Despite my complaints, you will find some useful music apps in the iTunes App Store – you can at least get some fine tuners. (Andy Ihnatko was excited on Twitter that one of them helps him tune his ukulele, thanks to four string support!) We do expect more hefty music tools in the coming months, and via the jailbroken platform.

But some of the real stars on the iPhone – or whatever your favorite smart mobile device may be – have to do with simply storing ideas and keeping your life together. That means one of the best downloads so far for the iPhone is Evernote. As Graham English writes in comments on CDM:

The app I’m most excited about for music is Evernote. You can record voice notes, text notes, and it even recognizes the text in iPhone pictures. So next time you write a killer hook on a bar napkin, snap a picture and sync it. Cool.

I’m a huge user of Evernote on my desktops and, via its web browser, on my Blackberry. The iPhone app looks especially great, though; I’m jealous.

Evernote for iPhone

My friend Francis Preve has written a whole set of useful tips for DJs that apply to any gigging musician / artist (which he’s been refining since the first iPod, in fact):

Top 10 iPhone tricks for DJs [Beatportal]

Some highlights:

  • Keeping email templates for gig announcements on your device so you can send them quickly. (Recognize this scenario? “Hey, what’s new?” “I’m playing Friday.” “Oh, really?”)
  • Mapping: Some providers require you to enable mapping capabilities on your device. Do it. Both the “real” GPS (via a dedicated radio) and the assisted GPS can be lifesavers if you travel at all. (The iPhone 2.0 update adds this feature, in the assisted form.)
  • Rescue tracks: The iPhone is a capable music player, so it can, um, save you when your laptop dies or someone steals your hard drive. It even has video out capability, for you Create Digital Motion readers.

And the fact is, you can easily apply these ideas to whatever phone / smart device is your favorite. These could also put you over the top as far as cameras with phones – not because you’ll necessarily be taking attractive photos (dedicated cameras are a must for that) but because they can aid visual memory. (Airport parking spot? Check!)

I especially like Fran’s idea of logging creative time. Invoicing aside, I find that it’s so often a fight to get time to yourself that I really like the idea of keeping track of that time, whether it’s in the studio or just sitting in the park thinking about a new song. It could help give you some positive reinforcement for setting aside some working time or even badly-needed quiet time.

Going back to my first Palm (the PalmPilot Professional, no less), I’ve always found even simple mobile devices can help reduce stress, particularly on the road. And that to me is priceless.

Other ideas that boost your productivity, in terms of gigging, travel, and creativity? Let us know.


iPod Touch/iPhone for Music Round-up (which, surprisingly, isn’t all that outdated by the App Store launch – we expect bigger announcements in the coming weeks)