Why are you so organised? AKA The 5 apps I couldn’t live without.

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Why are you so organised? AKA The 5 apps I couldn’t live without.

About a week ago I met up with Mark at the British Comedy Guide for lunch. During the conversation he called me “a rare breed of comedian”… OK so the whole quote was “you’re a rare breed of comedian in that you’re focused, driven and very organised”. But much like every other performer, if I can bring myself to use this quote (with his permission) it’ll end up on a poster at some point.

He asked me how I get so much stuff done and complimented my admin skills. My answer to his question was this: I want to do everything myself. If I have an agent or manager or whatever and they decide to drop me, I’ve nothing. If I build a fanbase myself, and have relationships with promoters that I’ve made myself, I get to feel more in control of my career and less dependant on others (who might fuck it up). Basically I’ve got abandonment issues which means I don’t do well depending on others. It’s not exactly my choice. I have to be organised or I’ll need too many other people.

I don’t do it alone. The truth is I’ve 5 apps I couldn’t live or organise my life without. Here they are, and what I do with them. I hope they help you.

  1. Momentum – Chrome extentsion (free)This app is so awesome. Basically it turns your new tab page in Chrome into a “to do list” with one single target for the day. It means when you open a new tab to go and browse YouTube / Facebook / any other site you waste your time on… your screen fills with the main thing YOU wanted to do that day. This refocuses my mind and is so helpful to remind me what I was working on. I highly recommend it.
  2. CityMapper – Andriod / iOS / web (free) Planning getting around cities has always been a paid for me. As a performer I want to know where I am going, how long it’ll take an be REALLY in control of my travel arrangements. This app means I can put in the end locations postcode and it’ll give me every possible route around London (and they’re adding loads of cities around the UK).
  3. Adobe Audition – Mac / PC (fucking expensive) – audio editing. This professional suite keeps my podcast going. I can do almost anything with it and it does a lot of the work for me. Largely because of how complex it is – it’s like Photoshop but for audio. It still takes me AGES to edit stuff, but this tool has made that process much simpler.
  4. ToDoist (free) –  make and batch lists of things to do by date. Then get an email or notification on almost any device first thing so you know what you have to get done that day. I love it. And it helps me plan out my week massively.
  5. Boomerang Email (free) – Schedule emails into the future so you can forget about them. Also, you can “bounce” an email, which clears it from your inbox but “boomerangs” it back into your inbox on the day you want to deal with it so you don’t get overwhelmed by the number of things to do in your inbox.
  6. BONUS! Airplane ModeNot exactly an app as such, but I use airplane mode on my phone daily, well nightly to be more specific. I turn my phone on airplane mode at night so that it charges quicker but also my phone doesn’t make any noises / vibrations in the night which might wake me up and cause me to lose valuable sleep. I highly urge you to try this for a week.Also, put your phone on airplane mode while on the underground. It saves SO much battery life. And if you’re really lazy there’s an IFITTT plug in that’ll do this for you.

 

Some of these apps I support through donations, others I can’t. They’ve no option. One (number 3) you have to pay for. Yes, I couldn’t live without it but I believe the amount they’re charging is too much.

I wouldn’t donate to these apps had I not had the chance to try them out first and grow to love them. This is how free content and relationship building works (in a very basic sense). If you want to know more, I’m writing a book on the subject. The book hopes to explain why offering your audience / users a chance to give what they think your work is worth to them is much better than forcing a price on them. It also looks at the way a relationship can only develop when you have the freedom to try the tool / app / website first. Please sign up here for an email alert for when this will be released.

This is the main reason I started a Patreon account. I’m going to a blog post about this soon. But in essence content creators and creatives need to start building communities in pockets of the internet who will support their work in the short, medium or long run. If you enjoy or get any use out of those apps above please do donate to them (where you can). And if reading this blog post has helped you be more productive and you’d like to support me, you can do so from $1 at Patron here.

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Simon Caine is a comedian, author, podcaster, writer and social media manager. He's the host of the Ask The Industry Podcast (iTunes link) , writer of jokes for Twitter and teller of gags on the London comedy scene. He's also the person writing this and it is taking all his willpower not to make a "Simon Says" joke.
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