Keeping your songwriting organized can make you a more efficient songwriter and save plenty of time. The goal is to spend less time on finding your music, and more time on actually creating music.
Although organization comes down to personal preference, there are several ways to keep your song ideas nice and tidy. Let’s explore some helpful tips for keeping your songwriting more organized and making your life a bit easier.
1. Choose your song capture method
You have dozens of tools at your disposal to capture your songs. Using just your phone, you can hum or sing a melody idea into a voice memo, or type out lyric ideas with a note-taking app. If you’re more tech savvy, you may want to record straight into a DAW. And, of course, you can always use a physical notebook or handheld recorder.
Whichever way you choose, try to stick to the same methods so all of your writing stays organized.
2. Keep track of your co-writers
If you choose to collaborate with other songwriters, make sure to always include the names of the writers, the percentage splits, and other essential information with your co-writing files. If a dispute comes up with a co-writer down the road, you’ll be glad you know exactly where to look to resolve it! You don’t need anything fancy – as long as you include these five things in your split sheets, you’re good to go.
3. Properly name your files
This point is especially crucial if you do most of your songwriting with a DAW. When you get a burst of inspiration, the last thing you want to do is waste time navigating through dozens of files until you finally figure out that “Untitled 22” is the one you were looking for.
If the song doesn’t have a title or hook yet that you can use in the file name, try a combination of the date and a few descriptive words to jog your memory (e.g., “hip-hop beat with trumpets 5.1.17”).
4. Make future edits easy
The beauty of keeping your songwriting organized is that you can easily revisit your songs when it’s time to edit or rewrite. Instead of disrupting your flow while you’re writing to edit your work, start a separate document within your song file to jot down anything you want to fix or come back to later. Your editing process will be much more efficient if you know exactly what you need to work on.
Joe Capalbo is an intern for SongwriterLink.