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?!
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?!