We’ve get asked dozens of time each year what project management software we use to manage the 100 or so projects we do each year. We’ve always used Basecamp and we don’t see a reason to switch to anything else as we grow. Given the size of some of our design projects and the high quantity of new website we produce each year some people are surprised that we use such a simple tool. Let me explain our motivation:
- The complexity of the project management tool is not in direct proportion to the project you are managing. Just because you have a large web design project or a multi-faceted SEO campaign, does not mean you need more complex tools. We like Basecamp because it’s the absolute essential of what we need and that forces us to simplify complex issues.
- Our clients don’t want a learning curve. Most of our clients already have several web apps to help them manage their day. They do not need another complex tool to add to the mess they have to deal with each day. A project management system has to be so simple so even the most stressed clients sees the advantages of using it.
- We’re cheap. Every overhead in our businessis under scruitany. We don’t like spending money on anything that doesn’t return something greater in return (except for candy and tickets to see Eddie Izzard live). Our preference is to always look fora web app that’s free and does 80% of what the $1,000/month version does.
It’s also worth noting that Basecamp does have it’s flaws. It’s not linked to an accounting system so you have to get creative about how you track time and add that to your accounting system. They do offer several API-type plugins that help solve this problem but it’s not a perfect solution if you’re already committed to QuickBooks Online like we are. Overall its the best of the breed project management application for web designers like us.