Numbers on the iPad — Working with a music library

As I continue to work through the music library at my new school (I do so from 9pm-12pm, as that is when my family is asleep and I can be gone without bothering anyone…although I certainly have been bringing music home to work with, influencing my family time), I am updating the spreadsheet of the music library.  Certain parts of the music library are highly accurate…others are not.  It seems that the previous two directors (before the most recent director) basically worked out of specific file cabinets.  One teacher, who had over 20 years at the school, seemed to work out of four cabinets, and another teacher who was there about five years worked out of a single cabinet.  The music selections in these cabinets are generally very organized and in good shape.  Unfortunately, there are 13 filing cabinets in all.  The first six filing cabinets (before the “preferred” cabinets) had been organized at some point in the past–with some issues.  At this point, I have four filing cabinets to go…one is a “preferred” cabinet, and the other three are going to be a nightmare to work with.

As I work through the cabinets, I am reordering the numbers (a spreadsheet eliminates the need for separate libraries for SA, SSA, SAB, and SATB music (there is no TB or TBB music in this library, as far as I can tell) for every piece, and recording other data, such as title, voicing, composer, arranger, publisher, publisher number, original cost, year of copyright, genre, musical period, and number of copies.

I’m doing all of this with Numbers for iPad.  I realized the other day that I don’t even have Numbers for my personal MacBook.

I am actually going through each cabinet in order, taking a single copy (as clean as possible) for each song, making sure that I get each title in the library–and add when a title exists that isn’t listed (this is happening quite a bit).  When I bring the single copies home, I enter all the data (most songs just have the title and a composer or arranger, plus voicing), then cut all the spines of the music and then scan them with my Canon P-150 scanner.

After I know the library spreadsheet is correct, I am printing labels for each folder of music, which has the new number, voicing, and title.

I have not found a way to make Pages easily print labels, so I am reverting to Word…I send the Numbers for iPad file to my e-mail as an Excel file, which I open with a template I’ve made with Word.  Then I print labels.  I have even put the school logo on each label (I like small details like this…and wish I would have done so at my old job).

If anyone knows an easy way to make labels from a data file on the iPad, let me know…as far as I know, you can’t do this (yet)…and even Pages has some issues with label templates.

Now, here’s the piece that amazes me that I’d like to share this evening.  I didn’t realize that Numbers for iPad has a ridiculously easy-to-use form feature.  Spreadsheets can be intimidating things…and it is easy to lose your place on a file, even with alternating colors of each row.  Forms allow you to see/work with the data for one row at a time, using column headings as fields.  I didn’t even realize this feature was available until this evening.  So, as of tomorrow (I was at my new school this evening, getting another large stack of music to work through over the next few days) I will be entering data using the forms feature.

To learn more about the Form feature on Numbers for iPad, MacMost has a good summary video of the feature:

(Note: an iPad keyboard is recommended if you are going to be doing a lot of data entry in Numbers for the iPad)

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