Band secretaries - what tools/programs do you use?

Discussion in 'Computer Corner' started by Jen125, Mar 28, 2017.

  1. Jen125

    Jen125 New Member

    Hi

    I'm not sure if this is the right section to post this in, but not sure where else to put it.

    I'm band secretary at my band, and find it can be a very demanding job at times - maybe it's just at my band, or maybe I'm a control freak and want to make sure that things get done on time, but there always seems to be a lot to do and keep organised. From membership registers, key registers, calendars, tracking attendance, preparing minutes and agendas for meetings, to dealing with enquiries and correspondence that come in to the band (new members, playout requests, etc), there's always something to be done.

    Does anyone struggle managing all that?

    I'm doing pretty well juggling it all, but I thought I'd ask what others do - maybe you know of something (a website, or app, or even an offline paper-based system) that has made your life easier. I'm always on the lookout for ways to innovate or systems to put in place so handover to the next secretary will be easier, or if anything happens to me, someone else can step in and everything keeps going without too much trouble (for this reason, I hate registers being kept on people's computers - you generally either end up with no access to it if they walk away, or multiple versions of the same document being kept by different people, sometimes with no control over who has the master copy).

    Or - pie in the sky - what do you wish you had that could solve a problem you've got? (Maybe someone else has the answer).

    So just thought I'd start off a discussion as to what's out there these days.
     
  2. Slider1

    Slider1 Active Member

    DELEGATE ! ! !
     
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  3. 4th Cornet

    4th Cornet Active Member

    Reading your post I think the first thing is to prioritise and challenge what really needs to be done. E.g. tracking attendance. I don't think I would stay for long in a band that had an attendance register.
     
  4. midlandman

    midlandman Member

    Tracking attendance is vital. On another thread it is mentioned how some bands support players, by tracking attendance you can quickly see if someone's attendance has dropped. Give them a call etc. to let them know we haven't forgotten them.
     
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  5. 4th Cornet

    4th Cornet Active Member

    If a band needed to track my attendance using a spreadsheet rather than having a relationship with me, I'm definitely in the wrong band!
     
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  6. 4th Cornet

    4th Cornet Active Member

    When do you take the attendance register, before or after the hymn tune warm up? ;)
     
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  7. 4th Cornet

    4th Cornet Active Member

    Thinking about it, it would be best to take it at the end of rehearsal because then you'll have more data. You'll not only be able to record if they were there, but also if they were late arriving, if they left late, if they caused disruption, if their attention lapsed, if they played well or not (you'd probably need the MD's input for this), if they volunteered to anything such as transporting the drums or giving a lift to someone.

    You could weight each aspect to help identify who are the good members and who aren't.

    The opportunities are endless!
     
    Jen125 likes this.
  8. midlandman

    midlandman Member

    How about clocking in
    Then issue each with a stop watch to record how much they play!!!
     
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  9. 4th Cornet

    4th Cornet Active Member

    Brilliant idea. It would have to be proportionate to the parts they play though. E.g. Penalising the soprano for only playing now and then isn't fair as that's all the part has.
     
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  10. Accidental

    Accidental Supporting Member

    There's been a few threads about this in the past which may be worth a quick read for info about different software - try searching for Muzodo, Symphonix and Teamer for starters
     
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  11. GJG

    GJG Well-Known Member

    We use Muzodo; I wouldn't say it's the ideal solution, and it has some definite shortcomings, but there are some benefits as well. It may be that there would be even more benefits if we weren't such tightwads and were prepared to pony up for the full paid-for version ...
     
  12. 4th Cornet

    4th Cornet Active Member

    Better than speaking and risking building relationships with players I guess.
     
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  13. GJG

    GJG Well-Known Member

    Who says the use of computerised tools to assist with planning is a replacement for speaking to members? I didn't ...
     
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  14. 4th Cornet

    4th Cornet Active Member

    Duplication of effort in that case then.
     
  15. GJG

    GJG Well-Known Member

    How so? Are you seriously advocating that someone in a band's management team should have the responsibility of contacting and speaking to every member of a band individually to ascertain that member's possible presence or absence for each and every rehearsal and engagement? Would you yourself have the time and resources to undertake such a task? The use of technology simply removes the manual drudgery from mundane and repetitive tasks. You seem to me to be attempting to play devils advocate in a situation where there is no real dispute ...
     
    Jen125 likes this.
  16. Jen125

    Jen125 New Member

    I really don't see the issue with keeping track of attendance. It's not intrusive on the rehearsal (I stand back and note who's there at the break, no one is even aware that I'm doing it). There is plenty of discussion among members and support given so it's certainly not in lieu of a personal relationship. But there doesn't seem to be much point having, say, 100 members on the books if only 10 are turning up regularly (not actual numbers, but an example). In previous bands I've been in, awards have been given to those members who have managed to achieve 90% attendance or above, and I thought it might be a way to get members more engaged and willing to come to rehearsals every week if there was some chance of recognition for doing so. We can't do something like that if we don't keep a record. And before someone tells me that's not going to work to motivate anyone, I've seen it work. And it's at least worth a try.
     
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  17. Jen125

    Jen125 New Member

    I had a look at Muzodo, but I thought it only allows you to keep track of 15 members.
     
  18. Jen125

    Jen125 New Member

    4th Cornet - can I ask, do you play any role in the management of your band? Or have you had issues with the way your band is managed, or with a band you were in in the past? It certainly sounds that way.
     
    Accidental likes this.
  19. Jen125

    Jen125 New Member

    Thanks Alix - I've heard of Muzodo, but not the other two. I'll check them out.
     
  20. Jen125

    Jen125 New Member

    That would be nice, but the jobs I'm talking about are all currently part of the secretary's role description, and it's an uphill battle getting other committee/band members to take on much at all. I'd rather get our info up to date, and systems in place, so if/when I hand it over it's far less daunting for the person taking the task on. If it looks too hard, they won't do it.
     

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