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About… Studio Manager

Studio Manager, a FileMaker-based application designed for the business management of creative services, was conceived of, and created by, Certified Claris FileMaker Developer, Janet Tokerud. She is the founder of Tokerud Consulting Group (TCG), based in Northern California. In addition to being the founder and architect of Studio Manager, Janet is the current principal developer, and often the person who interacts directly with our customers.

As the only commercial application from Tokerud Consulting Group, our attention is focused primarily on Studio Manager. Janet and her colleagues have been working with the creative services business sector for more than four decades. Prior to inventing Studio Manager, she built custom systems for more than a dozen graphic design firms in the San Francisco Bay Area.

Janet’s background, since high school, has included computer data and business management. She has a Masters in Business Administration (MBA) degree from the prestigious Haas School of Business, University of California, Berkeley CA. Given her eclectic knowledge of business operations, Janet also occasionally takes on clients in other industries, developing custom apps for them based on FileMaker.

TCG is the exception to the rule, among competing developers in the creative services sector. Our primary developer, Janet, has worked with many graphic design and related businesses all over the world.

Graphic artist, Scout Tomyris, is responsible for the “look and feel” of Studio Manager. Working as an independent consultant, she serves as lead Graphical User Interface (GUI) Designer and Technical Writer. Recently, Scout updated this website and has already begun work on our next iteration: Studio Manager 19.

Sally Shannon also helps out on Studio Manager in administration, marketing and testing as well as by working on layouts. We have oodles of layout work around here because every time FileMaker updates, something better becomes possible in terms of the user interface.

To reach Tokerud Consulting Group or Janet Tokerud: send email to or call 1 (415) 789-5219 in Novato, California USA.


Studio Manager Rated Best
Works on Windows


Claris FileMaker Pro 18 or 19 and FileMaker Server or FileMaker Cloud. FileMaker Pro is currently sold in version 19, so unless you already have FileMaker Pro 18, you’ll be using FileMaker Pro 19. Refer to Claris Pricing if you need to purchase or upgrade.

On the Mac side, choose an iMac, Mac Pro, Mac mini or MacBook Pro released in 2017 or later, and that has been upgraded to at least MacOS 10.15 (Catalina) or 11.7.2 Big Sur. More current versions of the MacOS are recommended: Monterey (12.6) is the sweet spot right now, with the 2022 release, Ventura (13.x) close on its heels.

For the best performance, a Mac using Apple’s M1 or M2 chip is recommended. At TCG we use an M1 Mac mini with FileMaker Server 19, an iMac Pro, and an assortment of MacBooks. Scout works remotely using an M1 MacBook Air connected to a Studio Display 27″ monitor. Her fiber optic internet offers performance almost indistinguishable from being in the office.

If you are using a PC, then go for a reasonably speedy machine and relatively current model running a recent version of Microsoft Windows 10 or 11. Refer to Claris FileMaker Pro 19.4–19.6 Technical Specifications for more precise details.

The above paragraphs speak primarily as if you only need one computer. If you have multiple users, either on-site or remote, each one deserves to have the best computer (or mobile device) and fastest connection (LAN or WAN) that you can afford. Computer years are fewer than dog years. Old machines, especially in a creative service environment, need to be replaced every few years.

Make sure anyone who creates lots of reports in Studio Manager has a fast computer. If you must use an older Mac, consider having a fast SSD boot drive installed, if possible. An SSD is the easiest and most economical way to improve performance of an existing computer (with a hard drive, that’s upgradeable).

The speed of the server makes a significant difference (see below). The speed of your client machines is also a key determinant of the responsiveness over an internal network (LAN) or an internet-based connection (WAN). The larger your network and number of nodes (computers and laptops + mobile devices) the more important it becomes that you use the faster equipment. Makes sense.

Studio Manager Rated Best

Even though it has been a while now since we’ve seen an evaluation of software in this category, we did gain top honors when Creative Business magazine surveyed creative services firms regarding business software and published the results in their May/June 2003 issue. Studio Manager was rated highest by users in the category: integrated management programs. According to Creative Business users liked it because of: “Simplicity.” and “Reasonable pricing.” “FileMaker base allows endless customization.” “Very versatile. Lets me configure things my way.” “Has all the tools needed.”

Works on Windows

Knock on wood, so far we haven’t gotten a single complaint from a PC user. Expect Studio Manager to work as well on your PC as it does on a Mac!

We are the first to admit that Studio Manager was built first for the Mac. But, FileMaker, Inc. and now Claris International, made/make the best cross-platform database around. We’ve done our best to make Studio Manager work well cross-platform. With the tiniest of exceptions (see next sentence), every feature of Studio Manager runs cross-platform.

Because there are small differences in font metrics between platforms, you may run into a few minor font-wrap issues on some layouts (which you can easily correct). Regardless, the functionality is flawless.


Because Studio Manager is built to run in FileMaker Pro, it is extensively customizable.

  • Change the formatting of screens or fonts.
  • Translate field labels into a different language.
  • Adjust report layouts so they look like you printed them on your letterhead.
  • Add additional reports and layouts.

We are available to help you customize Studio Manager at our regular consulting rates. Because we built it, we are really good at changing it , but don’t feel for a minute that you are locked into working with us.

As a Studio Manager customer, you have the ability to change anything in the product on your own or use a local FileMaker consultant of your choice. And, we are still very happy to help you, or your favorite consultant, if you get stuck or have a question.

{ 3 comments… read them below or add one }

Chris July 27, 2010 at 8:19 am

We’ve been using StudioManager since 2002 or so, and I just came to your site to see if it was upgradeable. I’m glad it is, but really I’m writing because I’m impressed with this site and the friendly tone of the whole thing. Nice work!

Juan December 30, 2011 at 11:13 am

Hi Janet,

I just came across SM since, as one of the owners, I’ve been assigned a mission in my studio, that is to make this office grow as far as it gets, and I think SM can do a great job for us. We are spanish and were just wondering if there is such an spanish language version. I haven’t seen this on the web.
In any case, my next question comes along: Is SM so customizable that we can be able to edit each and every text-box, frame, menu, etc. to make a translation of my own?

Thanks a lot and Happy New Year!

Janet Tokerud December 30, 2011 at 2:35 pm

Hi Juan,
Thanks for writing. No we are too small to do different language implementations. You would need to do your own changes to field labels would be the main thing and report headings. The data you enter could be Spanish as far as I know. Another client from Mexico did do what you are suggesting and I did not have complaints. However, keep in mind that your custom version would not upgrade with your changes. I advise my customers who do need to do customization extensively to plan to keep the current version for about 5 years before upgrading so that the value of the new upgrades I add eventually exceed the cost of re-doing your language changes. You can copy and paste from your custom version to a new version but it’s still a lot of work. However, keep in mind that you may be able to keep a lot of Studio Manager stock in English if some of you do speak English like you and just make the most basic screens like the timesheet in Spanish. Best, Janet

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