For the past couple months I have come across a few apps that I've found to be really helpful. In a world where about half of my business model is executed through my iPhone or Laptop, it is always nice to have those apps that can provide me with extra tools to help me manage my business.
Here are five helpful apps that would be beneficial for photographers (or any other creative). The best part is that all these apps are free!
Waze is basically a cooler version of your Maps app that you get already installed on your phone. This app has quite a few features that the Maps app doesn't offer, like safety alerts, police alerts, the option to add a stop to your route, send ETA alerts, and more. But the main feature I use on this app is "Plan A Drive". When I have a photoshoot, meeting, or order to pick up, I'm able to see the traffic for each 15 minute increment and what time I should leave by. The app will send me a notification either when it's time to go, or ten minutes before. You can also sync your Facebook events.
2. My Gear Vault
My Gear Vault is a really cool app created by photographer Jared Polin. This app is a vault for all of your photography gear, categorizing them to keep things neat and organized. With each piece of equipment you put into your vault, you can enter in data like the serial number, the amount you paid, a picture of the receipt, if the item was bought used, date of purchase, and even a nickname. You can also create kits. For example, I made a kit of my 5D Classic and my Tamron 35mm lens. This is the set up that I throw into my bag (not literally) and take with me every time I leave my house. You'll always have a total value of your inventory, and it'll even total the value of each category.
If my gear were to get stolen or lost, I will always have as much of a detailed list as possible. This app provides a questionnaire that you can fill out and get a quote for insurance. I think this is an essential app to have if you are a photographer.
If you've ever been on YouTube, you've probably seen an ad or heard another creative talk about this website. But with good reason!! This website is awesome, and they have an app so that you can use it when you're away from the computer. Skillshare is a website with classes and courses, usually lasting either 30 minutes or an hour. The classes are made up of 5-10 minute videos, effectively condensing a lot of information into short-ish videos. It's basically like watching a bunch of YouTube tutorials, but the selection to choose from is vast and the majority of these videos are filmed very well. You can save classes to watch later or always have as a reference, and you're able to see how long each class lasts so that you'll know if you'll have time to finish the class or not.
One thing I love about this app/website, is that this tailors to all areas of the creative spectrum. What I see most of is photography, illustration, social media and marketing, and graphic design. But there are lots of subcategories within each category! You also have the option to browse through workshops and projects.
Membership is free, but a lot of the classes are for "Premium" members, who pay a small monthly fee, or an annual fee. If you are looking to sign up for this website and want to have all the classes available to you, it would definitely be an investment. But if you're a business owner like me (high five!) you can count this as a tax write-off!
UNUM is an app that can help you plan out and gain a little better understanding of your Instagram account. While there is a different website called Websta that provides a lot more info and stats for free, grid panning is a feature that they do not offer, like UNUM does. With grid planning, I'm able to test out and visualize where I want my photos to be, and where they will fit best with the surrounding photos. I know what photo to post next, and the entire order of my Instagram profile, without having to post any of the photos. My tones and compositions can all flow together because this app lets me plan ahead.
There's also a few other things that this app offers, like reminders for when to post, planning out captions, seeing what time of day you'll get the most engagement, and which past hashtags have done the best. There are other features that require a subscription, but the free features are quite helpful.
I just recently found out about this app, and I've been sitting here thinking "Why hadn't I found this sooner?". Even if you don't have a business account, you can still have a clean Instagram feed that will flow together.
5. If This Then That (IFTTT)
IFTTT is probably my favorite app out of the 5 (although all of these apps have served me very well). Imagine having a personal assistant, in the robotic form of your phone. IFTTT syncs with your apps to create "Applets". A good example of this is every day at 3pm I'm notified that it's time to post on Instagram. And every time I post on Instagram, the photo and caption will then be posted on my Twitter account. They have some really cool ones, like the "Get yourself out of an awkward situation" applet, or "Get notified when the space station passes over your house."
You can make your own applets by choosing an action that gets triggered by another action, all with the apps on your phone. This app is excellent for all of the small and tedious stuff that can be passed onto your phone to be responsible for. It might be a little time consuming to get all of your applets set up and in place, but if you really stick with it, it is so worth it!
I hope you found some cool apps that you can't live without! I know I have!
Are there any apps or websites that I didn't talk about that you have found to be very helpful? Did you try any of the apps that I did talk about, and what did you think? Feel free to leave them in the comments!