5am Music Club: Accelerate your communication with Facebook Messenger

Slightly achey high five 5am club! So over the last year ago we’ve switched from email and texting to Facebook Messenger for most of our communication. This morning I’m talking messaging and tomorrow will be video chat. Nearly everyone has a Facebook account these days which makes it great for getting projects going. Hold up Facebook haters, I hear your concerns; you can use Skype, Google Hangouts, WhatsApp and many others to achieve the same thing.

How do we use it? Facebook calls group chats ‘conversations’. Flights of Helios have one main conversation with all band members. Then we have other conversations for projects like making merchandise or video making which feature a few band members plus collaborators from outside.

So obviously you can use it to chat by text instantly on desktop and mobile for tiny data which is awesome for organising things. People don’t get tempted to spend hours honing an email to perfection which is a terrible time sink; it’s disposable communication. But that’s not all – you can also ping all sorts of other shit between you:

  • images! what do you think of this t-shirt design / photo for the website?
  • videos and voice memos! check me out playing this new riff in my jimjams
  • more uses for text! what do you think of these terrible new lyrics?
  • links to pretty much anything! YouTube, Soundcloud, Dropbox…
  • fun GIFs! Everyone needs a bit of silliness. We do a lot of psychedelic cats.

So how do I start a Facebook conversation?

  • You’ll all need to be friends. On Facebook, that is. IRL is harder sometimes.
  • Start a new Facebook message, add everyone to the recipients list, add a nice little one-liner and send it. Your group chat is on!
  • Click the cogwheel top-right and rename the conversation to something sensible if you’re planning to use a few different ones.

That’s it, see you tomorrow where we talk video chat! Chris FoH 

5am Music Club: Use Doodle to easily schedule events when you have seven members like us

Snotty but undefeated air fives* 5am club! Along with a shared band calendar, Doodle is our top tip for finding out when people are available to do stuff. It’s easy to use and free, the best combo. Essentially you suggest some dates you think might work, everyone responds yes/no to each one and then you get a grid showing what days everyone can make.

  1. Open up doodle.com
  2. Create an event, eg. ‘Next recording session’.
  3. Select some potential dates. Tip: if you want to make it a whole week or weekend, click the first date then drag the right-hand arrow along.
  4. Specify start/end times if you want.
  5. Leave it as a ‘Basic’ poll if you just want people to respond yes/no to each date, otherwise there’s a few additional options like yes/no/if need be.
  6. Bang in the emails of your bandmates and hit Finish. They’ll then be emailed the suggested dates.
  7. Each response updates the grid and you’ll end up with something like this little beauty:
Doodle results grid

Doodle results grid

Let us know how you get on. See ya tomorrow!

* The most hygienic five: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4rsoAuo9AgU

5amMusicClub: Get a shared band calendar

Sleep-addled fist bump 5am-ers! One move that really helped Flights of Helios get organised was a shared online calendar. We use Google Calendar. We put in band commitments (rehearsals, gigs, baannd meetings) and personal ones (holidays, weddings, Settlers of Catan games), everyone’s got it on their phone and so we can answer pretty accurately whether people are available for new fun stuff.

So our calendar’s called Flights of Helios and is on our flightsofhelios@gmail.com Google account. Each band member has a Google account tied to their email address (doesn’t need to be a Gmail one) and the calendar is shared to them with permissions to ‘make changes and manage sharing’.

Sign up for a Google Account then create a calendar, then invite people and set permissions in the Calendar Settings:

Then just hit ‘Share My Calendar’ and add email addresses; if the person doesn’t have a Google account yet they’ll get an email asking them to make one. TTFN x