Planetizen published a list of mobile planning apps that are currently most popular among planners.
They invited planners from various sectors (private, public, academia, advocacy) to participate in a survey regarding mobile planning apps. The result is a list of apps that help planners be more effective and productive.
In this article, we will concentrate on the apps that are most suitable for urban planners.
Urban planning requires spatial analysis, visual presentation and systems modeling. The ArcGIS apps are the best for such tasks. They are a powerful gadget that improves efficiency and accuracy of field operations and helps planners to make informed decisions.
Planners often need to create and/or change plans on site. AutoCAD mobile app is a great assistant at such times. It allows you to create and edit 2D drawings on your smart phone. No need to carry your computer with you all the time!
Image: Smartphones can be useful for work purposes too (source).
If a part of your job is to inspect and review current urban conditions, Fulcrum is the app you are looking for. Fulcrum is an app for collecting and accessing data. This app allows you to take photos, videos and GPS location of objects. Your team can easily access the data you collected.
Community Engagement/Social Media
The most recommended apps in this category are Pinterest, LinkedIn and Twitter.
Pinterest is like an online pinboard where you can pin ideas for new designs. You can share pins with your colleagues and browse through pins from your area of interest to get new inspiration.
LinkedIn is built for networking and getting to know new people in your field of expertise. You can also search the database of people and businesses based on their field of expertise. By using LinkedIn, you can find new business partners and present yourself to potential clients.
Twitter is one of the best tools to engage in a discussion, share your views and ideas. For example, it can be used to present a plan and invite people to a public hearing or a discussion.
Image: Modern technology can help urban planners be more efficient and productive (source).
Drawing, Visual Apps, and Note Taking
For 2D sketching, most planners recommend Sketchbook, Morpholio Trace and Concepts. The most liked apps for editing pictures are Pixelmator, Photoshop and Camera+ . For more traditional note taking, survey respondents recommended Evernote, OneNote, and Penultimate (iPad only).
Productivity and Project Management
Last but not least on our list are planning apps that help you to be more organized and productive. Recommended apps in this field are Doodle, Todoist, Trello, Orgzly (Android), Basecamp, Prosperworks, and Clio. Many survey respondents also recommended communication apps that ease the communication with your team mates. Good communication is vital for achieving excellent work results. Such apps are UberConference, Slack, Telegram, Skype, and Zoom.
We hope you will find these recommendations from our colleagues useful. Which apps are your favorite? Please let us know in the comment section.
Photo source: Wikimedia Commons