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While managing a project comes with its own set of challenges, choosing the right project management tool shouldn’t be a challenge. However, the fact is that with many project management tools in the market providing a wide array of features, picking the right one could often be an exercise in bafflement.

Here, we take an in-depth look at two great candidates- Basecamp and ProofHub. Read on to learn which one is best suited for your purposes.

Basecamp

Simplicity and control

You can find many of the useful features in a conventional project management solution in Basecamp- like to-do lists for your projects. To simplify managing projects, you could divide projects into different phases in the to-do list. You could set the due dates for them and also assign one or many users to them. You could also add your comments and notes, or attach external files to them if you want to.

The project management system reduces a lot of overhead for managers. For instance, if a task is overdue, there is no need for you to let the concerned team members know individually as the system will notify them automatically. Also, you could get a quick and comprehensive view of the tasks for the day along with a list of the overdue tasks and also tasks which are coming up.

 The team members could also have access to this view, so everyone remains on the same page.

Individual users can also leverage the “My stuff” menu in this project management system. The menu offers a single place where you could view all your tasks, even if you are working on multiple projects at the same time.

Communication and client-access

Being a platform for collaboration, you would probably expect a strong support for real-time communication in Basecamp. If so, the tasks management tool certainly strives hard to meet your expectations. In fact, the platform has quite a few tools dedicated for that.

Aside from tasks that different team members could collaborate on, the project management system also supports message boards, group chats and pings. Each of these could be used for a different purpose.

For instance, group chats are particularly useful for casual communication amongst members of a team. Message boards, on the other hand, are ideal for making announcements to a large number of people and also for updating the team about a task or a project. It’s also well-suited for pitching new ideas to a team. 

The ping feature is recommended for one on one conversations or conversations amongst a small number of people. The project management system also enables you to centralize all your real-time conversations.

This ensures that you wouldn’t have to grapple with a large number of communication channels where it’s easy to miss messages.

Such a comprehensive communication framework is rarely provided by your average project management system.

Another feature not common to most tasks management tools lets you grant access to clients in addition to your team members. Basecamp brings you multiple levels of customization so you could grant clients the ability to track project progress, but only to the extent that you want.

One obvious advantage of having this feature is that you don’t have to spend time updating clients frequently about how the project is coming along. This in turn helps you focus more on executing the project.

You can set the controls for clients on a granular level- deciding on the parts of the project they could see and edit. The default setting is private. So, only if you opt to share with a client would the setting be changed.

You could also forward messages, to-dos and emails from your clients to Basecamp, so that all communication is centralized in a single space.

Calendar sync and check-ins

One of the most common challenges that teams face is syncing calendars. The challenge gets compounded when the team members are working in different geographical locations.

Given this backdrop, the support to integrate calendar that Basecamp provides would be welcome for teams of all sizes and types.

Users cold easily sync all the popular calendar tools like Outlook calendars, Google Calendars and iCals. This helps avoid any confusion regarding the availability of a team member at any given time. This also helps you schedule calls with team members according to their availability, within the project management system.

Another useful feature in the project management system is Automatic check-ins. Anyone who has managed a team of any meaningful size could tell you how time consuming checking in with team members could be.

The fact that this action is usually performed daily means that the time-loss is repeatedly experienced. Basecamp’s Automatic check-ins can free you from physically checking in with team members. Instead, just set custom questions which could be shared with team members every day or on a weekly or monthly basis.

If not everyone in the team is to be included in these check-ins, you could choose to share the questions only with selected members. Once the answers are in, you could comment on them if you wish to.

The individual users could answer the check-in questions at a time of their own convenience. This should obviously be liberating to them, as it frees them from having to attend meetings periodically.

Collaboration and notifications

We talked about how the tasks management system supports real-time communication which aids collaboration. Another principal feature required for collaboration is the ability to share documents easily and securely.

To this end, every project workspace in Basecamp comes with its own space where you could share documents and images- a localized repository for every workspace, if you will.

All team members working on a project could access files from this space. Besides, every file would have a complete version history, so that you could track any changes that have been made on it.

Organizing the files is also quite simple. You could even color code them and arrange them according to your requirements. Files from the local system could be dragged and dropped into the space.

Managing notifications is one aspect of working using project management tools that gets messy for many people. Usually, the problem is that people get bogged down with frequent notifications. But such problems can be easily avoided with Basecamp’s savvy notification management feature. For it allows you to customize notification settings according to their preferences.

To begin with, you could get notified only for those that are relevant to you- be they messages, updates on tasks or something else. You could also specify hours of the day in which you want to receive notifications, and on which days of the week. Another handy feature sees brings you summary of the updates you missed when you were away.

Basecamp’s impressive set of features comes with a few drawbacks though. For instance, you get only limited project views in the tasks management tool.

 Even as you get a calendar view, you don’t have the advantage of a Gantt chart or a Kanban board in the system. And in the absence of Kanban boards and Gantt charts, managing an agile project becomes significantly hard.

Another drawback is a lack of provision to set priority for tasks. Apart from the flexibility in changing due dates, there is little you could do to that end. This becomes especially problematic while running a complex project involving a large number of tasks.

ProofHub

A problem that stifles many while adopting a new project management system is the difficulty in learning how to use the different features of the system. This is particularly true in the case of users who are not used to working on technically intricate systems.

 However, even such users wouldn’t find ProofHub’s features challenging to master. Far from it. For ProofHub is one of the most intuitive tasks management systems around.

Accessibility and notifications

Further, the platform could be customized to suit your purposes- you could organize the teams you manage into different groups based on certain parameters of your choosing. The result is a much cleaner interface, with even better accessibility. Such segregation also leads to better data security. The reason is it’s easier to implement security protocols in relatively smaller groups.  

You can get notified of important changes, be they in the tasks or in the form of milestones. ProofHub offers a fair amount of flexibility in terms of the notifications you receive, so you would not be overwhelmed with notifications.

Calendar sync and importing files

Earlier, we saw how Basecamp helps you sync different third party calendar apps like iCal and Google Calendar with its internal calendar. The same feature is available in ProofHub too.

ProofHub  also makes it a little easier for you to shift from Basecamp to its platform as you could import files from both Basecamp and Basecamp Classic into ProofHub. These files could be discussions, projects, text documents, tasks or people. In case you are wondering, you don’t need to pay any extra fee for this feature.

Compatibility and customer support

Being compatible with multiple operating systems including iOS, Windows and Android, ProofHub is a great tasks management tool if you work using multiple devices. The high level of compatibility the platform provides means you could continue a task you have been working in the office, even when you are commuting from the office to elsewhere. All you need is a decent internet connection on your device.

ProofHub brings yet another form or flexibility, as it allows you to customize how the interface looks and behaves according to your preferences.

While a bulk  of the features mentioned so far are available in many other project management systems, some features in ProofHub are rather rare among its peers. For instance, proofing.

You have the provision to perform design proofing within the platform itself,. The platform also provides workflows and steady boards. Both these features can help shed clarity on how tasks are progressing in a project. You could easily get a clear idea of which tasks are proceeding on time and which are lagging. This in turn helps you direct the workflow for optimal results, thereby improving the productivity of team members.

Though not a feature that’s often discussed, an efficient customer support is one of the tasks management system’s highlights. To begin with, there are quite a lot of use cases, video tutorials and FAQs in the platform’s website.

It is normal enough to face some issues while you use the platform. You are bound to find the solution to such issues in the information provided in the website’s  resources. Meanwhile, latest features and resolutions to recently reported issues could be found on the Update page in the website.

If you are unable to find the solution you seek even in the Update page, that is also no cause for concern.

Among the project management systems, ProofHub has one of the strongest presences on social media. You could share whatever queries you may have on their social platforms- including Facebook and Twitter- and get them resolved.

The best bit is that query resolutions are almost always quick.

Mobile optimization and collaboration

We mentioned a strong customer service support as one of the features which puts ProofHub on a different tier from many of its competitors. Yet another feature many other similar products don’t have is mobile optimization.

In fact, one common issue customers raise about project management systems is the poor experience using the mobile apps. The creators of the platforms do tend to prioritize optimizing the desktop experience.

The logic seems to be that given how most people work on their projects using computers, there is little need to optimize the mobile experience. But that logic is flawed, especially in the current age when owning multiple devices is the norm rather than the exception. More importantly, many handheld devices now have processing powers equal to or surpassing that of computers.

There is then no reason why someone wouldn’t want to do bulk of their work on such a device- perhaps, even a phone.

Given this context, the ProofHub Bolt app is perfect if you perform project related tasks or project management using your phone. The app works well on both Android and iOS devices.

The interface is optimized for mobile experience- meaning, you wouldn’t have to contend with frames that are missing their borders and similar issues that typically plague mobile versions of project management systems.

ProofHub enables collaboration using its plethora of communication tools. You could proof design along with your team members, and also comment on tasks as you wish. The @mention tool could be used to invite a specific person’s attention to a comment. You could even comment through email, without having to log into the platform.

Other provisions include adding images to chats and comments. You could simply drag and drop images to visually illustrate a point. To find a particular topic under discussion, you could search using relevant keywords or phrases, much like how you may run a search on a web search engine.

Should you choose ProofHub or Basecamp?  

Basecamp is a hugely popular project management system. And that popularity has some very good reasons. A robust software architecture and intuitive interface are just two of those reasons.

However, Basecamp is useful mostly for simple projects where the number of tasks is relatively less. For more advanced projects, ProofHub is the better choice.

What’s missing in ProofHub and Basecamp?

The ability to accurately predict the time when a project could be delivered is a worrying factor for many project managers. But both ProofHub and Basecamp proves a let down when it comes to this point.

I’m Productive, on the other hand, is a tasks management system which uses a powerful AI to make that accurate prediction. In fact, you could make the prediction with just a click of a button.

The system has a mechanism to track the time a team member spends on a task, without counting such metrics as the time spent on breaks. This in turn helps the AI make accurate predictions. The tool also includes everything that you would require in a project management system. Visit the website where you could learn more.

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