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Project Management: Basecamp vs. Asana

Let’s cut to the chase: if you’re working with multiple projects at once, or have multiple people on your team, you need a project management tool. Two of the most popular project management tools for churches are Asana (uh-sawn-uh) and Basecamp. These are definitely not the only options out there, but they are two of the most popular and easy-to-use options.

Let’s compare Asana and Basecamp in a few different areas:

  1. Price (a biggie for churches)
  2. Features
  3. Usability

Price

Asana basically offers two pricing options. They have a free option that allows you to have unlimited tasks, projects, and conversations as well as up to 15 team members. If you’re working on a smaller team with basic projects, this free plan is perfect. Asana also has a premium option that is $9.99/user/month with some more advanced features and no team member limit. This plan is good if you have a bigger team, need advanced search and reporting, admin controls, or have a stronger working knowledge and need for Asana. *Asana mentions that they offer small business and non-profit discounts for the premium plan. 

Basecamp has a super simple pricing model: $99/month for unlimited users and unlimited projects. However, they don’t have a free plan. You can also pay that $99/monthly yearly as $999/year and get 2 months free. We will discuss features in the next section, but Basecamp is great if you’re working with a larger (or expanding) team, need file storage, and/or want realtime chat. *Basecamp offers a 10% discount for non-profits. 

Features

Asana has some really good features, even on their free plan. You can set up tasks in individual projects (for churches, this might be Christmas planning, weekend services, Kids Ministry, etc.) and then can set up your projects as to-do lists or as boards, whichever you prefer. You can then assign tasks to other members of your team, set deadlines, upload small files, create progress and status updates, and even have conversations inside of a project, task, or section. For the premium plan, you can set up quick templates for things that you regularly do, create private projects between certain members of your team, and have an advanced project dashboard that shows progress and what you still need to accomplish. One feature that Asana lacks is a general conversation area. You can have a conversation within a project or task, but it’s a little cluttered. However, Asana integrates with Slack.

Basecamp allows you to view all of your projects and teams from Basecamp HQ. You can have check lists and to-do items within various projects, assign tasks, and set deadlines… similarly to Asana. Basecamp excels at getting rid of a lot of other software. They have a great chat feature, solid file storage and management, an extensive calendar and meeting creator, and more. When you pay for Basecamp, you have everything you need in one great package and don’t need to connect other apps. The reporting and progress updates feature in Basecamp is also pretty great. You can view what got done that week, what each individual has been assigned, and what tasks are overdue, all at the click of a button.

Usability

Asana has a beautiful user interface. It’s clean, easy to use, and kind of reminds you of things you’re already using, like Facebook or Gmail. They have a super convenient dashboard on the left side of the page that allows you to see all of your projects and team members. Usability is definitely a strong point for Asana and you can tell that they’ve worked hard to have a solid user interface. It’s very intuitive so everyone on your team will easily be able to pick it up and find where different items are located within the program.

Basecamp is VERY extensive and flexible, but their interface is a little more confusing. Because they have so many features and so many different options, it has a slight learning curve to find where everything is located. However, the benefit to this is that you can set up your Basecamp however it’s convenient for you/your team. The sky is really the limit here, which can be a good thing if you use it correctly.

Conclusion

I’m not going to give a recommendation for Basecamp vs. Asana. I think that both products are really strong and you can’t go wrong with either. For most churches reading this, the free plan offered by Asana is sufficient, but if you’re looking for something a little more comprehensive, the premium plan or Basecamp is a good option. Both products have their strengths and weaknesses and I would recommend exploring their sites, signing up for the trial plans, and seeing which product is right for you and your church.

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