Almost everything you need to manage your band
And it's with your Google account...
I've been using Google to manage almost everything I need to do for my band.
Over the years I've tried many different services that say they are specifically for bands. One thing I found they have had in common? They ask you to enter your email to sign up.
If you're like me you sign up with your gmail address.
I figured I would just find a way to take care of it all with the tools I already have available to me in my Google account.
Here is a quick example of things that you can do. You may already know some, but maybe there are a few you didn’t know.
Let's start with the obvious-- email.
Create a gmail address for your band. No one in this day and age is going to scoff at an email like firstname.lastname@example.org, it's perfectly acceptable.
Plus this is the connection for everything you need for these examples from here on out.
You can still keep your original email, even if its gmail, and just switch between the two.
Google drive gives you 15gb free as opposed to Dropbox that gives you 2gb.
You can upload things like audio files, pdfs & zip files to it. Even embed them or link to them to share privately or public. You can organize these with folders for songs, albums or anything else.
Documents & Spreadsheets
Included with Google drive are Google Docs and Google Sheets.
Manage contracts and budgets. Keep practice notes, lyric sheets and set lists. Or create a press kit that can also be shared publicly or privately.
The key thing here is that you can collaborate with others on these documents. You can't really do that with an Word doc on your computer. It also saves each change automatically, so you can revert back to older versions if anything gets screwed up.
If you already have documents that you keep on your computer, you can also upload them to Google docs and continue to update.
Get the Google drive browser plugin and you can take a picture of webpages. For example- use it for online reviews from pages and it saves them directly in your drive.
Again, you probably already know about this one too. You've uploaded your videos or CD image video singles I assume.
But there is more you can do with this. Set a video as unlisted and you can send an exclusive link to fans on your email list that only the they can see.
Record your practices on your phone and upload them as private so you can view them later.
I host a podcast called Music Manumit and we interview independent bands every week. When I research a band that we're going to talk to it still amazes me how many of them still don't have a website.
Google has it's own web platform, blogger.com.
It's easy to set up and you don't have to know how to code to make a pretty simple one to start. And you can get advanced with it if you know how.
For free you can get a yourband.blogspot.com address. You also have the option to buy a domain at any time right in the blogger settings for as little as $12 a year if you want.
Plus it's a Google owned service so it's already optimized for search engines. And no server to maintain, pay for or set up.
Google photos isn't just a place to post your pictures. It's also a place to host them.
Upload a picture there or take one with your phone and you can link to it anywhere.
Blogger even connects with it. Set your Google photo app to backup pictures on your phone and when you choose to add an image to your site, your phone is one of the choices!
The app even has Instagram-like filters you can apply to the pictures.
And remember how I said you could shoot video of your practices? It backs those up to your photos too!
Go to goo.gl and sign in with your gmail and you can create short URLs to your web pages or albums on iTunes and things like that.
It also has analytics to track how many clicks you received and more.
Google Keep is kind of like post-it notes. You can use it to write lyric ideas, keep to-do lists and even add photos to them for reference.
It's no Evernote, but the mobile app is pretty handy and you can organize & search things by note color, text or labels.
I save all my lyrics to sort by one color and like to pull them all up at once when I'm trying to write.
They can also be shared with others. And you can also move them to Google docs when you're finished.
What? Wiki? Why should I need that? I'm sure you're asking.
Well when my band works on songs, we record every session. Either with a digital recorder or tracking a song on Protools for release.
And you know how the next time everyone gets together, at least one person doesn't remember how it goes or maybe even how they played it?
To keep notes of all these things we created a wiki at sites.google.com. This has saved us more than once in situations like these.
Some examples of ways you can keep track of things in the wiki are:
- Create a new page in the wiki for a song you’re working on.
- Record video from your phone, upload it to YouTube as an unlisted video and embed it.
- Save audio you record to Google drive and embed it.
- Write notes about key signatures, song structure or recordings.
- Take pictures of lyrics, song notes people right down to remember their parts (if they forget to bring them its in the wiki).
All of your Google services are connected to the wiki in the editing menus.
Keep them updated and you can refer back to these at anytime.
Google Hangouts is good for IMing each other. But you can also use the mobile app as the default text messaging client on your phone.
So any conversation you have can be found on your computer or your phone.
You can also video chat with multiple people in the Google Hangouts on your computer or the mobile app if you need to talk face to face or want to work on an idea remotely.
You can broadcast a live show from google hangouts too (You will need to set up a Google+ page for your band to do this).
Connect your YouTube account to your bands Google+ page and you can schedule a live broadcast.
When you're done, it gets saved to your YouTube account and added to your videos.
You get your own calendar with your account to keep personal schedules. But can also create different calendars within it and everyone can add or edit things to just those they have access to.
I mean you know what a calendar does, just wanted to mention it comes with the account.
Contacts have been given their own section inside of gmail these days. And you can create groups for different people you need to keep track of like media, press, reviewers or night clubs.
All of these items, email, chats, docs, files even photos with text are searchable. This is Google after all. And that's a handy thing right there.
I can't tell you how many times I wasted effort looking for things I didn't file properly on my computer. Trying to find them months later. If you just know some part of a name or date of something in this setup it will help you find it. Sometimes it even brings up things that you forgot all about.
Best of all it's free
That's the obvious thing.
As I said, I've tried a bunch of different things over the years. Some of them have been very useful. Some were short lived and no longer available which always sucks.
But the main problem was always getting the other band members to also use these new things and teach them how.
I've found that they all had gmail, and all this was already available to them so why not just use it.
There is way more that you can do with what I've mentioned here. And I plan to go over them section by section in future posts.
So if you liked this share it with others and sign up for the mailing list and I'll send you more that you can do to organize your band with just you Google account.
Almost everything you need to manage your band Reviewed by Tom Ray on 4:04 PM Rating: