I got this email last week:
Greetings! You seem really into social media and wanted to ask you what applications and tools you can't live without.
There was a bit more but it was personal to the writer, so I'm paraphrasing.
Alright, so if you have a couple hours, I will respond.
Just kidding. I mean, truly, outside of the obvious -- Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Pinterest, Tumblr -- I could refer you to a helluva lot. I just counted; I have 238 apps on my iPhone. That can't be normal. And that's not even all -- I am sure I have apps on my iPad that I don't keep on my iPhone. Okay, not I feel a little queasy. And I think I need to clean up my app drawers....
Can anyone top that?
But anyway, like I said, other than the obvious, here are my favorite apps and programs. I hope you find something on the list that you simply must try or something you just started using and also love. Do let me know in the comments below - I love to hear about that stuff.
And despite having so many frickin' things on my phone, if you don't see an app I absolutely have to try, I hope you'll drop me a note about that, too!
Bloglovin' - Thank the lord someone posted about this to my SoCal Lady Bloggers Facebook group. You go to the site, sign up, add all the blogs you want to follow, and then you get notified every time one of your favorite blogs has written a new blog post. There is a Google Chrome plugin, a web-based application and an app. I can now read alll of my blogs all the time in any place and never miss a beat. Mind blown.
Buffer - Plenty of apps let you schedule tweets and posts but as we've learned thus far, I like things with Google Chrome plugins. And it keeps me from over-scheduling. I have my buffer set to a few times a day and as I drop articles and such into the queue, it posts them at those times. It's a great -- I love to share all the fabulous things I come across and Buffer helps me not annoy people. It also has an app and I use its "share now" function when I want to tweet and facebook at the same time.
Catch - There are a ton of project management tools. You'll see two more immediately following this one. But I like Catch because of its simple, clean and color-coded user interface and its sharability -- both with myself and my various homes online and with friends and collaborators.
Dropbox - You're probably using it. Simply put, you can put files in your dropbox and access them anywhere. It's really wonderful for work because I can check my work email at home, but not my files and so if I am in the middle of something and need to head out of the office, I can pop the file into the dropbox and pick it up on the other side. And in a pinch, I can grab things on my phone, too.
Evernote - Yes. Yes, I use this and Catch. I just like different things about the two so I've just decided to use both. Catch is a great, user-friendly app, but Evernote has some bells and whistles I really appreciate. It also has a native desktop app for Windows and OSX as well as a Chrome plugin, so it's really the MOST accessible thing ever. On top of that you get the ability to add documents to notes, seamless integration with other apps, the ability to secure your notes with a passcode lock when opening the app and more.
Goodreads - I am proud to say I've been on board with GR since it's creation in 2007. It's a really great online community. It is the world’s largest site for readers, book lovers and book recommendations. They just want you to love reading. What's more, TONS of authors are involved with GR and post to it regularly. It's so much fun. I've also worked with them in my professional life -- they could not be a nicer group. I hope Amazon's recent purchase of Goodreads does not change its mojo. (Consequently, I hope it does not leave Shelfari employees without jobs.)
If This, Then That (IFTTT) - Omigod, I don't know how to explain this genius. You need to click on the acronym and see for yourself. I guess it's like a recipe book for online. For example, whenever I take a photo in Instagram, IFTTT detects a "recipe" I created and simultaneously saves that photo to my Dropbox. There are nearly 3400 recipes on IFTTT. You're welcome.
Instacollage - There are like 10 million photo apps, right? This one lets me make collages. You can add frames, backgrounds, upload directly to Facebook,Twitter, Instagram and so on. And it's FREE, internets. Enjoy.
MyMovies - If I have 238 apps in my iPhone, I'm sure I have DOUBLE that amount in my DVD and Blu-ray home library. To be fair, I worked in film and TV for six years. You just acquire a lot of stuff. But this hoarding-hobby started in college, if I'm being honest. The residents (of my dorm) with the biggest VHS collections were the most popular -- everyone came to visit me to borrow movies. I made many friends that way. And recently, when I was bitching about losing track of my collection, the editor of Monsters & Critics directed me to MyMovies. God bless him, it's the best thing ever. I can scan bar codes before I even put them on the shelf and BOOM! Cataloged. And so great to just let people pan through on my phone to see what they wanna borrow. (P.S. There is a free version of this app, but I paid the $4.99 so I can access my library from my account, not just from my device. That will make things considerably easier when I get a new phone some day.)
Pocket - Once a link is saved to Pocket, the list of content is visible on any device -- phone, tablet or computer. It can be even be viewed offline. Pocket is available for all major devices and platforms including iPad, iPhone, Kindle Fire, Android, Google Chrome, and Firefox. When I'm working, I pocket articles I come across and read them at home later. Great tool.
Timehop - I am always, always surprised more people are not using TImehope. A friend told me about it a year or so ago. It's part of my daily routine now. You can see your photos and updates from this exact day in history from up to seven years ago. And you can share things with friends -- it's a great way to laugh about an old joke or revisit an old, loved memory.
Tinyscan - TinyScan turns your iPhone into a mini scanner for documents, photos, receipts and other texts and saves or shares them as PDF files. I didn't even realize this costs money -- someone gave me a promo code for it a while back. $4.99 seems like a lot for an app to me but it may be worth it if you could use this for business.
Tweetdeck - Tweetdeck is not what it used to be, but I still like it more than Hootsuite. It brings more flexibility and insight to Twitter power users. I've just recently started using it as a plugin in Chrome and viewing it in a tab. It's revent purchase and revamp by Twitter makes it work better though I still miss it interfacing with Facebook.
Waze - I did this alphabetically, but I LOVE Waze more than words can say, so it fits that it's in the "best for last" spot. Waze, which was recently purchased by Google (don't screw it up!), is the fastest-growing community-based traffic and navigation app. Join other drivers in your area who share real-time traffic and road info, saving everyone time and gas money on their daily commute. It finds traffic jams and navigates you around them. THAT is my favorite feature. Last night, it cut 20 minutes out of my drive home. I was THRILLED. And no, I do NOT use it while I'm driving. That is why you take advantage of Siri, people. And voice command. Learn it. Embrace it.