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Can you use Slack to replace Basecamp? Or is there a third option?

Nov 26, 2020
(updated: Dec 6, 2022)
Max 5 min read

Slack and Basecamp are widely popular business tools. Basecamp was launched in 2004 while Slack was launched in 2013. Both apps have millions of users and function for businesses of all sizes from large corporate companies to small freelance businesses.

As a freelancer, you may be wondering which tool is better for your business to streamline communication and efficiency. Or perhaps there’s an alternative? That’s where Indy comes in. But first, we’ll review both Slack and Basecamp, before we dive into Indy. We’ll explore which of the three may be the best fit for your freelance business. 

Basecamp Overview

In a video on their website, Basecamp describes the app as “one organized place for your projects, teams, and company-wide communication.” Essentially it is a collective project management tool that aims to help improve work visibility, organization, and communication. 

The main dashboard is broken into three sections. The company HQ - a section for company-wide updates and communication, teams - individual departments and teams, and projects - all ongoing company projects. 

Within a project, all information related to that project is stored from start to finish. There are a variety of communication tools, schedules, and to-do lists to make sure all team members know their tasks and responsibilities. The goal is to have everything housed in one place, so people can work efficiently without having to jump across multiple platforms or sift through multiple email chains. With complete project visibility, there is also less room for miscommunication or misunderstandings about project expectations or details. 

Though the platform was built for companies with multiple employees in mind, Basecamp can be used by individual business owners to manage projects and client communication.

Freelance web designer Leah Kalamakis explains in her blog why she loves Basecamp “Many of these features are similar in all project management software. But you will find differences in how easy they are to understand and use for both you and the client. I find the ease-of-use for the client is the most important part.”

Slack Overview

Slack is a tool that often gets compared with Basecamp. Unlike traditional project management software, Slack is primarily a communication tool.

Slack is a real-time messaging, discussion, and file-sharing app. Its goal is to make work less complex and more efficient by eliminating the need for email and disorganized file-sharing systems. 

Slack is organized by workspaces and channels. Your workspace is where your company communication is housed. Channels can then be organized by projects, teams, or whatever is relevant for the business. Messages are then saved and searchable. You can also respond to single messages by creating a thread on a single topic or question.

Other notable slack features are voice and video conferencing, shared channels - which allow you to connect with people outside of your business, and a workflow automation tool.

Like Basecamp, Slack was also built for companies with multiple employees in mind, but it’s also useful for freelancers who are looking to streamline their client communication. 

Slack itself isn’t optimized to be a project management tool, but it has over 2000 integrations, so if you are already using another project management tool like Trello, Asana, or Jira you can easily integrate it to Slack. That way you can have your projects and communication in one place.

Slack, like social media platforms, also offers helpful communities for freelancers - where freelancers can connect, network, and ask questions.

According to a comparison by StackShare Slack has “broader approval” and is more often recommended by developers because of easy integration.

Is Basecamp or Slack better?

There is no clear cut answer. Both tools help keep business communication in a centralized place. Both also replace the need for relying on email, which can be disorganized or inefficient.

Basecamp may be a better choice if project management is your primary concern while communication is secondary. 

Slack may be better if streamlining communication is your main goal. Considering the number of integrations Slack offers, if you’re already invested in a different project management tool, slack likely can easily integrate. The ability to connect with other freelancers and join communities is also a bonus.

Introducing Indy

Unlike Slack or Basecamp, Indy was made specifically for freelancers and with their needs in mind. It offers many of the same features as the other two apps and more. 

With Indy you can easily:

  • Design and send proposals, contracts, and invoices
  • Receive payments
  • Track your time
  • Create to-do lists
  • Store and share files
  • Manage your projects
  • Organize your contacts
  • Manage client communication

Indy is an all in one productivity suite where you can manage not only projects and client communication but also manage the rest of your freelance business. This replaces the need for integrations if you use Slack. If you’re a Basecamp, user then it can replace other tools that you’d still need to manage your business, like contracts, proposals, or invoicing. 

With Indy you can run your business all in one place, saving you time and money in the long run.

For more on this subject, check out 3 Communication and Collaboration Strategies to Use During Projects

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