Do you have a detail or a process that you would be willing to share?
Nowadays I use over 30 apps. Here is the list with links.
Did you know that census statistics indicate that most architectural firms are small. I have been wondering about that. Why would that be?
Here’s the 2011 data that I found.
All architectural offices = 21,181 offices
1-4 employees = 14,028 firms
5-9 employees = 3,711 firms
Combined, that’s 17,739 of 21,181 firms - or 83.75%.
We all have used Street View in Google Maps. Google has just about photographed the entire built-environment. It's kind of cool or creepy depending on your point of view.
I was preparing a post last week and wished I had a picture of the spire pictured here. I planned to go take a picture or two for the post. While I was looking up the address in Google Maps, I found that Google had taken care of the picture-taking for me - and at a much nicer time of year.
So in half the time it would have taken to drive to the site and back, I had grabbed a few screenshots, cropped and re-sized them, and placed them in the blog post.
So far this isn't too creepy, it's just a helpful marketing tool. Especially helpful when you are working against a deadline.
The creepiness factor was just around the corner...
It has been over a year since the Best Of page has been updated. Every quarter I take a look. This is the first time in a year that there has been any significant change.
After 18 months I have decided to begin posting to the BLOG once again. If you are new to Architekwiki, you might have missed this source of riveting information. After all, it wasn't even listed in the menu until recently.
Take a look.
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I have been dragging my feet on this update. Partly because the chore is getting tedious. It used to be exciting to see the changes. Partly because the results are about 90% predictable now after 2-1/2 years.
Here are the top 25 pages based on number of page views over the past three months.
First Of All ... Happy New Year!
The end of the year seems to be the main time that planning takes place. It is accepted that the new year requires a new plan. So I have pulled together five of the posts that might come in handy for your planning.
Word Clouds For You. Merry Christmas!
I have been playing with Wordle again. This time to get into the Holiday Spirit. See what you think. The Word Clouds are downloadable, and feel free to decorate your holiday email, etc. with them.
My first survey of architectural accounting methods collected 400 responses. These responses form the basis for this update. That first survey is effectively closed. I started to notice that I was asking different questions when I interviewed someone. So I cloned the first survey and deleted the questions that weren’t helping to understand the methods being used. Then I added a few new questions. Survey 2 is two questions shorter, but offers more opportunities to comment. I plan to publish the results of Survey 2 when the number of participants are similar to the first survey. But here’s what I have learned so far.
I have been updating the Best Of Architekwiki page every three months or so for a while now. I look at 'popularity' informally much more often, but I am still surprised by the new rankings.
There are two posts that not only survived, but their ranking is UNCHANGED:
Architectural Fee As A Percentage Of Construction Cost - Still #1 All-Time
Reception Counter Casework - Still #6 All-Time
There were also two posts that DROPPED OUT of the rankings:
Category: B20 Ext Enclosure
A site search for the DETAIL category - Exterior Enclosure.
10+ articles are loaded by this search.
Basecamp / Nozbe Comparison
A lot has changed for both Basecamp and Nozbe since this article was first published in 2012. Nevertheless the comparison is still useful...
Two years ago on September 27, 2012 Architekwiki went live with almost no content and zero readers. Today we are doing a little better; and most importantly our stats are getting better all the time.
So I am going to celebrate with cake and ice cream!!! You have my permission to splurge, too (just this once)!
AND - EVERYONE GETS A PRESENT!
It is time to share where things stand with the Corbu project, and a lot has happened over the summer.
As you may know, I am a retired architect who is trying to come up with a (much) better way for architects to take care of accounting chores - easier, quicker, and better.
Corbu, the name we were considering and which we are going to run with, is now 4-1/2 months old. We have obtained a website domain name and have an almost-ready-for-prime-time website that I will be using to share Best Practices that I have picked up from all my research.
I just returned from a week in my happy place - Michigan's Upper Lower Peninsula, Burt Lake specifically. Cool weather, sandy beach, pontoon, north woods - the perfect place for staring, unfocused, into the distance. But back to reality ... Corbu is three months old, and it is time for an update.
Remember Corbu? The little project to make accounting for architectural firms quicker, better, cheaper. Three months ago that was the vision. Today, while the vision is still a bit fuzzy, the parts that have come into focus are telling me that there is a need. None of us went into architecture so that we could do accounting, accounting being just about as far from architecture as you can get. And yet 15,000 of us who have our own firm are pulled into the necessity of accounting for about two man-days a month. About 2.5% of us like, and even enjoy, the challenge of accounting. 97.5% of us - not so much. I think we will be able to help that 97.5%.
About a month ago I embarked on a special project to make bookkeeping easier for architects. A lot has happened, and a lot, lot more needs to happen. This article explains how the project got started.
And this one describes some of the early work. But here is where things stand today.
First off, I made a list of firms in the Greater Cincinnati area with the help of a colleague who attended the University of Cincinnati. The list was pretty heavily weighted with Class of '86 grads, and I started to think I was going to be talking to everyone who graduated that year and had their own firm - until I learned that there were 80 in that graduating class. Nevertheless, I have had five face-to-face interviews and two by phone.
Well, I am in the data collection mode still, and this is your "BIG CHANCE" to help out!
Just answer 6 easy questions in less than 3 minutes. To access the simple survey, click the image above; or click this link if that works better. Or click the button below. There is even an embedded version below the button, but I am not sure everyone will be able to view it.
Although I am focused on architectural firms, anyone who has a project-oriented business is part of the world I am interested in.
My grandson likes to explore. Anything will do - sea shore (his favorite), woods near or far, or ... basements. "What kind of junk do you have in those boxes, grandpa?" The basement has a poor record of revealing treasure, although the walkie talkies that we got working last week were a hit for almost an hour. The boxes in question contain old drafting supplies - souvenirs would be a better term because the chances of using them again are almost zero.
The watershed year for your reaction to these souvenirs is about 1965. If you were born before then, they stir up nostalgia or whatever is the negative version of nostalgia. If you were born after 1965, then we are talking curiosity about historical artifacts.
I didn't know where this post was going when I started it. Actually I thought I would probably make the case against being on the wrong side of any boundary - and all the disadvantages that it entails. Some examples.
I have spent my entire life living in the ’Greater Cincinnati’ area...but just across the Ohio River in Kentucky. I actually live closer to Fountain Square, ground zero of downtown Cincinnati, than 90% of Cincinnati's residents. Not actually belonging to the major city always seemed like a ’disability’.
“Where do you live?”
The message was, “Oh, how sad for you.”
Getting serious about interviewing firms about how they go about their bookkeeping. Here are my notes from the second interview. As you can see, we are focusing on just three areas: Timekeeping, Invoicing, and Expense-tracking.
Working on a project like developing a software product is surprisingly similar to designing an unfamiliar building type. There is lots of research followed by thinking through all the alternatives that come to mind.
If you would like to download the questions and describe your methods, I would be grateful for the help. Here is the link.
I described the project a week or two ago here:
Have you noticed that the US policy on green house gases is a bit muddled? The old man is good at pointing. We've been told what we are supposed to do, but what is the government's role? Cheerleading? Compare to Germany where solar is clearly the way the government wants to go as you can tell by the subsidies.
So I thought I would help out with a modest list of suggestions to get the ball rolling. Let's call this the Wolnitzek Consensus, since so far only I agree to the list. But in all seriousness, here it is:
You are dying for the details, aren't you?
Since closing my firm I have been concentrating all my efforts on Architekwiki. So I wasn't expecting what happened recently. I was approached by the founder of the bookkeeping software that I now use, B2Bee. [affiliate link] He proposed the idea of cloning his software and customizing it for architectural firms.
I quickly discovered that there are 17,000 architectural firms in the US with less than 10 people. This is the target audience and also the vast majority of the 21,000 total firms. My firm would have been included in that group for its 32 years of existence.
So lately I have been distracted by this idea of helping to develop this bookkeeping software and get it in front of as many firms as possible.