Over the past few years, I have been asked the different tools I use on a daily and weekly basis to get my job done. Regardless of where you are in the audio video industry, you have tasks to complete to make sure you are as successful as possible. On today’s blog, I’m going to outline some of the ways AVNation runs.
Daily and Weekly To-Do Lists
This may seem like a simple thing but it is a necessity. For some, checking off a completed item gives them a little emotional boost. I’ll admit there is some of that. For me, though, it’s getting my thoughts together on a weekly basis. Over my Sunday morning coffee, I go over what needs to get done then what I’d like to get done. Using the Chet Holmes process, I try to keep them to about six action items per day. Personally, I like a Moleskine journal for this. Yes, it’s analog and old school. I’ve used Wunderlist, Evernote, and other digital versions but I still like the paper and pen. Each morning I lay out my day, look at the tasks, and allocate the time needed. Some days are longer than others but most days everything gets done.
To keep all of the AVNation team talking with each other we use Trello and Slack. Trello is more about laying out our projects and those items and Slack is communicating between everyone on the team.
Social Media and Marketing
We use Hubspot for newsletters, social media posting, and landing pages. It’s not the best nor is it the worst. I’ve found it is the best we can afford. There are some really powerful tools out there that can cost upwards of tens of thousands of dollars. If you can make a business case for them I would recommend looking into them. Hubspot is the right price point for us and I’ve learned some of the ins and outs of the platform. It has enough expandability for our size right now. Regardless of which you use I would recommend a customer management platform. Salesforce, Hubspot, and others are great options. It would also do well to get a social media management tool. I’ve used Hootsuite in the past and am a big fan. Sprout is another platform if you have multiple accounts to manage.
We have moved from Google Hangouts/YouTube live to Zoom. This was a big step for us. When AVNation first started we used Skype as we were an audio-only podcast. With the ease of use of Hangouts, we decided to branch into video. The quality of the connection was degrading on the Hangouts platform. We moved to Zoom in late 2016 and have been very happy with it ever since. The video and audio quality are among some of the best and the ability to record either locally or on a server is a nice feature.
Audio and Video Editing
At AVNation we are an Adobe house on Macs (most of us; Tucker uses a PC). We have multiple full licenses. The main reason for the full license is the way Adobe’s price structure is laid out. It’s cheaper for us to get a full suite rather than need something occasionally and not have it. On a weekly basis Audition, Premiere, and Photoshop are used.
In my years of editing I have used Avid, Final Cut Pro, ProTools, Odyssey, and others. We have settled on the Adobe suite for two reasons. The first is the interactivity between products. Avid/ProTools have the same options but I’ll get to why we moved away from that in a moment. While in Premiere if I need to adjust or edit audio in any way I can bring that seamlessly into Audition, do what I need, and take the edited portion back into Premiere. I can also take layered files from Photoshop into Premiere and use them as separate video tracks. Secondly, I have never been a fan personally of Avid’s video editing. Yes, it is an industry standard in newsrooms and production houses, I have just never taken to it. When we started AVNation I was using and teaching ProTools. At the time ProTools did not have an export function that was faster than real time. That meant if you had an hour long program it would take an hour to create and MP3 out of it. So, we moved to Adobe and haven’t looked back.
A friend and mentor made the comment to me that if you weren’t reading at least 30 minutes a day to better your business then it was a hobby. I get my business and professional reading done two ways. One, I am a fan of Audible and have been a customer for over ten years. The second is a Kindle app for an iPad. Between these two digital tools, I am able to get at least 30 minutes of business reading done on a daily basis. Currently, I am reading Confessions of a Pricing Man by Hermann Simon and listening to Good Leaders Ask Great Questions by John C. Maxwell.
That’s what I do to get things done. What do you use? I’d love to get some new ideas in the comments below. Thank you so much for taking the time to read my blog. Have a great week.