It often feels like the internet, social media and the accompanying technologies clutter up our lives and distract from the more important work. But when used smartly, there are some great apps and tools out there to help us save time and effort, rather than waste it.
In this article, we’ve rounded up 10 apps that could help you turbo-charge your productivity as a career-building musician in 2023, whilst leaving space to make better plans, spend time with friends and family and reduce those admin-related anxieties!
Some come direct from the Jazzfuel office, whilst others were recommended by musicians in the Jazzfuel Manager PRO community.
This one comes direct from the Jazzfuel office and, after 18 months of Asana, can safely say it’s a game-changer!
If you’re working alongside others on your project – whether that’s fellow bandmates or a manager, assistant or any other industry professional, Asana could be the go-to organisational tool you need.
With its promise to help you “stay on track, keep projects organised, and hit deadlines” the website and accompanying app allow you to set up step-by-step tasks for each thing you’re working on and delegate each action – and a due by date – to anyone on your team.
On top of that, the native chat function means you can talk about each issue right inside the task.
If you haven’t already gone digital with your accounting, now’s the time.
Xero is one of several leading accounting softwares and apps which cater for everyone from large business to single freelancer, with country-specific functionality (including direct connection to declaring taxes in some) in New Zealand, Australia, Singapore, South Africa, the United Kingdom, Europe and North America.
You can generate invoices, scan and store receipts, pay bills, claim expenses and check out your upcoming income, with a great dashboard available both in the cloud and via an app.
Tax time might come only once a year, but this app will ensure it’s done in plenty of time and with no annual scrabbling around for lost receipts.
Why Useful? Accounting on the go.
Streaks is an Apple Design Award Winner app that makes use of to-do lists to form good habits for its users.
It supports the idea that working on something everyday helps you form a new habit through repetition. If you procrastinate you break the chain, and go back to where you started, that’s the catch!
A great motivation tool that gamifies new habits along with the new skills. Definitely give it a try.
Why Useful? It helps declutter your mind so you can have time and motivation to be creative while also improving your lifestyle with good healthy habits.
Sheet Music Scanner
Whether you’re teaching music or prepping for a show, Sheet Music Scanner is a great invention that instantly digitises any type of sheet music using a smartphone’s built-in camera.
No more hours on Sibelius, nor shuffling through reams of paperwork.
If Google calendar (or its paper equivalent) is not doing it for you, and Asana is a little too heavy-duty or expensive, Sun-Sama is a daily planner app for anyone who is feeling busy and lost in their day-to-day interactions.
It helps you keep track of the day ahead through smart to-do lists, whilst also giving the opportunity to be intentional about your time, making you use it in a clever and productive way, so you can have more time to yourself.
Why is it useful? A well designed task management system that can be easily synced with all other work tools you use like google, outlook, asana etc. It keeps everything organised and in one tab, so you can see your day clearly through clutter.
News Feed Eradicator
As we all know, humans can be stupid and easily tempted.
The News Feed Eradicator is less an app, more a Chrome extension, which does what it says on the tin: it removes your news feeds on Facebook.
Instead of popping onto Facebook to post about your upcoming album and finishing, 3 hours later, reading about your ex-girlfriend’s new dog, you simply see a motivational quote in place of the news feed.
You can still navigate to any post or profile you want, but you won’t see those tempting news posts.
This one might be in the same category as “wishing for more wishes” but Audible’s functionality of letting you listen to pretty much any book ever written, can be a great way to learn more about those topics important to you, including productivity itself of course!
Everyone knows the real satisfaction is reading a real book, but on-the-move education can be the difference between learning and not learning.
The subscription model works great too: if you haven’t picked a book for a few weeks, your unused credits will nudge you into action!
A favourite tool in the Jazzfuel PRO community, Canva is game-changer which allows anyone to make their own design and social media content, at a free or low monthly cost.
With thousands of different templates to choose from, you can quickly and easily design your upcoming poster in different fonts, colors and sizes, can set up your website, create your next instagram story and much more…
Why Useful? It’s a total D.I.Y. design tool, and it gives you the superpower of a graphic designer. Enough said!
Check it out here or access the Canva training via Jazzfuel Manager Pro.
Here at Jazzfuel, we are big fans of Hubspot as our CRM of choice, and recommend it to plenty of musicians in the Jazzfuel community.
However, as with many powerful and highly-customisable tools, there is a steep learning curve to getting set up.
As a result, we liked the recommendation of Mailerlite from a member of the Jazzfuel PRO community as a lightweight (and potentially cheaper) alternative which pulls together CRM, digital marketing and newsletters.
Mailerlite is an easy-to-use all-in-one tool with features including email campaigns, newsletter sending, website building and automation.
Whether you’re building your community or releasing a new record, its ease-of-use can help you stay better connected with your fans.
Why Useful? As you can see in the app’s name MailerLITE, it is a very light, easy to use, when compared to close rivals relatively cheaper alternatives as a CRM platform.
It can really help when you’re creating your online presence & community. It levels you up in terms of marketing & visibility and gives you good data insights on your fanbase.
The Jazzfuel Manager PRO App
What’s a good article without a bit of self-promotion?!
In early 2022 the Jazzfuel PRO community (which brings together courses, support, Q&As and live sessions for professional jazz musicians around the world) got its own app.
So, alongside the online community which members can access 24/7, you can download the iPhone or Android to get feedback from industry professionals (host Matt Fripp plus guests) whilst on the move.
Interested to learn more? Check out the community and the January bonus of a free 1-to-1 session.
Thanks for reading!
Of course, true productivity doesn’t come from an app, it comes from within!
But hopefully you’ll find some of these suggestions as helpful as we have in. turbo-charging your daily and weekly routine to make more time for the things which really matter…
What did we miss? Feel free to use the comments section below…
International jazz booking agent, manager and host of Jazzfuel.
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