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.
- 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.
- Active Campaign (OA, iOS): If you have a larger studio, this is a great option. It also includes features that you pay a higher price for with Mail Chimp. 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!