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

The Apps I Can't Live Without

The right app makes all the difference, right?  And while I’ve written about the apps I use in my studio while teaching, I haven’t shared the apps I just can’t live without for the business side of my studio.  That’s about to change!

What makes a great app

These days, there are a few things that I value above all else when it comes to apps.

  • Easy of use … including the initial learning curve.
  • Customer service … because things will go wrong at some point.
  • Updates … Are user requests added over time or is it a one & done type app?
  • Multiple device use … Can I start on my computer, pick it up on my iPad, & check reports on my cell?
  • Cost & Value … Least expensive isn’t necessarily the best, but the cost needs to be shown in the value I get from the app

Most of the apps I will be sharing are can be used on multiple devices.  These are online apps that also have iOS apps available.  An online app is one that is accessed through a browser (i.e. Edge, Safari, Chrome, etc.).  This means that I can easily start something on my Microsoft computer & seamlessly continue working on my iPad (Apple).  No more struggling to use 2 different systems!

The legend I’ll be using is:

  • Online app: OA
  • iPad or iPhone app: iOS

* Keep in mind that not all of the apps will work on the iPhone & even if they do it may not have all the same capabilities.

Planning Lessons

  • Planboard (OA, iOS): Digital lesson planning & practice pages. Easy to set up templates for different levels, teaching schedule, plus vacation days.
  • Google Drive (OA, iOS): Resources, student annual plans, studio calendar & client information … easy to email links to resources.
  • Evernote (OA, iOS): Online resources, notes, & anything else that you would like to access quickly.
  • ScanBee (iOS): Great for scanning scores (or excerpts) for student to work with during lab time.
  • Word or Pages (OA, iOS): Microsoft vs. Apple … it’s whatever works for you.  Create worksheets with scanned scores.  Save them as a PDF & it’s easy to add to Google Drive & access from any device.  iOS link for Word … Pages app is included on iPad.

* iOS 11:  Option to scan documents in Notes app.  You will still need transfer the note to another program to create a worksheet.

Running a Studio

  • Square (OA, iOS): Create recurring invoices, accept payments, send receipts (even for cheques & cash payments), track payments & overall income.  Tax reports available.
    • Link is for Canadian vendors.  Check other country availability here.
  • WordPress (OA, iOS): Studio site, easy to update on the fly.
  • Canva (OA, iOS): Create professional images with ease.
  • LastPass (OA, iOS): Instead of remembering 101 unique usernames & passwords, access them all with a master password.  Also generates strong passwords for you!

Keeping in contact with students & parents

  • MailChimp (OA, iOS): Studio newsletters & studio wide communications.  If you have a small studio, this is a great option since it has a free tier.
    • There are other great options for email marketing that are better for larger studios.  Choose the option that best fits the audience (number of people) you will be regularly sending to.
  • Facebook (OA, iOS): Studio page or group, quickly add a picture or video for parents to share & stay engaged.
  • FaceTime (iOS): #1 choice in my studio for ‘make-up’ lessons.  Comes with iPad & iPhone.
  • YouTube (OA, iOS): #2 choice in my studio for ‘make-up’ lessons.  Upload private video lessons or send students to listen to great recordings during the week.
  • iMessage (iOS): #1 choice for students to reach out for help during the week.  Comes with iPad & iPhone.
    • Students & clients can use your email when texting so your cell number stays private.

What are a few of YOUR favourite things?

We all have apps that we just can’t live without.  The ones that make the business side of our studio run a little smoother & enjoy the other aspects of our jobs.

In the comments below, share the business apps that you absolutely LOVE!

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