Project Pier (http://www.projectpier.org/) is literally Basecamp that someone has cloned and released as freeware. That’s what I use. However, you do have the host it similar to how you would setup a CMS. I’m not sure why you wouldn’t want to do this, but if it’s a dealbreaker, then I’m not sure what solutions you would adequately find in it’s stead.
@JoshWhiteDesign – ProjectPier is actually a fork off of ActiveCollab. ActiveCollab was at one point open source. Right when they moved to closed-source, Project Pier started where AC left off with its open source.
ProjectPier and Collabtive both are free, but lacking a lot of UI elements, and I can’t find anything nearly as nice as the paid alternatives.
I ran Project Pier for 3 months, but just gave in and paid for Basecamp. I have my clients use it with me, so I need it to be as simple as possible.
WORKetc isn’t free, but it’s very affordable and will probably save you money in the long run.
It’s a “complete business management application” that combines CRM with project management and billing. Under one system a company can manage its entire business. You can collaborate on all aspects of business (leads, tasks, invoices, you name it…) not to mention WORKetc offers more than the majority of other solutions out there… combined.
If you’re serious about your business then ultimately you’re not going to find what you need in free applications. They set unnecessary limitations on your business and are usually made with the same company offering a “premium” version, only using the free version as a way to trick you into purchasing it. They assume that by the frustration from the lack of features the free version offers, clients will then choose the paid version to get done what the free version could not.
WORKetc takes the short cut here, so-to-speak. By not setting any limitations on your business you’re avoiding further problems down the road, while allowing growth and motivating workers.
The features within WORKetc are very powerful, and out-do many of its competitors, as you can see here: http://www.worketc.com/compare
I think I agree with Chris in that it kind of follows his “Don’t reinvent the wheel” topic he covered. Maybe 1 out of 10 projects I work on actually NEEDS to have a robust solution that allows more than 2 people with file sharing, etc. Usually a company assigns the responsibility to 1 person, and email + phone + google docs for notes can handle the job.
I feel like I love the idea of having all these cool tools, but when the rubber hits the road you just don’t need that much power.
Now, if I’m the project manager that contracted out 3 people to handle a large ecommerce solution, then yeah I’m going to want to have a collaboration tool.
Drop-Box + GDocs + GMail + Android personally.
I have used basecamp & huddle in the past. Most everything is over kill and believe it or not will reduce productivity quite drastically. Wave, to me was the best solution.
For a client I do not know what I would recommend though.
Proofhub is free if you are managing one project, which would probably work for your needs. It does task and time tracking, along with files and document uploading, so your team could communication from all over. Integration with Google drive and dropbox solves the problem of files stored in different apps. Just drag n drop or attach everything from everywhere into the files section of Proofhub.
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