Online Collaboration with Basecamp



Basecamp is web-based software that allows you to manage projects by posting messages, sharing files, creating to-do lists and tracking time. Communication is facilitated through the message, chat and writeboards features. This is a guide for Basecamp Classic.


Project Management Features

When you create a project, you have a number of features available to you that are visible in the

top menu:



Let’s go over these features…



Messages allows you to post messages and bring them to the attention of specific users. You can attach files as well.



You can view all the messages in a project anytime. Below is the “List View” option, but you can also use the “Expanded” view if you prefer.



To-Dos allows you to create to-do lists that allows you to track time working on a particular to-do list.


Once you’ve created the list, you will have the opportunity to assign specific tasks to users and set a deadline.



Milestones allows you to track deadlines and events. You can assign these deadlines to yourself or to someone else. You can add up to 10 milestones at a time.



The items added here are added to a calendar and you can optionally subscribe to the items using the 3rd party iCalendar.


The WriteBoard feature allows you to collaborate and track the changes to your document. It’s useful for a piece of your project that requires updating, brainstorming, etc.

Here’s a sample WriteBoard that has been updated with new information:


You can edit it, export it, flag a specific version and add a comment. You can also compare the difference between versions to track changes:


This will show you what was changed between the two versions:



Chat is an optional part of Basecamp and allows for text chat amongst users.


It operates using a Campfire account that is available at additional cost. Campfire account also include phone conferencing minutes. There is a free option of Campfire that allows up to 4 text chatters and 10 MB of storage, with no conferencing minutes.




The time tracking feature allows users to input their time working on various tasks. This is useful for managing your expenses and for billing clients, if applicable.



The files feature allows you to add files to your project. You can also view files that were loaded in the Messages feature as well.

Here you can see the file we’ve uploaded and there is an option to upload a newer version, so changes can be tracked.


You also have a few options when it comes to sorting, viewing files including date/time, alphabetically and file size. You can also view only documents, pictures or audio files. And finally, you can choose files loaded by a specific person.



Anytime you log into your project, you can see an overview of the recent activity, making it easy for you to locate items. There are also quick links to add new messages, to-do lists, milestones and files.


Basecamp offers a decent number of features for collaborating online and managing projects. It offers basic communication in the form of messages and optional text chat, but no web conferencing and recording as some other software offers.

Work More Efficiently With Basecamp

Those who work on multiplebasecamp projects with several clients and team members know how difficult it can be to keep communication streamlined and stay on track throughout the duration of the project. In the past, there would be phone calls flying back and forth with notes scribbled on a notepad or transcribed into a word document. Then came email, and files upon files would be filled with emails that had been printed out or those emails sat in files on computers that were quickly overloaded.

Now you can ease the stress of project management by implementing the tool that is Basecamp. Using this collaboration tool, you will be amazed at how easy it is to facilitate smooth transitions between several projects at one time, even when there are several team members involved in each project!

Key benefits to Basecamp are file management, features and flexibility. Files can be easily uploaded to the specific project in which they belong with notices being sent to those who need to receive the file. Basecamp offers all the features busy managers need and doesn’t overwhelm you with features you don’t need. Your Basecamp profile can also be customized to your project and company! Using the message boards, communication between team members is facilitated and encouraged through ease of use. These benefits combine to give project management a whole new direction.

Using Basecamp’s Dashboard, you can get an overview of each project you’ve got stewing. On this page, you will be able to track milestones and deadlines as well as see new messages and files.

What busy managers may appreciate the most is their ability to create To-Do lists and milestones that will keep team members on track. Placing such items in Basecamp instead of simply sending a memo or email to team members is a better way to ensure work is monitored daily by all involved in the project.

You can also track time on Basecamp based on the To-Do lists you have created. Tracking time is as easy as clicking on the Time icon in Basecamp and then choosing a date when work was completed, the person who completed the task, and the task that was completed. This information is then saved in Basecamp but can also be exported in comma separated format into excel. Time tracking can be built right into the To-Do list by clicking Edit on the To-Do list and enabling the time trackindashboardg function. When you do this, a clock will be displayed next to each task on the To-Do list and time can be entered by clicking on the clock.

In addition to having the ability to send messages and create easy to follow threads in the message board, Basecamp also provides a chat feature. This feature is in real time and is widely used for Q&A with team members and clients at the beginning and end of a project. Even if you do not utilize the Chat feature, the Message board with threads can contain all pertinent information and allow communication to remain consistent throughout the duration of your project.

“Basecamp takes a fresh, novel approach to project collaboration. Projects don’t fail from a lack of charts, graphs, stats, or reports, they fail from a clear lack of communication. Basecamp solves this problem by providing tools tailored to improve the communication between people working together on a project.”