Must-Have Digital Tools For Architects

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Architects’ work is traditionally focused on accuracy and precision: avoiding calculation errors, being important in any activity, is vital in architecture. This is true for both creating models and for organizing work process.

That is why digital tools that automate routine processes are being increasingly adopted by architecture bureaus and used in their workflows. Here’s a list of must-have digital tools for architects that simplify specific tasks and entire workflows for architect bureaus and self-employed specialists.

1. actiTIME

Key features:

  • Automatic and manual time tracking
  • Client billing
  • Mobile app

Architectural bureaus and self-employed professionals often bill their customers for time spent on work for them. That’s why keeping accurate records of how much time has been spent on various activities is essential: it helps prevent under-billing and adds transparency and clarity to interaction with clients on how much cost has incurred and why.

Here’s where actiTIME time management system helps: it ensures effortless timekeeping and provides exact data on work performed for each specific client, project and activity. actiTIME allows to review details and summarized data on any portion of work, analyze profitability of projects, and issue invoices for customers.

2. ARCHICAD

Key features:

  • Building information modeling (BIM)
  • Team collaboration
  • App integrations

ARCHICAD is a building design suite that provides different tools for architects and designers. The tool combines several software applications integrated in a complex solution that covers all design needs of an architectural bureau.

ARCHICAD offers collaboration features that ensure convenient teamwork on a project for office employees and distributed teams. The tool allows to develop and implement projects of any scale, export the data in many commonly supported formats, and connect to other software tools for streamlining work on the concept and details.

3. Rhino

Key features:

  • 3D modeling
  • File sharing

Rhino is a design and modeling tool. It ensures accuracy in the design and production of any object and supports file formats compatible with other 3D modeling and engineering software, so you can collaborate on files created in this tool with your colleagues who work with other solutions.

Rhino is available for Windows and Mac. It doesn’t require any special hardware and works fast even on ordinary machines. Being designed not only for professionals but also for beginners and students, it is easy to learn and use. What’s more, it offers advanced functionality at an affordable price, which is important for freelancers and solo entrepreneurs.

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4. Chief Architect

Key features:

  • CAD
  • 3D modeling
  • Drawing and design

Chief Architect offers a wide range of tools and features for working on home design projects. It allows to create construction drawings, interior design projects, CAD details, and 3D models. Chief Architect offers product lines for both professional architects and DIY enthusiasts, and while solutions for any level of skills are available, both professional and DIY tools by Chief Architect have been reported to be easy to learn and use.

Chief Architect tools are available for Windows and macOS. There are also mobile apps available for Android and iOS. This way, the tools can be used on virtually any device: desktop, tablet, or smartphone.

5. Revit

Key features:

  • Project planning, design and analysis
  • 3D modeling
  • App integrations
  • Team collaboration

Revit BIM software is one of indispensable tools for construction, structural engineering, and architectural design. It includes various features for design, modeling, planning and construction of buildings and infrastructure objects. Its features for conceptual design, visualization and analysis ensuring convenience at any step of work on an architectural project.

The tool supports collaboration on project files, which allows contributors from various professionals and collaborate on the centrally stored and shared project model. For more convenient work on architectural projects, Revit provides the ability to expand its functionality with add-ons and API access.

6. ArchiSnapper

Key features:

  • Project work planning
  • Progress tracking
  • Team collaboration

Planning and monitoring field works, taking into account every single detail, and making decisions on necessary changes is challenging, so using a special tool that automates and simplifies these tasks is a reasonable way to free up managers’ time and prevent employees from overlooking important details.

ArchiSnapper is a project management tool designed specifically for architectural projects. It allows to organize work on a project in a convenient way, track progress, upload on-site photos, sketches and annotations, and stay updated on every work assignment within a project. The tool stores all data in the cloud, which ensures its integrity and availability from any device, from anywhere.

7. Elorus

Key features:

  • Project cost management
  • Invoicing
  • Payment processing

For small bureaus and self-employed individuals, accounting is one of the biggest struggles. Having zero background in bookkeeping, it’s not easy to organize finances and prevent billable hours from being missed. However, Elorus can help overcome this problem and save valuable time.

It is a smart and easy tool that helps create and send professional invoices, manage expenses, and handle costs. It also allows to accept credit card payments and provides tools for monitoring your business’ performance. To avoid double data entry, you can integrate Elorus with other tools you’re using in your workflow and enjoy hassle-free billing and invoicing.

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