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Author Topic: Office software/solutions?  (Read 1846 times)

Allen Corneau

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Office software/solutions?
« on: January 22, 2011, 09:24:10 am »

Howdy folks,

i know talking gear is fun and all but I'd like to ask about what tools you use to manage your "front office".

Right now we have a kludge of software to handle all the different things we use as a business and I'd like to find some better solutions. (We're Mac-based.)

Here's what we are using right now:

- Calendar: Now Up To Date (can't sync out of the office)
- Accounting/billing: MYOB (seems ok)
- CD/cover printing: PageMaker (still on OS9, ugg!)

This kind of situation I would like to pull fix...

Bob Smith calls to book a session, so his name goes on the calendar. At the session, Bob explains that the session is for his band "The Bobs", so that's the name of the session in Sadie. At the end of the session the bill is actually paid for by the band's label, BS Records, which goes into the accounting system. Artwork for their reference disc gets saved in an artwork folder in a "B" subfolder (for "The Bobs").

Two months later, John Doe, one of the members of "The Bob's" calls and asks for a new copy of their master because they kicked Bob out of the band and he ran off with the master. I have to find and restore the project, call up the artwork for printing, try to make an invoice for "The Bobs" and when not finding them in the accounting system searching back through the calendar to try to find if we noted the name we used for the prior invoice, and on and on... What a pain in the butt.

So, what do you guy use to keep things organized?

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Allen
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Allen Corneau
Mastering Engineer
Essential Sound Mastering
www.esmastering.com

Macc

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Re: Office software/solutions?
« Reply #1 on: January 22, 2011, 09:41:56 am »

Allen Corneau wrote on Sat, 22 January 2011 14:24

BS Records



*snigger*
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Bob Macciochi

www.scmastering.com

ggidluck

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Re: Office software/solutions?
« Reply #2 on: January 22, 2011, 01:16:34 pm »

One thing you might try is assigning a job number to every job in your calendar as they are added. Then incorporate that job number into the folder names and file names on your computer.

That way you can continue to use whatever tools that you like and the job number ties them all together.

If you create a folder put the job number first so that you can sort folder names alphabetically and have them in job order.

You could also embed a year and month code into your job numbers so that you never run out of job numbers and you can archive stuff by year that way. 11-001 might be the first job number in 2011.
Use whatever system works for you.

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Gordon Gidluck
http://live2496.com

TotalSonic

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Re: Office software/solutions?
« Reply #3 on: January 22, 2011, 01:40:23 pm »

Allen -
I actually like talking about this topic way more than rehashing topics like dither, jitter or the loudness war one millionth more time!!

My solutions currently are:
Calendar:  Mozilla Sunbird - free, syncable, cross platform, nice interface, definitely recommended - http://www.mozilla.org/projects/calendar/sunbird/

Accounting: Intuit Quick Books Pro - definitely is easier to use and more full featured than my previous solution (Acclaim Cashbook), I really like that processing and logging credit card payments is handled directly by it, as well as emailing of invoicing.  But there's definitely some work flow issues with it I don't like that never seem to get changed in the updates (i.e. I really wish there was a button on each invoice that took you directly to the customers contact info rather than having to look up both these things from separate windows), and I run it on a pretty old spare PC so sometimes it boots up a tiny bit slower than I would like (guess this will get fixed when I do my next DAW update and re-purpose my slowest oldest DAW into a new faster office computer).   The other thing is that if you use their credit card and emailing services they kind of force you to update after a bit at high cost (i.e. I purchased in 2007 and had to buy the 2010 upgrade at around $150 in order to be able to continue to use these services).  The other caveat is that I use it on a WinXP box and there are reports by many that the Mac version doesn't work as well (although I have no first hand experience with this so take it with a grain of salt).

CD label design and printing software: absolutely the best and easiest solution I've found for this is Magic Mouse's Discus - cross platform, ultra easy to learn, very fast to create labels with, very reasonably priced, with built in templates for pretty much absolutely every label type and CD printer out there. http://www.magicmouse.com/h_discus_detail.html

cuesheet forwarding:  PC only but the freeware pdf print driver http://www.dopdf.com/ works great and allows you to create pdf's from any printable document - which works a lot better than trying to send other tabbed document formats when sending these things to clients over the net

file delivery:  after dealing for a few years with the frustrations of sending FTP instructions to clients and constantly having to create passwords for their uploads I've been happier with a YouSendIt Pro subscription, and really like their included YouSendIt Express ftp client as well.  To get rid of my own upload time and hassle though I just received a Synology DS211+ NAS server - http://www.synology.com/enu/products/DS211+/index.php - which I am going to set up as an FTP server able to deal with my dynamic IP address in the next few days. I was contemplating getting a MacMini and Rumpus for this chore but this was cheaper, was highly recommended by a friend who does some IT, and seems to offer integration with my existing setup a little easier.  Initial plan is to just put files for clients download on it - but if that goes well I'll see about clients uploading directly to it (and probably won't do this but it could also possibly host my website as well).  I'll let folks know how it works out after it's setup.

Best regards,
Steve Berson

tweakman

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Re: Office software/solutions?
« Reply #4 on: January 24, 2011, 03:31:25 am »


 Have you checked Studio Suite?

http://www.studiosuite.com/
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Thomas W. Bethel

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Re: Office software/solutions?
« Reply #5 on: January 24, 2011, 06:35:29 am »

Steve,

Thanks for all the info.

We were just looking for a freeware PDF program and this one looks good. Thanks again!
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Thomas W. Bethel
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Acoustik Musik, Ltd.
Room With a View Productions
http://www.acoustikmusik.com/

Doing what you love is freedom.
Loving what you do is happiness.

TotalSonic

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Re: Office software/solutions?
« Reply #6 on: January 24, 2011, 12:05:35 pm »

tweakman wrote on Mon, 24 January 2011 03:31


 Have you checked Studio Suite?

http://www.studiosuite.com/


Just checked pricing and got to say that if you're not a File Maker owner already - that's an expensive way to go!

Best regards,
Steve Berson

tweakman

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Re: Office software/solutions?
« Reply #7 on: January 24, 2011, 04:11:56 pm »

TotalSonic wrote on Mon, 24 January 2011 17:05

tweakman wrote on Mon, 24 January 2011 03:31


 Have you checked Studio Suite?

http://www.studiosuite.com/


Just checked pricing and got to say that if you're not a File Maker owner already - that's an expensive way to go!

Best regards,
Steve Berson




I will pay for itself with one full mastering job.
I you do all the office work yourself apart from mastering , days can get pretty long . . .
If Im able to "steal" an hour per day and go home to my family, it's worth it.

Cheers
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TotalSonic

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Re: Office software/solutions?
« Reply #8 on: January 24, 2011, 05:08:36 pm »

tweakman wrote on Mon, 24 January 2011 16:11

TotalSonic wrote on Mon, 24 January 2011 17:05

tweakman wrote on Mon, 24 January 2011 03:31


 Have you checked Studio Suite?

http://www.studiosuite.com/


Just checked pricing and got to say that if you're not a File Maker owner already - that's an expensive way to go!

Best regards,
Steve Berson




I will pay for itself with one full mastering job.
I you do all the office work yourself apart from mastering , days can get pretty long . . .
If Im able to "steal" an hour per day and go home to my family, it's worth it.

Cheers


Sounds good - except frankly I'm pretty doubtful for a small single person operation like my own that Studio Suite would actually gain me an hour a day over the office solutions I already have.  I can see where for a larger multi-room operation it could help though.   For folks who already own File Maker I can see it's bang for buck would be a lot greater as well.

Best regards,
Steve Berson
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