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One of the keys to success as an architect is working efficiently – especially on those pesky project management tasks. You don’t want to spend hours doing your invoicing or scheduling. You don’t want to waste time and money by having two employees doing the same task or by having no one take care of the task – leaving everyone to scramble.
Why Should Architects use Project Management Apps?
Project management software for architects helps with various aspects of project management – specifically for architectural firms. Some project management software for architects deals with managing resources, others monitor budgets and schedules – with a whole lot of other uses in between.
There is a big difference between software meant to help with project management and architecture software. Architecture software includes ArchiCAD, AutoCAD, Revit, and Sketchup. They help with the actual design and architectural work. There are a few apps out there that do a little bit of both – project management and architectural work – but for the most part it’s one or the other.
Just think about how complex a basic architectural project is, not to mention those more complex projects. There is all the thought that goes into the actual design, you have to wrangle your team into completing the project on-time and on-budget (and quickly respond if that becomes impossible), track all the time and invoicing, and so much more. It’s a lot for one person, even a group of people, to think about.
Architects should use project management software for architects for the same reason we use other apps – they are extremely convenient and help us stay organized in our complicated world. Having something to help you stay organized will prevent failure and ensure success on your projects. Think of project management software for architects as a daily planner – just one that has alarms and algorithms.
If things are starting to veer off track – you are running out of budget or the schedule is running behind, project management software for architects will help you quickly figure that out. The best time to deal with budget or schedule issues is as fast as you can. Project management software for architects can even help you come up with a plan for getting back on track.
As a small to midsize architectural firm, your staff and how you manage your staff is probably the most important key to success. You want the right person working on the right task at the right time – and you don’t want them to be working too much or too little. Project management software for architects will make management of your firm’s resources so much easier. As a bonus, using project management software for architects usually means better collaboration and communication between your team members.
Despite how much they can help, most architects still don’t use the apps and software available. Unfortunately, there isn’t one option that helps across the board. You will have to piece together a suite that will help you the most – we’re here to help with that.
Best Project Management Software for Architects
Keep in mind what we just said about piecing together a collection of apps and software. In fact, prior to reading the following list, we recommend taking a moment to think about all of the project management tasks you do right now. Write it out if it’s a long list. Include how you currently do those tasks – spreadsheet, pen and paper, relying on memory?
Next, think about the problems you run into when doing these tasks. Do you get busy and forget? Are you unorganized? This should help you figure out the project management software for architects that help you complete these tasks seamlessly.
Some of the following software is specifically for architects, but not every one. All were chosen because they could make your life easier. This list doesn’t include every single app out there – just the ones we think are most useful. If there is a feature that you desperately need that you don’t see here, a Google search should tell you if there is an app for that. Here is our list:
Every part of Monograph was designed by architects and with architects in mind. We know that while project management takes up a lot of your time, you don’t get a lot of good, quality help with it. We wanted to change that. Our founders created Monograph in an effort to make project management software for architects that is less cumbersome and tedious – allowing you to get back to the architectural work you love.
With Monograph, you can:
- Get a bird’s-eye view of your projects, budgets, and tasks
- Set up and manage phases and milestones
- Build a budget and schedule
- Track time online easily and efficiently
- Turn timesheets into invoices
- Track invoicing and payments online – all with a few simple clicks
"Monograph is great for getting a quick overview of projects and team assignments. The development team has been making significant improvements even in the short time we have been using it. Planning projects is straight forward and the tracking time and money against budgets is super helpful." - Matthew S., Principal Architect |Owner
ArchiCAD is unique in that it combines architectural design and project management tools. It is mostly a design tool for CAD work, but it does have basic project management capabilities like document management and collaboration tools through BIMcloud.
However, when we say basic project management capabilities, we mean basic. ArchiCAD doesn’t have important features like Gantt charts and budget management – you will need to look elsewhere for those.
BQE Core used to be known as ArchiOffice. This project management software for architects was made with a goal of helping you save time and focus on architectural duties. It has tiered pricing – in theory, you only pay for what you use. BQE Core can help you with:
- Time tracking
- Document management
- Built-in RFI and ASI integration
BQE Core is an older bit of project management software for architects – first developed in 1995 – and that means the design and layout can feel difficult to use and messy.
This combination project management and accounting software was developed in 2004 specifically for architecture and engineering firms. If you want to combine your accounting and project management into one platform, this could be the software for you.
Just like with BQE Core, fact that Deltek Ajera was developed back in 2004 means some of the tools can be clunky and outdated. It’s also expensive.
Newforma is the software to use if you are looking for something widely used and well established. Developed in 2003, Newforma is used by almost 1,500 different architectural firms. Designed to help architecture and engineering firms using:
- Project management tools
- Document management tools (this is what Newforma is best known for)
- BIM (as an add-on module)
- Integrates with AutoCAD and Revit
Outplanr is a work management and project planning tool. You have the option of creating tasks for work and for personal use – the personal ones are kept private. This one isn’t designed specifically for architects, so you may find some of the tools don’t fit quite right. The main features here include:
- Workload balancing
- Shared events and activity logging
- Create and manage tasks for you and other staff members
- Upload external files
- Use with other apps like Slack and Google Calendar
ArchiSnapper is a bit different from all the other project management software for architects, because its dedicated to onsite work management. It’s actually construction project management software. Designed specifically for construction and architectural projects, ArchiSnapper will help with:
- Progress observing, note making and report generation
- Template checklists and blueprints
- Creating new reports using previous ones
- Uploads all data to the cloud
- Information sharing and working with others
Xledger is a cloud-based ERP system focused on automating tasks and streamlining. It helps small businesses avoid integration issues and unnecessary costs by bringing together business management, accounting, and project planning features into one app. This app wasn’t designed with architects in mind but was created with the customizability and scalability necessary to fit most businesses.
ArchSmarter isn’t a single project management software for architects as it is a suite of many great apps and resources specifically designed for architects and designers. The whole purpose is to streamline repetitive tasks to help out small businesses or individual architects who often need to multitask to get everything done. The toolbox contains time-saving tools and targeted training to make you more efficient and productive. It contains things like Smart-Pack which is a productivity add-in for Revit. It even has a free library of Revit macros and Excel templates.
Monday.com is a great general project management software option. On Capterra.com, it is rated 4.6 out of 5 with 2,145 reviews. Its proposal management, document management, and client management features make it a great project management software for architects too. It has:
- Almost every project management feature out there – budget management to time tracking
- A visual chart that turns task management into a fun game
At Monograph We Want to Help You Out
Project management software for architects is one of the best and easiest ways to improve your business. No one is superman or woman – eventually we all forget or lose track of something. Setting up the best project management apps and software for you will help convince your clients and co-workers you are superman/woman after all.
We get it when architects say they don’t use project management software for architects, because it’s a pain to wade through all the different options. We want to help you with that. Monograph was designed by and for architects and it has all the features we think you will need.
See for yourself what Monograph can do to improve your productivity and streamline your project management by starting a free trail of our project management software for architects.