Choosing Asana Over Basecamp


I have a long history of testing every known tech service or product on the market. I also have a history of never committing to one and the constant state of flux was manageable when I was just doing a few freelance projects on the side.

Since taking my business full time, though, I’ve struggled to find my happy place with a project management tool. Until recently. A few weeks ago, Asana and Harvest introduced time tracking within Asana. This was a great integration for me.

I had been using Basecamp for about six months, but had not completely committed to it. Most of my clients and subcontractors never used it, and it was moderately expensive for a tool that only I was really using. Finally, time tracking and scheduling was pretty weak.

I’ve played with Asana for over a year, but also never committed to it. When I finally decided to switch to Harvest full time from Freshbooks, and I heard that Asana had added Harvest time tracking right inside each task item, I was sold.

So far, it’s worked well. I still have one issue because I have separate Harvest accounts for Duce Enterprises and Learning Ninjas, and only one Asana account with different workspaces. As far as I know, you can only link one Harvest account, so that’s something I’m still working and I’ll let you know what happens.

Basecamp is excellent. It’s simple, easy to manage, has project templates, calendars, and many other features. But it’s limited in time tracking (none in the new version) and is a bit on the pricey side for one user. If you have a team, or a committed group of subcontractors, or clients who love to “watch” a project, then Basecamp is a solid choice.

Most of my clients don’t want to watch the task lists. And if they did, Asana still allows for that (though it’s a bit more work for the client to set up an account and join a project in Asana than in Basecamp). So, for me, Harvest time tracking inside of my task manager was perfect.

I’m still looking for the ultimate calendaring and project management tool. Somebody go build it for me, please!

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6 thoughts on “Choosing Asana Over Basecamp

    1. I gave Podio a whirl last year. They’re on my list for a revisit with all the additions they’ve made. I remember liking the mobile app. Do you use the mobile app a lot, Nick?

  1. Hi Brian – I, like you have visited and used many time tracking / wannabe planning systems – they _all_ lack something, which is so annoying – I would write ‘the perfect’ time management system, but it seems so pointless when really all I need is the extra 2-3 core features adding to basecamp or asana – they are getting there, but I think most are afraid to add too many options for fear of making them seem over complicated or something?

    One feature I would really like to find (or make/build) is: fluid calendar events: for example client A decides to take a holiday (good on them) right in the middle of project (bummer), and I need feedback on something – perhaps with just a couple of mouse clicks *all* linked events could be ‘bumped up’ by a few days or weeks so that the end dead-line reflects an actual real life work flow; rather than: “ok you go on holiday, it’ll still be done by the original agreed date” < I know what you're thinking "I'll just work later or harder for a couple of weeks" < BAD idea – easy way to burn ones-self out I find.

    Well anyway .. if you ever find the above – let me know! Great blog here by the way.

    1. Thanks for stopping by, Paul. That would be a nice feature. “Adjust entire project”. Calendaring seems to be the fail point for most PM tools as well as, well, calendaring apps. The perfect app would be email, calendar and PM rolled into one with smart tech to automatically parse and recommend things. Someday…

    1. I haven’t tested Asana’s new calendar feature. I had actually switched back to Basecamp for a few months, but am quitting it again because it’s lacks an solid calendaring/scheduling/milestone feature. I’m also looking at TeamworkPM and their recent updates.

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