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May 1, 2010 / BrianOFlan

Comparison of project management web app

I love the Basecamp-esque idea of a collaborative web application. Think of a productivity-oriented Facebook: Instead of an infinite tangle of emails either too broadly or too narrowly addressed, you post Twitter-like public status several times a week or day describing what you are working on. Your team can follow your progress (great for accountability) or send a public message to you on your MySpace/Facebook-ish profile or wall.  (No Farmville or Mafia Wars to distract you.)

You can view a running list of statuses and messages about and by people you care about — your teammates or chain of command, perhaps. You can silence anybody’s stream of updates if they stop applying to you.  See them again by visiting their profile directly.  Private messages are always available within the system or without, by regular old email.  Other hand project tools like deadlines, milestones, big goals, little tasks, task templates, time-tracking and more.

If anyone is lost (“Who do I even begin to ask about this project?”), they can put their question up publicly or search the wide system of public messages and statuses (statii?).

For your sakes, I have compared their different subscriptions in a spreadsheet and summarized it below.

Basecamp (the original idea):
Free 1 project, $24 for 15 projects, $99 for 100 projects, $149 for unlimited
Cheaper storage for file sharing.

Zoho (a kind of Basecamp clone, slightly cheaper, once hindered by mild bugginess):
Free 1 project, $12 for 10 projects, $35 for 50 projects, $80 for unlimited
Lower cost per project.

Nozbe (GTD-based “projects”):
No free, $7 to $49, 1 user until $24 (6 users) or $49 (15 users)
Hard to compare; more expensive storage and different underlying philosophy defining “projects” according to the Getting Things Done formula.

For me, I think Basecamp for the business (more reliable and professional) but Zoho for personal and family use.  Nozbe and GTD fascinate me but is very solitary.  I’m learning about teamwork now.  I don’t need another way to isolate myself in work.


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