If you’re like most studio owners around the world, then you’re spending more time in front of your computer or smartphone than you are spending in class in front of your students. In fact, you’re probably looking at a screen as we speak with about 30 tabs running, jumping back and forth between tasks and distractions, and rushing to get ‘something’ done before you head into class.
But what are you actually achieving? And more importantly, do you have the right tools at your fingertips to really be productive and move your studio forward? The truth is, sometimes nothing beats some old-fashioned pen-to-paper planning and implementation – but with so much amazing technology here to help with your business, it’s time to make sure you are making the most of what is on offer.
That’s where our top 9 apps come in! Our list has got you covered on everything from task management to graphic design. Get ready to be more productive, more focused, and more connected than ever!
Productivity experts love Asana – and for very good reason! Studios can use it to keep track of the daily to-dos of the business from emails to system-creation, while also giving your team a productive place to follow the status of jobs. Asana is free and features include due dates, attachments, unlimited tasks, projects, and conversations. Your customizable dashboards show the progress of a team or project, and the interface is attractive and easy to use. The best part about using Asana to manage your team is the accountability aspect – you can track tasks at the swipe of a screen, and keep your team accountable quickly and easily.
If your studio and teachers aren’t using spotify yet for your music, you need to get on it. Now. Seriously, go and download it.
In a nutshell, Spotify will give you legal 24/7 access to millions of songs at the click of a button, without the need to purchase or download them. Your teenage students who request songs you’ve never heard of? Spotify has it, which means YOU have it. There are free and premium versions for you to choose from, with the main difference being offline usability in the premium package (which is well worth the subscription cost.) Once you have the app, you can create your own playlists to share with your staff. This is perfect for when a substitute teacher comes in, recital rehearsals, and class planning. There is a seemingly endless selection of children’s music for all ages and genres, and you can set up your playlist to import the most recent chart-toppers automatically so you don’t even need to search for them. The only time you will need to download or purchase a track is when it needs to be edited.
Bonus – type in “Happy Birthday” with any student’s name into spotify and there is a personalised song for them. So much fun, and the look on their face when Elmo sings their name is priceless!
Slack is your go-to app that makes communication between yourself and your team quicker, easier and better. It is an online, social-messaging platform for groups where your teachers and staff can engage in group or private discussions, share materials and links with one another, or simply give kudos for a job well done. All the communication on Slack gets grouped into different “channels”, and everything is easily searchable. Slack is great for studio owners and teachers in the app version with plenty of customizable notifications. We love Slack because it is a great combination of instant messaging and email all rolled into one app. It can also integrate with with many other services, too, (including Asana), which definitely heightens its usefulness.
Calm is perfect for studio owners on the go who want to feel more…well….calm! Calm works great on your smartphone or tablet and features some wonderful meditations you can listen to (for free!) with an option to upgrade. This is perfect if you’re looking to be more mindful, but need a bit of guidance when it comes to meditation. Aside from being super easy to use, the next best thing about this app is the variety of meditations. Are you stuck in a place of non-inspiration? Maybe you would enjoy the meditation for unleashing creativity in your choreography or to calm your nerves at recital time. There’s a range of meditations, including “Calming Anxiety,” “Emergency Calm” and “Anxiety Release”, and for all of them, you can choose meditations which last from just a couple of minutes to a full 30 minute session. There are also some really cool “Seven days of…” meditations, which encourage daily meditation with a focus on your chosen topic.
5/ Success Wizard
There are a lot of goal setting apps available for studio owners, so it’s a great idea to try a few out to see what will best suit your needs. That’s what we have done, and how we decided that Success Wizard is pretty much the bees knees when it comes to goal setting. In fact, it goes beyond goal setting/tracking – this is a complete life management system you can take anywhere. This simple to use app allows you to set your goals and create a roadmap for your life. There are both long term goals and daily targets, which are readily customizable. You can also create a list of ideas or to-do lists, set commitments for certain days and at certain times (like a day planner), take notes, write journal entries and more. Putting everything down in one place lets you remain focused and work on your studio, boosting your productivity while making the most out of the time and energy you have. It is also great for building positive habits for your life, one step at a time.
Our favorite design tool is FINALLY in app form! Well….for iphone that is, android users may still need to wait a while 🙁
If you’re not familiar with Canva, it is the only design service you’re ever going to want to use! Whether you are designing your Facebook ad or recital program, canva makes it impossibly simple to become addicted to design, providing either a complete template or just a nice background to build on. If you can drag and drop, you can Canva! This app shouldn’t replace your graphic designer, but is perfect for on-the-fly design (eg, Facebook posting) when you want to make that image just a bit more amazing.
Similar to canva in terms of simplicity, imovie is your go-to app for video editing and design and promises to let newbies and pros create Oscar-winning magic on the go.
iMovie’s design makes it easy to access the app’s solid video-editing tools, and you can use this to share professional-looking videos from dance class, rehearsals, competitions or recitals within minutes. As social media becomes more video-friendly with snapchat, facebook and now instagram stories, imovie is going to become your best friend in boosting your social media presence.
Again, there are loads of cross-platform social media apps floating around, but Hootsuite is our pick for studio owners! Hootsuite will connect to your Twitter, Facebook, MySpace, LinkedIn, Google Buzz, and Foursquare. It supports multiple accounts in case you have more than one, and is highly customizable. This is absolutely worth checking out if you are looking to streamline your social media accounts, and is guaranteed to save you time and energy around social media. Very awesome.
We only discovered Movitae recently, and it is New Zealand’s best kept secret for the dance industry! This app takes content sharing to new and exciting levels for dance studios worldwide by offering a video and content sharing portal. Movitae is designed by dancers for the dance industry and while many studio owners currently use social media to share routine or class footage, Movitae allows teachers to keep their professional and personal contacts separate. Movitae is a great way to control video footage taken in the classroom, and your footage can be easily uploaded in the studio via within the app and can be discreetly shared to classes or individuals. All video content is owned and controlled by the studio, and the sharing functions are incredibly easy to use for both the teacher as well as the student or parent. Compatible with most devices, this one is definitely worth checking out!!
For more expert advice on growing your thriving dance studio or to join our global community of studio owners, head over to www.dancestudioownersassociation.com or come over to our Facebook page to tell us which apps YOU are loving that didn’t make our list.