The TLP Network

Organize your Inbox

by on Jul.15, 2007, under Articles, Geek Out

To continue last weeks topic of using Google apps, I am going to touch on some important subjects of organization.

These tips do not only apply to show production, but for anyone who receives email, wants to organize your music collection, or wants to produce a podcast/internet show. Google apps are used, but whatever email client, or Office Suite you use will work as well.

Email

Labeling or sorting your emails is extremely important, and something you should get in the habit of doing as things come in. Your Inbox, should only be temporary holding for things you haven’t read, and don’t have a specific location predefined.

This is very important concept to understand, You have to process EVERYTHING in your inbox. If you read it, you need to process it then. Otherwise, you may never get to it, and then its just a distraction.

This processing by Inbox concept is well described by David Allen’s Getting Things Done: The Art of Stress-Free Productivity method.

In gmail, we use Labels heavily. They are like Folders in any other email client. I have filters set up to automatically label incoming messages as Artist Submissions, Comments, Interview Requests, Registrations, Myspace, Voicemails, HXC (which is hardcore music), etc.

Some of those are automatic, some aren’t. So far we keep all emails, though we will be reaching our 2gb limit soon, probably in a month, so we will have to start deleting Artist submissions at that point. Note: Deleting Artist Submissions, just means we are moving the information offline to our computers.

We contact artists before we use the content, and after a show has aired, with their track, we archive that email. Leo is keeping all the files downloaded on his computer, and there are various ways you can go about organizing those tracks.

Audio File Organization

We track all our submissions on a Google Spreadsheet, and make notes if we use them in an episode. I don’t know how Leo is storing the files on his end, just yet, but I have a copy of each track in my Episode Production directory, so I can easily go back and pull the track of one we’ve used it.

It all depends on what you want to track, one method of song storage is to file them under:
\Month Received\ArtistName-SongTitle.mp3

Or you could try and sort by Genre if you want, or you could just have one folder with all of them, but make sure when you put them in any folder that you rename them to ArtistName-SongTitle.mp3 (or whatever format works best for you).

You should keep track of the ones you play, so you don’t duplicate yourself (unless you intend to).

Episode Production

The way that we organize our shows, is to have a google document for each episode. We know how many tracks we want in that show, and we start adding them as we see them fit. Some artists work well with others for an episode, and some require we go for more variety of content. Right now I have documents for episodes out about 10 episodes in the future of The TLP, and Leo has laid out through Episode 10 of the Brutal Backhand. Note: That doesn’t mean we have filled out all of those episodes, we still have some blanks.

So in this way, we are keeping ahead of our submissions, and when we receive submissions, we already have an idea for where they fit. You are not limited by this, as sometimes things fall in your lap that you just want to run with, which is what I did recently, in that I moved some content that was going to be in Episode 10, and brought it up for Episode 4.

When you organize to that level, it really makes the job of putting an episode together easy. Just little pieces here and there and then multiple episodes fall into place at once. This is crucial to allowing you to create shows for a regular release cycle, and not have to devote a lot of your time to putting episodes together.

Hope that helps, and let me know what you end up with. Leave us comments, on your comments, or tips to add to this.

To be continued…

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