Basecamp Personal Takes Project Management Out Of The Office, Ditches Subscriptions For A One-Time Fee

Basecamp, the project management platform from 37 Signals that originally launched back in 2004, has withstood the test of time to become one of the established players in the online collaboration market. Today, it’s making a move to expand beyond its current target customer base of small businesses (or small groups within small businesses) with the debut of a new platform called Basecamp Personal.

In a blog post announcing the new tool, 37 Signals co-founder and CEO Jason Fried says that the move is in response to one big complaint from thousands of users over the years who have wanted to use the service for managing personal projects, volunteer projects, school projects and more – that is, the service had been priced for business users, not individuals.

Today, Basecamp Personal attempts to rectify that problem. Instead of charging a monthly subscription fee, users can pay a one-time fee of $25 to purchase a Basecamp Personal project instead. When they need to start a second project, they can then just pay another $25 – there’s no need to ever sign up for a subscription. The projects aren’t exactly the same as those for paying business customers, however. They only offer 1 GB of file space compared with the usual 3 GBs, and collaboration with up to five people instead of unlimited people. Personal projects also lack some of the other features popular in Basecamp’s paid offerings, including the calendar, progress timeline, “everyone page,” “everything page,” and “people pages.” Other differences are mentioned in the comparison chart here, if you’re unsure which edition makes sense for you.

At launch, Basecamp Personal is only being made available for current Basecamp customers and end users to test, but it will be opened up more broadly in a few months. Despite the connection between Basecamp (paid) and Personal for sign-up purposes, users’ Personal projects are kept entirely separate from their boss and other co-workers, and will remain with the user even if they’re taken off of Basecamp (paid) at their organization.

In more recent periods, Basecamp has been challenged by task management newcomers like Trello from Stack Exchange’s Joel Spolsky, Salesforce’s Do, and Asana, the web-based productivity service that counts Facebook co-founder Dustin Moskovitz among its founders, to name a few. But it still maintains a popular following, with millions of users worldwide in over 180 countries, the company states. To date, Basecamp says it has hosted over 8 million projects on its platform.

For current Basecamp customers, the sign up for Basecamp Personal is here.