Basecamp vs. Trello

I decided to do something a little different this time with hopes of bringing some information to light for those reading this post as well as a little bit of personal self reflection. After our lecture today on project management it got me thinking about my usage with two very popular project management software types. Throughout my time in the part time work world I have used both Basecamp and Trello as forms of project management, both at different companies. Each software had its advantages and disadvantages, and both taught me how to work more efficiently with the tasks at hand.

I’ll start with Basecamp. I used this at the surf shop I worked at throughout high school and early college. However, this was more than just a retail store. We led kayak tours, surf lessons, ran a linen and equipment delivery service, t-shirt printer, and laundromat. Each branch of this business had its own employees and managers but were still owned by one boss. We used Basecamp as a way to keep tabs on every moving part of each branch. On basecamp we could upload files to different project folders, make to-do lists, and communicate through messaging and tagging. You could subscribe to certain project folders depending on what you needed to see. I really liked the interface that Basecamp brought and it was great for storing files. However, it was very easy to loose track of conversations and often times we were playing catch up through texts or calls which defeated the purpose of the whole software because not everyone was in the loop.

Next lets take a look at Trello. This is the favorite of the two software programs. Unlike Basecamp, the communications is much more streamlined and clear in my opinion. Trello also pairs with a sister messenger type software called Slack, which allows users to subscribe to different channels and direct message people. The organization of Trello is a little different as well. There are different boards that can be used for different projects. At my JMU job we use a different board for each graphic design project that we undertake. Within each board are different vertical lanes. These cards are like swim lanes that span across the page and allow you to organize content within each. At my work we have a “ToDo,” “Doing,” and “Done” card. Within each lane are various cards. These cards allow users to upload files, write comments, and make lists, similar to Basecamp. The reason that I like Trello better is that it uses a board structure that breaks down into the lanes, cards, and then comments creating an obvious hierarchy of workflow.

Each software is a great tool and are uniquely powerful and it wasn’t until I started using them that I realized their power. It was nice to hear in today’s lecture that even in large-scale companies, people still use the same free (for the most part) project management software to run day-to-day business. Knowing that I have these tools in my back pocket makes me confident when entering the work world and I highly recommend to anyone that hasn’t tried a software like these two to research and find a program that works best for you.

Check out Trello here.

Check out Basecamp here.

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