Interior designers wear many hats. They juggle a variety of tasks like developing plans, sketching, creating 3D models, working on client proposals and presentations, overseeing budgets, managing suppliers, supervising installations, and ensuring compliance and safety.
Project management software for interior designers helps you stay on top of all the small tasks, communication, and time management needed to deliver the best results to clients. In this article, we’ll look at how to use interior design project management software to help you manage your workload, organize all your projects and their respective tasks, and ensure you’re completing all your projects on time and on budget.
What is interior design project management software?
Project management software for interior designers helps design teams plan, manage, and execute their projects from start to finish.
Ranging from managing vendors to tracking billable time, interior design project management software meets the needs of an interior design business.
As a result, a design manager can efficiently manage multiple projects from start to finish and keep track of project progress along the way. The goal of interior design project management is to ensure that a designer can organize and manage their tasks efficiently so that all projects are completed on time, within budget, and while giving clients a high-quality design solution that meets their needs.
Why use interior design project management software
Investing in software for interior design projects can help you effectively manage and oversee all tasks, from big to small, in one place. It also provides a view into what each team member is working in the same place where you organize clients’, suppliers’, vendors’, and contractors’ information and invoices.
As an interior designer, project management software can be leveraged if you:
- Have multiple projects on the go at the same time
- Constantly liaise with contractors, suppliers, and vendors
- Source new clients while keeping current clients up-to-date on progress
- Manage accounts and invoices
- Process change orders
- Keep track of inventory and sourcing new products
With good project management software, you can manage all of these tasks and more in one, unified place. By hosting everything on the same platform, it’s a whole lot easier to stay on top of everything, and you’ll have peace of mind knowing that nothing will fall through the cracks.
Top interior design project management challenges
Project management is an all-encompassing term referring to the practice of initiating, planning, executing, controlling, and closing the work of a team to achieve specific goals in a predetermined amount of time. That said, project management in practice looks different across each industry, and interior design is no exception.
By juggling different design projects, interior designers usually have a few common challenges to contend with that make their jobs a little more demanding. Some of these challenges might include:
1. Meeting deadlines: Interior design projects often have tight timelines, and designers must be able to balance client demands with the reality of how quickly a project can be completed along with supplier and contractor availability.
2. Maintaining client satisfaction: By nature, interior design projects are tailored to a client’s specific needs and preferences. Designers need to constantly communicate with clients to ensure that their expectations are being met and that the project is completed to their satisfaction.
3. Contending with unexpected delays: No matter how well a project is planned, there’s always the potential for unforeseen delays to arise, whether an item for the design goes out of stock or there’s a setback with contractors or vendors. Designers must be able to troubleshoot problems and find solutions quickly to keep a project on track.
4. Working within a budget: Sometimes it seems like clients want the most for the lowest price. Whatever your client’s budget is, interior designers need to be able to work within the confines to create the best possible outcome. This requires careful planning and consideration of all of the project costs and timelines.
5. Juggling multiple projects: Designers often work on multiple projects at once, so they need to be able to manage their time and resources accordingly between each one.
Despite all the potential roadblocks and challenges interior designers face, project management software can help you stay on top of different tasks so that when a challenge comes up, you’re organized and ready to face it head-on.Get started
What are the benefits of interior design project management software?
Let’s explore some of the ways interior design project management software can be incredibly useful for interior design teams. In this section, you’ll get a taste of what this looks like on monday.com.
1. Manage vendors, contractors, and clients in one place
As an interior designer, you’re juggling a lot of people. From the vendors you use to source materials to the contractors who are doing the heavy lifting, managing all these people and communication with them can be pretty overwhelming. Using project management software makes it easier to manage all of your vendors and contractors.
You can store all of their contact information on the platform and even invite them to collaborate with you on certain projects. That way, everyone involved in the project is in the loop, and you don’t have to worry about constantly reaching out to them for updates. You can also integrate your email provider like Gmail or Outlook to send and track email conversations in one place.
When it comes to managing clients, project management software’s value really shines through. With the right platform, you can keep track of client relationships and make sure that you’re providing clients with the service they need. This keeps your customers happy and makes your life easier, too.
2. Create real-time invoices
When you’re working with a client, you need to provide them with a breakdown of costs for materials. Creating a quote is the perfect way to do this. It outlines everything you plan to buy for the project and the cost for each item. So how does interior design project management software help with this process?
With project management software, you can create shareable quotes and invoices that you can update in real-time. This allows your clients to see how much of their budget you’ve used and what you’ve bought. It also allows them to track progress without asking you for updates, which we all know can be a time-consuming task.
Using a project management platform also allows you to make quick changes. Let’s say the client’s budget changes and you need to work with 75% of the budget you were promised, which means you need to update the quote to reflect this. With project management software, this is a painless task. You can change everything quickly, and you can easily see what you need to change to suit your new budget.
3. Track and bill your time
In addition to material costs, you also need to provide clients with how much they need to pay you for your service. Part of that service involves covering the cost of suppliers, products, as well as billable time for external freelancers, partners, or agencies that are helping you work on different aspects of your project.
Time tracking allows you to provide clients with an accurate cost and makes sure your service is profitable, however, it can be tedious and off-putting.
With interior design project management software, time-tracking doesn’t have to be such an arduous task. It allows you to efficiently keep track of your time without much effort at all. When working with external partners or freelancers, you can add them to your project management software and ask them to to track their time there. With a timer, anyone working on tasks such as creating marketing materials for your business can simply start or stop a timer or add in hour manually. As a result, you can keep track of hours billed for your own business materials or accurately invoice your clients when you work with partners.
4. Manage your inventory
Put simply, inventory management allows interior designers to manage and track their inventory. Ranging from homeware and bathroom supplies to paints and decorative items, inventory can vary from business to business.
How can project management software help your interior design firm better manage inventory? Let’s take a look at some of the main reasons.
- Keep track of inventory in real-time: If you’re not using software to track your inventory, it’s hard to keep on top of what you have available. Project management software allows you to monitor your inventory in real-time. As a result, you know what’s available and what you might need to source for a client.
- Automate the inventory management process: With project management software, you can create automation to update the status of your inventory. As a result, you can make sure new inventory is stocked up when you need it. For example, with automation, you can trigger a notification to let you know when an item is no longer available in your inventory so that you can stock up right away and avoid delays down the line.
- Manage your inventory from anywhere: With a cloud-based platform, you can track your inventory from anywhere. Whether you’re on the bus or in a meeting with a client, you can see what’s available in one glance.
5. Collaborate with your team
Interior designers have a lot of people to manage, and that’s why efficient collaboration is so important.Without efficient collaboration, you could miss deadlines, overlook tasks, and the overall delivery of the project might not satisfy the customer.
There are many ways that interior design project management software can help you collaborate with your team:
- Share files: With project management software, interior design teams can upload all their files, share them with teammates, and collaborate on them together. Whether that’s a kitchen floor plan or a SketchUp design for a new project, using a platform to share these files makes it easier for everyone to access them and work together on bringing them to life.
- Share updates: Do you have some information you’d like to share with a staff member? With a project management platform, you can easily send a comment their way. This usually generates a notification so that nothing gets missed.
- Share updates: Interior designers can quickly share important updates about a project, and everyone involved can see them. If you have a team-wide update you’d like to share, you can simply post a single update rather than contact everyone individually.
What are the best interior design project management tools?
When shopping around for interior design project management software, you should look for a solution that offers the benefits we covered above but that also allows you to be flexible. You want a tool that’s customizable to your needs since not every interior design project is going to look the same.
Here are a few project management solutions that are popular with interior designers.
1. Houzz Pro
Houzz Pro is a subscription-based service that provides professional interior designers and home remodelers with access to a library of products and services. It provides access to a variety of tools and resources to help professionals grow their businesses, including marketing tools to find new clients, tools to help you win projects, and even accounting features.
Some standout Houzz Pro features include:
- Centralized communication between partners, clients, vendors, and more with the interior design project management app
- Customizable timelines to keep track of hundreds of different tasks
- Manage invoicing and payments in one place and integrate data from QuickBooks
- Create 3D floor plans, project estimates, mood boards, and proposals to help you win projects
Houzz Pro offers a 30-day free trial, and then pricing starts at $65/month for the Starter plan, $99/month for the Essential, $149/month for Pro, or $399 for Ultimate. Aside from the Ultimate plan, each additional user costs $40/month.
2. Mydoma Studio
Mydoma Studio is an interior design software platform developed to help interior designers and home decor professionals streamline their design process. It offers a comprehensive set of tools and resources to help designers create beautiful, functional spaces, while also easily managing client projects, budgets, and deadlines.
A few of the features that make it ideal for interior designers are:
- Built-in rendering tools to help you visualize design projects in minutes
- Automated payment and accounting through integrations with apps like Stripe, QuickBooks, and more
- Embed design packages directly to your website to help you connect with new clients
- A catalog to help you curate and view all your stored items in one place
Mydoma offers a free trial to all users, after which plans start at $59/month for the Solo plan (1 user only), $79/month for the team plan (up to 8 users), or $129/month for the agency plan (unlimited users). There’s also a standalone version of the base Mydoma Visualizer only for $20/month, or the Mydoma Visualizer Pro for an additional $30/month added onto any of the plans.
Gather is an interior design project management platform that’s ideal for large teams who are working on complex projects. With Gather, teams can stay on top of recent tasks, communicate with one another, and use the platform’s features to stay organized and efficient.
Let’s look at some features that make Gather ideal for large interior design projects:
- With a Chrome extension, you can clip inspiration from any webpage in a few clicks
- Real-time comments and messaging on designs, tasks, materials, or ideas in the platform
- Create room boards with hundreds of items to better visualize and organize your designs
- Create spec packages from start to finish pulling from information within the platform in just a few minutes
Gather also offers a free trial, with pricing for the introductory Studio plan starting at $165/month (5 users), $290/month (10 users) for the Firm plan, with a customizable Enterprise plan for more custom needs.
monday.com is a Work OS used by teams of all sizes to manage their workflows. It enables users to easily organize and track their projects, tasks, clients, and more. The platform’s intuitive interface and extensive customization options make it a popular choice for teams of all sizes.
monday.com is a great choice to seamlessly manage the complexities of interior design projects because it’s more customizable to your team’s specific needs than a strict interior design project management software — it isn’t limited to the constraints of a tool built only for one type of workflow or project.
monday.com has many features that appeal to interior designers, such as:
- Project boards, workflows, and automations that are fully customizable to your needs
- A simple interface that makes onboarding easy
- Easy reporting tools to keep track of your projects and communicate progress with clients
- Invite external users to collaborate on projects
Additionally, monday.com is the only project management tool on this list that offers a free forever plan, with flexible paid plans starting from only $8/month per seat (user) and up to $16/month/seat for access to even more features. This pricing allows design firms to be more flexible by letting them choose exactly how many users they want to onboard to monday.com, meaning they won’t need to pay more than what they need.
Let’s take a more detailed look at some monday.com features that make it ideal for interior designers.Get started
monday.com features for smoother interior design projects
monday.com enables you to create the ideal interior design project management software for your needs. Loaded with all the features an interior designer needs, monday.com gives you the freedom to put your interior design project management software together in whichever way works best for you.
1. Project customization
A project management tool should allow you to create a workflow that fits your unique interior design needs. With monday.com, you can choose how you view your project, which columns to add, and even customize pre-made templates. You can also create automations to streamline your projects.
This level of flexibility makes monday.com the perfect platform for all the different types of design projects you’re working on.
2. Easy-to-use interface
Interior design projects have so many moving parts, meaning you need a platform that’s easy to use and quick to onboard. monday.com is simple to navigate, has a straightforward visual interface, and requires little to no learning curve when it comes to training your team members.
3. Easily create reports
Whether you need to review your budget vs. your actual spending or look at the time it takes to complete your projects, monday.com has all the reporting features an interior designer needs. You have the power to create custom reports based on the exact information you want to see. Additionally, if you need to show information to clients, you can also create dashboards.
4. Invite external users
As an interior designer, you need to be able to collaborate with external parties. Vendors, suppliers, and contractors will all be working alongside you, so you need to collaborate efficiently, or things could get difficult. With monday.com, you can invite external users to your platform.
All you need to do is create a shareable board and invite the user to join. As a result, your design team can work with external parties from one central location, making collaboration a whole lot easier.
5. Integrate your existing tools
monday.com allows you to integrate your current work tools so that you can seamlessly track everything in one place. Creative tools like Adobe Creative Suite, marketing apps like Mailchimp, Facebook Ads, or Typeform, and even everyday work tools like Gmail, Excel, Zendesk, or Docusign can all be integrated into the monday.com Work OS.
Integrating your tools allows you to get more work done without losing time moving between programs. You can also use monday.com to store contact information from other platforms, making communication between clients, vendors, suppliers, and contractors a lot smoother.Get started
How can you manage interior design projects?
There are a lot of different ways to manage an interior design project, but the best way to keep track of all your tasks and projects is by turning to a project management solution. With interior design project management software, you’ll be able to oversee all your team’s tasks, communicate with clients, vendors, and suppliers, set timelines, and generate reports to keep on top of your work and budgets.
Which software is mostly used for interior design?
While there are a few project management tools created and often used by interior designers, such as Houzz Pro, Mydoma Studio, and Gather, some might find these platforms limiting. Since these platforms are created for a specific niche, they’re not necessarily as flexible as one that’s entirely customizable, like monday.com.
Why is project management important in interior design?
Project management software helps interior designers structure and organize their ongoing projects. It ensures that a project is completed on time and within budget, that communication is clear between all stakeholders, and that everyone is on the same page regarding the design process and different tasks.
monday.com: project management software to keep your designs on track
We know that interior designers have a lot on their plate, but using a project management software solution can help you organize your time, keep track of your project status, and provide a better service to your clients.
Interior design project management software is just one tool in your interior design arsenal that’s meant to help you work more efficiently. With the monday.com Work OS, you can rely on a solution that scales to your business’s needs and helps you organize all your work in one place, so you can focus more of your time and effort on creating show-stopping designs for your clients.
If you want to give it a go, take a look at monday.com’s design weekly tasks template. It’s ready to use, so you don’t have to worry about setting it up. Just sign up and get started.
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