HELLO STAGE BLOG

2 Free Apps That Could Make Management Easier for You

Apps are a hot topic on HELLO STAGE at the moment! Our blogger Maria has decided to start the discussion and share her favourite and useful apps at the moment - be sure to share yours in the comments below!
Hi fellow HelloStagers! since Bernhard is in Sillicon Valley, land of new apps, I thought it might be fun to share with you today two apps that have made my managing tasks much easier.

For general management purposes: Wunderlist

Wunderlist is a popular free to-do app. I use it as a spreadsheet to overview the management process of my group Dianthus Ensemble. It's quite simple: I organize to-do items in folders. I create one to-do item per concert venue and use each of the folders as a container. The folders are labeled by current state of management process (e.g. written to, declined, find date, etc.).

The process of signing a contract is quite long and it can be difficult to keep overview when you communicate with different promoters. You write to some, then some write back with a booking request, then you have to find a date, then you do the paperwork. For each state of that process, there is a different urgency in your action. The system I've set up in Wunderlist allows me to assess what is the most important action.

As I communicate with organizers, the to-do items get moved from one folder to the next, depending on the action that needs to be taken. Inside each to-do item, I can write notes. Every time there is an interaction with that particular person, I will write down the date and the current state. This allows me see the communication history at a glance, because I would forget otherwise.

I set up a "wishlist" (another folder) with new festivals that I will write in the future, because at present it's not the right moment. I have many different wishlists for Dianthus :) The way I have have set up Wunderlist would enable me to manage the ensemble jointly with someone else. It has a great clean interface and syncs smoothly.

Wunderlist runs on web, Mac, Windows, Android, Windows Phone and iOS and it has extensions for Chrome, Firefox and Safari browsers.

For ensemble communication: Slack

Slack is a new free team communication app, quite popular in the tech community. Dianthus recently started using it and so far it's been fantastic for us. It has eliminated my email flow by 98%.

in the Slack environment, your ensemble is called a team, and team members are invite-only. Communication is organized by "channels" - one topic for each channel - and by direct message between team members. While channels are open for everyone to see, direct messages are private. You can also create private channels, upload files and share them with team members or keep them private for yourself. Apropos yourself, in Slack there lives a cute little widget called Slackbot. Slackbot is listed as one of the team members, and all communication with Slackbot stays private too.

How do we apply this in our ensemble, and is it really necessary to install an app for that? My answer is yes. Dianthus is performing different programmes this spring and summer, with 2, 3, 4 and 5 group members We use one channel for each programme situation. And while this setup is complex for me (because I play in all of the situations), it's made the situation quite transparent for me. On the other hand, each ensemble member only receives information or communication that is relevant for them.

If you're a duo you might not need Slack, but the moment you work with a manager or managing team, it might be interesting for you.

Slack has reduced my email volume significantly and has kept communication fast, clear and searchable. Did I say I love this tool?

If you are thinking about using it and you are in more than one ensemble, Slack supports you being on different teams. That means, you can switch easily from team to team, and you have a different profile for each team. Slack also runs on all possible platforms you can think of and syncs beautifully.

I'm always curious about what other people use. Can you recommend other tools? Do some of you use any of these two apps? I'd love to hear from you in the comments



Maria Busqué is a coach for musical performance and a freelance harpsichord player based in Berlin. You can follow her on twitter, @maria_busque visit her HELLOSTAGE page or find out more about her work at www.mariabusque.net.

Author: Maria Busqué/ edited by Nina @ HELLO STAGE
Comments [2]
Nina Lucas - 2015-03-29 12:41 edited
I would like to add a personal favourite, in my opinion a must for serial multi-taskers - the task manager & time management app 30/30. It's a really clean & simple productivity app thats lets you organize & time your tasks in a very intuitive & colourful way ;) https://itunes.apple.com/us/app/30-30/id505863977?mt=8
Bernhard Kerres - 2015-03-30 03:53
You might add www.appear.in to that. It is a great virtual meeting room. We use it often at HELLO STAGE :)
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