Asana vs. Basecamp

Asana or Basecamp? These are the two project management sites that we use to keep track of our projects and communicate as a team outside of email. I have a preference towards Asana, but we also use Basecamp since some of the agencies we work with use this as their primary management software. But what is difference and why should you use one over the other? So that is the catch too, there are many project management sites and apps to use, a simple Google search will prove that point. However, lets focus purely on Asana and Basecamp for the purpose of this article. The main points I want to cover are utility, user friendliness and project scope. So lets jump right into how both of these contenders offer in the way of utility.

So both Basecamp and Asana offer some kind of utility for the project management audience and for clients who want to be involved in the progress of their projects. Both offer a phone app on the app store for iPhones, both with good reviews, and on the Google play store, again with good reviews from users. I personally use Asana on the iPhone and haven’t run into any issues with the application in terms of crashing, bugs or user friendliness. However, Basecamp doesn’t really offer any other kind of utility on its website. There is really only one way to organize task on the site and the discussions can get cluttered quickly depending on the scope of the project. Many times I have found myself feeling overwhelmed because my inbox would be filled with every comment or question that popped up in a project even if those discussions didn’t pertain to me or Lampros Labs. Asana on the other hand usually condenses those discussions into one email per project but also allows the user to customize each project to their specific organizational preference. This also falls under how user friendly each webapp is too.

Both Basecamp and Asana are about the same in terms of user friendliness in my opinion. I do think Asana is easier to use, but that is just my preference with how I want to set up projects and track task and due dates. Basecamp isn’t particularly hard to use or get used to, but it focuses more on group discussions, this being on the main page of the project, instead of being task focused. Now this is were an organizational preference comes in because a company like Lampros Labs and our devs are task oriented. The project manager fills the spot of facilitating communication with the client or agency and then relays those conversations into cut and dry instructions/request for the devs to complete their assigned task. This is what makes sense to us, but for an agency with multiple projects and discussions it would be hard to keep track of all those interactions and this is were Basecamp shines. Basecamp can keep track of emails shared, conversations internally and externally and lets everyone be on the same page without sacrificing on the details. The downside of this though, like I said earlier,  is that sometimes you, as a employee, don’t need to be included in every question or response that doesn’t pertain to you specifically and it can sometimes be confusing who a particular question or request is being directed to unless the writer specifies. Both webapps do a great job with what they set out to do, but they are trying to do different things and that is what you need to remember when you decide on which one to use.

Finally we have project scope. By this I mean how well does the webapp facilitate an almost omniscience that the project manager wants to have on a particular project so they can do their job well. Lets start off with Asana. So Asana offers a top down view of every single project. They appear on the left part of the screen and can be organized however you like, by agency or internal or size, it doesn’t matter. This view remains on the left side and the center is devoted to seeing the information that is relevant to the project. For us this might be credentials, task, who is assigned to what and what due dates are involved along with any conversations that pertain to one task. This, in my opinion, really helps keep constant track of where a project is internally and lets the project manager know who they need to talk to in order to keep a project on track and work towards completion. Basecamp really doesn’t offer that. Like I said earlier, discussions take center stage here and they can feel really cluttered. Basecamp does offer a task page but you don’t know who is really assigned to it and the information you might be looking for to do the task could be halfway down a discussion thread which is asinine to me. Both webapps are good but another thing to bear in mind is that Basecamp cost money whereas Asana is free. So if your organization has a lot of projects it might be a good idea to work in Asana or some other webapp that doesn’t charge you based on the number of active projects you have.

Overall I have to give the edge to Asana based on its user friendliness and for being more task oriented. This is my personal opinion but a lot of it is based on facts that you can see on each webapp. In the end only one of these tools should be used and I would easily choose Asana over Basecamp any day. I hope this article gave some insight on one of the many tools project managers use and just how we keep track of all of these projects going on.

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