lifestyle

Apps I Can’t Get Enough Of

Every day, I am in awe of what our phones are capable of. There are days when I want to throw it into the ocean, but for the most part, I have learned to live with my phone in a (somewhat) healthy way. The biggest thing is turning off all notifications and leaving my phone on “Do Not Disturb” mode while I’m sitting down to work. My phone is a HUGE part of what I do for a living… I just can’t work without it. I’m upgrading to the new iPhone next week, and I can’t wait for the updated camera.

In the meantime, I thought I’d share some of the apps that I’ve recently been using/loving. I did a video earlier this year showing how I organize my iPhone and talked about some of my favorite apps. But these are, for the most part, new ones to me! With SO many apps out there, isn’t it the best feeling to find a diamond in the rough?!

iPhone Apps

ONE // UNFOLD

This is the app that sparked my idea for writing this post. I recently started using it and have since been inundated with questions about what the app is. If you follow me on Instagram, you probably noticed the new layouts of my Instagram stories. They’re all created with the app Unfold! It’s not a perfect app, but I’m pretty obsessed with it.

Basically, you can create various layouts for your stories– including space for multiple pieces of content and a mix of media (photo, text, video, etc.). There are different packs you can buy, but I’m pretty purist (and cheap) when it comes to I use.

I love the app for a few reasons. The first is that it makes my stories look SO much cleaner. When stories first came out, it felt like our answer to feeling the pressure for “perfect” Instagram feeds. And, naturally, now people want stories to also feel cohesive and clean. I also like how I can include multiple pieces of content, like a boomerang AND a photo to get my point across in one frame.

I’ve also been trying to be present more in my everyday life, so I like that this gives me the excuse to quickly capture content… and then I can sit down at a later time and compile it into a nice story. I don’t have to just click “send” every five seconds. It’s allowed me to be more aware of how often I’m posting and to make sure I’m not just posting to post. As a result, I’m more thoughtful about the entire process.

(Just throwing it out there, I have a feeling Instagram is going to come up with their own native solution for this… )

TWO // LP

Remember how at the beginning of the year, I wanted to be better about documenting memories– especially with video? I’m doing it!!! I ditched the journal (who was I kidding), but I have been GREAT with the video.

A few of you guys actually recommended the app 1 Second Every Day as a way to document throughout the day and I downloaded it and freaking LOVE it. It’s been an amazing way to capture content throughout the day/year without being too intrusive on actually living my life. (You know?) I only missed one day and had to import a Boomerang instead of a video, but otherwise, I’ve been totally on top of it.

Last month, I had a live photo of me blowing out my birthday candles and I really wanted that as my video. There was all this conflicting information via Google on how to import Live Photos onto your computer and extract the video file (I couldn’t figure it out!)… but then I discovered the app LP. You can take a Live Photo and get the 1.5-second video clip from it or turn it into a GIF. It’s fun for sharing with friends and it’s also perfect for the 1 Second Every Day app. I usually take video, but sometimes a photo I take with my phone better captures the memory for the day. LP to the rescue.

I’ve been sending this app to so many of my friends, especially those with kids and babies. They move so fast that sometimes a Live Photo is better as a video than a photo.

THREE // PANASONIC + LIGHTROOM

So this is a two-app slot. Anyone can download Lightroom and I highly recommend it for photo editing on the go. It gives you so many options for enhancing your photos and if you’re familiar with how to edit like a pro, you can turn your phone into a mobile workspace.

I had never downloaded it for some reason and, while I love VSCO, I’ve found myself tuning images first (or only) in Lightroom… especially when the photo is directly from my camera and not my iPhone.

Two of my cameras have apps where I can connect via WiFi and transfer images directly from my camera to the phone. It’s amazing and I feel like I’m living in the future when I use it. I have a Panasonic Lumix GH5 that I’m using more and more and it’s so convenient to be able to transfer straight from the camera to my phone, especially when I’m trying to post real-time. The Panasonic app is great because I can also use it as a remote + monitor. I’ve been randomly taking photos of myself with a tripod (very glamorous) and I can set the camera up and control it from far away without having to run back and forth. I also don’t have to use the self-timer as I can just click the shutter from my phone.

FOUR // HEADSPACE

This is not a new app for me. (And I fully recognize that I’m a broken record at this point about meditation but….. EVERYONE NEEDS TO BE MEDITATING.) I’m coming up on 600 days in a row of meditating and I’ve learned a lot about the practice and how it works best for me.

Even though I can (and do) meditate without the app, I still sign on to use it once a day. I like that it keeps track of the minutes/hours I meditate as well as the various guided exercises you can work on. It keeps things interesting. Right now I incorporated a 10-minute guided meditation into my morning routine and I am noticing a huge difference in my motivation and productivity throughout the morning– which is the most crucial period of time for me to work! I get out of bed, let the dogs out, feed them, put the coffee on, make my bed, and sit down to meditate. I won’t even let myself open my laptop… it’s amazing.

But the real reason why I wanted to include it in here is that they have a new feature that I am LOVING. It’s called “Sleep by Headspace.” If you have been reading my blog since the beginning, you’ll know that I wasn’t always the best with sleeping. I went through serious bouts of insomnia and I also was so overworked that I didn’t have much time to sleep even when I could fall asleep. After my seizure, I was forced to overhaul my sleeping habits. And thank goodness. It’s changed my life. I’m so much happier, can get more work done throughout the day (in fewer hours, go figure), and (no joke) I haven’t been sick since… not even a minor cold. I also started dating a grandpa (lol) who literally goes to bed at 9 pm every night and now guess what? If I can, I’m climbing into bed at 8:45 to read before falling asleep. 10 pm is a VERY late night for me now 😂.

The “Sleep by Headspace” section of the app is amazing. Darkened, muted colors and various things to help you fall asleep better. There are Sleepcasts (podcast-like stories to help you fall asleep), Sleep Sounds (ambient sounds like a sound machine), and Wind Downs (exercises to prepare the mind/body for sleep). I’ve been working my way through the various options and I can’t really tell you much about them because apparently, they put me to sleep so quickly and so deeply that I don’t remember a thing about them when I wake up!!!

FIVE // QUIK

I don’t use this one that often, but I still wanted to share it. I know a lot of you either run your own social media empires or do social for a company or organization (either full time or on the side). I learned about this app from a girl at an event and my mind was blown. It’s by GoPro and meant for people to be able to clip their videos together into interesting and exciting videos. But you don’t need a GoPro to use it… any photo or video will do the trick. There are a ton of themes and ways to customize it. It’s kind of drag-and-drop easy. (And there’s room to really customize and get even more out of it.)

The videos end up looking like professionally edited videos that might have taken an hour or more on the computer, but it only takes a matter of seconds to create. If you need great Instagram Stories on the fly, can’t recomend this enough!

Okay, any apps I definitely need to check out?!

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27 Comments

Audrey | Brunch at Audrey's

Oh hey, I recently upgraded from my Panasonic Lumix G1 to G9! I haven’t yet tried the Wifi capabilities yet (have been transferring photos the old fashion way), but I’m gonna have to test it out! On my phone I use VSCO to edit, and I have Lightroom on my laptop, but I haven’t tried the mobile app. I might play around with that when I find some downtime 🙂 // Ah I had learned about and forgotten about Unfold, but I’ve definitely noticed several people using those layouts in their Stories! -Audrey | Brunch at Audrey’s

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Leanne

Thank you. I have had a lot going on the last few weeks and a lot of trouble sleeping. I have just downloaded Headspace and I’m just about to try the wind down meditation. Your recommendation couldn’t have come at a better time. Thanks again x Leanne

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Taylor

Love this post! I recently organized all my apps by color (inspired by the home edit!) and I got rid of a lot of useless apps. I like only having one page on my home screen.

With the new iOS update, I was hesitant about the new ‘screen time’ feature, but it’s really eye opening and helps me realize when I might be spending too much time on my phone during the work day.

I have two favorite apps right now – the co-star app is a a personalized astrology app that easily explains your birth chart and gives you daily updates on changes in your signs. I know astrology isn’t for everyone, but it’s the best app I’ve found and I’m usually on it 1-2x a day!

This past marathon a few of my friends ran the Chicago Marathon and the app was incredible for spectators! You could add ‘favorite’ runners that you could track and then you could basically track them in real time on the map! It was incredible. My friends and I wanted to cheer our friends on in a few different spots along the route and being able to see on the map where they were and their pace. Technology is amazing!

xo, Taylor

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Kate

I love the Headspace app as well been using it for about 2 years now! Question, when you’re listening to the app to fall asleep do you where headphones or does your bf not mind? Right now I listen with my phone on my night stand but looking for tips now that you live with your bf.

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Ellie

I didn’t realize Lightroom was a free app! I need to give it a try!!

I also live and die by my Wunderlist. Literally planned my wedding with Google Docs and Wunderlist (and I plan weddings professionally!). I have lists for things I want to add to my closet, to do lists, packing lists, shared grocery list with my husband (so handy), etc. I love that it syncs between my phone, Chrome, iPad and Macbook, I love the subtasks, and I love that you can collaborate on lists. Hands down my fave to do app of all the ones I’ve tried.

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Tami Cain

Thank you Carly for sharing your app ideas. I am so old school, and older:) I struggle with new technology. Will give Lightroom a try… Keep up all you do every day..

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alison

Somehow I didn’t know there was a Lightroom app lol. I use Photoshop Express for all my phone photo editing, and it’s free too.

I’m honestly not a fan of unfold. As an iphone user, I think there’s a special place in hell for “free” apps that you download just to discover you need to pay per item to access any content. As an instagram user, I find Unfold stories annoying to view. They’re not designed well for the size of the average phone screen.

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Karin

Thanks for sharing your app recommendations! I love taking photos so I will definitely be checking some of these out!

I absolutely love the 1 Second Everyday app! I don’t really use it in the “Timeline” mode where you add a video for each day. Instead, I really like using it in the “Freestyle” mode to create videos of trips I go on. I love how easy it is and that it captures the date and location where the video took place. I know you can pay a monthly fee to have more features, but the main one I want is to add music. I found a workaround for this though, just add music in iMovie instead.

One note about live photos: if you open your Photos app on your phone and view a live photo, if you swipe up when viewing the photo, you can change it from “Live” to “Loop” “Bounce” or “Long Exposure.” It’s pretty cool and nice to be able to do that right in the same app where all my photos are stored anyways.

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Kirsten Celeste

I recently discovered Unfold and I LOVE it! It’s so minimalist and classic at the same time.

I use to use Headspace and it was really amazing paired along with some of my other brain apps to help keep my mind running and stimulated.

Thanks for your transparency Carly!

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Sabrina

Thank you for the LP tip! I love using One Second Everyday but was having the same issue of wanting to use some live photos. I’m documenting my senior year of college with the app and I couldn’t be happier with how it’s turning it out!

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Gen

I like the new layout, but I miss bloggers posting stories in real time! It just feels like another Instagram post, not candid or real life to me. If it’s for your mental health, good for you! Can’t knock that..

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Leanne

Thank you so much for sharing your recommendations. I had the first good nights sleep last night in ages thanks to the Headspace app you suggested x

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Katelyn

Hi Carly! I recently started using the to-do list Things 3 app and have becoming totally obsessed. You do have to pay a one time fee, but in my mind it has already been totally worth it!! Keeping me so so organized every single day!

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Emma

Wow did the app LP just change my life. My best friend loves to take live photos and do 1SE this blends those so well for great memories/

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DaLorean

Just downloaded Lightroom and I’m excited to try it! I’m hoping I can get what I need out of it without having to pay monthly 😉

I did Headspace for a good 4 or 5 months last year. It did nothing for me. Meditation in general does nothing for me. I don’t know why, especially since others swear by it.

My favorite app is eReader Prestigio. I use it for reading ebooks. Any downloaded ebooks can be put in the app, and you can even have the app read it aloud for you! (A sneaky way to get around having to buy audio books, heehee).

I’m also going to try the 1 Second Every Day app you mentioned.

Thanks for these!

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Marie

I might have to resubscribe to Headspace just for the new sleep features. I currently listen to this free recording that they produced in collaboration with The Guardian on the nights when I’m having trouble falling asleep. I love that little trick where you mentally shut off parts of your body — just a few minutes in and I’m out like a light!

P.S. I thought 1SE already had the option to use your Live Photos in the timeline. I think I’ve done it a few times when I’d forgotten to record but now I wonder if I’m mistaken.

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Caitlin

Love this post Carly. I am always looking for awesome new apps to use, especially as a new blogger. Thanks for the tips and insight.

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