by Delaney Gibson
Life is bloody hard. Life is even harder when you’re a full-time musician, slash full-time [insert day job here], slash full-time whatever else you do! I’ve been there. I’m still there. You’re probably there right now.
We are the type of people that take multi-tasking to a whole new level. People often wonder, “How do they do it all?” Truth is, we’re not doing it all and if we are, we’re struggling to do it “all” really well.
I’m always on the hunt for the latest and greatest product, app, or service that will make life a little easier. The more you can add in these little angelic “helpers” into your day, the more breathing room you’ll have to do what you do best, make music!
I put together a list of 10 Productivity Hacks for Musicians. All of these have been personally saving my butt lately. Check them out, I hope the save your butt too!
How annoying is it when someone emails you and says, “We should get together. How does Thursday look? Oh, well how about Sunday after next week” and on and on and on. Shave years off your life by setting up a personal calendar. All you have to do is email them a link, they pick a time that works for them and you are done! Do this now.
Similar concept as Calendly however, this is more project based when you have multiple people that need to come to the event. Back and forth texts and emails about band rehearsal got you down? Not anymore! Setup a Doodle event and forget it. Invitees mutually decide on the best time by taking a poll. Boom, just saved you from firing your drummer because you could never wrap your head around his schedule.
This is my personal favorite. I live in WeekPlan. I’m constantly rearranging and adding things to my days. The best feature about WeekPlan is that you can separate tasks by Role. So, if you are like me and you have an agency, a band, a solo project, and clients, you can assign tasks and goals for each of these items. Ahhhhhh, it’s pure sanity in a website. If you do one thing, setup WeekPlan. You can also integrate WeekPlan with your Google calendar for more life hacking.
- Basecamp or Asana (Choose your own Adventure)
If you work with multiple musicians or band members you NEED to have a project and task system in place. If not, you’ll be left doing all the work, not knowing what work needs to be done, and falling short in general. I personally like Basecamp over Asana. I find it more user friendly (except the horrible front end design) and overall task completion seems swifter in Basecamp. Choose your own adventure here, but choose one.
Even the most skilled graphic designers don’t have the time to create amazing graphics from scratch every time. Canva is a lifesaver for any artist out there. You can create stunning images on the fly. Anything from Social Media graphics to blog post graphics, business cards, and more. You want your music to stay on brand? Use Canva. They even have an awesome “Brand Kit” built in for Premium users. I’m a fan!
On the topic of graphic design– Fiverr is a game changer for musicians. Need a bio? Go to Fiverr. Need a logo? Go to Fiverr. Need a band poster? Go to Fiverr. Now, you’ll need to weed through the hundreds of dreadful freelancers and find the ones that are outputting quality work. But, it can be done— and cheaply!
Outsource, outsource, outsource! Look at your music business right now. Take a snapshot of all of the things you do on a daily, weekly, monthly basis. Now, think about how much of that you could hire someone else to do for you? There are thousands of freelancers waiting to help ease your work load. Hiring a virtual assistant was one of the greatest moves I’ve made in my business.
When you have downtime what do you do? Like most people, you probably fiddle with your phone, scrolling endlessly on Reddit, or stalking your exes on Facebook. I would urge you to start pinning. I know, Pinterest seems super girly but it really is the most incredible vision board of your life app, ever. Create boards for music video, photoshoot, art direction, album art, and more. The possibilities are really endless. AND this will save you loads of time when you are ready to dive in. You’ll already have the ideas pinned to go back and reference.
Do you dream of week long yoga retreats in Cambodia? Maybe that’s just me, but I’m sure you want to take a vacation or at the very least get of Social Media once and a blue moon. This is where Hootsuite will revolutionize your productivity. Why not set aside a few hours on Sunday night to plan out your week of engagement. Really plan it out. Choose what you will post, when it will get posted, what hashtags you’ll you, and then schedule it and forget it! This one does take some planning and forethought, but you will save hours and hours of time in your week. And you won’t ask the question, “What the hell should I post?” You’ll have already done that.
Let’s talk about something musicians hate talking about. I left to the end for a reason. Let’s talk about MONEY! I know, musicians hate talking about money. Probably because most of us are spending way more than we are pulling in (for now anyway). You just have to bite the bullet and talk about your finances. Luckily for me, I found Bench. If you don’t have an accountant I highly suggest signing up for Bench. I couldn’t believe the stress and pressure that was lifting from my bones after I signed up. You can see in black and white, every month, your expenses, income, and equity in your business. Oh, did you forget this is a business. Yeah, get on your finances, now.
Alright, that’s what’s keeping me sane this month! If you have a favorite, leave it in the comments below and help a sister out!
P.S. This post has inspired me to hire a proof-reader. See outsourcing like a boss.