What's On Your Phone, Dana Casto?

Dana Casto is the Director of Marketing and Communications at the Carnegie Mellon University School of Music. Dana is primarily responsible for the development, implementation and maintenance of a comprehensive program in public relations for the School of Music, which presents more than 300 concerts, recitals, special events and programs annually with numerous collaborations and partnerships in the Pittsburgh arts community. He recently talked to AMT Lab Contributor Sophia Hubeny about his favorite apps.

Sophia Hubeny: What are the apps do you use everyday and why do you like them?

Dana Casto: Beyond the usual Mail, iMessage, and Phone apps on iOS, I would be completely lost in my professional life without Asana for task management, 1Password for password management, and Evernote for note taking and brain-dumping ideas. I also rely heavily on Hootsuite for big-picture social media management for the School and Eventbrite Neon for checking in on ticket sales for our events. In my personal life, I love Flipboard, Feedly, and Pocket for keeping up with news, Google Maps for getting where I need to go, and Sunrise for my calendars (Sunrise was recently purchased by Microsoft and is being absorbed in to their Outlook iOS app - its great as Sunrise lets you share times on your calendar for easy scheduling with someone).

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

DC: I manage a team of five grad students in the School of Music who are all responsible for various day-to-day marketing activities. Asana has been a game-changer for us in that we all know what we are all working on at any given time and can get status updates. No more emails back and forth or folks not being in the loop. It’s all managed within Asana.

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

DC: I think it would be cool to have an augmented reality app for live music performances. Something that would show info about the ensemble, music being performed, or other fun facts. Kinda like a live version of VH1’s Popup Video but in real time.

SH: If you could recommend one app to arts managers, what would it be? 

DC: So much of my work is done via email and online. Once I made the switch from not using email as a task manager and back to a communication device, my productivity went way up. For me and my team, Asana met my needs in making sure nothing was missed and we stayed on task. If you’re an arts manager that collaborates on projects with your colleagues, Asana is worth checking out.