Interior design projects don’t entail only the fun and creative part. As a matter of fact, interior design project management is far more complicated than beginners in the industry might think.
Shortly after the initial phase of consulting with the clients and establishing the budget has ended, the real trouble comes in:
- Who’s in charge of the furniture plan?
- Who’s going to talk to vendors?
- Who will contact the contractors?
- Who will schedule the delivery?
- When is the installation due?
✔ Reality check: these are just a few of the project management challenges interior designers face on a daily basis — and all while their deadline is approaching.
The truth is — interior designers get completely overwhelmed by poor organization and technicalities. It’s high time we faced the reality — to carry out a successful interior design project, you should be properly organized.
If you’re reading this blog post, chances are you’re looking for professional project management software to help you manage your interior design team.
Well, stay tuned, because we’ve got some good news — you’ve come to the right place. In this blog post, we’ll cover the 7 best apps interior designers should use in 2022.
Table of Contents
What is interior design project management software?
To put it simply, interior design project management software is a platform that helps you deal with managing daily issues, such as:
- Assigning tasks to team members
- Coordinating team members
- Keeping track of progress
- Enforcing deadlines
- Sharing drafts, sketches, and ideas within the team
- Communicating with the team
- Bookkeeping and invoices
Interior design project management software is created either specifically for interior design projects, or it can be easily accustomed to interior designers’ daily tasks. The software contains a list of features that allow you to track progress and establish the phases of your interior design project.
Which is the best project management software for interior design?
According to research, when it comes to the 3 most important factors when choosing project management software, users primarily focus on:
- Functionality (29%)
- Price (18%)
- Ease of use (17%)
With this in mind, to help you choose the best interior design software for your team, we’ll review some of the most popular project management apps — we’ll look at their features, compare their pricing, and assess their user-friendliness.
Feeling ready to get into the details? Then, let’s dive into our list.
Ivy is software created specifically for interior design. It is basically a business management tool, but it offers some project management solutions.
As Ivy focuses primarily on the organization of a business, it may be too widespread for short-term interior design projects. The app doesn’t offer any free plans, while their paid plans are a bit pricey ($49/mo, $65/mo, $399/mo per package).
Why use Ivy in interior design?
Ivy offers a wide range of features that help interior designers manage tasks and organize their projects in stages.
So, with Ivy, you can:
- Send branded Proposals and Invoices — so your clients can review them and pay online.
- Use 3D Floor Planner — to give your clients a life-sized tour of their future home.
- Integrate with QuickBooks — to manage your accounting.
- Create Project Timeline — to keep every team member on schedule.
- Manage tasks — to keep your team aligned.
- Upload an unlimited number of files — to have everything in one place.
Apart from these features, Ivy offers marketing solutions, such as email marketing or even creating an entire website for you.
All in all, Ivy is an advanced all-in-one tool intended for any size of business.
Ivy’s best feature for interior designers
Web clipper is probably one of Ivy’s prime features. With this option, you can clip the products from any website into an Ivy Product Library, which allows interior designers to easily access lists of items (e.g. furniture, fabrics) and make proposals for clients based on their creative design requests.
Ivy is available for: iOS, Android, Chrome, Safari
Gather is interior design project management software created for large teams carrying out complex projects.
The platform contains many features to help interior designers track their team’s progress and stay informed of recent developments.
Why use Gather in interior design?
Using Gather will most likely boost your team’s overall performance and keep them well-organized, by using features such as:
- A Digital Resource Library — to easily access the list of products (e.g. furniture, materials, equipment), clipped directly from vendor websites.
- Generated Reports — to quickly produce various documents and design deliverables.
- Client Chat — to collaborate with clients and be aware of any requested changes.
- File Sharing — to upload different files and share them with the team.
- Custom Statuses — to get insight into what’s been proposed, approved, liked, or disliked.
Gather’s best feature for interior designers
Gather’s intuitive drag-and-drop interface makes it appealing to interior designers. To put it simply — Gather is easy to use.
Furthermore, you can organize your project by separating it into different Areas, e.g. lightning, flooring, walls, and so on.
However, similarly to Ivy, Gather is built to accommodate larger teams. So, it might take time to master this software, as there’s a steep learning curve. Sometimes, users may feel as if Gather offers a little too much.
Unfortunately, there is no free version of the software — though you can always try it for free.
If you decide to use Gather, you can get a Studio Plan (for up to 5 team members) for $199/mo. But, on the plus side, you’ll get a discount when billed annually.
Gather is available for: Web
Unlike Ivy and Gather, Plaky is a universal project management tool, meaning — it offers you much more flexibility when it comes to task management — and not just the functionalities linked to interior design management.
Additionally, unlike Ivy and Gather, Plaky offers a completely free plan.
You think that sounds too good to be true? Well, there’s more — Plaky allows unlimited projects, taks, and users, all for free.
The FREE plan comes with all the essential features, but if you’d like more options — such as advanced customization, board permission settings, or an unlimited activity log — you can try one of Plaky’s paid plans (PRO at $3.99 user/month or ENTERPRISE at $8.99 user/month).
Why use Plaky in interior design?
If you want your team of interior designers to operate well, you absolutely need to keep them on the same page. This is exactly what Plaky will take care of — helping your team members stay coordinated by:
- Sharing an unlimited number of files — so that you can upload and share the latest sketches of that kitchen floor plan, or any other file or document.
- Assigning tasks to team members — so that everybody knows who’s conducting site visits and who’s ordering plumbing.
- Managing deadlines — so that everybody knows when the furniture delivery is due.
- Adding the status of an ongoing task — so to know exactly in what stage the purchase you ordered is — To do, In progress, Done, or Stuck. This feature will allow you to track progress anytime. You can adapt the status names according to your needs or use some of the already existing project management templates.
- Seeing the ongoing work from different perspectives, visually sorted in Kanban view or in Table view.
- Communicating with team members via mentions and comments and being immediately notified of any changes with email and in-app notifications.
Plaky’s best feature for interior designers
Plaky is a great choice if you’re looking for an app that’s:
- Quick-to learn,
- Equipped with all the essential features, and
- Both useful and visually appealing (with both dark and light themes).
Plaky is available for: Web, iOS, Android
Monday is another universal tool great for creative project management.
It allows you to manage projects from the beginning to the end and track progress in between.
Why use Monday in interior design?
As it’s built specifically for project management, Monday is highly customizable and suits any project’s needs — interior designers’ among them.
When it comes to features, Monday allows you to:
- Share projects and tasks with guests, i.e. outside users. So, apart from team members, contractors, clients, graphic designers and others will be able to follow the progress.
- Create purchase sheets for clients.
- Collaborate with your team and share files – this way, your interior design team stays up to date with all the changes that occur.
Plus, the good news is – Monday offers a free plan for up to 5 users and up to 3 boards. Of course, you can try some of Monday’s paid plans ($8/seat/mo, $10/seat/mo, $16/seat/mo), that offer features such as Automations, Integrations, more than 5 users, and so on.
Monday’s best feature for interior designers
With integrations, you can import all the important data from other apps into Monday.
Integrations include Outlook, Gmail, Excel, Adobe CC, and many other useful tools.
Monday is available for: iOS, Android, Web
Mydoma Studio is an all-in-one interior design platform offering project management features.
The platform is available for a free trial, after which you can choose from 3 paid plans ($59/mo for solo users, $79/mo for a team of up to 8 users, and $129/mo for an unlimited number of users).
Why use Mydoma Studio in interior design?
As Mydoma is created specifically for interior design — it aims to improve all aspects of the interior design business. That’s why Mydoma offers many useful features, such as:
- Creating mood boards
- Creating purchase orders and invoices
- Automating your accounting
- Integrations with Stripe, QuickBooks, Zapier, Calendly and others
So, let’s face it — Mydoma Studio’s creators really thought of almost everything a designer may need along the way.
Mydoma Studio’s best feature for interior designers
What interior designers would probably get the most benefits from is their Project Management feature, which includes:
- Statuses — to keep track of your current project statuses.
- Project Templates — to save time, instead of creating templates yourself.
- Tags — to customize your views and sort items (e.g. by category, vendors, or status).
All in all, there’s no doubt that Mydoma Studio is an excellent app.
However, it’s still more of a business management app — it aims to organize all aspects of your business, rather than focus on single projects. So, if you’re looking for something less feature-loaded, and, more focused, maybe it’s better to opt for an outright project management tool.
Mydoma Studio is available for: Web
Design Manager is interior design software that helps designers stay on top of projects with their full accounting system.
Design Manager offers a free trial and a Pro Cloud plan for $65/per user/mo.
Why use Design Manager in interior design?
Above all, using Design Manager will save invaluable time for interior designers with the Product Clipper. The clipper works as a Chrome extension, so you can source products from vendor sites in no time.
And what’s more, Design Manager allows you to manage all your projects with features, such as:
- Color Coded Statuses — to track item progress and keep team members on the same page.
- Project Management Reports — to keep your clients informed about the accounting and order status for their project.
- Generated Purchase Orders — to communicate with your vendors.
- Professional Client Invoices — to easily track all expenses.
- Online Payment — to quickly receive deposits, retainers, and payments from your clients,
Design Manager’s best feature for interior designers
You won’t need to use a generic accounting system such as QuickBooks, as Design Manager is created specifically for the design industry — the accounting system is adapted for projects that require deposits or retainers.
Design Manager is available for: Web, iOS, Android
Studio Designer is a digital platform made for interior design businesses.
Amongst its many features, this tool includes a project management feature.
Studio Designer offers several pricing plans, starting from $48/mo/per user.
Why use Studio Designer in interior design?
Managing tasks is necessary if you wish for your interior design team to succeed. So, similarly to other software designed specifically for an interior design business, Studio Designer offers:
- Integrated Accounting — to easily integrate Studio Designer with your accounting tool.
- Reports — for managing invoices.
- Client Portal — where you can collaborate with your clients and present them with products and digital proposals.
- Studio Capture — where you can create item proposals with product details and descriptions.
Studio Designer’s best feature for interior designers
Studio Designer Mobile App is what makes Studio Designer stand out from the crowd.
It allows you to access any important information on the clients or vendors, on the go.
Also, you can check for any scheduled meetings or activities.
All in all, you can access all the information in real-time, plus — the app is free (though you must be subscribed to Studio Manager).
Studio Designer is available for: Web, iOS
Conclusion: What software’s the best for you depends on your aims
In summary, there are several factors you should consider before deciding which project management tool to use for interior design:
- The size of your business or a project
- The size of your team
- Time you’re willing to invest into mastering a tool
- The amount of money you’re willing to spend on a tool
Moreover, we can divide these tools into three groups, according to what they focus on.
|All-in-one business management software||Project management software||Project Management + Accounting Software|
|Ivy (by Houzz Pro)||Plaky||Design Manager|
What we’ve concluded is that:
- All-in-one tools don’t aim at one specific project, but rather on a wide scope of business aspects, such as HR, Marketing, Accounting, Sales, Project Management and so on. Although all-in-one tools are excellent for improving business organization and managing large companies, the learning curve is usually very steep. Being pack-loaded with advanced features, it’s understandable that these tools are costly.
- If you’re looking for a way to manage your accounting and your project management all at once — there are tools for that as well. These are project management tools with full, built-in accounting systems. Though they tend to be less user-friendly and look a bit outdated, they save you from having to use a couple of different tools when managing projects.
- Tools that focus solely on project management are simple and easy to master. These tools are highly customizable and great for managing any project due to their flexibility and ability to adapt. Project management tools don’t incorporate any complex features, such as accounting, but they rather focus on transparently managing a single project — from the very beginning to its end, which is why you won’t spend a fortune using them.
To conclude, choosing the right software for your interior design team isn’t an easy task.
However, researching the market and seeing which app fits your specific goals will definitely help narrow down the choice and smooth the way to project success.