Efficiency is the name of the game in the business world. And as any working architect knows, working at an architecture firm is as much about business as it is design - even if in architecture, efficiency can be hard to come by. By using applications that span platforms, though, you can remain efficient no matter where you go.
Following the success of our list of 22 Websites You Didn't Know Were Useful to Architects, we’ve assembled a list of 20 productivity apps to keep you on track. Whether you’re trying to keep your schedule in check, remember your passwords, or simply get the most out of your shrinking sleep time, there’s an app that can maximize your ability to do what you’re doing.
Keeping all aspects of a project organized can be a tough job - especially if you run out of desk space or the receipt with that important address on the back gets jettisoned by mistake. Trello allows users to keep track of all stages of a project in one clean layout, and will give you progress updates as you complete your goals. You can share your board with as many people as you want, so you never have to worry about clunky email threads again.
Users of the Mac OS might be familiar with the Automator tool, a useful (if less than intuitive) application that allows users to create their own tools for taking care of repetitive tasks in just a single button click. IFTTT (an acronym of "If This Then That") is a new spin on this idea for the mobile platform with a user-friendly interface. With its “If Recipe” function, users can create functions working in the background to do anything from uploading new photos immediately to different apps as they are taken to starting your smart coffee machine for you the moment you wake up.
Evernote has been around for some time, and for good reason: its simple-to-use interface makes keeping all of your notes and ideas in one place a breeze. Upload sketches and link them to websites, make to-do lists and share your sheets with friends all in one place. And with compatibility across all devices, you can add to your notebook whenever inspiration strikes.
There are few things more irritating than seeing that little number next to your inbox grow higher and higher, flooding your email account with an unmanageable amount of clutter. Unroll.me allows you to cut the crap and refocus your attention on the emails that matter. Your remaining email subscriptions can be organized into one single daily message, so all you need to read for the day can be accomplished in the time it takes to sip a cup of coffee.
Need to pull up a website while out at the job site, but internet is spotty? Avoid the frustration with Instapaper. The app allows you to bookmark articles, videos, tutorials, and more, and saves them to your offline memory. Once in the app, adding notes is easy and quotes can be pulled from articles simply by highlighting them.
Pocket works a lot like Instapaper, gathering important bookmarks so you can read them on your phone, even if you don’t have an internet connection. While Instapaper seems to be focused on allowing users to make notes, Pocket keeps everything clutter-free - but where Pocket excels is that it allows users to save bookmarks not just from the internet, but from email and other apps such as Twitter and Flipboard.
Never miss another meeting, deadline or birthday party. Countdown+ organizes all of your commitments into one location, and lists to the second how much time is left until they begin. You can set the app to give you reminders periodically leading up to the event, and share your lists with family and friends, so everyone knows that deadline is at 12pm, not 12am.
Do you enjoy a little rhythm to keep you going, but find yourself dancing along to your favorite soundtrack a little too often as you work? Focus@will may be the app for you. Developed in partnership with leading neuroscientists, focus@will selects instrumental soundtracks that will block out the noise of your colleague oversharing what they had for breakfast while keeping you on task. The app will even track your productivity levels during different musical styles and will customize your playlist to match your own personal biorhythms.
Power through those late nights by keeping yourself on task with Moosti. This simple timer can be programmed to give you Focus, Short Break and Long Break periods. But there is no snooze button on Moosti - once you hit go, you must follow the mandated limits.
Upper case letters, numbers and symbols, 7-12 character limits - remembering which websites require which passwords can be difficult to keep up with. With 1password, all of your passwords are kept for you under one master lock. With just a click and your single password, you can access any of your accounts worry-free. Even better, 1password will generate random secure passwords for each of your accounts, making them more difficult to break into.
Make sure you and your team are always working on the most updated file version by syncing your files through Dropbox. Downloading the dropbox folder to your computer will allow the files to update across all computers instantly as soon as you hit save. And take your files to go with the Dropbox app, which you can update until the minute before your important client presentation.
Make the most of your few hours of sleep with Pzizz. The app creates soothing sounds in similar, yet not identical patterns to relax you without allowing your body to become overly familiar to the soundtrack. Different settings allow you to control the length of your sleep or powernap.
1 Second Everyday allows users to create videos made up of 1 second clips. Take one every day of a construction project to see how it evolves, or use it in the office to remind yourself that your hard work really does pay off.
Flic makes the expression “easy as pushing a button” come true. Flic comes with a physical button that you can program for whatever function you need: use it as a remote for a camera, to turn on or off lights when you’re photographing a model, or link it to order a pizza for those late nights in the office.
Power through those lengthy pdfs with this speed-reading app. Squirt breaks up webpages or selected segments of text into individual words and displays them in the center of your screen. You can adjust the words per minute, and the app will tell you exactly how long the page will take to read.
Doing business across time zones can be a major headache. Klok helps you keep track of it all quickly in your notifications window. Choose digital or analogue for whatever suits your fancy.
This one is all in the name - Send Anywhere allows users to send files quickly and easily. Just drag and drop, and the app creates a QR code or a web address to send to a friend. Send Anywhere can also use bluetooth to find nearby devices. Once you activate the app, the receiving party has 10 minutes to accept the file before the code is reset.
Know exactly when the fresh roll of plotter paper is going to arrive by tracking your orders with Slice. This app automatically records tracking numbers when your order something online, then organizes your items for easy viewing access. Even better, if the price of the item drops while it’s on its way to you, Slice can help you get a refund. It will also keep track of your receipts for you.
Like it or not, writing is sometimes a part of architecture. But fear not: Hemingway is here to help you tighten up your project descriptions and craft better texts. The free web-based app identifies sentences that are hard to read and highlights excessive use of adverbs and passive voice.
Jot down notes, take photos, sketch - Paper is basically a Moleskine for your smart phone. Paper will categorize your notes and make to-do lists. Purchase the option stylus, the pencil, to make sketching even easier.
Have another productivity app that you couldn't live without? Let us know in the comments!