Project management software can help to add structure to scattered to-do lists. But finding the right project management tool for your music school or studio can feel like a holy grail. As always, we’re here to help make it simple.
⬆️ Listen to the podcast above or keep on reading, whichever fits your style. ↙️
If you’re not familiar with the term, “project management software” is simply a tool which helps you organise tasks and projects.
That might sound like something meant for giant companies. But in recent years, many tools have come onto the scene which are designed for small teams and self-employed people. That includes free solutions which are perfect for us music studio owners to use for our own systems.
Why use a project management tool?
Project management software is not just for those fancy big businesses. (Not that you’re not fancy. 🧐)
Using project management software in music schools and studios can be the differentiator between running around like a dog who heard the word “walk” and calmly checking off tasks.
Yes, to-do lists can actually be calm experiences. Really.
When you use a project management tool, you can easily duplicate tasks. You can see what you did last time and improve it on the next round.
You can also see how much effort goes into a particular project when whether it’s a worthwhile investment of your time. (Fancy big recital, I’m looking at you!)
I love paper and pen more than the next gal. A new notebook gives me a glee I can’t find anywhere else. 🥳
But there’s just no getting away from the efficiency and reliability of great project management software. It will transform your business from a horse & carriage into a Tesla.
It’s a no-brainer.
When it comes to choosing the best project management software for music schools, however, that decision is not quite as straight-forward.
Trello vs Asana vs ClickUp
We dove into all three of these tools so you don’t have to. 🥽
I opened a fresh account within each program and set up a system for my fictional music school. I used the free account for Asana, Trello and ClickUp (free forever – no trials!) so you can see what each tool can do without investing a penny.
Keep reading for my thoughts on each of these 3 organisational tools for music studios.
If you’re interested in how music studio teachers manage other areas of their business, add your email below for your free copy of the 2020 Vibrant Music Teaching Industry Report for 2020. Then visit my Studio Business page for the latest and greatest ideas, tips and tricks to manage the business side of your teaching studio.
Subscribe to the newsletter and get the 2020 Vibrant Music Teaching Industry Report
Enter your details to subscribe to the newsletter for piano teachers with information, tips and offers.
I hate spam as much as you do! I will only send you emails related directly to piano teaching and you can unsubscribe at any time.
Trello Project Management Software for Music Schools
Trello organises tasks (or “cards”) into boards. You can add different media to these cards such as images and links which can be fun to play with…but is it useful for music schools?
Trello’s viability for your studio will depend on whether your brain likes its simplicity and the way it’s structured. The thing is, though, Asana and ClickUp also have board views which look pretty much like Trello.
So even if you love this way of looking at things, I think its rigidity should give you pause if you’re considering it as your project management tool.
Pros of Trello for Music Schools
- Many find the structure intuitive and easy to learn
Cons of Trello for Music Schools
- Board structure is not suited to every project
- Not as flexible as other tools
Asana Project Management Software for Music Schools
Asana is one of the biggest names out there in the world of project management software.
It uses a simple and effective system of projects, tasks and subtasks to keep everything squared away. It’s easy to clone tasks or projects which saves you time with checklists you need over and over.
You can also view tasks in many ways to suit your working style. Here’s the same information shown on a list, board, and calendar.
You can switch between views like this quickly to see the same tasks in different ways.
Pros of Asana for Music Schools
- Flexibility provided by calendar, board and list views
- Simple hierarchy and structure
Cons of Asana for Music Schools
- Will require some time investment to learn the system
- Free plan excludes dependencies and some useful due date functions
ClickUp Project Management Software for Music Schools
ClickUp is the one program on this list you’re least likely to have heard of. But it’s coming up fast.
We recently made the switch from Asana to ClickUp for Team VMT. They are very similar tools, but ClickUp has a few additional powerful features which we valued enough to go through the faff of switching over.
One of the things we love about ClickUp is the ability to change the date of a task and have all of its subtasks move by the same amount. This may sound like a small feature but, if you regularly change deadlines, it takes a lot of clicking to change all those subtask dates in Asana. In ClickUp, tho, we save our mouse fingers for the piano 😆.
ClickUp also has more layers than Asana does. Think of “layers” as subdivisions in a filing cabinet:
- Asana has Project ⇾ Section ⇾ Task ⇾ Subtask
- ClickUp has Space ⇾ Folder ⇾ List ⇾ Task ⇾ Subtask ⇾ Checklist.
This could be a good thing or a bad thing. More hierarchy means more organisation, but it also (potentially) means more complexity and learning.
Finally, since we’re considering only the free plans here, ClickUp includes several features at the free level which Asana limits to paid subscribers. Most notably, ClickUp’s free plan includes dependencies and templates.
Dependencies let you set one task as waiting on or blocking another. So, the “Book Venue” task here will not appear on your to-do list until you have confirmed the recital date.
This is honestly not too big of a deal when you’re working alone. It comes into play much more when you have a team of people working together.
Pros of ClickUp for Music Schools
- Comprehensive free plan
- Template system that saves time
- Different views including boards, calendar and lists
Cons of ClickUp for Music Schools
- Initial time investment to learn the software
Which is right for you?
It’s probably pretty clear that I’m not a huge Trello fan. When it comes to choosing between ClickUp and Asana, though, it’s not nearly as clear-cut.
I think you should go for ClickUp if you want the maximum features available on the free plan and the most flexibility.
If, however, you tend to get overwhelmed by new software, go with Asana. It’s a little simpler and more intuitive to learn, and you probably don’t need all the extra bells and whistles from ClickUp anyway.
Do you use project management software in your music studio?
I’d love to hear your favourite and why you chose it in the comments below. 🙂