My 10 favorite Apps on my phone
I struggled with my iPhone addiction for many years, and thought it made me a bad person because I enjoyed connecting with friends on social media, sometimes at the expense of the people I was in a room with. I wanted to be the first person to share a picture from an event, or my friends and I would have games where we would try to be the first person to check in on Foursquare. Social media is undoubtedly fun, and when it comes to my work, the use of social media can blur the line between work and play.
I now try to limit my phone time when I’m with my family and friends. Like many people in this generation, however, my phone has become an extension of who I am. It is my life hub – and I'm not sure I could do what I do if it weren’t for my phone and the great applications on it. Here are some of my favorite apps, both for work and for generally managing my life:
Slack: Because I’m a freelancer, I work with several marketing agencies and they all use Slack as their main form of communication. We also use this for PMG-North Bay so all members of the board can connect with each other and be up-to-date on projects.
It’s a better and quicker communication tool than email because things can easily get lost in an email thread. You’re able to upload images and videos, and it integrates your files with different digital apps like Google docs.
Ring/Nest: Both of these apps are a part of my “smart home” and act as security cameras – Ring for my door and Nest for my side yard, and a second one as my toddler’s baby monitor in his room (which was necessary when he was a baby, and now provides much added convenience for when he wakes up in the occasional fit). Ring allows you to view a live video feed of your front door and notifies you when someone’s at your door or rings the bell. If you’re quick enough, you can interact with someone at the door in real time. Usually I am not that quick, but I love that it allows me to know when my Amazon package has arrived.
The other security camera is on our side yard, and even though we’ve never had a problem, we just wanted to make sure to have one.
Reminders: Now that I have an Apple Watch, using Reminders has never been so easy. Any time I need to remember to do something, I add a generic reminder with no date; I just tell my watch to create a reminder to pick up the dry cleaning. Each morning I look through my reminders, and if there’s something I need to address right away, I add it to my daily planner and add a time within the Reminders app. If it’s something that I might forget again, I even add to Reminders throughout the day. I did that this morning, actually, for remembering Rye‘s paperwork for school. I reminded myself to fill it out, and then I reminded myself to bring it to his class when I picked him up from school. I am now that thorough because otherwise I forget.The Reminders app is also pretty awesome for reminding you to do ongoing things, like once a month I have to order more enzymes for Rye. I have it on an ongoing schedule so that the fourth day of each month I get a notification and I make sure to take care of it.
It also serves as a shared grocery list that my husband and I have, so any time we go to the grocery store we check it to make sure that we’re getting everything that the other may want, which sometimes saves us from making double the trips due to forgetfulness.
Social Media: The two apps I use the most are Instagram and Facebook. I like both for very different reasons, and while a lot of my connections on both interlap, I do have friends that are just on Facebook and vice versa. So don’t make me pick one or the other. Because as a marketer, and someone who likes to connect with people, they are both pretty useful.
Buffer: My go-to for scheduling content. It’s especially great for repurposing content on Instagram – you can just get the link of a picture you want to regram, then go into Buffer and it automatically has a pop-up that allows you to add the image and text to your Buffer scheduler. (Add several pics).
A Color Story: This smartphone photo editing app is my favorite! I don’t normally do a whole lot to my Instagram images other than making sure to take pictures in well-lit areas and add some highlights and clarity afterward, but. if I need to edit an image with a cool filter or edit a video at all, my go-to is A Color Story.
Notes: As I’ve mentioned before, most of my blog posts and writing are done through my phone using dictation. I love my Notes app because, for some reason, it integrates way better with Siri than using Google Docs. I’m not sure what magic Apple did to make this work better in their app than someone else’s, but alas, here we are. Thankfully I can dictate a blog post on my phone and then Notes integrates with my computer so I’m able to transfer the blog post over to Google Drive. Then I can make edits or send it over to my editor and she can make sure everything makes sense.
Flipboard: I know there are plenty of other news apps, but I’ve always liked Flipboard the most. It allows me to curate content from social media blogs that I follow, like Social Media Examiner, as well as from influential people I follow like Laura Vandercamp. I’m able to take her Twitter handle and all of the time management content she shares there and look at it in one stream. I also have my articles from BuzzFeed, POPSUGAR, Refinery29, Paper Magazine, and Teen Vogue, meaning that Flipboard always has something interesting for me to read.
Photos: If you have an iPhone like me, you may have upgraded to iOS 12. The latest iPhone update (as of Sept. 2018) includes a new section called “FOR YOU.” This tab is like looking at the Facebook memory tab, in which you can look back on some of your favorite memories from the last year to the last several years, depending on how many photos you have on your phone. My current number is 24,873. This new update helps categorize my pictures, especially when it comes to faces. Faces that always make me smile, like Ryeson and my husband Jeff. Also, my SD card reader allows me to easily transfer my photos taken with my Canon camera directly to the photos folder – no other apps needed. This cuts out the middleman and makes it even easier for me to share mouthwatering food photos on Instagram.
Target / Amazon: Let's be honest, no “top list of smartphone apps” is complete without a shopping app. Just like how I can’t pick between my two favorite social media networks, I also can’t pick between my two favorite (non-local) shopping websites. I love the Target app because even when I'm in the store I can look up prices, and I can look up prices on Amazon to see if the product is cheaper. I subscribe to Amazon Prime and save on everything from diapers to the food products that we use on a daily basis. Shopping from the convenience of my couch definitely makes it a little easier. Thankfully, I'm not so impulsive that I buy stuff I don't need – usually it's random things, like laundry detergent that I remember I need at 8 p.m. on a Tuesday night.
Podcasts: This is a whole other blog post… But, I love listening to podcasts while walking around the block, driving in my car, or on the treadmill. There is so much info out there and I am loving that podcasts are finally IN!
I would love to hear from you! What’s your favorite phone app? Just one! You know, the one you look at 100+ times a day! Let me know in the comment section below.