Expert Music Career Advice For DIY Musicians

Musicians: 5 Tools That Will Transform Your Productivity and Keep You Organized

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I have a confession to make: I have a bit of app FOMO. I am constantly worrying that I’ve missed out on the app that's bound to make my life easier, my business run smoother, and my life become more organized. But there are so many options out there that the trouble is it can become almost paralyzing trying to figure out which ones make the most sense for you and your path.

There are hundreds of brilliant apps, but I’ve narrowed it down to five that I feel are universally beneficial whether you’re a musician, an entrepreneur, or just someone who really needs a kick in the butt with organization. Check them out below.

1. Google Drive

You knew it had to be on here. Google Drive is by far one of the most versatile and universally accepted methods for keeping and sharing documents, spreadsheets, slideshows, and more — and for good reason. With Google Drive, you can easily access your materials from anywhere and share with your band members, teammates, and collaborators so that you never have to play email tag again. Use it to share and keep track of contact lists, setlists, slideshows, audio files, expenses, gig info, and really anything else you can think of.

2. Evernote

Evernote is another one that you’re bound to have heard of. But if you’re like me, up until now you might not have known how to use it. The truth is, you can use Evernote for just about everything, and it's worth learning.

While there's a paid version, the free one proves to be just fine for most. You can use it to keep track of things like song changes, gig notes, collaborating with team members, or even lyric and song ideas.

Another major sell of Evernote? You can access it from anywhere and use the Web Clipper feature to save snippets of inspiration from your browsing. It offers a powerful tagging system, so finding your notes is easy. And perhaps best of all, it offers IFTTT integration, which you can connect to Instagram, Twitter, Gmail, Trello, and many others, making it an even more powerful platform.

3. Passion Planner

This one isn't an app per se, but its intrigue level was too high to pass up. You know how you have big ideas, and sometimes you just don't know how to execute them? Passion Planner is the answer.

It's a unique way to manage your time, challenge yourself to see the big picture, and to stay focused and on task with all your goals and dreams, big or small. It forces you to create a "passion roadmap" which breaks down your three-month, one-year, three-year, and lifetime goals.

To keep things manageable, you're even able to create weekly steps, making chasing your dreams that much more attainable. For those of you who enjoy a good sit-down session with yourself to dream big and indulge in the possibilities, while creating bold, lasting steps to get there, this is for you.

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4. Trello

The first time I was introduced to Trello, I instantly fell in love because their mascot is a cartoon husky. But if you need more convincing than that, consider this: Trello is an intuitive, easy-to-use planner that allows you to collaborate with team members or simply organize your own personal tasks.

You can create intricate to-do lists for your next big idea, jot down the details of your upcoming tour, or plan your next album release. It's incredibly visual, allowing for photos as well as text, so it's really your go-to for any and all detailed planning. It’s essentially a giant digital corkboard, and what's better than that?

5. XMind

This is a fun one. You know how you sometimes have 100 ideas buzzing around in your head, but no matter how hard you try, you just can't seem to pin one down long enough to focus on it? Enter XMind.

XMind takes the messy chaos in your head and allows you to put it onto paper so you can stop juggling all your ideas and start putting them into action. Like all the tools on this list, it comes with a free version with plenty of features, including saving to Evernote. (Full circle, folks!)

XMind is brilliant for mapping out business plans of all kinds. It really forces you to sit down and plan things out in the most excruciating details, ensuring your big ideas don't go unfinished.

 

Did your favorite get left out? Leave a comment below with your go-to organizational app. 

 

Angela Mastrogiacomo is the owner of Muddy Paw Public Relations and Infectious Magazine. She has also founded several chapters of the free weekly music industry meetup Balanced Breakfast. Muddy Paw specializes in working with up-and-coming artists on personalized campaigns designed to bring their careers to the next level. To date, they've secured placements on sites such as Noisey, AbsolutePunk, Substream, Property Of Zack, PureVolume, Anti-Music, and many more.