How architects use project management software (+ 5 top tools)

Blog post image

As a professional in architecture, do you ever feel like you’re spending so much time managing business operations that you don’t have enough time to, you know, architect?

It’s frustrating — and frustratingly common.

You’re juggling multiple clients and projects (not to mention internal team members and external stakeholders), and someone has to keep everybody focused on the right tasks at the right time.

Project management software for architects can alleviate the burden of this operational load, but finding the right tool can be tricky. It needs the ability to handle and manage complexity, but unless you’re a massive firm with an army of full-time project managers, it also needs to be intuitive to use. 

Resource thumbnail

Powerful project management for architecture firms

Learn how helps architecture firms get seamless team resourcing, precise budget forecasting, real-time project insights, and client collaboration - all in one platform.


Is project management software the right tool for architects?

Blog post image

While project management software isn’t the only needed tool in the architect’s tech stack, it certainly is the right solution for portions of an architect’s business.

Project management software helps project managers and businesses across numerous industries, including architecture, plan, manage, schedule, and track work. Some project management platforms, included, offer additional tools and capabilities like hours tracking, billing and invoicing, and a dedicated client view. Architects (both freelancers and architectural firms) can use project management software tools to organize their work, track project progress, meet deadlines, and invoice clients.

Here are a few more architecture-specific project management software benefits:

  • Brings visibility to multiple deliverables across multiple clients

  • Places billing, budgeting, and profitability in a project context

  • Allows for more complex project scheduling, including dependencies.

Project management software features that support architects

Most project management solutions are built to accommodate a wide range of industries and use cases, but each software maker has its own unique focus — and that means available features will vary.

As you look for the right project management solution, prioritize platforms that offer these features. Each one supports architects in specific and powerful ways.


Automations in project management software free you up from repetitive manual tasks so you can focus on the high-value work in architecture, not backend processes.

With automations, you can set up triggers that launch a series of follow-up actions. When configured properly, automations do more than just save time: they also prevent projects and tasks from falling through the cracks or getting stuck on someone’s desk or in their email inbox. 

Here are a couple of examples:

  • When you assign a task to an architect, automatically notify that person and add a series of subtasks.

  • When a client approves a design, notify relevant team members and launch the workflow for the next phase of the project.

You can even chain events together so that an incoming email automatically generates a task, then that task generation automatically sends a message to the appropriate Slack or Teams channel.

Pro tip: combining automation with integration unlocks a whole new level of productivity and focus. More on that down below.


Some project management solutions include budgeting, forecasting, and billing functionality. For professional services firms like architects, who bill hours tied to specific projects and contracts, client billing features can save tons of time and outside manual work.

In an industry like architecture where you’re constantly juggling numerous clients, any form of automating or simplifying the billing process is very welcome. Here again, spending less time on backend processes means you can spend more time designing projects and winning business.

Client user access

As an architect, you want your clients to be able to see elements of your work in progress — but you don’t want them to see everything. And you certainly don’t want them to have the power to edit, change, or delete files!

A client user access feature is the ideal solution, giving you the flexibility to grant specific types of access only to the files and areas you want the client to see. It’s much faster and cleaner than uploading endless proofs to Google Drive or Dropbox, and it’s safer than giving clients a full user’s level of access.

Intake forms

As you seek out and then onboard new clients, nothing is more important than getting a clear understanding — in writing — of what the client is coming to you for.

You already have some kind of process in place to gain this information. If your process doesn’t yet involve an intake form (or something similar), it’s an approach worth considering.

With a standardized intake form,  you’ll consistently gain the right pieces of information about clients without having to rely on phone conversations, in-person meetings, or manual one-off emails. provides users with an integrated, fully customizable intake form feature. Even better, our intake forms support both automation and integration, allowing you to automatically trigger events whenever an intake form arrives. 


Speaking of integrations: they’re massively important for architects, so make sure the project management software you select integrates with the other tools you rely on to make the magic happen. A robust API gateway can play a crucial role here by facilitating the communication between your project management software and other essential tools, enhancing the flow of data and functionalities across platforms.

Why does this matter? Because implementing a new project management platform should lessen your workload, not increase it. If you find yourself having to reinvent your entire system or manually key in the same information in four different apps or platforms, then you’ve just traded one set of problems for another.

In contrast, when your tools integrate seamlessly, the efficiency gains and quality of life improvements you’ll experience are nothing short of miraculous.

What integrations should you look for?

  • Billing and invoicing software: if you’re using a separate system (rather than the billing capabilities within your project management software), you’ll want these two systems to communicate.

  • Design/building information modeling software: AutoCAD, Revit, and any other similar software may benefit from integration with your project management platform.

  • Office and collaboration tools: Microsoft 365, Teams, Google Workspace, Slack, etc. — look for integrations with the apps you’re using throughout the day.


Having invoicing as a feature directly within project management software can be a game-changer. Instead of porting all your time and resource data out to a separate invoicing and billing system (or worse, re-entering it all manually!), you’ll be able to create invoices tied directly to projects. It’s faster, more accurate, and more transparent.

Resource and workload management

Resource and workload management features help you see and understand project dependencies, deadlines, and milestones, along with who’s scheduled to do what and when. When you can understand at a glance how much capacity is available or where the overload is going to hit, you can plan more confidently and work more efficiently.

These capabilities are especially important in fields like architecture, where you need to know (and be able to show) when you’re being asked to go outside the scope of the client’s statement of work.

Architects’ 5 favorite project management tools

Architects and firms can choose from dozens of different project management tools. There are a few industry-specific tools, though each one has weaknesses in terms of its project management capabilities. Many firms choose other platforms that aren’t specific to architecture but support the industry well.

Ranging from specialized industry tools to project management powerhouses, these are the five best project management software tools that meet the needs of architects and their firms.


Blog post image is cloud-based project management software built for professional services organizations that do client work. While it’s not limited to architecture and engineering alone, it provides plenty of the features and functionality architecture firms need to manage projects and client billing well. occupies a unique middle ground as well. It provides all the capabilities you need to manage complex projects (including sub-tasks, tags, dependencies, Gantt charts, and multiple assignees), but with a smooth, responsive UI that doesn’t get weighed down like legacy tools do.

With tons of features for tracking time and billing clients, an efficient and customizable client intake form, and powerful templates to simplify architect workflows (like the client onboarding checklist and project tracker template), is the best-in-class solution for architects and firms. 

Unique features

  • Supports complex project management (sub-tasks, tags, multiple assignees) in a modern, user-friendly interface

  • Robust time tracking tools integrated directly with client billing and invoicing

  • Dashboards add visual context to project timelines, resource load, and scope creep/budget overruns

  • Clients View enables client access, limited to what you approve

  • Powerful and easy-to-build automations

Pricing has a Free Forever plan for up to five users and a Deliver plan at $9.99 per user per month. Grow, the most popular plan, unlocks the full arsenal at $19.99 per user per month.

2. BQE Core

BQE Core seeks to be an all-in-one solution for architectural and engineering firms, providing project management, full project accounting software, and customer relationship management (CRM) capabilities in a single service.

This sounds fantastic in theory — but there are major drawbacks in execution. Over on G2, nearly every review (even the 5-star reviews!) complains about slowness or glitchiness. And there’s the age-old problem with all-in-one solutions: they don’t go deep enough in some areas (such as accounting in this case), and the breadth of capabilities makes the product more confusing than it needs to be.

Even still, if a fully integrated solution is more important to your firm than depth or speed, BQE Core is worth a closer look.

Unique features

  • Fully integrated solution that provides real-time updates across modules

  • Places financial health information front and center within project view

  • Contract change calculator shows the needed change in price for a given change in scope


Pricing is non-transparent (entirely quote-based), and some users report pricing to be quite high.

3. Deltek Ajera

Deltek Ajera is an ERP (enterprise resource planning software) with project management capabilities. First launched in 1983, Ajera is the longest-running industry-specific tool out there. 

Designed for larger engineering and architectural firms handling multiple complex architecture projects, Deltek Ajera enables coordinated management across the organization. It pulls finance, HR, procurement, project management, work management, and reporting into a single interface.

Ajera has outlasted other legacy A&E business software, but it definitely shows its age. The interface is dated and hard to learn, and the software is slow. Its aggregate G2 review score is markedly lower than the others on this list as well.

It also may be too much software for smaller firms. One reviewer at an eight-person firm put it this way:

“As a smaller business of eight people Deltek Ajera was too complicated with a lot of features that we didn't use. It was also quite a bit more expensive.”

Unique features

  • Resource management system based on a simple color scheme 

  • Powerful project budget features keep cash flow front of mind throughout the project environment

  • Integrates well with other Deltek solutions

  • Streamlines accounts receivable and payment processes


Pricing is opaque and custom — you won’t easily find even a rough estimate without going through an in-depth sales process.

4. Asana

Blog post image

Asana is a newer project management solution that’s well-loved for its simplicity and user-friendly UI. It’s a great solution for tracking tasks and setting up simple project management. Team members typically adapt to the tool quickly.

Unfortunately, Asana doesn’t scale well: you can only assign tasks to one person (limiting your ability to plan and schedule collaborative tasks), and there isn’t very much on offer in terms of automations or advanced project planning.

Asana could be a great tool for short-term task management (who’s doing what around the office in a given week). But for the kinds of lengthy client projects common in architecture, Asana may not have what you need for full project management.

Unique features

  • Visually pleasing, user-friendly UI

  • Templatized rules for workflow automation

  • Workload and time tracking (Advanced plan only)

  • Visual performance reports tie performance to company goals


Asana starts at $10.99 per user per month, but some extremely basic features (like time tracking and workload management) are deemed “Advanced” ($24.99 per user per month).

Resource thumbnail

The Asana alternative built for client work

Discover why is better than Asana for client service teams.

Compare us with Asana

5. Trello

Closer in look, feel, and feature set to Asana than something like BQE Core, Trello is a fantastic cloud-based tool for light-touch project management. Organizing tasks, assigning them to resources, and seeing who’s working on what at a glance are all incredibly easy in Trello.

It’s simple, streamlined, and lightweight — but is that 100% a good thing for architecture project management software?

The simple interface is either Trello’s greatest strength or its defining weakness. It all depends on what you need your project management software to do. 

Trello is built for agile teams, offering users just three views: boards, lists, and cards. You won’t find a Gantt chart maker or anything similar here. For simple tasks and non-dependent workflows, Trello is a great fit. But for anything more complex, Trello is likely to leave you wanting more.

Unique features

  • Simplest kanban board project management tool out there

  • Plugins (called Power-Ups) and Integrations link other tools with Trello and vice versa

  • Butler automation service built into every board


Trello has a free plan and a $5 per user per month tier, but most businesses will need the Premium $10 per user per month tier, which adds calendars, boards, and better visualizations.

See how streamlines workflows is a true best-in-class project management solution for architects. It supports efficient project management of both simple and complex projects using any methodology, and it’s designed for the needs of professional services organizations, including architecture firms.

With you can easily track time, tie billable hours to projects, and gain time management insights that help you make more informed decisions.

Best of all, offers a robust suite of tools that goes beyond other basic general-purpose project management platforms — without the interface complexity and bulk of legacy tools like Core BQE. 

Resource thumbnail

Profit from every client demand

Trusted by 20,000 businesses and 6,000 agencies, lets you easily manage, track, and customize multiple complex projects. Get started with a free 30-day trial.

Try for free

Related Articles
View all