Whether you use Google, Apple, or Blackberry; pretty much everyone has an app for contact and a calendar. These are great for making sure you don’t miss any appointments or auditions and making sure you can mail thank you notes when you need to, but you can do so much more with them that can help you with your career.
In my contacts app (I use Contacts through Apple), I have all the basics: agents information in case I need to remember their address for something, acting coaches that I might use for a big audition, and photographers I love for when I need new headshots.
But I also keep all major casting offices in my contacts. Yes, most of the time you get audition notices it has the address, but there have been some same-day auditions where there was no address included on the notice. And instead of searching online for it, I have it easy to access on my phone.
I also keep all casting directors I’ve met and/or auditioned for in my contacts. Again, this is helpful for thank you notes (I hope you all send them after you book something!), but I also keep notes of when/where I’ve seen them and any professional networks that they and I are both in or participate with (such as Women in Film or The Actors’ Network). I use the notes section in the Contacts app for keeping track of these things. I also use the notes section in Contacts for any notes I’ve taken on people from when I’ve seen them speak at various events. Some of these notes include whether they like postcards or if they are for or against workshops.
I also have notes on the contacts of other professionals I might need to use. I have the fee an entertainment lawyer I met charges per hour. I also have the fees for several accountants I’ve met that specialize in actor taxes. All these things can help keep you organized and efficient when you are going around town.
For my calendar section (I use Apple’s iCal), I take advantage of it for my tax deductions. As an actor, you can deduct mileage going to auditions and classes. I know many friends who keep a notebook in their car to track the actor related mileage they accumulate. But why bother when you can track it though your calendar? On every actor related appointment I have in my calendar, I put the address in there. And next to the address, I note the mileage from my house.
At the end of each month, I print the calendar out. The mileage will show up on the printed version, and on the top of the page, I write how many actor miles I drove that month. Then when it’s tax time, I just have to add up the 12 months. This is also a great way to cover your butt if you get audited. You will have proof of each mile you deduct.
I also track actor related purchased such as headshots or union dues on my calendar so I can paperclip the receipts to each month’s printed calendar to make sure I have those ready to go when it’s tax time. With doing this little preparation each month, I have saved myself a lot of time and stress (not to mention now I don’t forget my deductions like I have in the past).
I know that there must be so many other ways that I can fully take advantage of my calendar and contacts app, but these are the ones I’ve discovered so far that have really benefitted my life. If you have some other ways you’d like to share, I’d love to hear them!