As a matter of fact, digital work while travelling is part of the music industry. No matter if you are supporting your artist on tour or you’re participating in a conference.
However, most music experts need to work on as well while on the go. Oftentimes that can lead to a very stressful journey and you come back tired and exhausted.
With this in mind, here are some tips on how to keep up digital work while travelling as a music industry expert.
Plan ahead and pack wisely for doing digital work while travelling
Before you even start your travel, there are many things you can do to make digital work while travelling easier. For example, scan all your important papers and documents on your phone and duplicate to a safe cloud as well (in case you lose your phone).
That way, you always have everything with you in case you lose your wallet. Even though scanned documents can’t replace legal documents like passports, they are a great help to identify yourself at least.
Travel tools can make a huge difference
In addition, travel tools: they can make a big difference when doing digital work while travelling. Pack a travel blanket for long haul flights to keep warm.
Sort your clothes in packing cubes for easy access in the suitcase. Invest in a good suitcase with build-in charger if possible. Get your funny looks out with a travel pilow and a sleeping mask for the eyes. Use a case for all the cables you’ll need on your journey.
If you have to hand in your travel expenses receipts physically, the best way to collect them is in a zipper pouch. That way you can keep them together. More so if you have recurring destinations. Label them with the city and always keep them in your suitcase.
Upgrade your electronics
Upgrade your phone case for one with build-in extra battery can make the difference on a long travel day.
Don’t shy away from beauty rituals for men/ women while being on a flight. The air on a plane is very drying and if you have to head into a business meeting straight away form landing, you’ll probably want to look your best.
Plan ahead for the wifi free time with some admin work or filling in those unloved excel sheets or form papers. Your metadata form sheet is just waiting for this chance. Or have you packed your recording registration sheet from your royalty collecting society like PRS for music or GEMA?
Create a happy morning routine while on the go
First things first, create a happy morning routine while on the go for business travel. No matter if its the morning of the trip and you are about to head to the airport.
Or if you’re already started your travel and you’re now midway through your time away from home.
A great morning routine can support you to start into the day with fresh energies and a clear mind. What is more, that helps you to include a brief moment of mindfulness before the hectic of a workday on the road kicks in.
Regardless if you prefer a nice meditation in the morning, a good old stretch or a cold shower. Start working on a set routine. After a while, it will become custom and you’ll do it without thinking about it.
It’s a no brainer – keep drinking plenty of water!
Given that I sound like an old grandma, keep drinking enough water throughout your travel. It is so easy to forget it though.
Plus, with restrictions on the airport and plane, many tend to drink less than it is recommended.
Flying dries you out more than you would think. When you step out of an aeroplane and ‘feel fatigued, headaches, nausea, and more‘ you wouldn’t immediately connect it with water intake.
However, the air on a plane is being recycled throughout the flight. That leads to an air humidity lower than in many deserts.
Truly, that doesn’t have to be like that. Get yourself a decent water bottle safe for travel. Best to get one with an in build purifier to get rid of any nasties.
Take care of your sensitivities when doing digital work while travelling
When you work in the music industry, chances are that you’re an audiophile. Maybe you are even a music nerd. However, modern travelling is a really noisy affair.
You come across young families boarding the plane with a 6-month-old baby. Big groups of tourists trying to get out of the plane as fast as possible, constantly shouting at each other.
Older folks being confused with the security passage and getting shout at by airport staff. The list could go on and on.
As a business traveller, these situations can take their toll on you and your audiophiliac ears. Important to realize, there are noise-cancelling headphones to save you from the worst sound pollution.
Equally important, pack anything that can make you more comfortable on an aeroplane. Compression stockings, travel pillows and saltwater nose spray can be a lifesaver when you have to do frequent long haul flights.
Have you ever considered swapping a flight for the train?
If possible, consider swapping the flight for a train. Book a chair with a table and check if you can upgrade to 1st class. That way, you can better concentrate on your work. And do your part for the environment!
A lot of train stations even offer business lounges nowadays. Plus, most train companies offer free wifi on trains as well.
Make a point and book a hotel room with a desk in order to keep up with digital work while travelling
When you or your assistant is booking your hotel room, make sure that it comes with a decent desk. That way you can do any remote work with a proper setup.
It is very tempting to work in your hotel bed. But that doesn’t help with your productivity as well as your night sleep.
If you are staying in one city long enough, it might be a good idea to search for a coworking space anyway. Airbnb for work is now offering not just sleeping accommodation but also co-working spaces and meeting rooms.
In order to keep up to date with your team and your assigned task use productivity apps. Checking into your priorities using Slack or Trello is best-practise while on the go.
Lifesaving apps for music industry experts on the go
In nowadays work-life there are numerous apps to make life easier. However, there are also important apps for the music industry in particular.
- Many royalty collecting societies have their own app, like GEMA in Germany. That way, you can keep up to date with any payments due or conflicts to be resolved.
- Spotify for artists helps you track your Spotify data on the go and lets you work on the artist’s profile. The same goes for Apple music for artists, Bandcamp for artists & labels, ReverbNation or YouTube Studio. These are just some of the many apps that help you take care of your artists’ data while on the road.
- Analytics for Instagram, Facebook Analytics and Google Analytics are more analytics tool.
- IGTV, Layout for Instagram are handy apps to improve Instagram performance.
- Facebook Ad Manager is a handy application for the ads you’ve placed there.
- Facebook Site Manager lets you control the sites you manage.
- Buffer helps you manage all social media accounts in one place.
- Photoshop Express optimizes pictures on the go.
- Music Week magazine keeps you informed about all things music industry while travelling.
- WordPress has a mobile app as well. That way WordPress for Music Experts is easy!
So many apps to choose from when doing digital work while travelling
- The Motive Unknown newsletter is an editorial pick with all the industry news that comes straight into your email.
- Songspace ‘replaces off-the-shelf tools not designed to manage music (Box, iTunes, Excel, Dropbox, SoundCloud, GDrive). Spend less time uploading and downloading from multiple places and connect your workflows to your assets.’
- Noisli lets you play white noise in the background in order to keep productivity levels up.
- Packpoint reminds you to pack all the essentials items for your travel.
- Trainline is an app that helps you with public transport across Europe.
- TripIt is creating streamlined itineraries for your travels.
- Lounge Buddy is finding all open lounges for you to relax in.
- AirHelp is supporting you through all claims when flights get cancelled and so on.
- DocuSign comes in super handy when your office needs you to sign an important document while you are away.
- Expensify lets you add all the travel receipts for reimbursments later on.
- Google Primer is an app that lets you learn about online marketing or SEO while on the go with 5 minutes lessons.
Travelling a lot for work can be a chore. However, with the tips gathered above, I hope that it’ll get easier for you!