ProductivityResource ReviewUncategorized

The Apps I Just Can’t Live Without (Business Edition)

must have business apps

Having the right technology & must-have business apps means you can run your studio more efficiently & be more profitable.  Why waste time on a task when an app can make it easier?  These are “The Apps I Can’t Live Without” – Business Edition!

While I love “the Beast” (my husband’s nickname for my awesome PC office set up), I’ve set up my business so that if worse comes to worst I can run many aspects of my business on my iPad Pro. Heading out of town used to mean a laptop bag, regular bag, purse.  It was frustrating. Now, I put my iPad Pro in a carry-on bag with my purse & I’m ready to go!

These are the apps that I use all the time & use to streamline my work week. They have ensured that I can make the most profit with my set work hours AND still have a personal life.  Now I can focus on the parts of having a business I enjoy … teaching, composing, & creating resources!

Must-Have Business Apps

Nowadays, I am always on the lookout to see if the programs I am using have an app for the iPad.  While it’s not a deal-breaker, I tend to think twice about new apps that don’t have that functionality.  Sometimes it’s just easier to get something done on the couch than head to the office.

Any apps with an asterisk (*) means that at no additional cost to you, I will earn a very small commission if you click through & make a purchase. This helps offset the cost of running this site & providing free resources.  Also, I will only list apps that I love to use in my own businesses.

While all of the apps listed are ones I use all the time, teaching online & travel teaching can present a bit of a challenge. 

  • If an app has (OL) next to it, it means it works well for teaching online. 
  • If an app has (TT) next to it, it means it works well for travel teaching.

Planning Lessons

  • Planboard (OL/TT):  With an easy to use schedule, lesson plan/practice page templates, ability to add photos (like rhythm warm-ups) directly, & adding files in a flash.  Plus there is an iOS app!
    • OL/TT: Within the lesson easily create an updated practice page for the student that is emailed/texted at the end of the lesson.
  • Google Drive (OL/TT):  Having online storage is a must in today’s studio.  By keeping your annual overall studio plan & individual annual student growth plans every lesson has a purpose.
    • OL/TT: Share documents in a shared folder or via text/email with the student/client immediately.
  • Notability: (OL/TT)  Organizing the app into days & then individual students ensures I can easily hand off the iPad to my students knowing they can work independently during lab time.
    • TT: Let the student use a device you own.
    • OL: Have students access through their own app or screen share within the lesson.
  • Evernote:*  I love the ease in saving resources as I go through email & taking notes at professional development workshops.  For more ideas on how to use this app, read this article at Piano Pantry.

Running a Studio

  • Quickbooks (OL/TT):*  Current program I use in my own studio.  I love that all my receipts, tax documentation, invoices, etc. are all at my fingertips.  Send automatic invoices & reminders to clients.
    • OL/TT: Rather than spending valuable office time collecting tuition, let the program take care of it for you!
  • PayPal (OL/TT): Current program I use here on this site.  If you are taking payments online, this is familiar to people in many different countries.  You are able to resend invoices if they are past due.
    • OL/TT: Rather than spending valuable office time collecting tuition, let the program take care of it for you!
  • WordPress (OL/TT):  A website is considered another must for the modern studio.  And, WordPress makes it easy to have & maintain a professional-looking site!
    • OL/TT: Parents & students will forget things.  If information is on your site, it is quick to pull up the right page & send to them.
  • Canva*:  I do love Canva.  Do everything from recital programs, social media images, worksheets, embedding images to your site (changes in the app show up automatically on your site), adding links to your images (rather than doing this outside of the app), creating GIFS & so much more.
    • You can use the iOS app, but I would recommend using a computer to get the most use out of this program in the least amount of time.
  • Last Pass (OL/TT):  Let’s face it.  There are a million passwords to remember that are all supposed to be different!  Now, remember one master password & get strong passwords generated for you.
    • OL/TT: Instead of students potentially seeing your passwords, fill them in quickly & discreetly.  

Social Media:

  • Facebook & Instagram (OL/TT):  Parents love to brag on their kids.  Give them photos they can share from your studio Facebook page or Instagram channel!
    • OL: Use recordings as a ready source of social media posts
    • TT: Be sure to take pictures during lesson time since you won’t be able to take typical studio pictures.
  • Canva (OL/TT):  While I’ve listed quite a few advantages, read this guest post for more ways to use Canva.
    • You can use the iOS app, but I would recommend using a computer to get the most use out of this program in the least amount of time.
    • OL/TT:  Since students can do so much using technology, you can go wild with colour & high-quality images without breaking the budget on ink.

Keeping in contact:

Scheduling newsletters ahead of time means less work at month-end.  Include links for registering for group lessons & events in your studio makes it easy for parents to interact with you.

  • Mail Chimp (OL/TT): Has a free plan if your studio is very small.  See which clients have already read your newsletters & which need a reminder during the lesson.
  • ActiveCampaign (OL/TT)*:  What I currently use.  Easy to use & has many features … like sending an email for birthdays, etc. See which clients have already read your newsletters & which need a reminder during their lesson.  This link will get you a FREE TRIAL. 
  • FaceTime/Skype (TT):  This is the ONLY way I handled sick students & dangerous road conditions when travel-teaching.  Rather than reschedule, we had their lesson at the regular time!
  • Facebook Live:  Parents have enjoyed having this option in the studio.  Every few months you can cover a new topic & they leave knowing they have new tools to support their child(ren) at home.  Keep in mind that not all parents will want “another” ask on their time.
  • Texting:  Many people find it easier to text & for teachers, it’s easy to quickly share student wins from their lesson.  But, if you don’t want to give out your cell number, use this tip to have students & parents text your email instead!

Must have business apps … your list

Reminder: Any apps with an asterisk (*) means that at no additional cost to you, I will earn a very small commission if you click through & make a purchase. There is no additional cost to you & it helps offset the cost of running this site & providing free resources.  Also, I will only list apps that I love to use in my own businesses.

If you missed my list of the teaching apps, be sure to visit “The Apps I Can’t Live Without – Teaching Edition)“. 

And, if you are starting out & feel a Iittle overwhelmed, think about a task that is taking longer than you would like.  Choose an app that helps you solve that problem.  As you get comfortable, add other apps that solve other challenges.

 

If you are just starting out, what is ONE app that you will try out this upcoming week?

Or, perhaps you’ve used apps for years in your studio.

What is a business app that I’ve missed that has made your studio run smoother?

 

UPDATED: July 6, 2020 to reflect the different needs of online & travel teaching studios.

2 thoughts on “The Apps I Just Can’t Live Without (Business Edition)

    1. No worries, Amy! They are really well laid out. Thanks for making the app more accessible fir teachers to learn!

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