todo.vu vs Basecamp
Basecamp has been around for many years now. In fact, it was the Basecamp team that pioneered the delivery of SaaS project management. I have to admit, I am impressed with their achievements and look to their team members as veterans and experts in the industry.
Basecamp was arguably the first ever project management solution online and they proved that it was possible to deliver reliable, secure, safe management solutions for businesses worldwide.
Basecamp has some nice features and their approach to managing projects clearly can work for many businesses, however, todo.vu and Basecamp are not the same and not necessarily intended for the same use cases.
Basecamp is a pure ‘project management’ system, it has almost no CRM features and it has no time tracking or billing.
Basecamp’s current pricing model is also tough on small business. With a minimum price of $99/month it is probably out of the reach of most small teams.
Actually, todo.vu’s very highest priced (Business Time unlimited) plan is the same price as Basecamp’s very cheapest option.
Comparison of features
Client focus vs Project focus
The primary difference between Basecamp and todo.vu relates to how your work is organised.
Basecamp focuses heavily on Projects – everything you do in Basecamp is siloed into a project and you must create a project in order to manage anything. This may work well if you manage a small number of large projects. If you have a large company with teams that spend many months on one or two projects this may work well for you.
But for most agile small businesses this is not the case. Most small businesses have many hundreds of clients, each with many small tasks. You can’t possibly create a project for each client – it would be a nightmare to manage and impossible to find your priorities for the day.
This leads to people only using Basecamp for part of their work management – they put the most important projects into Basecamp and leave the small stuff out. This is far from ideal for small businesses.
todo.vu focuses on organising your tasks by client and helping you manage client priorities. You can add a new client/project/task in seconds without having to ‘setup a project’ and you can view all of your tasks across hundreds of clients in one view.
Tasks vs to-do list
Another difference between Basecamp and todo.vu is our focus on tasks. In Basecamp they are almost an after-thought. Within a project you can create simple to-do lists with simple one line descriptions. You are unable to provide detailed descriptions of these tasks, and although you can attach notes and files, the user interface makes it very difficult to have any meaningful discussion and communication about these ‘tasks’.
Basecamp to-do items only have two states they are either incomplete or done – this binary choice can be limiting in a real world where tasks may be deferred or even dependent on other tasks.
In todo.vu the task is the central focus or our system. Tasks may be as tiny as a one line title, but can also be more complex structures with assignees, followers, detailed descriptions, multiple attachments, due dates, privacy settings and multiple workflow states.
In Basecamp you can only ever see one to-do list at a time in a specific project. This is not very helpful if you manage dozens of projects and need to determine your daily priorities constantly. todo.vu allows you to view all of your tasks at any time or filter down by client/project/label/assignee as required.
Time integration changes everything
Integrated Time tracking makes a huge difference. Basecamp claims that you can track time via optional third party integrations such as Time Doctor, but it is important to recognise the significant difference between using an add-on or an integrated solution for time tracking.
The option to track time directly on tasks provides faster, simpler usage and leads to increased accuracy and advanced reporting possibilities. There is no need for duplicate entry of project data and no possibility that time can be accidentally recorded against the wrong client/projects.
“Fully integrated time tracking is not just a convenience, it is a paradigm shift in terms of reporting and business intelligence.”
Billing reports can track time entries back to the very source requests. Labelling of tasks can be used to filter reports to produce time reports not possible with third party plugins.