What's on Your Phone, Brett Crawford?

Dr. Brett Ashley Crawford is the Publisher of the Arts Management and Technology Laboratory and an Assistant Teaching Professor of Arts Management at Carnegie Mellon University’s Heinz School of Public Policy and Management. Dr. Crawford has worked extensively as a professional arts manager, primarily in theatre, and as professor in both arts management and theatre history. Recently, she sat down with Kate Martin to talk about some of her favorite apps.


Kate: What are the apps you use every day, and why do you like them?

Brett: As a bike commuter, I check Dark Sky every day. It has impeccable forecasts for the next hour (minute by minute).  With Pittsburgh’s unique weather, I can avoid rain most of the time. I use Asana most days – it is an excellent tool for course management and we use it as an editorial calendar here at the Arts Management and Technology Laboratory. I also use Wunderlist as a shared list maker for home lists like groceries. And then there’s the usual communication and social media apps.  Then there are the apps I wish I used more often, like Podcasts. There never seems to be enough time to keep up.


K: Is there an app you think developers should be working on?

B: What would be great is a truly thorough arts calendar for a city, for example Pittsburgh, in which I could read about any discipline, any event then connect to a path for purchase.  I fear it would further increase ‘last minute purchase’ but it would definitely be a convenience that would likely increase arts consumption. But I recognize that this is truly utopic.


K: Is there an app that surprised you with its usefulness?

B: There are two actually – Slack because it decreased my inbox significantly while allowing groups to communicate transparently with linked documents.  The second is Box.  I actually have found that I like it better than Google Drive as its ‘box note’ function is a great space for collaboration and the comments section is easy to use for feedback.  It also connects with Microsoft Office products without having to download, thus allowing for a native Office experience without having to clean out folders after the fact.


K: If you could recommend an app for every arts manager, what would it be and why?

B: Asana then Slack.  It is an exceptional project management tool that in combination with Slack can take your inbox from internal accounts down to almost zero.