Dropbox Beats Basecamp for Small Group Projects

Today I cancelled my Basecamp account.  And I’ll explain exactly why I did this.  Sure, it’s nice to save the $20 per month that I was spending.  But the money was small potatoes.

I cancelled it because I was not using it anymore.  On previous podcasts I’ve talked about my love of Basecamp, the online project management software.  I talked about how I used the Basecamp “documents” feature to have outsourced workers document their daily emails.  I talked about To Do lists.

Fact is, I just was not using Basecamp anymore, and it’s because we started using Dropbox on every project and have fallen in love.

The killer feature of Dropbox is cloud synchronization of all files between all devices.  That more than makes up for the lack of a to do list, and any other feature that a project management software offers me. Install Dropbox on your Mac, PC, iOS device, BlackBerry, or whatever.  It just works and it’s awesome.  For me, I mainly use it on my Macbook Pro and I love how dead simple it is.

Instead of adding to do lists in Basecamp, I just create a simple text file and drop it into a folder that is shared among whoever I wish to contribute.  This works really well with small teams.  For example on OutsourceFactor it’s Val (Waterloo, Canada), myself (Toronto, Canada), and Mea in the Philippines.  We don’t need Basecamp.  We’re a small team and managing our to do lists is not something that we need to overcomplicate. We just need to focus on the most important few tasks of any given week.

A super simple To Do list (to me), and good communication using Skype, beats the pants of a web-based project management system.  And again, I’ll say that’s true for small groups.

I think when you have a group of many people (say even 5 people), you probably are better off having one person in charge of organizing tasks and then it definitely makes sense to use Basecamp.  There is no question in my mind Basecamp is THE best web based project management platform and for $20/month (up to 10 projects), the price is incredibly fair.

I’m just not using it anymore.   Dropbox + simple text files or spreadsheets files are my preference now.

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