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3 Types of Tools Architects and Designers Need

architect while working in his studio

Tima Miroshnichenko

Architects and designers have a complicated and diverse set of tasks. From laying out floor plans to meeting with potential clients, having the right tools for each job can streamline all your tasks. Spending less time on the small things means you have more time to brainstorm, create, and cultivate your portfolio. 

No matter the problems or tasks you face, there is almost certainly a tool that would help. In this article we’ll highlight some powerful tools that are essential for your architect and designer toolbox needs. 

1. A Tool to Automate Your Scheduling

Whether you are taking the time to design a new structure, meet with a new client, or visit an in progress build, your schedule can easily fill up day to day. The problem that emerges from this is when you suddenly need to squeeze a new meeting into an already booked timetable. This is where a meeting scheduler fits in. 

This simple tool allows you to organize your schedule digitally, making it shareable, viewable, and flexible as you need. Instead of scrambling to find a time that works for a client, they can simply set a time based upon your provided schedule. Beyond that, a tool like this has a variety of features that will minimize the energy needed for time management, which just ensures your creative juices have the time to flow strong and free. 

While scheduling is a widespread problem for people well beyond just architects and designers, its commonality is exactly why it’s often left to the wayside for more specific issues. Tackling the issue of time is a low effort, high impact change that can drastically improve your day to day productivity. 

architect while working in his studio

2. A Tool Enabling a Mobile Workspace and Digital Portfolio

When it comes to the device for designing, drawing, sketching, and designing, there are a million different options to choose from. Depending on your individual needs, the right choice depends on your preference for portability, processing power, ergonomics, and versatility. However, when it comes to a “one stop shop” type of choice, you can’t go wrong with an iPad Pro.

Offering a long battery life, a plethora of apps to explore and try, and an extremely mobile work station, the iPad hits upon a lot of features architects look for. There are tons of popular and powerful design tools available natively on the Operating system, ensuring you can create your masterpieces without a hassle. 

Even if you don’t plan to utilize it as your primary device, it’s a solid backup you can take with you to construction sites or when visiting a client in a place other than your office. You can also take it home, just in case inspiration strikes and you need to preserve that fleeting gem. It functions as a powerful digital portfolio, so even if you don’t plan to work on the device, you can still showcase your creations anywhere.

3. A Design Software that Does it All

Your software is a make or break tool for any designers or architects. Perhaps the biggest constraint for software is the time it takes to learn each program. There are a lot of options to choose from, but Autodesks softwares stands out among the rest. 

Their softwares, AutoCad and Fusion 360, are powerful tools that likely have the capabilities you’re looking for. From floor plans to mechanical modeling, these softwares are great for designing, simulating, rendering, and assembling anything your mind can think up. While you likely don’t need both of these tools, together they cover each other’s weaknesses. For example, AutoCAD is more complex and powerful but Fusion 360 is more user-friendly and easier to learn. Depending on what you plan to create, your choice between the two might differ. 

Taking the time to explore new software is by no means an easy task but is a worthwhile one. If you already have a dedicated modeling program, it might seem unfruitful to sink the time needed to learn a new tool, but taking a look into your options might reveal something useful. Perhaps a program specific feature might totally streamline your design process. You can only find out if you’re willing to put in the time and research. 

No matter your typical workday or preferences, investing your time and energy into learning new tools is an essential part of optimizing your time. It ensures you’re on top of the learning curve, always ready and willing to expand your toolbelt with the latest software. At the end of the day, the biggest hurdle is finding what works best for you and your personal creative process. The only true method to finding that perfect balance is to constantly explore and try new things, fail, and then try some more.