When you run three businesses, you need all the help you can get! I would be lying if I didn’t say that it took lots and lots of trial and error to find out what works best for our team. Over the years, we’ve tried out dozens and dozens of apps to keep us organized, increase our productivity, and communicate effectively! After a lot of testing, we finally have our holy grail of apps. From tracking our time to planning our Instagram feed here are the top mobile/desktop apps we swear by (in no specific order).
Our Top 6 Favorite Apps
Asana helps our team stay on track and improve productivity! This app allows us to assign ourselves and each other tasks and projects to complete. Before, we were sending each other these items via email which just ended up getting buried and lost in our inboxes. Think of Asana as a digital to-do list. You can assign due dates, chat with each other in the comments section, create calendars, and upload files to share with one another. It’s pretty amazing!
Aka AOL Instant Messenger for business. 😉 Slack has been a life saver of a communication tool for us since we started using it a few years ago. Because our team is always in and out of the studio, this allows us to stay in touch while we’re on the go. We love using slack for sending each other quick updates (that maybe aren’t worth an entire email), making company wide announcements, or sharing inspiration we find throughout the day!
Instagram has been a huge for our growth over the past 2 years. We have gotten some of our best projects and many of our out-of-state clients through this platform. Out of all the social channels, we by far spend the most time focusing on Instagram. So, when it comes to planning out our feed, Planoly has been a game changer. This app lets us preview and plan out our grid so that it looks cohesive, beautiful, and well thought out. It also allows us to easily check analytics, respond to comments and schedule posts ahead of time which is a massive time saver.
This application is more so for Interior Designers specifically, but we just had to mention it! DM has so many features that we use on a daily basis like project management, creating purchase orders and tracking shipments, accounting, pulling reports, and checking inventory. We also use this tool to log and track our hours for billing our clients as well. This software was completely designed (no pun intended) for Interior Designers, so it has everything you could possibly need to run your own firm. Haven’t sold you on it yet? Check out this little video I did with DM this past Spring to hear my first hand experience with it!
Although we did say that these are in no particular order, the Dropbox app is honestly one we cannot even imagine doing business without. Dropbox allows us to share documents and files between a number of different computers, smart phones and people. This is where we store our client’s folders, project images, and all of our business documents. While we spend most of our time using the desktop version, they also have a mobile app which is great when we’re on the go and need to pull something up quickly.
LIGHTROOM CC FOR MOBILE
We get lots and lots of questions about how we edit our photos for the blog, our portfolio, and Instagram. While our photographer does the bulk of the editing for us (thank god!), sometimes we need to put a little extra touch on the image to make it our own. We are huge fans of the light and airy look so we use the Lightroom CC app for Mobile (it’s free by the way!) to raise the exposure, reduce highlights, and adjust the temperatures on our images.
If you’re a little skittish when it comes to editing your own photos, we strongly suggest downloading presets! This takes all the worry and frustration out of editing, but gives you a final product that you’ll love. Our friend, Monika Hibbs, just released her own set of presets to use in Lightroom and we are pretty much obsessed. We both share a love of that bright aesthetic, so if you like our editing style, you’ll LOVE Monika’s presets. Below is a little before/after of an image we edited with Monika’s presets. You can also see more examples and find out of more info about them here.
And that’s it! These are the main apps we used on a daily basis. These programs have honestly helped grow our business immensely, and we hope they do the same for you! What are some apps you can’t live without? Let us know in the comments!
Header photography by: Julia Engel.