In this day and age a small practice relies heavily on its IT, and we decided when we first changed to CAD drawing to use a programme called Turbocad as our main 2D drawing tool which is faster and more intuitive than Autocad.This allows us to produce drawings faster and develop our ongoing drawing skills as we work. Turbocad drawings are easily and accurately converted to DWG or DXF formats and, indeed, if there is a project where drawings are being shared amongst professionals (e.g site surveys, structural) we can (and do)actually work in DWG format in Turbocad.
We have always felt that 3D illustrations are an invaluable tool and were lucky enough to stumble upon an American programme designed primarily for self builders but which we found, in fact, could produce good realistic views and walk-through movies for all the types of projects we were working on. The advantages over other 3D programmes, including our main CAD software, which we tried, were that it was quick, intuitive and had add-ons for modelling difficult elements (e.g roofs, stairs) allowing us to produce useful illustrations and walk-throughs competitively.
This is an example of one of our 3d walk-throughs-
That doesn't mean we don't use our traditional skills to provide "food for thought" at the design stage - sketch rear.pdf