping track of their multiple projects) by providing an interface that was so easy to use and had all the lovely features that we seen in our phones today such as task, notes, discussions, calendar settings, due dates etc. Basecamp’s free version gave most of these features with the catch that it can only manage one project at a time. The paid versions offered support of way more simultaneous projects and a much larger file storage capacity, but for an annual cost that amounted to either $20, $50, $100 or $150 depending on the package. For a while, most project managers did not mind paying this expense to get their job done. However, the world of software and technology seldom sits still and there was a new player in the market- a software called Freedcamp.
As the name suggests, Freedcamp is a free alternative to its rival, Basecamp. It could be an extremely smart tool to use in an early-stage startup that is typically strapped for cash and does not want to frivolously spend for higher capabilities. Freedcamp offers similar, if not better, functionality than Basecamp; Basecamp loses votes for it over-simplicity (ironically) because there are not enough of the more important features in the free or paid versions. There are some compromises to be made as well in the case of Freedcamp (it is free after all) and the only significant one to think about is the meager 20 MB of storage that they provide. Fortunately, they have some packages as well where you can buy 1 GB for $2.59 upto unlimited data storage for $40 a month which at its highest is still a cheaper alternative to Basecamp.
Basecamp is a versatile application which offers many different forms of communication between the team such as emails, discussions and notes. They also offer both an ‘admin’ mode where the project manager can look over all ongoing tasks and results as well as a ‘client’ mode where the client who has entrusted you with the project can monitor its progress in a ‘read-only’ view (in which he cannot make any changes). An added feature is tracking the amount of time spent on a task in the project by a member, which makes billing invoices at the end of the project much smoother.
Basecamp has a loyal user base because of its status as the father of project management software. Many people have been using it for years and have totally specialized in it so they would rather stick with it. However, we see new movements such as Freedcamp which prove that free software is not a compromise of quality and that it shouldn’t cost an arm and a leg to use a simple project management app. Both software are widely used but I predict Freedcamp and its future versions to gain its own big following.