GoPlan Takes on 37Signals

goplanlogo.pngWeb design and programming firm WeBreakStuff just released a new project planning suite, GoPlan, similar to Basecamp and ActiveCollab. You use this stuff when you want to get a team organized around accomplishing project milestones – a lightweight Microsoft Project with collaboration built right in.

The products have a lot of similarities. They’re all web based applications for managing your team projects. Both GoPlan and BaseCamp are hosted pay services made by staunch Ruby evangelists, while the more basic ActiveCollab is an open source PHP installation. GoPlan and BaseCamp prices range from free plans up to beefier pay plans (BaseCamp’s unlimited maxes out at $150/month, while GoPlan tops off at $100/month). Derek over at 5ThirtyOne has a detailed feature comparison of the three.

GoPlan’s project management tool offers modules for note-taking, calendaring (with iCal export), task management, issue tracking, file management and online real-time chat (optional SSL). BaseCamp has a lot of the same features, minus bug tracking and a public project blog. GoPlan has also approached project tracking with a different design methodology. GoPlan not only lets you choose features based on plan levels, but also turn them on and off as needed to keep navigation free of feature clutter.

GoPlan has also shot for a lower price point than BaseCamp (basic $20/$24; premium $100/$150), but with less file storage (GoPlan tops out at 8GB). Their free account gets you everything except calendaring and chat. However, for the paid accounts, GoPlan unlocks features faster. $10/month gives you all of GoPlan’s features for 12 projects of 8 people each. For an extra $20/month you get unlimited users, and 30 projects (twice BaseCamp).

For readers interested in real-time project collaboration, check out our comparison coverage of ConceptShare and Thinkature.