5 free digital tools for managing your choir

In 2017, managing your choir doesn’t need to be difficult. A few specialised products have appeared on the market, but these tend to be bloated, confusing, or unreliable. They also tend to carry fairly high price-tags, with inflexible contracts attached.

So whether you’re still using pen and paper, or you’re looking for a change from your current digital tools, I think the apps on this list are worth looking at, particularly since they’re all free!

1. Twist

Twist is a brand-new app from Doist, the company behind incredibly popular to-do list app Todoist. It serves as a team communication platform, combining the best features from email and real-time chat apps.

Your Twist team contains a number of channels, which you can use to represent different groups of people e.g. bass section, leadership team etc. Each channel can then contain a number of Threads, which are conversations related to specific topics.

It’s a great way to keep your communication organised, particularly since Search helps you find old messages really quickly.

It’s also a lot nicer than group email, and significantly more reliable. Your Twist account is much less likely to get hacked, and your choir messages are kept all together inside Twist, rather than being spread around people’s inboxes.

Twist also has excellent documentation for getting your members on-board, so getting everything set up should be a breeze.

The free version includes up to a month’s worth of message history, and up to 5GB of file storage; you’ll need to pay $5/£4.65 per user per month for full history, unlimited storage, and other additional features.

2. Google Sites

If you’re looking to create an internal website with choir information, links to documents, and other members-only things, you can use Google Sites to build a simple website in no time.

The advantage of using something like Google Sites is that it’s very flexible, so if you want to use it to hold everything choir-related you can do that. Equally, if you just want to use it as a ‘portal’ to the other apps and services you use, it’s great for that too.

Google Sites is a good way of tying together all the digital products you use into a central location. That way, if a member wants to find something, they can start on your Google Site.

3. Dropbox/Google Drive

Cloud file storage is a great way of keeping learning tracks, documents, and other files somewhere that members can access at anytime. Dropbox and Google Drive are the two most popular.

Both come with plenty of storage space for free, and allow you to share files with other people via a share link.

Files and folders can be shared with anyone, even if they don’t have a Dropbox/Google account. So if you’re looking for somewhere to keep learning materials and other files, I’d definitely recommend giving these tools a try.

4. Doodle

One of the most confusing aspects of running a choir is scheduling meetings. Gauging everyone’s availability is a nightmare, and the final date can get lost in a stream of emails.

Enter Doodle. It’s a free tool which allows everyone to indicate their preferred dates for a meeting. The person who called the meeting can then see when everyone is available, and pick a final date.

It takes all the hassle out of picking a date and time for a meeting, so it’s definitely worth a look.

5. Facebook Groups

Twist is great for your choir’s formal communications, but it can also be good to have an online ‘social space’ for members to have more casual chat.

A Facebook Group could serve that purpose for you. It lets you create a private group in which members can publish posts, photos, videos etc.

Bonus: You can also use Facebook Events for event RSVPs.

Groups and Events require your members to have their own Facebook accounts.

What online tools is your choir using? If you have any recommendations, let us know in the comments!

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