Pricing, alternatives, pros & cons

Pricing, alternatives, pros & cons

Basecamp’s fast facts

Pricing: Basecamp paid plans start at $15 per user per month.

Standout features:

  • Integrates with over 70 third-party services, including Zapier, Calamari, Ganttify and more.

  • Provides document and file storage.

  • Offers real-time group chat and direct messaging via Campfire and Ping ’em.

  • Offers to-do lists to create tasks and assign them.

  • Provides project insight via its report feature.

  • Provides hill charts for project progress tracking.

Launched in 2004 by 37signals, Basecamp is a collaboration and project management platform developed for freelancers, small teams, startups and distributed teams. It is suitable for tracking projects’ progress, storing and sharing relevant documents, and communicating with the project team. The solution helps improve project clarity, facilitates communication among team members and automatically updates team members on their tasks’ to-do statuses.

The best project management tool for your organization depends on your needs and preferences. If Basecamp is not the best fit for your team, we welcome you to explore other Basecamp alternatives or check out our list of the top project management tools.

SEE: We also reviewed the best project management software for small businesses.

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Basecamp’s pricing

Unlike most project management tools that charge per user, Basecamp is quite flexible. They give users the option to select either the per-user plan or the per-organization plan. Basecamp offers a free trial plus two paid plans. It also offers 10% off for nonprofits and charities.

Free trial

Organizations and individuals looking for a new project management tool can test-drive Basecamp for 30 days to learn if the solution is the best option for their use cases. Users can sign up for either the Basecamp per-user pricing free trial or the Pro Unlimited free trial, which is a fixed-price plan.

Prospective customers can register for Basecamp’s free trial in less than a minute by providing three basic pieces of information: name, email and organization name.


The Basecamp plan is best for freelancers, startups and small teams, costing $15 per user per month. It is a month-to-month plan, and organizations are charged based on their team’s number of employee users.

Most project management tools limit certain features to higher-tier plan types. Our research found that users can access all Basecamp features with this plan. This plan also includes 500GB of storage for files and documents.

Basecamp Pro Unlimited

Unlike the Basecamp plan, the Basecamp Pro Unlimited plan has no per-user charge. It has a fixed price of $299 per month when billed annually and $349 per month when billed monthly. Again, these price points are for the entire organization rather than per user.

This plan is suitable for growing businesses and large teams. Aside from project management features, this plan includes priority support, one-on-one onboarding for new Basecamp customers and five terabytes of storage.

Key features of Basecamp

One thing that makes Basecamp unique is how it personalizes its product components. As such, Basecamp’s feature names may read differently from what you are familiar with in a project management tool, but the overall ideas and functionality are the same.

Hill Charts

Basecamp’s Hill Charts feature is a 10,000-foot visual representation of project progress. With Hill Charts, project managers can monitor all projects in their pipeline and their time to completion. Each project is represented as a dot on the Hill Chart (Figure A); users can drag the dot where they want it to be on the graph.

Figure A

Basecamp Hill Charts.
Basecamp Hill Charts.

The chart has two sides:

  • Figuring Things Out (Uphill): This is the project planning stage, where teams brainstorm the best approach for handling their projects.
  • Making It Happen (Downhill): Projects on this side of Hill Charts are at the execution stage.

Every update can be annotated, eliminating the need for daily standups.

Ping and Campfire chats

Ping is Basecamp’s version of one-on-one direct messages. It allows users to privately message or ping one person or multiple people and get responses in real time (Figure B).

Figure B

Basecamp Ping chat sample conversation.
Basecamp Ping chat sample conversation.

Users can also search their conversation history to find previous messages. Messages can be text-based, or users can add sound, videos and emojis; they can also attach files, quotes and code samples to the messages.

Basecamp’s Campfire (Figure C) is a real-time group chat where users can interact with all team members, ask general questions and call out members with @mentions.

Figure C

Basecamp Campfire sample conversation.
Basecamp Campfire sample conversation.

Latest Activity

The Latest Activity (Figure D) feature offers a real-time feed of all activity — happening across all teams and projects — in one place.

Figure D

Basecamp Latest Activity dashboard view.
Basecamp Latest Activity dashboard view.

It enables team members to see current tasks, the assignee, their progress, their work status, what’s overdue and what’s on their plate at any given time. Those who can’t keep up with the activity dashboard can subscribe to a daily summary that sends activity updates to their emails.


Basecamp allows users to customize their project area to suit their needs. Companies can add their logos at the top of the tool, and users can pin or reorder their tasks the way they want. Recently and frequently viewed tasks automatically appear below the pinned cards for easy access. Users can also switch between card and list views and search projects using filter or command prompts.

Team members can customize their homepage to appear however they like. This feature gives flexibility to those who like to switch things up at will.

Track progress with to-dos

With Basecamp, users can create a list of tasks or subtasks, set due dates and then assign them to team members. From there, they can set reminders to receive notifications when tasks are completed or overdue. Team members can also add notes and file attachments to their to-do lists.

Documents and file storage

Teams that create lots of documents will find this feature beneficial (Figure E). Users can drag and drop files to upload and add documents and images for storage. They can also reorder and color-code files for easy identification, search file version history and share files with team members.

Figure E

Basecamp project files dashboard.
Basecamp project files dashboard.

​​Basecamp Customer Support

Basecamp offers 24/7 customer support with a response time of about 60 minutes. You can ask pre-sales questions, make inquiries about issues you have using the tool, and hear from an expert within an hour. Basecamp offers video tutorials and articles with detailed information on how to use the platform.

They also have a community forum where users can ask questions and get advice from other Basecamp users. According to users’ feedback on review sites, the Basecamp team is responsive and helps resolve their issues easily.

Basecamp Ease of use

Basecamp’s organized layout makes it easy for users to navigate the platform, the tool has a low learning curve and it’s easy for users of all proficiency levels to set up and use. The key capabilities that make Basecamp easy to use include an intuitive user interface, and streamlined workflows, collaborative features, a minimal learning curve and mobile friendliness.

Basecamp integrations

Basecamp has 75 integrations across nine categories at the time of this writing. Categories include mobile and desktop apps; time tracking, invoicing and accounting; reporting, charts and planning; file backup and synchronization; software development; marketing, design and asset management; customer service and support; contracts and proposals; and developer-only tools.

Examples of Basecamp integrations include the following:

  • Very Cloudy: With Basecamp Very Cloudy, users can share files from more than 10 third-party services, including Figma, Airtable, Adobe, Dropbox, Google, Box, OneDrive and more.
  • Slickplan: Basecamp integrates with Slickplan, which provides reporting, charts and planning tools to help development teams plan, build, collaborate and share design mockups, content plans and sitemaps.
  • Clockify: Although Basecamp lacks native time tracking capabilities, it integrates with tools like Clockify, making it easy for teams to clock in remotely.
  • Pro Backup: With the Pro Backup integration, users can get daily automated backups and file synchronization for their Basecamp account.

Basecamp Pros and cons

Pros Cons
Free for teachers and students, including homeschoolers and alternate education programs. Lacks a free plan for business.
Includes message boards for team discussions. Not suitable for complex projects.
Doesn’t charge for invited guests. Lacks native time tracking.
Offers calendar syncing for all employees.
Has both per-user fees and flat-rate charge options.

Alternatives to Basecamp

If Basecamp isn’t ideal for your business requirements, check out these alternatives.

Features Basecamp ClickUp monday work management Jira
Integration Yes Yes Yes Yes
Task management Yes Yes Yes Yes
Native time tracking Requires third-party integration Yes Yes Yes
Gantt charts Requires third-party integration Yes Yes Yes
Collaboration tools Yes Yes Yes Yes
Free plan No Yes Yes Yes
Starting price (billed monthly) $15 per user per month $10 per user per month $10 per user per month $7.75 per user per month

ClickUp: Best for budget-conscious teams

Logo for ClickUp.
Image: ClickUp

Those looking for a feature-rich and affordable project management tool will find ClickUp a worthy alternative to Basecamp. It’s suitable for teams of all sizes and industries. The platform offers features necessary to run a simple project from start to finish, including time tracking, Kanban, sprint management, task management, automation and collaboration features.

Those looking for advanced project management features in ClickUp’s Unlimited Plan can pay $7 per user per month when billed annually or $10 per user per month when billed monthly. This plan includes unlimited storage, integrations, dashboards, guests with permissions, Gantt Charts, custom fields and more. You can also take it further by subscribing to their Business or Enterprise plan.

For more information, check out our full ClickUp review to help you learn more about the platform’s capabilities and determine if it’s the best option for you.

monday work management: Best for advanced features

Logo for monday work management.
Image: monday work management

monday work management is a credible alternative to Basecamp, as it allows SMBs and large enterprises to manage their projects, tasks and teams. With this platform, you can manage projects, portfolios, resources, goals and strategies. monday work management features file storage capabilities, automation, collaboration, administration and control and more.

For more information, check out our full monday work management review to help you determine if it’s the best option for you.

Jira: Best for development teams

Logo for Jira.
Image: Jira

Jira is an issue-tracking software solution developed by Atlassian. It promotes Agile project management and has sprint planning and backlog management features. Jira serves as a central hub for software releases, bug fixes and feature implementation.

To help you determine if Jira is the best alternative to Basecamp, check out our full Jira review.

Who is Basecamp best for?

The best project management tool for a company depends on its needs and preferences. Our research indicates that Basecamp is best for small teams, startups, freelancers and remote teams that need a centralized location to communicate and collaborate on assignments.

Basecamp is also suitable for teachers and students because it’s free for them. Additionally, nonprofits can get up to a 10% discount when they buy this tool.

Frequently asked questions

Basecamp’s collaborative features and ease of use make it one of the best project management tools for freelancers and teams. We answered some of the most commonly asked questions about Basecamp.

Does Basecamp have Gantt charts?

Basecamp doesn’t offer in-built Gantt chart capabilities. Instead, they enable you to integrate with tools like Ganttify to create Gantt charts from your Basecamp projects.

Is Basecamp easy to use?

Yes, Basecamp offers a visually appealing user interface that makes it easy to navigate. The platform has a low learning curve and is easy to use, even for beginners.

Does Basecamp have a kanban board?

Basecamp offers a Card Table tool, its own version of the Kanban board. You can move the cards across boards and click them to display more information about the tasks, like due dates, notes, attachments and conversations about that card.

Is it safe to use Basecamp?

Yes. The company protects its servers with biometric locks and 24/7 interior and exterior surveillance monitoring. Basecamp regularly backups your data on multiple disks and stores them in different locations, and they also encrypt the data sent to and from the platform to ensure the safety of your data.

Why is Basecamp so popular?

Basecamp is famous for several reasons, including ease of use, communication and collaboration capabilities, being remote-friendly and its focus on simplicity. It promotes a clutter-free environment, allowing users to focus on what matters – their projects and tasks.

How we evaluated Basecamp

Our review methodology included gathering data from the Basecamp website, looking through Basecamp’s documentation and evaluating product reviews from research and review companies. We also analyzed user reviews of Basecamp to learn about its strengths and areas for improvement based on customers’ complaints.

If you’re still unsure if Basecamp is right for you after this review, check out our list of the best cloud-based project management software.