Essential Tools as a BCIN Designer
Although I do a little bit of everything in the office, my primary job is being an architectural technologist, which requires my BCIN qualifications, as we’ve mentioned in our last blog. But what does that truly mean? What do I do everyday? How do I do it? Well that’s what I’ll be going into today!
While I am responsible for signing off on all my work and my employees’ (those that are not yet BCIN certified), I also do a lot of designing work myself and communicate with clients to ensure their ideas and priorities are being properly translated into our plans. This means that I am sitting at my desk more often than not, and must set myself up for success there. I love my ergonomic Costco chair that is highly adjustable and customizable to my every need. Although this chair is currently unavailable, I found a very similar option on Amazon, which I have listed below. My chair has been significantly helping the condition of my back after a long day of work and therefore, improved my overall workday in general.
To continue this improving-my-work-experience momentum, I tried hooking a large monitor up to my laptop to use the split screen feature and my life has been forever changed. I originally wanted to look for larger laptops, but found that the larger ones tend to have worse graphics processing units and cannot support the design software we use. So we use a smaller laptop and a large flat screen monitor to go with it. I fell in love with this entire office setup and actually got my entire team the same setup, everything from the chairs to the laptop to the monitor. In fact, I have another blog dedicated to my entire home office setup, going over everything in more detail. There, you can read more about my favourite erasable pens and laptop stands that are absolute essentials in my everyday life.
Another thing that we must address about my desk setup is having all my tools and gadgets that help me edit and review plans with pen and paper. This includes my beautiful and sturdy desk, project calculator, beloved stainless steel non-skid ruler, scissors, stapler, and angle finder. These tools really help me do my job on every level, and ensure my work is precise and of quality standard.
It is no surprise that we are all very busy, which means that we must keep a detailed organization system. If I don’t keep this up, my desk and computer become quickly cluttered with chaos and I cannot find anything physical or virtual anywhere. To help with this, I use rolling file cabinets that I keep under each desk to help keep track of all our documents and files. On our desks for immediate papers, I like to use clear little file organizers to help me categorize everything. As for clutter and trash that somehow manages to appear out of nowhere and gather on my desk, I like to keep a little garbage can next to each workstation. The little size allows them to hide in little nooks and crannies and stay out of sight until they are needed.
I also like to use this same system with my computer files: categorize with folders, and create subcategories with more folders so it does not clog up visual space and you can find your needed files with more ease. This system helps increase simplicity in my laptop which, nowadays, is our entire lives. If we need to work remotely, we need to bring our laptops with us. To do this, I like this laptop bag, which is nice and sturdy and does a great job at protecting my laptop. Beyond the padded material, it even comes with a shoulder strap which helps with making sure I don’t drop my laptop. It also has spacious side pockets that let me bring my charger, mouse, and any other little accessories I might need. I love the navy blue bag, but it comes in a variety of colours, to match whatever colour you like best.
When it comes to drawing quick sketches, either on site or in my office, for a new project, I love using graph paper. The little squares help keep all my lines straight, especially for quick drawings without any rulers or anything. Not only are these papers great for drawing in the office, but I also like to bring graph paper pads with me to on site measures so that I can dimension and label each wall directly so that I don’t get confused about the numbers afterwards. If I don’t have my writing pad handy with me, I like to have a clipboard the size of my paper with me to ensure I always have a hard surface that I can write on. In addition to standard, traditional clipboards, I also really appreciate having an enclosed clipboard, especially for more unpredictable weather. Having a box attached to the writing surface allows me to keep tools and utensils I may or may not need with me. That means that no matter where I find myself, I will have everything I might need with me and be prepared for anything.
Speaking of being on site, I feel very strongly about having certain tools with me to help set myself up for success. In my blog about buying land, I spoke a lot more about specific tools that I swear by. But to add onto it a little more, for more building specific measures, rather than checking out land, I like to bring a laser measuring tool and a measure bag to organize everything. With the laser measuring tool, it allows you to do quick measures, as the distance that shows up on the screen will change depending on how far you are from the surface you are measuring. But to carry all your tools to measure spaces to a higher degree or accuracy, I like to bring this DeWalt measure bag. It is super convenient and allows you a spot to drop your tools really quickly, so you don’t end up losing everything at a site, and has a built-in light that has been handy a few times!
While this is just a glimpse into my everyday life, I hope you learned a little, or were at the very least entertained, by this blog.
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