The life of a musician is nearly always a frenetic one – between rehearsals, shows, tours and studio sessions, there's always a lot to be done. Staying organized can be tricky, but it's key to success – and maintaining your sanity. Here are five tips to getting and staying organized.
Clean Up Your Workspace
A clean workspace is one in which you'll get more done. Studies show that working in a messy workplace reduces productivity and focus, which is the last thing you want. Start with organizing your desk and home studio. Use a few tools if you need to, like a filing cabinet or desktop file separators. Keep your equipment tidy, too – not only will it look nicer, it'll stop dust and dirt from settling too deeply into your instruments and equipment, helping to maintain them for longer periods of time.
Labels, Labels, Labels
Labels are great for everything from separating out sheet music to differentiating between cables. Whether you use labels with writing or a color-coded system, labels can help you stay organized, particularly if you have a lot of equipment to keep track of. Label systems aren't for everyone, but for musicians with a lot of stuff, it can be a godsend.
Try an App
If you have a lot of projects to manage, a task management app can be a huge help. Most are cross-platform and sync across devices, so you can use it on anything from your smartphone to your laptop – and you can customize most to give you desktop or on-device notifications when you have a task due, along with how far in advance it notifies you. Some of the best on the market are Wunderlist, Any.do, and Remember the Milk, and almost all of the ones you'll stumble across offer a free option.
Use a Calendar
Whether it's in a planner, on your wall or on your smartphone, use a calendar to manage everything from gigs, tours, and lessons. If you use your smartphone's calendar, you can set custom notifications for every event you schedule – so you'll always be on time.
This ties in with utilizing your calendar. Before you commit to anything – a gig, a tutoring session, a studio segment, anything – check your calendar first. This will prevent you from double-booking yourself, and in addition to reducing your stress levels, it will earn you a reputation as a true professional who is always on top of their game.
Staying organized as a musician isn't always the easiest of tasks, but these few simple steps will help you stay on top of everything you need to do – and will help you achieve greater success.