PM Software Comparison: Copper vs Basecamp

We often have customers asking us what the differences are between Copper and Basecamp, so we thought we’d do a quick comparison of Copper and Basecamp Project Management Softwares.

So here goes!

Copper Project


Purchasing Options
  • Available as a hosted account or as an installable server license for higher security requirements.
  • Available as hosted account only.
  • All accounts have unlimited projects, limitation is on number of users or unlimited for Premium accounts, no free accounts.
  • All accounts have limited projects, no limitation on users, basecamp has free 1 user account.
How are the two tools actually used?
  • Project Managers create project plans and tasks, allocate those tasks to Workers, and review quantitative progress.
  • Project Managers add To Dos, upload files, upload text documents, start discussions.
  • Workers log in, review their tasks, and add time, comments and an estimation of % complete.
  • Workers log in, check off tasks, add to discussions.
  • Accounts team can review time spent on a project or by a resource and either invoice directly or export csv to invoice externally
  • No internal invoicing/timetracking.
  • Tech team can modify Copper to suit the individual requirements of the company.
  • Basecamp API can be used to create external add-ons.
Features Comparison
  • Information is stored as Clients, Projects, Tasks (including sub-tasks), and Files.
  • Information is stored as Discussions, To Dos, Files, Text Documents and Dates.
  • Users have secure and specific access to a whole client, a project, or tasks.
  • Users can see everything but can be invited to Files & Discussions.
  • Includes fully draggable Gantt Timeline for quick project setup and management of tasks and timelines. Import/Export to MS Project
  • No timeline features.
  • Time can be tracked and entered via the in-built stopwatch timer, or can be manually entered
  • No time tracking.
  • Percentage completion of tasks is stored for every task update and rolls up to show project completion. You can always see just how ‘complete’ a project or task is.
  • Tasks are either done or not, there is no tracking of percentage completion.
  • All tasks have a running commentary, this commentary is tied to percentage complete, hours spent, automated timesheets, and invoicing.
  • Messages are held under the whole project. You can choose to email those you want to see the message. No percentage complete or timesheeting.
  • Files are uploaded and attached to Tasks or Projects and users can only access if they have permission for those tasks/projects.
  • Files are centralised under projects and viewable to all.
  • Multi language support, including spanish, portuguese, french, swedish, dutch, italian.
  • Multi language support.
  • Compatible with HTML5 capable phones.
  • Can be used on phones – BC Mobile uses HTML5 – no apps to install

We’ve tried to be unbiased here, but it does seem that there are shortcomings to the web’s most popular collaboration tool (Basecamp), while we are prepared to admit that some would prepare the more basic offering.

Those Basecamp users who have defected to Copper we’d be interested in your thoughts, and those looking to move from Basecamp note that we have a Basecamp importer so we can set you up with a free trial.