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In her book seminal book The Not So Big House: A Blueprint for the Way We Really Live Sarah Susanka writes:

“In a three-ring binder, start to assemble data about the places in your life that make you feel comfortable and those that make you feel uncomfortable. Document their size, take photos or make diagrams, illustrating what it is within the space that evokes the response. Images of other spaces can supplement your notes–magazines are a great resource for this.”

Great idea…We’re building a app for that.

It was my experience over the decades that clients who had done some research and built what are called “swipe files” of their ideas and dreams were the best to work with. The were prepared and could save us, the remodelers, hours on education time bringing them up to speed on all the building products and design styles.

Years ago back when there were super-store bookstores with big House & Garden sections to browse I stumbled upon a notebook 3-ring binder styled book called The Home Renovation Workbook. It was pretty neat but I wanted it in a FileMaker Database application on my laptop computer so I built many of the lists and tools into my own 360 Difference software.

When the iPad 2 came out and I bought one I was in heaven with it’s built-in camera that I could use to shoot photos in homes stores, stone suppliers, etc. and have them appear in this idea and product database tool.

Next came the idea of building a “Client View” or a “Client Portal” into my 360 Difference software so that clients could log-in to their “account” and view their choices and see what we felt it might cost to integrate those products and ideas into their project.

Now with the release of the new FileMaker 16 a few weeks I am again inspired and I am finally going to knock off designing the interface for use on phone devices and make this a stand alone application that contractors can give to their prospective clients both to collect the necessary client information they need automatically like names, contact information, the kind of project they are considering, and the prospective project venue’s address (if it’s not the home they’re living in now) as well as see exactly what their prospective clients are looking at and thinking about.

If you’re a builder and remodeler and would like to help by offering your criticisms and suggestions on this fill out the form below with your contact information and I’ll get in touch with you and get you involved.

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J. Jerrald Hayes
Primus Inter Pares at Paradigm Projects, Ltd.
I am an architectural woodworker and general contractor turned IT, Business and Project Management consultant, software developer wannabe senior division triathlete and ski racer, Yankee fan and founder of, 360 Difference, and now too.
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