12 Apps Successful Creatives Swear By to Boost Productivity
I’m somewhat obsessed with my phone – I know I know, working on that. It’s the first thing I pick up in the morning and the last thing I look at before bed. Maybe going to a strict ass college that didn’t allow phones has a role to play in this obsessive behavior, can’t tell.
Having a blog and working in the creative industry made me discover some apps that I absolutely love and wouldn’t hesitate to recommend. I wanted to share some of my favorites and I hope they help you on your creative journey (in no particular order).
Q: What if we woke up one day and phones no longer existed?
I like to think of Shapr as part LinkedIn and part Tinder. Like Tinder, Shapr has the swipe left or right feature and if you and someone swipe right, it’s a match. You both can decide if you want to meet and when.
When you create a profile, there are a couple of options you need to fill in to get the best matches possible.
What I’m looking for: Options include a co-founder, funding, collaborators, ideas & inspiration, freelance projects, job opportunities and more.
Favorite ways to meet: After work, breakfast, on a walk, video call, weekends, you get the gist.
You can include your industry, previous organizations, education and any social media or website links or keep all that a secret until you meet your match(es).
I like Shapr, especially for introverts like me because it makes the whole process of meeting like-minded professionals a little less intimidating.
The company’s focus is being a professional networking app and accounts that try to do otherwise are flagged and reported.
Do is an app that makes creating to-do lists fun. I love it because I can make lists, color code and get notification reminders before the deadlines I set and cross off the tasks I have completed.
It’s very intuitive so you can play around it and set any theme or font you like. Tasks can be sorted by date, alphabetically, scheduled time or color tag.
Asana was created to serve as a project management tool for teams, but it still works for individuals who’d like to keep track of either blog or personal projects. You’re able to color code your tasks and even add sub tasks or attach files if you like.
I get forgetful sometimes, so this app is amazing because I get a reminder email in the morning of the tasks that are due. Asana can be used on your computer as well – I prefer it on the computer screen if I’m being honest.
Two things I’d like to see - in-app notifications because I may forget about the email notification I got earlier in the day; and calendar view on the iPhone app, just like it is on desktop.
Asana is free for up to 15 team members but once that increases, pricing starts from $6.25 (USD). If you require a more complex plan, you’d have to contact the company for pricing.
I’ve used CoSchedule for some time and know people that swear by it. I’m very familiar with their headline analyzer and very informative blogs. CoSchedule is a social media scheduler and editorial calendar in one. When it comes to writing, editing and more of the things we content creators do, we need some form of organization in our lives.
With CoSchedule, you have a calendar view of your upcoming blog posts and any social media posts that you have scheduled. CoSchedule also lets you know when to post social media content, so you get the best engagement possible.
Re-queue is a feature that allows you automate your social media by re-sharing your best content (both new and old) at the best times. How cool is that?
Finally, you’re able to measure your content’s performance using CoSchedule’s Social Engagement Report. Co schedule connects with Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, Tumblr, Instagram and Google +.
If you’re into creating a cohesive Instagram feed and all about aesthetics, you should check out Planoly. Planoly helps you plan, manage and schedule your Instagram posts.
You can also analyze your posts to understand your audience, manage and reply to comments AND collaborate with team members, all in one app. Plus, they send you cute monthly wallpapers and content calendars.
With the high number of Instagram scheduling apps popping up in every corner. Planoly has been one of my favorites so far. With this app, you can upload your photos and have an idea of how they’ll look on your Instagram feed,
Scheduling your Instagram photos saves you a lot of time and with the new feature, the app is able to post to Instagram for you! Just make sure your photos are the right size if not it’ll send you a notification when its time to post.
With easy to understand analytics, impressive branding and a super informative blog, you have no worries when it comes to your feed.
It’s free for 1 user but you can only upload 30 photos per month (I know, it sucks). The lowest plan is the Solo for $7 a month with unlimited uploads and analytics for 1 year.
Canva is pretty much the best thing that has happened for creatives on the go. It’s a design tool that gives simplicity another definition. If you’re not interested in learning Photoshop/ Lightroom and InDesign, try Canva.
Canva is my go-to when I want to design my blog and Pinterest graphics because there are a lot of design templates you can choose and customize to match your brand.
If I need to create something a bit more complicated - like a mood board for example, then I use Photoshop or InDesign.
Canva is free but if you want features like creating custom dimensions, stock photos, graphics or some really nice templates, you have to pay for those. The templates are usually $1 so it’s not that bad.
Another good thing about Canva for work (monthly subscription) is when you register, you can just copy your brand’s hex codes and download all your fonts so you don’t have to do that every time you create a new document because it’s stressful, trust me.
With the free option, the fonts are limited so if your font isn’t there, you’d need to subscribe (because cohesive branding, right?).
HEALTH & FITNESS
7. Workout Trainer by Skimble
To get a good workout in, I use Skimble. This app is so amazing, it has lots of workouts that fit your needs. Whether you need to lose weight, gain weight or muscle or just maintain your weight. You can access some features for free but if you want to start a program, you’d need to pay.
Programs are exercises designed for you for a certain period (usually from 4 – 12 weeks) to help you reach your goals. The app also has certified trainers to keep you motivated while you workout.
For most of the workouts, you’ll see an actual person doing a demo while the trainer speaks in the background to guide you.
The community is so helpful, especially if you’re just starting out. You can ask questions in forums and people usually respond quickly. It’s one app I’m so grateful for.
8. 5K Runner
Perfect for beginner runners or anyone training for a 5K run. The runs are pretty easy at first but as you complete them and move to the next stage, they become intense.
You have intervals where you run and ones where you walk. If you think you can handle the intense workouts, you can start from there. You don’t have to start from the very beginning.
This app really challenges you - at least it did me. I’ve completed it once and I’m planning to start again. The running program is for 8 weeks.
Q: Anyone else sort their apps by color or is it just me?
I love a good recipe and yummly is my go to for that. I’d like to call it the Google for recipes because it’s packed with yummy looking meals - you can choose between breakfast, lunch, dinner, snacks or even by food.
Say you want recipes that have eggs in them. You can filter by that and yummly will show you recipes and videos depending on your search.
I highly suggest this for foodies and it’s also a way to try out new recipes and support the people that have spent time creating them.
Mint helps me keep track of my finances. I can add as many cards as I want, link my bank accounts and create monthly budgets. I get an alert anytime an activity occurs in my bank accounts like if my bank charges me a fee.
It also shows me my cash flow and spending charts so I have an idea of where my money is going and what I need to cut back on. I have my recurring bills set up and Mint reminds me about them a week before the due date. This has been a lifesaver because I tend to forget about some of these things.
Q: What are some of your favorite budgeting apps?
I’m very much into street wear fashion and pop culture and this is usually my first source for updates - from new items just released to news about celebs or creatives in this niche to the popular brands.
I visit the website once in a while but since they launched an app, it has been more convenient for me. I also get some blog post ideas from this app. Very handy if you’re into this style.
Check out my street wear style board on Pinterest
Hypebae is the female version of the above. It’s packed with curated articles for women that are big fans of street wear style (like moi!). So if you just want to be kept informed of only things happening on the female side, this is very useful.
I prefer to have both so I don’t miss out on any important updates.
What are some of your favorite apps to use when it comes to staying creative, managing your health and finances or keeping informed?