Tuesday, March 25, 2008

5 Reasons why I hate Basecamp

I have been using Basecamp for my project management for sometime now. I have to say I hate it. I really like what 37signals guys do, but I was disappointed with Basecamp.

Without any further ado, let me list 5 reasons why I hate Basecamp

1. Navigation

I get lost so easily in Basecamp. There are no breadcrumbs in any pages. For example, I have a page for our iteration planning where we list all the stories that go into that iteration. These stories are listed as links to other writeboards in the project. When I click on any of these links to view a story there is no easy, intuitive way to navigate back to the iteration planning page. When I click on browser back button, it just refreshes the current page. The page has a link to "Go Back". When I click on that click instead of taking me to the iteration planning page, it takes me back to list of writebroads. I am not sure if this is some configuration problem from our side. But again I don't think this should be a configuration.

2. Loading Writeboards is very slow

3. Search is useless

Search does not search writeboards.

4. Wiki support is aweful

Compare to Confluence or other wiki tools that I have used, Basecamp support for wiki text is inferior. Even Wikipedia has better support.

5. Does not handle big projects well

Organizing things in Basecamp is a pain. I have no way to tag or search writeboards.

Einstein had a famous quote - "Make everything as simple as possible, but not simpler" . I think they missed the second part of that sentence.


upendra said...

Agree with this post. Basecamp is good when talking notes for small weekend projects. Not for anything more complex.

Its more like an online version of the Windows notepad. Its ironic that the 37signals guys who preach about how to build webapps got this one so wrong.

KetanPadegaonkar said...

Heard about mingle from ThoughtWorks Studios ;)

Chris said...

Just one point of clarification: Basecamp is not a wiki. Its text styling tools are based on Textile and not those used in a wiki.

In addition, I don't think I would classify Basecamp as a project management tool, it is too simple. It is a great project communication tool though. It does a great job of capturing the various conversations that can go on over email during a project.

Anonymous said...

Come give www.centraldesktop.com a whirl. Our search is full-text search for all of the documents you upload (including PDF, PPT, xls and .doc).

[yes, I'm the owner of Central Desktop trolling on comments] :>

Give it a shot - we either work for you - or we don't.

(oh, and we can import our Basecamp Projects into our app as well.)

Isaac Garcia

Scriptwriter said...

Yeah, Basecamp might be good for communication, but it really sucks for project management. I had to search for another solution and found Wrike. The tool has a decent search, and the wiki style task editing works just perfect.

sean said...

FreeTime is pretty good for tracking time spent on projects too.

Anonymous said...

Hey if you say it enough it becomes the truth. Power of marketing...37signals did it right from that perspective. Who cares now when you have fans...much like iPeople....'their just doesn't stink'

Anonymous said...

I left basecamp... as I didn't like the fact it was not branded with my company logo. Also I found that the dashboard was not clear, and I couldn't really share documents ect...ow but one other thing... you cannot get hold of ANYONE TO HELP U WHEN U HAVE A PROBLEM! It just did not suit me at all. Just signed up with Meltwater drive... really simple to use, branded how I requested, AND FULL TELEPHONE SUPPORT WITH A DIRECT LINE TO MY CONSULTANT!!!! value for money!