Basecamp vs. Slack in 2022

Getting people to work together is now a greater challenge since they may not be physically together. Luckily, technology offers modern tools like Basecamp and Slack to provide the electronic platform where work can still continue. Basecamp has been doing this since 1999, giving users an easy-to-use project management software. Slack was founded in 2009, but offered their communication tool to the public in 2013. Both of these tools have millions of users today, including well known companies such as Spotify and NASA for Basecamp, and Cole Haan and Vodafone for Slack.

Common goals

In this Basecamp vs. Slack article, we describe how each software works to help people accomplish their work even when miles apart from each other. Basecamp promotes organization and productivity. It provides a central place for a company’s projects, teams, and internal communications. Similarly, Slack software’s objective is very similar— to provide a single place where all communication can be organized. It is easier to find that information when you can quickly go back to that conversation about a particular project, team activity, or company initiative. Basecamp and Slack provide users the process and tools to bring about order from chaos.

Different approaches

The Basecamp approach

Basecamp is a collaborative project management tool that helps teams and companies improve work visibility. They can organize their company into teams and projects. In a particular project, all its team members see the same things and have the same access to information, so they can proceed with their work unimpeded. If they need additional information, the PM software provides a variety of communication tools, schedules, and to-do lists to make sure all project team members know their roles and responsibilities.

Docs and Files

Basecamp has a Docs and Files feature that provides team members a place for relevant project documents, images, and files that everyone can find easily. People like to make a Basecamp vs. Slack comparison because both tools offer features for handling file attachments, but Basecamp acts more of a repository of project files and documents. Some image file formats will appear with previews. Users can add files by clicking the paperclip icon when using a text editor or by pressing a +New button in Docs and Files. They can change the file names of added files, add some notes about it, notify users, and replace an uploaded file with a new version. It also accepts links of files from cloud storage such as Google Drive, Dropbox, Box, and OneDrive.

Multiple communication tools

Communication is critical especially when working remotely from one another. Basecamp offers several tools to facilitate communication. The Message Board feature is similar to a Slack channel, which is another Basecamp vs. Slack comparison point. Entire conversations about a topic are available on a single page where users can scroll up or down. Users can embed images and files, share with others, and react (applaud) to posts they like. Every project has its own chat room to quickly post comments, directly @mention individuals, and add attachments. For private conversations with anyone in the account, users can use Ping. Automatic check-in questions is a non-intrusive way of getting status reports.

Client access

Basecamp is a valuable tool when project teams work with external clients. Users can forward client emails directly into Basecamp and centralize communication. Tools like to-dos and messages can also be shared with clients, keeping them in the loop and providing the team with quick feedback for things such as agile projects. The PM tool includes security and permission settings to keep what should be private to the team only and what can be shared with the client.

The Slack approach

Slack lets users manage information by organizing and categorizing it into channels. Channels can represent a topic, a project, a team, and anything else where conversation happens. This ability to organize is one reason users make a Basecamp vs. Slack comparison. In a channel, a group of people with a common goal communicate freely by sending messages that are saved and searchable. Every member can view the latest exchange and previous messages. They can participate at any point to give their input or to ask for clarification.

File sharing

Slack allows users to share files and documents together with their conversations inside channels. As a result, they can add the critical details to the files they are attaching and sharing. For those who are receiving the files, it gives them additional context about the files they do not find when simply browsing inside folders. Files can be shared from local computer drives, mobile devices, and cloud storage services. Slack syncs all messages and files when users switch from one device to another.

Voice and video conferencing

Slack’s conferencing features makes a distinguishing point on a Basecamp vs. Slack comparison. It has a video conferencing feature that provides face-to-face collaboration when needed. Voice-only conference calls are possible, as well as the ability to share a screen on a video conference call. Users can quickly switch from typing messages to holding a video call in one click. With integrations, it can work with other meeting apps such as Zoom, Cisco Webex, Microsoft Teams, and Google Hangouts. Basecamp does not have video conferencing built into the software.

Shared channels

Slack Connect is a feature in its paid plans where users can collaborate with external organizations. Through a shared channel, users can share with their clients and vendors the important updates everyone needs to know in real time. The shared channel has all the features of a regular channel where users can attach files, integrate the channel to another app, or give direct messages for one-to-one conversation.

Basecamp vs. Slack Summary

Basecamp and Slack are software tools that can improve productivity and communication of teams wherever they are. Basecamp is a better choice if you need a project management software with communication tools. Slack is a better option if you need a communication software that can help improve collaboration in your work, whether project-based or operational. Those who need both can opt for a Basecamp Slack integration. Although Slack can directly integrate with many project management software, Basecamp is not one of them, so the best workaround is through Zapier.

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Jose Maria Delos Santos

Jose is a subject matter expert and member of the writing team for and Bridge24. He has written hundreds of articles including project management software reviews, books reviews, training site reviews, and general articles related to the project management industry.