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.