Workflows Reduce Workload

Daniel J. Lee from NCS shares some of his favourite tools for better workflows.

  • Company Name
    NCS
  • Industry Category
    Record Label & YouTube Channel
  • Location
    London, United Kingdom

4 Tools I Use Everyday.

Every day I use lots of different applications to assist me with day to day work in the music industry. I've decided to showcase 4 here which I really love.

1. Zapier

If you know me, you'll know I'm a big fan of automation. I've never understood why people repeat the same task over and over in their job that could be done by automating it, allowing them to focus on other tasks. I would say that I have automated at least half of my job, seriously. I use Zapier for the majority of my automated tasks and I use some other cool tools I'll showcase later on.

Zapier is an online automation tool that connects thousands of applications, such as Gmail, Slack, MailChimp and Facebook together. You can connect two or more apps to automate repetitive tasks without any coding needed.

In its most simple form, Zapier can be used as a ‘Trigger and then Action’ workflow. For example, I could set up:

  • Trigger (A): When someone emails me with the subject ‘License’
  • Action (B): Send me a Slack message including the contents of their email

This workflow could then be developed even further to include a Filter which could say: Only continue to B if A has an image attached. This way you can narrow down and specify what exact data you want to receive.

You can go much deeper into workflows and build them so that they can complete multiple tasks based on multiple variables.  

Here are some tasks that I personally use Zapier for:

  • Auto-Emailing people, once we’ve accepted their music
  • Auto-replying via email to people if their message has the word ‘demo’ in it
  • Auto-Saving signed agreements from HelloSign to a Dropbox folder
  • Collecting audio/pictures from people and filing them into folders on my computer for easy access
  • Replying to messages all at once

2. Dropbox

I‘m constantly out and about on my phone or my laptop and I love the fact that with Dropbox, I can access anything, anywhere.

With Dropbox’s Smart Sync feature, I can have (almost) instant access to 5TB of files on only a 500GB hard drive. The online-only Smart Sync feature allows you to see the files in your Finder and when you open them it downloads the file using an internet connection and displays it… when you’re done it then removes it from your computer and keeps it in the cloud, ready for you to access later.

I can also share folders very easily with clients/artists… simply right click and share the link with them so they can access files whenever I update them.

3. Slack

I use Slack for internal messaging between myself and staff/co-workers. It’s a great way of managing multiple different conversations on different topics at the same time.

Imagine being in a conversation with 10 different people, all talking about different things at the same time… it’d be pretty hard to keep track of what everyone said. With Slack, you can manage this efficiently.

You can set up ‘channels’ where you message someone (or a group) on a specific topic. — For example, I am in a ‘music channel’, where the only conversation in there is music-related. I also have things like project channels, where the conversation is only on that specific project. Having these channels, allows you to split up conversations and keep on top of them.

Slack also allows you to send files via drag and drop, so getting your work over to your colleagues is super easy.

Slack has also added in some pretty great integrations also, so you can use the ‘/’ feature to create a new task in your project management software or set a reminder or set up a call — all using their ‘/’ feature.. learn more about their built-in features here.

4. Monday.com

For those that work with me… you’ll know that I absolutely LOVE monday.com. I am a big fan of automation and project management, and monday.com just blends the two so perfectly.


Monday.com has boards, within a board are pulses… a pulse is the line item. The way I view it is a bit like an excel spreadsheet… a row on the excel spreadsheet is a pulse here.

Here are some things I use Monday.com for:

  • Creating tasks from emails… (when I forward an email to dan@__.monday.com it creates a new task with the name of it from the subject and includes the email content as a comment).
  • When a status changes to ‘approved’ it then sends an email update to the client automatically using Gmail’s email integration. The update will include info directly from the Monday pulse.
  • Replying to customer enquiries (using the status change function and pre-setting some replies for questions that are asked a lot)

Workflows reduce workload.

I've found that by using tools that integrate together I can create workflows to automate lots of processes. I can pass data from one app to another and effectively create my own system, made from lots of different apps. By connecting all of these tools I can reduce the workload, using workflows.

Tools Mentioned

Check back again soon for more posts.

Straight
to your
inbox.

SoundPanel Newsletter

Updates on music tech, tools and resources.