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Productivity: The Latest Architecture and News

13 Changes to Your Work Space That Could Improve Your Productivity (And Your Life)

There’s no doubt that architects spend a lot of time in front of a desktop, be it virtual or three-dimensional. In fact, although this statistic is not exclusive to architects, the average time a person now spends sitting down per day is 7.7 hours; in the United States the average is an unbelievable 13 hours. Of course this includes time spent on the train, watching a movie on the sofa, or a whole range of other seated activities, but the vast proportion of this time is likely to be spent working by a desk or laptop.

How can you improve the quality of that time, so it’s both well spent and, ideally, minimized? To have a more efficient, productive—and most importantly, more pleasant—time at work, here are 13 ways to improve your physical and digital workspace.

11 Ways to Become a Better Architect (Without Doing Architecture)

Architects are often noted for having bad work-life balance, a lot of stress and little free time. How can you take time off while still improving your skills as an architect? Can that time off even give you an extra edge? Compared to other fields, architecture stands out as a field in which you need to “know a little bit about everything." Thus, in order to live up to our name we must also do a little bit of everything, and as they say, a little goes a long way. So with that in mind, here are 11 activities which, while not obviously architectural, just might make you a better architect.

This Online Tool Generates High-Quality Geographic Maps of Data in Seconds

Have you ever had to create a map for your project, thinking you could get it done within 30 minutes, but then spent an entire afternoon on it? Between collecting data, creating a base map, choosing a color scheme, and finally putting together a graphic, creating a map can be a long, trying process, taking up precious time when you could be doing other work. Map-making shouldn’t be this way.

Created by Darkhorse Analytics, mapinseconds.com is a free online productivity tool which generates clear, quality maps based off of your data. Here’s how it works: collect and organize your data into two columns on either an Excel or Google spreadsheet, open mapinseconds.com, paste your data into the application’s spreadsheet, and voila! Your custom map is finished!

Why Working Long Hours Won't Make You A "Better" Architect

This article was originally published on Brandon Hubbard's blog, The Architect's Guide.

In a previous article, Should You Become An Architect?, I touched on the issue of long working hours within the profession. Since this is such a common talking point for architects, I decided to expand on the topic.

First, let's define what is a "better architect." Is it being more productive? Regularly promoted? Highly paid? Someone who produces excellent design solutions?

Usually, all of these characteristics tend to flow together. If you are a skilled designer you are likely to be compensated and promoted accordingly. So if being good at your job leads to fame and fortune, is productivity the key to excellence?

14 Chrome Extensions to Make Your Architecture Browsing More Efficient

Architecture can be demanding. As designers, we perform enough roles to fill a Shakespearean drama - from artist, scientist, and mathematician, to economist, cartographer, and writer. Fortunately, one trait many of us share is curiosity - a willingness to embrace new ideas, continually asking how we can improve ourselves and the world around us. The internet, therefore, is somewhat of an architect’s playground - a labyrinth of inspiration, ideas, and hacks.

As the internet continues to respond to societal needs, browsers such as Google Chrome are hosting an array of clever gadgets to enhance productivity, many of which you may not be aware of. From page rulers and palette generators to screen recorders and time trackers, designers can equip their browser with an arsenal of icons to rival a CAD toolbar. Below, we’ve listed 14, just to get you started!

ArchDaily Chrome Extension. Image Page Ruler Chrome Extension. Image Power Thesaurus Chrome Extension. Image Screen Shader Chrome Extension. Image + 15

How to use a Scrum Board to Maximize Personal and Team Productivity

If you're reading this, you likely work in the design world, and as a result you may have heard of Scrum. It’s a design method originally introduced by Hirotaka Takeuchi and Ikujiro Nonaka in the 1980s to describe a process for product development, and later formalized for software development by Jeff Sutherland in 1995. It relies on the organization of a team and its tasks around the principles of focus and flexibility: focus on a singular task within a given time period, and flexibility in response to changing client demand, user feedback, and design challenges. Scrum keeps a project on schedule with the Sprint, where the entire team is working towards one important milestone within set dates, and continuously communicating potential impediments to hitting the deadline.

10 Apps That Can Help You Be More Productive and Make Better Architecture

This article was originally published by Archipreneur as "Top 10 Apps to Help You Achieve Your Goals and Build New Habits."

With the daily distractions of Facebook, emails and calls, it can become difficult to keep your eye on the ball. This is why having an app that tracks habits and helps you stay organized can make a huge impact on your professional and personal success.

There are numerous digital tools dedicated to optimizing workflow, communication and time management, helping business owners and freelancers realize their full potential. This can also apply to goal setting. Goals are closely connected to our daily habits. Whether you’re looking to start a new project, learn to use a new tool or launch a product, your habits will play a crucial role in moving things forward. This is why we have compiled a list of great apps and tools that will help you keep track of your work dynamic and make good habits while breaking bad ones.

The Ultimate Guide to Revit Shortcuts

This article was originally published on ArchSmarter.

For all the work you do in Revit, there’s a keyboard shortcut that can help you do it faster.

Here’s a roundup featuring some of my favorite Revit keyboard shortcuts to create and organize your model. Keep reading to learn how to create your own shortcuts.

This shortcut cheat sheet is also available in a convenient pdf form; simply sign up here to download it.

The 80-20 Rule: The Key to Producing Better Work in Less Time

This article was originally published on ArchSmarter as "How to Work Smarter with the 80-20 Rule."

“OK, let me see your list.” I was fresh out of architecture school and working on my first project as a designer. It was one week before our design Development Deadline. The project manager asked me to draw up a list of remaining design issues.

“Here are the ten things I have left,” I said as I handed over the list. “It was hard to prioritize them. They’re all really important.” I was fortunate to be working with an experienced project manager who, in addition to being extremely patient with me, saw it as her responsibility to mold and shape green architecture graduates into fully functioning architects. Not an easy task...

20 Free Productivity Apps that Architects Should Know About

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.