Besides social networks like Facebook and Twitter, there’s a lot of other online tools (most of which are free) that can really help comedians with everything from writing to merchandise. Here’s a breakdown of several tools that I’ve used myself and I think you’ll find very helpful.
If you find yourself making lists in order to organize your thoughts and other things that you need to do, then I can’t recommend Workflowy highly enough. It’s an simple web-based list maker that’s free and very flexible. Whether you want to use it for brainstorming material, managing lists of bookers you want to call, or just to have one place to keep track of your thoughts, it’s really a great tool.
If you surf the web a lot like I do and are constantly coming across things that you want to read but don’t necessarily have the time to in that moment, then Instapaper is a must-have tool. Again, it’s a free tool and it allows you to save any page on the web to “read later” with just the click of a button once you’ve installed it in your web browser.
I could really see it coming in handy for you if you come across articles and things online that you think could inspire jokes and want to be able to collect them all in one place where you can go back to them when it comes to time to write.
There’s certainly no shortage of online outlets where you can design t-shirts and other merchandise that you may want to sell, but I’m going to mention CustomInk in particular here because I’ve used it for years and have found it to be a great service. The site offers you a ton of options to design your own merch – even if you have no design skills yourself – and they’ve got great customer service. Everything I’ve ordered from CustomInk has always been delivered on time and looked great. It’s worth a look if you’re thinking of creating some merch to sell.
I’ve written extensively about why I think you should use AWeber to power your email mailing list, but I figured I’d include it in this list as well. I’ve worked with many comedians who use other services, and I can tell you from my own first-hand work with them that AWeber is a LOT better than the competitors. It’s what I use and it’s what I recommend – here’s why.
If you’re a big Twitter user then you’re definitely going to want to check out Tweetdeck, an app which was recently purchased by Twitter. Tweetdeck will change the way you use Twitter, as it gives you the ability to separate users, lists, and searches into columns that you can view simultaneously. It’s tremendously powerful and I highly recommend you download it for free and see what you’re missing.
If you’re looking to publish a newsletter and want to charge for it – even if you only charge $1 a week like I do for my Comedy Business Digest – then you may want to try out Tinyletter. It’s a free newsletter publisher that integrates with Paypal and makes it incredibly easy to manage your subscribers, publish your newsletter, and collect payment for it. You can also use Tinyletter to publish a free newsletter and while it may be a little simpler than AWeber, it’s not quite as powerful so I’d recommend sticking with AWeber for a free newsletter but using Tinyletter if you decide you want to charge for your newsletter.
I love (and use) all six of these tools, but they’re certainly not the only ones out there. Please leave a comment and let us know what other tools you use and why…
7 thoughts on “6 Helpful Online Tools For Comedians”
Hey, I haven’t tried all of them yet but I really like Workflowy. I started playing with it yesterday and I can already see how useful that will be for organizing all of my jokes by categories…which will then help me build my set lists.
I’ve tried doing that with Word, separating jokes by topics, creating a table of context, but it’s still a mess. You end up with this enormous Word doc that you have to scroll through and you still can’t find anything. Workflowy is all collapsible. Also, I like that it’s on the internet, so I can get to it on any computer, rather than emailing a huge file to myself. You recommended Evernotes for that, but I think this is much better. So, thank you.
How about any ipad aps?
I agree with Derik. I used to carry around a Flash drive with Word docs on them and it was a terrible system. I am going to spend tonight organizing those docs in Workflowy. Thanks!
I use some of those tools, although I use MailChimp for my email newsletter (also free and great).
I also recently discovered SpringPad, which is an organizer that allows you to gather sites, product info, videos, whatever, either offline or online. You can email it and it’ll add a note to your workspace, and there are apps for Android and iPhone. Interesting stuff.
LaffQ is one of my favorite discoveries- it’s a great scheduling widget you can use for Facebook fan pages, a website or even just as standalone tool. Easy to use. For reference, mine is at laffq.com/andyshawcomedy
Yeah I’ve been using my gmail to organize jokes, so I signed up for workflowy. We’ll see how it does. Thanks for the list! A lot of useful info.
As always, you constantly prmomote excellent tools to help with the business of comedy. Thanks again for all you do. I love evernote, and use it all the time ! Still working as a cop, and a comedian, I need every tool I can get to keep notes and ideas on the go. And I have to keep in constant contact with my audience. I will try aweber and instapaper.
I’m the developer of LaffQ.com, a web site that lets comedians keep track of their calendar, so I thought I’d plug it here. I’m a comedian myself, and I eat my own dog food (computer nerd talk). You can export your calendar to your own web site, your smart phone, and your Facebook page. It’s free, so give it a shot.