Posted by Charles Edge on May 8th, 2015

Giving an iPad to your employees is a great step to increasing their productivity. But loading those devices up with apps that increase their productivity is a must. But what apps should they get? That’s often a question best answered by first looking at your industry and the job function of those employees. Luckily, we have a lot of construction companies using Bushel and we can help guide you to a common set of tools that many are using.


PlanGrid is a pretty handy app that allows you to upload PDFs, version data, link to callouts, annotate, etc. It includes punchless, estimating  and photos to track status (which you can then pin to your blueprints). Overall, PlanGrid is probably the most versatile app for Construction companies on the market. There are certainly simpler apps, but more complex ones as well.

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Procore Construction Management Software

Procore is similar in many ways to PlanGrid. You can annotate blueprints, add projects, do some estimating, some change control and even assign issues to users. You can also choose users that get updates to parts of a project plan. Both tools allow you to manage RFIs and Procure also allows for timecard entry from the field and accessing schedules. I would definitely recommend putting both through a trial as their approaches are different enough that you might like one much more than the other.

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Construction Manager

Another tool that can manage various aspects of the business is Construction Manager. Construction Manager comes with a lot more finely grained tools for estimating, such as room size, concrete and pain calculators. You can also track daily activity on projects and eliminate paper in the estimating process. Construction Manager isn’t really meant for more complex punch down list uses, but can do time sheets, maintenance logs and milestones.

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Joist is a much more robust estimating tool, with none of the DIM/blueprint options. It’s great for managing estimates, integrates with contacts and even allows you to track payment information.

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Corecon is a tool for tracking various business aspects of a construction business. You can update RFIs, schedule tasks, track expenses, get alerts and track time. There’s also a list (and a punch list) that helps you stay on top of tasks, as well as data synchronization back to the CoreCon cloud.

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AutoCad 360

AutoCad 360 is the gold standard for making CAD drawings on computers. The mobile app is pretty darn rad as well.

Construction Master Pro (CMPro)

It’s a bird, no, it’s a plane, no, it’s a calculator. And more! This is a little swiss army knife of an app. You can complete layouts, plans, bids, some estimation option, all the trigonometric goodness you missed in grade school, figure square-ups and slopes, calculate feet-inch-fractions, decimal feet, work in metric and even figure out those annoying crown angles and wacky polygons. Overall, it’s a great little tool that fills some gaps.

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Simple app to make blueprints right on your iPad. You can drag and drop elements, enter measurements and then export. This allows you to import into other apps that also allow you to annotate and create punch lists.

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Aconex is a project management tool. There’s a good bit of feature overlap with some of the other apps on this list, but Aconex is really good at the project management aspect of construction and engineering projects. If you make a blueprint using iBlueprint for a job you bid using Joist then it makes for a good fit. Keep in mind that some of these apps that only address one part of the whole business are better at that aspect (and therefore sometimes worth the expense) than using options built into an app that tries to do everything.

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iHandy Carpenter

This is a great little app that measures, does angles, has a level, etc. But the app isn’t as important as the concept. If you pour concrete, you’re gonna’ want an app to help figure out the right mix. This app doesn’t do that. But there is an app for that. For the types of tasks that your people are doing, a few cheap apps might replace a bunch of tools they have to carry. And especially for estimators, keeping them from going back and forth to their truck to grab a tool can keep customers happy and engaged while allowing them to be more efficient!

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And of course a bonus is Bushel, which makes for a great way to distribute these apps to your devices, while protecting the content that’s out on the devices!