Staying informed and organised can be amongst the biggest challenges when creating or transforming your home.
You usually have your phone on you though. If you’re like most homeowners I know, you’re taking lots of photos of things you like, searching websites whilst multi-tasking on other activities, and researching lots of useful info (and trying to remember it all)!
I was chuffed to appear in the April issue of Inside Out magazine, sharing some of my favourite apps for building and renovating.
Here they are …
Sunseeker 3D [click here for link]
I frequently recommend this. Because I frequently use it. If you want to see how the sun moves across your home or site – on any day of the year, at any time of day – this is the tool.
You can view in plan, and in augmented reality. It’s a little confusing when you first go onto it, but once you understand a little about what you’re looking at, it’s much clearer. There’s a few videos you can watch to teach you how to use it (check here for one – don’t get confused, it’s looking at homes in the northern hemisphere!)
Evernote [click here for link]
If you haven ‘t used Evernote before, I may be just about to rock your world (he he).
This app stores pretty much everything … notes you type in, files and photos you want to save and websites. With versions for every mobile device and computer, you can sync all your data and keep up to date. The web clipping plugin you can add to your web browser is great for grabbing websites on the go.
It’s a free app up to a certain level of data storage – and then you can pay a low monthly charge. You create an account on their website, and then download the app to your mobile device to login to your account there.
Things changed for me and Evernote when I started using “Tags” instead of “Notebooks”. Michael Hyatt is a big Evernote user and has written a lot about this – if you’re keen to understand it more, his blog is a good place to start.
RoomScan [click here for link]
This app enables you to draw floor plans of an existing home or space. You basically use the phone to tap around walls – which tells the app where edges are, and it creates the drawing as you go.
This video will show you how to use it. I’ve not used it for whole house plans (I’m a little old school and will still use a tape measure!), however individual rooms are straight forward.
It exports in a range of file formats. Great for planning out individual rooms if you’re playing with spaces and seeing how things can work.
Pocketbook [click here for link]
Similar to Evernote, this is a website you create a free account with, and then download apps to your devices to sync data across all of them.
This is a seriously simple and useful financial management tool. It will stream transactions from your bank accounts (whichever ones you link to it), and enable you to categorise your expenses and income.
You can create as many categories as you like. Once you start attributing your transactions this way, you can then view them online in their categories – and export in various formats such as CSV files.
If you get geeky about spreadsheets like I do, you’ll love this tool to track your building and renovation expenses against your budget. I use it for all our household budget management, and business expense tracking. It makes tax time super straight forward because I’m categorising all of our expenses as we go (and the system starts to anticipate categories too).
(You can also add cash expenses for all those sausages you’re buying on the weekends during your visits to Bunnings.)
Tiltmeter [click here for link]
When we were getting our last renovated home ready for sale, we had moved out to a rental so we could ‘dress’ the finished home for presentation. I spent many a late night at the house in the lead up to our first open inspection adding all the finishing touches … including hanging LOTS of pictures.
This app was a lifesaver. I’d sit my phone on the picture to make sure it was straight, using the spirit level to check. All of hubby’s spirit levels were these great, unwieldy things. My phone was perfect.
You can, of course, use it for bigger tasks too. Super easy, super useful.
There’s more app advice in this month’s issue of Inside Out Magazine …
I seriously don’t know what we did before we started carrying these small computers around in our pockets. They’re both a blessing and a curse!
Of course, there’s Instagram, Pinterest, Houzz, Facebook … and lots of other places we can search for inspiration, ideas and help.
What about you? Have you got a great app recommendation? Post in the comments below – I’d love to hear.