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Create a Music Busines Filing Cabinet



Create a Music Business Filing Cabinet

A Guest Post by Simon Tam


Are you collecting valuable articles and information about the music business? Do you keep a record of every press mention or post about your band? Maybe there are just interesting articles about art, marketing, social media, current events, books, or other content that can help fuel inspiration for a new song or teach you how to do something. When I see this kind of material, I put it in my “music filing cabinet.”

Too often, we see something of interest but then forget about it later. Sometimes, we create a bookmark but the content is no longer available. Don’t miss a moment – create an archive!

While I do keep physical files – I print out the most important items because it’s easier to read on paper and it’s nice to have a collection – I also like to create digital folders that are labeled, organized, and easy to access. It’s kind of like my own private Pinterest or bookmark list, except I create a copy and store it into an online folder.

With sites like Google Drive, Dropbox, and Evernote, it’s easier than ever. Every time I see something of interest, a press mention, etc. I save it as a .pdf, name the file, and place it into an appropriate folder. Then, it serves as my own music industry library, record of all the press I’ve received, or idea generator when I’m songwriting. I’ve also found this to be helpful with legal issues as well – it’s always good to have a good track record of organized files.

You might have your own way of organizing content or prefer different labels, but these are the folders that I currently save things to:

  • Music industry articles

  • Social media tips

  • Marketing ideas

  • Inspiration

    • Quotes

    • Song Ideas

    • Album artwork

    • Marketing Ideas

    • Good stories

  • Press

    • Interviews

    • Music Reviews

    • Tour press

    • Features

    • Other

  • Booking Agreements and Contracts

  • Music Studio Tips

    • Gear

    • Recording Techniques

  • Important Emails

  • Stuff the Fans Like

  • Contacts

While it’s good to save things are you come across them (or when someone sends you something interesting), it’s also a good idea to carve out regular sessions where you look for specific things to add to the cabinet.

If you don’t have one, create a series of folders on your computer that you can use to capture information. You can use a cloud-based storage system (online), create something on your computer’s hard drive, or use a program that syncs the two together. I recommend using either Google Drive, Dropbox, or Evernote. All of them offer free, limited space profiles or a professional account with expanded capacity for a small monthly fee.

Once you have that setup, I would also recommend setting up tags or folders in your email system that use the same labels. That way, it makes things much easier to find. You might also consider backing up your entire email account if there’s a lot of important information there.

It’s important to spend some time setting things up right the first time around. It’s always easier if you begin well-organized than if you have to sort through hundreds of files.

Simon Tam is owner of Last Stop Booking, founder of dance/rock band The Slants, and author of Music Business Hacks and How to Get Sponsorships and Endorsements. Simon has booked thousands of shows for artists around the world, in addition to performing over 1,200 events himself across North America, Europe, and Asia.


Simon’s writing on music and marketing can be found at www.laststopbooking.com.







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