I have been working as a remote #freelance resource in the Architectural Visualisation industry for several years now, and thought it might be helpful given the current state of affairs with COVID-19 keeping everyone at home to share some of the tools I use. I also have a list which I’ll paste at the end that was circulated on a social media group that I am linked to.

For now, I’m going to share just a few tools – I will write a more in-depth article on my blog site. But here’s a few to start:

Remote desktop:

I use free options for this, and so far, Remote Utilities has been my favourite. You can use it for free on up to 10 pc’s for both personal and commercial use:

https://www.remoteutilities.com/buy/free.php

As a fallback if the connection is a bit laggy, I use Chrome Remote Desktop, which can be installed as an app. For a while, this wasn’t working so well but I think Google must have updated it and it is very reliable now. The resolution isn’t as good as Remote Utilities, but it is faster to navigate heavy 3D model viewports, so I switch between the two depending on network speed and what I’m working on.

https://remotedesktop.google.com/

Network Storage:

I use a Synology NAS (Network Attached Storage) as my main file server. This has the advantage of using normal HDD’s, and is scalable. You can set them up in a RAID array so that there is a redundancy. In non-technical terms, this means that if one of the drives fails, you don’t loose your data, and you can just swap out the dead drive with a new one. I know this is a standard sort of setup, but where this setup really works well is in tandem with Google G-suite. It comes into it’s own here, as I have a NAS at home as well as at my office. I can set up my files to sync so that I have the same data in both places, and don’t have to work on live files over an internet connection. In addition, I have a robust backup system. More on that below, I’ll talk about that in G-Suite.

Cloud File System:

I have been using Google’s business G-Suite for several years now, and as mentioned above I use it in conjunction with a NAS. The Synology NAS has a cloud sync app, and I can set up my google account to sync through it. You can select which files or folders you want to sync, so you may only want to keep Libraries and current jobs syncing. The benefit of this is that I have files in two physical locations, and in the cloud, so my data is protected. I can also readily share any files with my clients as they have already synced to the cloud – I just change the permissions through Google Drive and send as a download link and don’t have to re-upload anything. It is also secure (according to Google!)

As promised, here’s the list with some other useful tools (thanks to Women in Arch-Vis Facebook group):

Productivity & collaboration:

  • G-suite – https://gsuite.google.com/
  • Office 365 – https://www.office.com/
  • Microsoft Teams – https://products.office.com/en-us/microsoft-teams/group-chat-software

Meeting scheduling:

  • Doodle – https://doodle.com/
  • Google Calendar – https://gsuite.google.com/
  • Calendly – https://calendly.com/
  • Worldtimebuddy – https://www.worldtimebuddy.com/

Communications:

  • Slack – https://slack.com/
  • Zoom – https://zoom.us/
  • Google Meet – https://meet.google.com/
  • Skype – https://www.skype.com/

Decision Making:

  • Loomio – https://www.loomio.org/

Resource planning:

  • Harvest Forecast https://www.getharvest.com/forecast
  • Float – https://www.float.com/

Project Management:

  • Basecamp – https://basecamp.com/
  • Asana – asana.com
  • Trello – https://trello.com/ (I use this a lot!)
  • Activecollab – https://activecollab.com/
  • Notion https://www.notion.so/

Brainstorming:

  • Mural – https://mural.co/
  • Milanote – https://milanote.com/

Audio Atmosphere:

  • Coffitivity – https://coffitivity.com/

Time tracking:

  • Toggl – https://toggl.com/
  • Rescuetime – https://www.rescuetime.com/
  • Timedoctor – https://www.timedoctor.com/
  • Timely – https://memory.ai/timely

Password Management:

  • 1Password – https://1password.com/
  • LastPass – https://www.lastpass.com/

Socialising & Team Happiness:

  • Donut – https://www.donut.com/
  • Oskar – http://oskar.hanno.co/
  • Office Vibe – https://officevibe.com/

Note-taking apps:

  • Evernote – https://evernote.com/
  • Bear – https://bear.app/
  • Onenote – https://www.onenote.com/
  • Google Keep – https://keep.google.com/

Where to discover even more apps:

  • https://www.remotestarterkit.com/
  • https://standuply.com/330-remote-work-tools
  • https://www.remote.tools/

If you made it this far, thanks for taking the time to read! I plant to add more tips, tricks and articles over the coming days and weeks of isolation! #stayhome and help #flattenthecurve

#arch-vis #architecturalvisualisation #3d #wfh