MKW Graphics
Helping small businesses turn brand vision into visuals
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Tips + Thoughts

To call myself a blogger feels all too millennial. Instead, I consider this portion of my website to be part knowledge library, part design magazine and part entreprenurial-digital-nomad travel journal. Hope you enjoy reading my musings!

- MKW

ALLLL my favorite iPhone Apps: Photography, Productivity, Networking, Travel and Beyond!

I am 1000% one of those people who should probably have my phone surgically attached to my hand (DURING THE WORK WEEK). I am an instagram addict, on-the-go-freelancer and I love the convenience of checking in on projects and with clients from my smartphone. Here's a round up of my FAVORITE applications for business!

 

FOR PHOTOGRAPHY:

 
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1. Instagram

If I had to guess, I would say that instagram is my most used app on my whole iPhone. Even more than gmail or texting or calling or anything, I love instagram from a few reasons: It allows you to connect with strangers. I think the internet in general has changed the way that I, and a lot of people, interact with perfect strangers. With the click on the ‘follow’ button, you now have a day to day look at someone’s life (as much as they are willing to share it). Instagram particularly has always been an interest of mine because of how visual it is. I am a sucker for beautiful aesthetics and thoughtful grids. I love following accounts that are doing interesting things artistically. I also love the game of it. When you think about Instagram as game, it starts to feel like a lot less pressure. I like following the movers and shakers (@jennakutcher, @alexmichaelmay, @rosieclayton, @mattcrump, @ariellevey) and trying to figure out how they are successful at their craft. Each has their own voice and their own tactics for keeping their people engaged and honestly I could write a novel about it…. but I’ll leave ya here. 

 
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2. A Color Story

I really really tried to be part of the VSCO cam groupies and I just couldn’t do it. To start off, both VSCO and A Color Story are photo editing apps that are basically the closest you can get to photoshop on your phone. I have been an avid Color Story user for a while now because I love their punchy, reminds you of a fruity cocktail in the summertime kind of aesthetic, (which I think is more my aesthetic. Basically if you think of A Color Story and VSCO Cam as people, A Color Story is probably a bright, quirky, bubbly art director and VSCO is a moody hipster that wears flannels. In my mind that’s how they look anyway. 
 

 
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3. Snapseed

This is actually a google app and I use it to do basic cosmetic (READ: NOT AIRBRUSHING) edits to images. For example, you can use Snapseed ‘healing’ brush to remove bandaid over trash in the background or I used it recently to blot out some swimmers in the way way back of one of my Costa Rica Photos. This is a great tool, but word to the wise, use cautiously. Over edited photos are a total turn off. I like Snapseed also for the ability to straighten out horizons and make sure that all horizontal and vertical lines are on the square (personal pet peeve). 

 
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4. Adobe Sparkpost  

wrote a whole blog just on how much I love this here

 
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5. Boomerang

I love the boomerang app for probably the same reason everyone does, it just makes cool videos that add a little extra oomph. 

 
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6. UNUM

This is a really basic grid planning app that I use to organize my own images in for my social feed. I don’t use it often, but if I have a bunch of photos from the same shoot for example, and I need to space them out, I will load them in here first so that I can see what looks best visually next to each other. 

 

FOR PRODUCTIVITY:

 
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7. Slack

I use slack with the rest of the team over at Beacons Point for projects we work on together and also use it to keep in touch with the Wifi Tribe members year round. It’s really nice to have rapid fire messages contained to something outside of social media. 

 
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8. Harvest Time Tracker  

This is the same program that I use on my computer for time tracking and invoicing. If I am ever working on a project away from my computer, I can still track the time on the project from my phone. 

 
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9. Basecamp

Ditto here for Harvest. It’s nice to be able to open up peoples’ basecamp requests on the go as I’ll often shoot back a “great! I can work on this ___” message. 

 
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10. Gain Notify

This is the app that goes along with my social media scheduler Gain App. It sends me a notification when a prescheduled post needs to be manually published. 

 

11. Google Drive + Google Docs

I love having access to everything, same reason for Dropbox really. I store a lot of blog ideas and other things like contracts, brainstorms and collaboration pieces on google docs. I like the flexibility of being able to access and edit from multiple devices. 

 
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12. Squarespace Analytics

I really like checking in on popular content on the websites I manage to check the traffic and better gage what our audience wants to see. This is a really easy way to review it all when I don’t have my computer open. 

 
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13. Mailchimp

I use the mail chimp app to also check on analytics as far as who has opened email blasts, who is clicking through and at what rates. These can all be indicators as to how an email headline or subject matter is performing, and it’s information I geek out on knowing. 

 

FOR NETWORKING:

 

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14. Facebook

I put Facebook under networking because that’s what I truly use the platform for. I am a member of way too many Facebook groups and I use them as an instant-tool for questions I can’t seem to figure out and answers I don’t want to spend time looking for. I will ask stuff like “anyone know how to change the color of the cart icon on squarespace?” and within a few minutes someone usually links me to a tutorial, or just lets me know how to get it done. The rule with this, however, is that you cannot always take, take, take, take, but you have to give as well. I spend a few hours throughout the week answering threads where I can help someone else or refer them to someone who can. This is a great way also to connect and get feedback on your work from a larger, more diverse audience than you are used to. For example, I am in a Facebook group where, once a week we are prompted to share one of our website designs of which we are particularly proud, but also want constructive criticism. I did this not too long ago and got a whole slew of feedback (some of which I listened to, others I didn’t) about how to improve the functionality of the website. It’s a great way to get feedback on your work and continue to grow as a professional. 

 
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15. Linked In

I use LinkedIn exclusively to share the content that I am creating. I think as far as social platforms go, LinkedIn is my weakest link (pun intended), BUT I have had a lot of success sharing my own blogs and experiences on my LinkedIn page and having the most random people comment asking if they can share with their office/colleagues/boss/coworkers. To which I always say, DUH and YES PLS.

 
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16. MeetUp

In my first full year post grad, I remember whining to my mom about not having coworkers. She told me to start joining networking groups which sounded like a total snooze fest. I was kind of out of options, so I downloaded MeetUp App and selected probably 75 different interests (can a girl not like dogs, tacos, drones, hikes and painting all at the same time?!) not knowing that it would drop me into all those corresponding groups. Completely overwhelmed by options and notifications, and not knowing which were legit groups or not, I almost deleted the app before I got a personal message to join for a networking breakfast the next morning (food comp-ed. = hell yeah). SO glad I decided to go, because I made pretty legitimate connections just that day and it lead me to where I am today as a member of Denizen! Needless to say, MeetUp is fun to poke around every once in a while to see what’s Up (pun intended, again I know I am the worst). 

 

 


FOR TRAVEL:

 

Many of you know my ultimate goal is to live all over the world, so I consider travel a part of work and work a part of travel. I want my work to support my lifestyle and my lifestyle to support my work, yadda mean? Here are my favorite travel apps:

 

For finding flights:

17. Hopper - basically you set in a trip you want and the dates and it forecasts when ticket prices are going to be the cheapest… when to buy, when to wait, etc. I throw in a bunch at once and it’ll send you a notification about when and where to buy for the best price. 

18. Kayak - same deal basically

19. Sky scanner - pretty much the same as well 

 
 

For Accommodations: 

20. Airbnb - who isn’t using Airbnb these days

21. Booking.com app - I just reserved my family’s hotel for Nuremberg, Germany for Xmas and this stores all my confirmations so I don’t have to dig in my email for it. 

 

For Activities:

22. Trips - this is the new app that Lonely Planet launched recently and its great for getting ideas (see: instagram potential) for cities you want to visit. Go check out @girlgoneaborad! 

23. Google Trips - this one blew my mind in a AI kinda way, but basically it syncs with your gmail account to figure out when your traveling and what days and then populates with things to do, places to see, food to eat, etc. Pretty trippy stuff! 


That about wraps it up! Of course I have more on here like my mobile banking apps and yadda yadda but that shit is boring. What are your best iPhone apps and how do you use them best for your biz?