3 Must-Have Tools For Construction Project Managers
Construction Project Manager's are in constant need of quickly accessible tools to provide documentation of daily communication, clarification for RFI's/submittals/change orders...etc, and additional oversight on their work to maintain a level of professionalism and credibility.
In this article, we will be discussing three free tools that provide tremendous benefits to construction project manager's daily. With the power of these systems and the zero-dollar price tag, it is a no-brainer to start leveraging these offers today.
TOOL #1 --- Snagit
Snagit ( https://www.techsmith.com/download/snagit/ )
The free trial is all you should need. The program was originally called Jing now it is called Snagit.
It allows you to capture custom screenshots or take short videos of what is on your computer screen. After you do this it saves as a PNG file where it can be added to documents (ex: proposals, RFI's, emails...etc), used to communicate more clearly by getting others to look at exactly what you are talking about, saved for your records, and/or loads of other uses.
I use this regularly on plans, cut sheets, and especially for those protected documents that will not allow you to save them.
Here is an example of how it works.
After you click "capture" you simply drag a box around whatever on your screen you would like to capture. Here is an example of capturing the title off the previous sheet.
TOOL #2 --- Grammarly
Grammarly ( https://app.grammarly.com/ )
In today's business-world, it is a necessary evil that we type more than we even realize. Grammarly is a download that runs in the background of your computer and finds not only spelling but complex grammatical issues, highlights them, and makes correcting a simple one-click process.
One caveat is that it does not check items in Microsoft. I'm assuming the Microsoft spellcheck overrides, but anywhere else you type, Grammarly is checking.
(As an example, see the pics showing mistakes Grammarly found that Microsoft did not)
This is a download I was told about a while back. I thought I didn’t need it, but now I would not be without it. It is too simple a safeguard not to implement.
Not sure how long they will leave it as a free download. There is a premium version as well, but the free version is all I have and likely all you will need. Attached are some pictures of their logo, Microsoft spellcheck comparison, examples of Grammarly at work and the interesting weekly emails they send.
Microsoft Vs. Grammarly
EXAMPLE OF HOW GRAMMARLY WORKS (could not use snagit as it requires your mouse to draw over Grammarly red underlined words to make corrections)
You also get neat weekly emails updating you on how much you are writing and what are your most common mistakes. Here are examples of these emails. (These screenshots are taken with Snagit tool previously mentioned)
TOOL #3 --- PlanGrid
PlanGrid ( https://www.plangrid.com )
The last tool is called PlanGrid. I have been using it for about six years now and liked it so much I started utilizing their paid services three years ago. As I am writing this blog I found that they have done away with the free option that would let you keep 50 sheets on their program. I am still going to include them on this list because they are just that awesome of a tool. They are now offering a free 21-day trial without having to enter a credit card here.
Plan grid offers a simple solution for maintaining and managing plan sets across all platforms (mobile, tablet, desktop) from their website.
Their system is so powerful that you upload a PDF copy of your plan set and it reads each sheet name and title to log/organize plan sheets and will hyperlink any details inside the plans to those sheet numbers so you can jump straight to details/sections. Here is an example of that feature:
Further, as you get addendum sets to your drawings you can upload them as full sets and PlanGrid will again read the sheet numbers and organize them into the full set keeping the old drawing behind the new sheet. This saves you sorting through multiple set and/or spending the time trying to intigrate old and new files into one master plan set. PlanGrid also keeps the old plan sheet one finger swipe away from the new ones. Here is an example of this feature:
PlanGrid also comes with a multitude of other features some of the more useful tools are the ability to attach RFI's with hot links on the plans, ability to click anywhere on a plan sheet and take a picture from the job site, and loads of markup capabilities that you can either choose to keep on your single device or share your markups with the whole team.
PlanGrid is an extremely powerful tool for any company looking for a simple to use system for keeping updated drawings in a collabritive space for any jobsite team.
If we continue to do what we have always done, we will continue to get what we have always gotten. Don't miss out on leverging great tools within your business to increase your effectivness and give you every advantage possible over competition.
Please feel free to leave comments below of any other great project management tools that you utilize daily!
The vast number of tools on the market are great. However, if you do not have a tool for yourself and your team to first assist in organizing and prioritizing the hectic work environment common to construction, you are fighting a losing battle. Check out The Managers Quad Journal today to experience the massive benefits it can bring to your team's effectiveness in controlling their projects.
Blessings In Your Endeavors,