Being in a band these days is unfortunately not just making music and drinking beer in your mom’s garage. Band members will have to have day jobs to support their music, some might have a family or live far away so you can’t attend practice or see the band members as often as they’d like.
But luckily we live in a digital world, smartphones are getting smarter and tablets are great tools. In this post we’ll present the essential and free tools we use to communicate and collaborate projects within Machinæ.
In no particular order, here we go:
Google Drive / drive.google.com
Cloud based sharing makes collaborators lives much more easier. Google drive also offers light versions of Office-type software online. Editing happens in real-time, what this means is that you’ll never have to go around with a memory stick, wondering if “band biography version 5-d.txt” was the latest version and if you remembered to combine your collaborators notes and corrections to that version. In Drive, text documents and spreadsheets are always up to date and you can trace your collaborators edits in real time and edit the same document with ease from many locations with multiple collaborators. Drive also offers 15 gigs of free cloud space, which makes file transfers very easy within the band. With the addition of apps, you can work on your stuff during your daily commute or whenever you want. You can also install it on your desktop to seamlessly integrate it with your computer.
* * *
Facebook private groups and group chat / facebook.com
This classic social media tool is not only for growing digital crops or moms sharing snot-nosed portraits of their youngin’ to the world, it’s also great for easy and private communication between the band members. With a private group and chat, you can bounce around ideas and share links privately between the band members that are on Facebook. It’s also easy to use, even those whose grand opus is opening an email will get on board fast. Some might be scared of joining facebook, but they can always create an anonymous pseudonym without friends to remain anonymous.
* * *
Trello / trello.com
Trello is a digital corkboard and a very valuable tool for a band where everyone contributes. You can create different themed boards and pin “to do” cards to the boards complete with checklists, labels and such. Everyone can comment, take a card to themselves and commit to the task. Trello can make teamwork much smoother when your to-do lists are synced between the collaborators, easily accessible online and clearly categorized. No more will the details of a project fall between the gaps or clash with the team.
* * *
Youtube unlisted videos / youtube.com
You don’t have to publish your youtube video to the world, youtube allows you to publish your videos privately with just a link. Choose “Unlisted” in the privacy settings when you upload your video and share the link with those whom it concerns. This feature is great for sharing videos within the band, music video drafts, your band’s latest gig or ideas you might have shot and want reviewed by the team. Just make sure you or your friends know if they are allowed to share the link, as anybody with the link can view the video.
* * *
Slack / slack.com
“Slack is half information integration platform, half IRC and half email. So i guess that makes it integrircmail.” — Al Gore
Our Trello boards integrate into our Slack channels to provide timely updates about tasks, namely who did what, when and how (“why” is not that relevant). Apart from aggregating information from other platforms we use it also serves as a chat platform with searchable history, channels for arbitrary discussion topics, private conversations and push notifications to its mobile app. A little further down the line Slack might prove its worth by becoming the hub for all of our internal communications and task tracking
* * *
Machinæ is NOT affiliated with, endorsed, or sponsored by the companies, apps or software mentioned.