I’m often asked by artists which software they should select for their mailing list and inventory. I can’t answer that question since I’m not a user. I just provide a list of available database software and tell them to check it out. It feels a little inadequate, but ethical. Also, as long as I’ve been doing this, I still can’t see a clear preference from artists.
I can, however, tell you some of the things that I would want in a database. I’d make sure the program had the ability to:
- Print labels and reports directly from the program without having to export data
- Change formatting or add fields
- Categorize the mailing list (friends, family, collectors, prospects, . . . )
- Add photos
- Export data in a CSV file format
- Import data from a CSV file format (especially if you currently have a lot of information stored in Excel)
- Search for records by keywords, media, name, or whatever
What am I missing? What couldn’t you live without in a good database?