Goplan review and comparison with Basecamp

29 01 2008

I’m using Goplan for the QA Site base website setup.

Goplan is obviously a clone of Basecamp, but it has several benefits.

The Dashboard is almost identical, but navigation is a bit more difficult, since features are hidden in an context sensitive sub menu. Things like the project time zone are nice, but not always relevant.

Notes are roughly equivalent to messages in basecamp, but I’d like optionally to be able to tie notes to files, tasks, or tickets (or categories.)

It is more file centric, with limited ability to group files (by “category” instead of a directory hierarchy. File versioning is nice, but requiring creation and selection of a category for every file is bad. I’d like to see comments on files.

The blog is very simple, but blogs should be simple. I’d like to see the ability to link within the site from the blog, for instance to tasks, or the calendar. That way a daily blog post could cover the day’s tasks.

The ability to create tasks before assigning them to a task list would be nice. Calling tasks “tasks” and not “todo items” is good.

The ability to create categories on the fly via a javascript popup is a nice feature. Especially since you often need to create a category, especially if you don’t have one yet. I don’t understand the difference between task categories and file categories, but they are apparently completely separate.

Tickets are simple, but perhaps superflous. A ticket is has little differentiation from a task, other than priority and severity. This does allow some sorting and filtering, which I’d like to see for tasks. Perhaps it’s better to distinguish a planned task for an unexpected ticket or request, but a better semantic differentiation is needed. In my mind a ticket would potentially lead to the creation of a task, or possibly stem from the executing of a task (and hence be able to be categorized as “blocking”) but there is no correlation.

That tickets can have attachments but tasks can’t is disappointing.

I miss milestones from basecame, but tasks have a due date. It’s less manageable.

The rich text editing if notes, blog posts, tickets, and tasks is nice but simple, though rich text display would be nicer (but always seems prone to errors.) The current way helps you learn the wiki syntax quickly. But making _underscore_ indicate italic and +plus+ indicate underline is silly, though somewhat standard.

Overall, I’d give goplan a slight edge over basecamp, and if it had milestones or better task grouping, it would go quite a bit further.

For pay versions of goplan have more features. Including calendar and user permissions.

The free version of Goplan can have 2 projects and 4 users, twice as many as the free version of basecamp.

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9 responses

29 01 2008
fijiaaron

Comments in Goplan have the ability to have rich text via textile, but it is discouraged (since formatting buttons are not displayed.) I approve of this. But comments cannot be edited, or have attachments added. I think I’d like to be able edit comments, but attachments to comments are probably superfluous and could be confusing. You may end up with alot of files buried in comments.

If file attachments were also added to the files folder– perhaps under a directory (category) tied to the user, maybe one such as “Aarons attachments”, or even selectible on upload.

29 01 2008
fijiaaron

Actually, it looks like attachments to notes (and tickets?) are added to the files under a default category “Project Attachments”

That’s nice.

29 01 2008
fijiaaron

The free version of Goplan can have 2 projects and 4 users, twice as many as the free version of basecamp.

29 01 2008
Megan McAlpine

C’mon, stop promoting Goplan! I’ve found a very interesting tool lately and I would be interested to know your opinion of it. I like Wrike much more than Basecamp. It’s based on e-mail integration, but if you don’t use email that often you can use it on-line. Wrike has several very nifty features, like drag-n-drop Gantt charts e.g. So what do you think?

29 01 2008
John Reeve

There are other applications out there that are starting to break away from the simplicity of basecamp and its clones. For example, we developed Intervals because neither basecamp or goplan really did what we needed. If you are looking for more robust task and time tracking, check it out.

19 06 2008
kirblam

I’m not a fan of basecamp. I think the ui is pretty clunky. When you click on a milestone in your personal list and then have to search for it because the developers were too lazy to add an anchor tag, the shine is taken off pretty quickly. I’ve seen some gushing feedback for bc so they must be doing something right. However, for our company and our needs, it falls short. I do think Goplan has a better start but they seem to be having scalability issues. The “Goplan isn’t feeling so well…”-type error messages get a chuckle the first time. The second and third time your page times out, you start thinking “Maybe you should put more time into your code and less into the cute error messages…

I’ll check out wrike

5 09 2008
bittype

The problem with all of these online project management tools is that they are not designed for people who do the work. They are designed for project managers divide up time.

6 10 2009
20:20 Social: From Social Media Marketing to Social Business Strategy — Blog — Enterprise Collaboration : GoPlan Review

[…] One Shore again compares GoPlan with BaseCamp. The review states that GoPlan is clone of Basecamp but with several benefits like – file centric approach, simple blog, ability to create categories on the fly via a javascript popup, Tickets etc. […]

21 07 2011
Applicom

Hi,

Maybe give Apollo a go too: http://www.apollohq.com
Apollo does project management and CRM. It covers cases&deals, advanced calendar, time reporting, and more.

Its interface is really advanced, and it’s all 100% AJAX.

Bye!

Merc.

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