For such a popular program, Basecamp does surprisingly little.

Basecamp offers the basic project management touchstones: a to-do list, a calendar, milestones and a tagging system, in an interface that's easy enough to use.

It lets you post to online message boards and make comments on to-do items and milestones, and it notifies users of updates via email. Yet none of those features are particularly robust. Though my team and I diligently entered our tasks and milestones in Basecamp to start, we stopped using Basecamp halfway through the project because it failed to alert us to dependencies in our task tree.

Basecamp could not help us separate the truly mission-critical tasks from the rest, which led us to wonder: What was the point of using this program?


For my project, I found no real reason to use Basecamp. If your projects don’t involve a high level of complexity, you should stick with traditional organisation tools such as spreadsheets and email. If your projects are more involved, choose a program that's more capable of handling those complexities.