Confession. I used to be one of those digital entrepreneurs. The one who would have hundreds of shiny apps on her phone and never know how they functioned, let alone their specific purposes.
Please don’t judge me.
Then I went to digital declutter rehab, (yep, that’s me in the video below, decluttering my laptop, which was a hot mess) and came out on the other side, fully cognizant that making life and work simpler meant streamlining everything, especially the apps I used.
Over the past year, I have gone from having a million apps to showcasing just a few on my phone, all organized, all used and all intentional. I have to tell you it is the most freeing feeling ever. It means as a digital entrepreneur I can work from where I want (these days with COVID-19 I move from my studio, to my dining room table, to my couch), I can improve my workflow with automation (thank you Resa Gooding) and just generally get more stuff done without feeling overwhelmed.
Ok, another confession, I beat myself up every time when I think about the time I have wasted. I know. I know that the past is irrelevant and there is nothing like putting knowledge to good use, that’s why I want to share with you the 5 apps I can’t live without. However, before you think about using your phone and installing, upgrading, and streamlining your apps, I’d recommend cleaning your mobile device so it is pretty much ready to be the most functional tool in your hands.
Who needs an office right?
To organise my phone, I started by looking at what apps I hadn’t used in a while, and I “Marie Kondoed” it, meaning if an app did not serve a purpose or brought me a kind of utilitarian joy then I deleted it.
Secondly, I created folders so currently, I have a utility folder, an entertainment folder, a business app folder, a social media folder, a content creation folder. With everything organized my home screen was able to breathe a sigh of relief and I felt as if I now had a tool in my hand that allowed me to optimise my business and my time.
Now before you check my top 5 and consider adding them, I really want you to be super focused on understanding if the apps on your phone add value to your life and if they will serve you and your business in ways that bring you less stress and at a minimum, does not clutter your bandwidth.
1. My Favourite Live Streaming App Is ECAMM Live
It’s no secret that I love Live streaming. I do live FB and IG stories practically every day and I am quite strategic about it. I share loads of behind the scenes stuff and footage so the people who love our page and vibe on social media can feel part of my inner circle and see how we get our digital campaigns and productions completed. I also use my live stories to share a lot of personal reflections.
But on Facebook, I take my Lives to another level with Ecamm Live with my Q &A Monday series. Ok before I go any further I must tell you upfront that this app is for MAC users only. But if you have a MAC and you want to up-level your live streaming then it doesn’t get better than Ecamm Live. It’s like having a broadcasting studio in your living room or bedroom or from whatever part of the house you broadcast from.
What I love best about Ecamm is that it allows me to insert slides into my presentations which makes my Q&A Mondays more visually interesting for the viewers.
I can also have a split-screen during my Lives and host up to 5 guests on Q&A Monday. Best of all, it is so easy to use even if you are a beginner. Here is a link for you to take a look around and purchase this live streaming tool if you think it’s a fit for you.
2. Google Keep An App For Inspiration, Archiving And Making Lists
I’m a huge fan of Google Docs for accessing and organizing document files across platforms. Did I say huge? Ok yes, I guess I did. I know I am not alone in understanding that the benefit of picking up a file from any website or platform and being able to access its content without alteration is a big advantage as a content marketer working with many projects on both my mobile devices and laptop. But Google Keep is different and personally I think it is widely underrated.
Google Keep acts as my instant inspiration board and archiver. I use it to pin interesting photos, archive articles that I find on the web, or even store passwords. It’s also great for shopping lists, addresses, phone numbers, checklists, and to-do lists, or conference call codes. Keep even supports Google Apps accounts, so you can use it with your own domain or a business account.
The interface is colourful and easy to use.
I colour code information before placing it into categories and sharing it with members of my team, as needed. I actually use the colours as a tool to make it easy to tell my personal notes apart from my work-related ones and so on.
Google Keep’s shallow learning curve is one of the things that I loved about it. I figured all I needed to know just by playing around it for ten minutes, which made it easy to adopt and add to my workflow.
3. Unsplash Is A Wonderful Photo App For Digital Marketers
Starting your day wondering what the heck you’re going to post or how your images will engage your audience? Stumped when it comes to posting content on social media and wishing you had a professional photographer following you around to document the “blog-worthy” parts of your life? I’ve been there.
While I use a lot of my personal brand photography (about 95% of the time) I also work with Unsplash, my favourite app for go-to professional photos that I can in my business. You can see a few of them on our blog and we don’t stop there! We use some for our Pinterest board, our courses, free offers, and more.
4. Go Visually Makes Collaboration With A Designer Easy
I always say if you are a content marketer you’re a design marketer as well.
In the last month alone, our social media team worked with our design experts to produce 2 landing pages, a new website, and a ton of graphics. Let me tell you something, the only way we remained sane was because of Go Visually.
Before our two landing pages, we used Slack to collaborate on design but with our last projects, we observed that it felt like pushing a round plug into a square hole.
When it comes to design collaborations, Go Visually stumps Slack and any other project management tool. Unlike Slack, is not just about check-ins, clutter-free communication, updates, project review, and management, it is primarily about design.
Do the fonts work well with the messages? Should you move the block 1/4 inch more up to the previous square? Does the image look better on the right or left?
Imagine being able to make those decisions on an app as the designer delivers your work and you indicate what needs to be changed, whether pictures, fonts, text, or positions. All you have to do is move an arrow on the draft design into the exact position, add your instructions. and then tag the designer accordingly.
Go Visually saved us hours in gong back and forth with our design team and I strongly recommend this as your go-to design app.
5. Planoly Is An Instagram and Pinterest Marketing Wiz
How many times have I talked about Planoly? It seems as if this app always makes my Top 5 List. I use Planoly to organise our clients’ IG feeds where they can gain access to see how we are arranging their square grids and editing captions.
Planoly is easy to use; think drag, drop, schedule as your key functions. You can post hashtags directly from Planoly, look at your analytics, and build stories all from one app on your phone.
In mid-2019 Planoly introduced a next-level upgrade and added Pinterest to the fold. Given that our Pinterest Board was revamped this year, it caused Planoly to remain relevant for us despite the debut of Facebook’s Creator’s Studio which also allows scheduling to Instagram.
To date, Planoly remains hands down my FAVOURITE planning, scheduling app and if you’re taking your Gram and Pinterest seriously there is just no way you should not have this app on your phone.
Well, there you have it! Those magical squares on my phone are the top 5 apps that I personally use to keep my business running without a hitch. I work long hours but I also work smart hours and these apps help me pour into that notion with utter convenience and ease. I am working towards location freedom but that a whole other blog post.
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