Looking for your art management tool? Here are 8 tips to keep in mind.
Ensure the software meets your specific needs. Take the time to look at how the software can help your particular workflow.
Do you need a simple portfolio or a way to structure your artistic practice?
Describing the condition of an artwork and adding relevant images and details are a part of structuring your artistic practice. Make sure to choose a system that allows you to include relevant information to do so, such as the back of a painting that you would like to keep private. Make sure to choose a system that allows you to decide which info is used for public output and which info is for your eyes only.
Is all the information fixed or is the system flexible in terms of adding information?
Make sure you can include all editions, specify dimensions and materials, add collaborations with other artists, add as many reference numbers as you need, add work and frame dimensions, and more.
Are you frequently working with editions?
Make sure the software you choose allows you to specify the information relating to each specific edition. Don’t consider only what you make now, but also what you will make in the future. Is your system future-proof? Make sure the system you choose can support your future endeavors.
Is the info you can put in limited or can you customize it?
If you work with various artwork types, make sure that you can specify them accurately. Is this info a pre-determined drop-down list or is it customizable?
Research the software’s features and capabilities. Consider the features that are important to you and how the software can help you achieve them.
Does the app help you become professional, or do you need to already be professional to be able to pay for them as add-on costs?
Make sure to choose a system that provides you with all the tools you need to be professional, without extra costs.
Can you keep track of all the relevant information about your artworks?
Make sure to choose the app that allows you to track all relevant information such as the location of artworks and their packaging, the weight and the size of the packaging, artwork condition, production costs, and more.
Would you like to have an overview of all the aspects of your artistic practice?
Make sure you choose s system that allows you to follow up on all relevant information such as exhibitions, proposals, sales, loans, locations, conditions, production costs, etc.
You can add things, but can you export them the way you prefer?
How far can you go customizing your output documents? Makes sure the system allows you to create documents the way you like.
Check the software’s ease of use. Be sure the software is intuitive and easy to use.
Can you find the information you are looking for easily and efficiently?
If you want to look up all paintings from a specific series after a certain date, does the search function allow you to do so easily? Make sure the app enables you to find the info you are looking for easily and efficiently.
Are there tutorials and support in learning to use the tool?
Make sure you get the support you need when you choose a new tool.
Does the app have relevant and good reviews?
Make sure there are relevant and transparent reviews of the tool. See who is using it and what their experiences are.
Is there a full-featured free version to try out?
Make sure to try out all the features yourself and get a feel of how user friendly it is. Try this over a longer period of time, don’t limit yourself to a specific try-out period.
Ensure the software is compatible with your existing systems. Check to see if the software can integrate with other systems you are using.
Are you using other digital platforms?
Check how compatible the system is with other platforms you use such as DropBox, MailChimp, WordPress, etc.
Is your tool future-proof?
Think ahead. How future-proof are the integration options as technology is changing rapidly.
Can you integrate it into your daily communication?
If you are sending out mailings, using your website, or social media, make sure you can include relevant documents, exhibition sneak-previews, or offers with your tool.
Can you discuss other potential integrations?
Get in touch with the provider and discuss the potential integration with other systems you are using.
Check the software’s scalability. Make sure the software can grow with your business and can handle larger projects.
Is the scalability attached to extra costs constantly?
Make sure your subscription plan can accommodate your growth.
Can you exchange information with other users?
Galleries and gallery artists benefit from working with the same system. Make sure the tool you choose can support that.
Does the tool provide the necessary features to support your growth?
Make sure the tool does not only accommodate your current needs, but your future plans as well.
Do you need multiple user accounts?
Make sure the tool can support multiple user accounts if you or your organization needs them.
Consider the costs associated with the software. Look at the price of the software, any add-ons, and the cost of storage.
Are there additional costs for extra features?
Consider whether the software charges for additional features as an add-on price, or whether you get all the features you need without extra costs.
What are the long term costs and benefits?
Make sure the tool you choose will provide the features you need now and in the future.
Are there any hidden costs?
Factor in any hidden costs of the software such as data migration, customization, and implementation.
Examine the software’s security features. Ensure the software is secure and can protect your data from unauthorized access.
Is your data yours?
Make sure that your data is private and secured, and that you keep full ownership and control over it.
What kind of technical system does the company use for storage and where is it?
Check where in the world your data is stored. This may influence greatly the safety of your data.
Can you transfer your data?
Make sure you can transfer your data in the easiest way to a different system.
How frequently is the backup performed and how long is it kept?
Make sure to check how long the backups are kept.Can you retrieve a backup that was performed 6 months ago?
Does the tool have the right security settings?
Make sure that the tool has the right security settings, such as data encryption, user authentication, and secure data storage.
Look into customer service and technical support. Make sure the software provider has good customer service and a technical support system in place.
How responsive is their customer service?
Make sure to check how long it takes for customer service to respond. Do you need to pay extra for better service? How responsive are they?
Do they help you get started?
Make sure to choose a tool whereby customer service helps you set up your account and gets you up and running, rather than leaving you to figure it out by yourself.
How often do you need to contact customer service?
Bear in mind that If you have an intuitive and easy-to-use system, you will not have to contact customer service as much.
How helpful and personalized is customer service?
Investigate whether their answers are geared toward solving your problem or whether they will simply point you toward an FAQ page on their website.