The Eternal Sunshine of Making Your Inbox Your Bitch

Sweetheart Pubstack #29

We’re Rachel Hurley and Frank Keith IV, co-owners of the Sweetheart Pub. We’re music industry veterans with over 30 years of combined experience in the music business, having worked in licensing, talent buying/booking, label management, tour management, and more. Once a week, we’ll publish a new edition of this newsletter, where we’ll share some philosophy and actionable advice on all facets of the music industry. 

We’ve been putting together a weekly playlist of seven songs (just enough to keep your attention) every week — check out The Sweet Spot to hear what we’ve been listening to.


What we’re thinking about this week…

You don’t have to have OCD to be organized...

I was in a Zoom meeting with a client last week and I shared my screen to show her something in my inbox, and her mouth dropped. She said it looked like a separate piece of software, not just a regular old Gmail. After seeing her excitement, I decided to spend the next 30 minutes explaining all of the different tools I use to stay organized. I get to inbox zero by the end of my workday, every single day. 

As a publicist, my inbox is my main piece of software. I jump out to Slack or Airtable fairly often, but my inbox is like my Pro Tools. I’ve streamlined it over the past two decades to run like a well-oiled machine using extensions and add-ons. It contains a CMS, a deep set of tags for all clients, a separate set of tabs for current clients, and multiple sorting functions. I can tell exactly who has opened my emails and when, and what links they clicked. I have email templates for pitches, I get notified when someone has not opened my email after 48 hours, I have link previews and button makers, and can send press releases without needing an external email program like Mailchimp. I can set emails to auto-follow up after a specific amount of time if the recipient doesn’t open my initial email. I can even set up an SMS notification whenever a specific person emails me. I snooze things or archive them when I do not need them or they aren’t “actionable right now,” so my inbox is literally my daily to-do list. 

The bottom line is: I want my inbox to be organized so that I never miss a follow-up and I have the bandwidth to answer every single email. I also always know exactly where to find an email even if I can’t remember who sent it or exactly what it said. I never go to bed at night with anxiety about not finishing a task or forgetting to do something. I might push things that I can’t deal with in the moment — but it’s always a choice. Being extremely organized is the only way that I am able to accomplish as much as I do every week, including working with clients, producing a podcast, managing social media, keeping up with what’s happening in the music industry, reviewing new albums from potential clients, and writing this newsletter. I want to spend my time doing the fun, creative parts of my job, not being bogged down by the administration part.

If you're interested in getting your own inbox in better shape, check out some of the free tools offered by CloudHQ.

—Rachel


The Latest

S*** You Can Do Today

Quick ‘n’ dirty this week … Americana folks (that’s all of you dear readers in the alt-country, folk, singer-songwriter, soul, blues, rockabilly, honky-tonk, bluegrass, and tangential genres) — it’s happening. Americanafest 2021. September 22-25 in Nashville, Tennessee. 

Have you submitted to showcase?

Artist submissions are open now

TikTok of the Week

How to Write A Song Even If You Can’t Play An Instrument

Just for Fun

Where Did All The Chords Go?


Music Rookie Podcast

Free Advice

Have a follow-up question for one of our guests? Got a tip? Did we (*gasp*) get something wrong? Our line is always open -- hit us up and if we use your question or response in a future newsletter, we’ll give you credit and link your socials.


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