What should your planning app do for you?

End of the day, when you’re deciding how to get started on your weekend project, you’ll have a few choices:

  1. No plan – Hey, it’s worked so far for oil companies and big banks, why not you?
  2. Ye old pencil and paper – this classic is tried and true, never fails, but never gets any better either.
  3. Spreadsheets – Still need a drawing first, and who the heck wants to work in these after doing it all day?
  4. Templates and guides – Gets us 80% there and we’ll spend the weekend making trips for more stuff.
  5. Drawing packages – Spend all our time perfecting the picture, now what do we really need to get started?

Of course there’s 3D Build Planner, but in suggesting this, we asked ourselves what should planning software really be able to do for you, here’s some ideas: (Hint: Make planning more fun)

  1. Basic measurements – I put a piece here and I put a piece there, surely a computer can figure out how far apart they are and record it somewhere.
  2. Keep track of my pieces – I start with one, maybe I cut it, and then I have two.  Please keep track of what I need.
  3. Please track fasteners too, and in a smart way.  Don’t tell me I need 379 #8 screws, tell me I need 8 boxes of 50.
  4. Suggest Spacing – Every fence has fence boards and they have to be evenly spaced so as not to drive the builder crazy cutting the last one or pounding on a calculator – there’s a theme here, let the computer do it.
  5. Mitres – Maybe I want pieces on an angle and computers are smart enough to know how to make a nice flush edge with a mitre, so please do it.
  6. Optimize, tell me just how much lumber to buy so that I’m not buying too much…computers are good for that.
  7. Tell me how much paint I need to buy so I’m not going back to the store while half my project dries in the sun and I’ve forgotten the color I just picked.
  8. Tell me how much the stuff I just bought weighs.  I’ve had embarrassing moments like this before moving friends…
  9. Give me videos, guides, and tips I can use to get going quickly, and support options if I get stuck.
  10. Show me what this thing will look like.  Maybe the Pergola isn’t private enough or I really don’t like the look of horizontal lattice on my fence.  Show me please so I know before I buy materials.

and there you have it…self serving for sure, but planning can be as fun as building,

Happy Building,

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