Web-Based Project Management Tools

activeCollab vs. Basecamp and Backpack

I’ve been using Backpack from 37signals to keep both my personal and professional lives organized. Right now, my backpack is bursting at the seams as I’m pushing it to the limits of what it was intended to do, so I’ve been considering moving to 37signals‘s full-fledged project management tool, Basecamp. Then I found out my hosting company already provides the open source port of Basecamp, activeCollab for free.

I’ve been giving activeCollab a test drive, and all in all, I’d have to say it’s OK. I think they got the big stuff right: managing projects, clients, users, milestones, and lists is straightforward enough. What activeCollab is missing is the warm and fuzzy, ajaxy features that make 37Signals a hit with non-technical users (including my wife and mother-in-law). Since that set of users includes my clients, I won’t be switching over activeCollab yet.