Happy Monday! In keeping with spring cleaning trends, I did a little cleanup on my phone this weekend, deleting and organizing photos and apps, and let me tell you–it was a job. I had gone way too long since the last cleanup which I won’t let happen again. Besides the thousands of photos and screenshots I had never transferred to my computer, I had pages of random apps scattered everywhere. I did a little Kon Mari on my app clutter and let most of them go (“No, weird car wash game I do not remember downloading, you do not bring me joy.”) and then structured my home screen into organized folders. There are several different ways to organize apps (I found this and this helpful), but I ended up arranging them into the following folders: Photography (anything photo and video related), Social Media, Shopping (Amazon, Target, Etsy, Shipt, etc.), Entertainment (Audible, Pandora, Netflix, fave podcasts, etc.), Wellness (running app, gym classes, meditation, etc.), Navigation (Waze, Uber, maps, my car app), Business (Dropbox, Google docs, my bank, etc.), Kids (anything kid related including games), and Food (Bite Squad, Uber Eats, etc.), and then I left mail, calendar and several other apps I haven’t quite figured out what to do with dangling. A little more work to do, but it’s so much better! I thought I’d use the opportunity to share some of my favorite apps though. Most of these are photo related, but I included a few kids ones we love as well.
A Color Story
I do most of my photo editing (when I’m not using Lightroom on my desktop) in Color Story and absolutely love the way it’s organized and what it has to offer. There are numerous filler packs (and frequently added new ones) you can buy which are really great, but the regular adjustment tools are just as good. You can also add fun effects like sun flares, bokeh, texture (to give photos a vintage look with grain) and twinkle lights.
Word Swag is a fun way to create photos for Instagram stories with text options beyond the few that Instagram offers. You can capture more editorial looking frames with magazine-like captions and titles.
Every time I share an 8mm video, I get asked what app I used. It’s a retro film camera that captures old-timey video footage with that grainy, flickery look that conjures all the nostalgic feels. It’s great if you’re adding music to create vacation video montages that you want to sob watching someday.
I don’t use this one a lot, but it’s really fun for certain occasions. Kira Kira records both regular photos or video with a twinkle effect around anything that would naturally sparkle–glass, metal, diamonds, etc. Posting a photo of jewelry, Christmas lights, champagne glasses lined up at your brunch? You definitely want to use Kira Kira.
The best meditation app! There are literally thousands of insights and mediations to choose from from guided meditations to help you fall asleep to short morning affirmations to get your day started. And it’s free! There’s also chants, music and lectures from renowned spiritual leaders all over the world.
Nike Run Club
I used Nike Run Club for all my runs. It tracks miles and courses, times and saves your runs, syncs your funs to Spotify or whatever playlist you choose and also offers guided runs, coaches, support and connection with other runners. I love the celebrity voices that pipe in to cheer you on as you run.
Our Pact and Zift
We have loved the OurPact parental control app, but last year Apple changed some policy that made geofencing, location tracking and time allowances only available on Android devices for this app, so we are switching to Zift for managing Lainey’s phone (super bummed because I LOVE the setup of OurPact. However, OurPact can still manage or block any iOS app. These apps are NECESSARY for responsible phone use for kids. You can set up screen usage times and even usage for particular apps so that they shut down when time is reached (you don’t have to be the bad guy!). They also link your phone to your kid’s phone so you can manage apps, usage and see where they are.
We’ve been using Endless Alphabet and Endless Reader since Nella was a toddler, and they are still so great for word recognition and learning to read. I swear Nella learned all her letters early from this app as well as what sounds they make.
It works for all three of my kids and great for those in-a-pinch times when we’re stuck waiting for something in some boring place or the kids are losing it. All the Toca Boca apps are open-ended play games, and I find myself even being delightfully entertained by them.
Did I miss a life-changing app? Do share!