Despite my love of a good ol' notebook, there are quite a few apps that I find myself relying on when it comes to keeping up with my blog on the go. I'm the kind of girl who has both a paper and a digital copy of my calendar and I love having everything at my fingertips no matter where I am. For me, it makes my life a lot easier and helps me keep my busy mind under control.
These days you can get apps for everything, I even have an app that shows me when and where lightning strikes around the world and an app that helps me earn vouchers by counting my steps, so you're kind of spoilt for choice when it comes to most tasks. I tend to have a few options for each on both my phone and my iPad, so I switch between different apps depending on what I'm needing at the time. Here are a few that I keep returning to time after time, which are becoming pretty indispensable in my routine...
It may sound silly to be mentioning a web browser first, especially as smartphones all come with their own built in browsers, but the cross-platform functionality of Chrome is something I find other browsers struggle to beat. I use my Google account for most things - my calendar, my email... my blog! - so being able to sign in to the one account on my phone, iPad, desktop and laptop in order to access all of my bookmarks, saved accounts and history is a real time saver for me. If I'm reading something on my phone and want to switch over to my computer to finish reading then it's a total breeze, or vice versa.
In a similar manner, I think I'd struggle without a decent cloud-based file sharing app such as Google Drive or my current favourite, Dropbox. If I want to access files across any of my devices all I need to do is pop it in a certain folder and hey presto, it's there! Dropbox came in so handy for me when I was working across two computers and also makes uploading my blog photos to Instagram a dream.
I have a strange fascination with the stats side of my blog, I love seeing how certain things impact my views or engagement, so I like to be able to access these within a couple of taps if I'm not at my computer. The Google Analytics app is a lot easier to understand in comparison to the web based system, which is ideal if you're not familiar or comfortable with it, however I also love a free app called Simply Stats which uses your Analytics account to show key figures at a glance.
Over the past few years I have trialled and tested possibly hundreds of photo editing apps, from the big names everyone raves about to random discoveries on the App Store that I hoped would be hidden gems. I think I've finally curated the perfect set of photo editing apps that suit me to a tee, but knowing me I'll be downloading something new to try next week...
At the moment I love Canva, which is ideal for creating graphics or adding text to images, who also have a great website that I'd really recommend checking out. For creating collages I used to use PicStitch, but have since progressed on to Instagram's own app - Layout - which is super easy to use and has lots of collage options.
My actual editing and filters tend to come from Photoshop Express and Afterlight, or from Instagram's surprisingly impressive built in editing options. Afterlight is the only app I have ever paid for and I think it's definitely worth it for the dreamy filters and light leaks! I've used Photoshop on desktop since my early teens so using it on my phone was a no brainer, it's perfect for high quality, professional touches. The app isn't as in depth as the desktop programme, but it still packs a punch.
I mentioned in this post about my blogging routine that I'd made the decision to upgrade to the Awesome plan on Buffer, and I'm still so glad I did it. The Buffer app is available regardless of your plan, and it's ideal for adding a few updates to your schedule on the go. Gone are the days of me being out of the house and realising I'd forgotten to schedule tweets for the day, instead I just open the app and either tap out a couple of quick updates for my feed or re-schedule any of the updates I've made previously. It's great for sharing older blog posts, and also has built in analytics so you can see how successful your updates have been in promoting your blog.
Outside of the bog-standard social network apps, there are a couple that have made a real difference to being able to keep on top of my blog on the go and those are the Facebook Page Manager and YouTube Creator Studio. Both are made with creators in mind, so if you want to keep an eye on how your accounts are performing at a glance then you need these.
And now for the fun bit.
The lovely folk over at Three are giving you lucky people the chance to win a 16gb Rose Gold iPhone SE for all of your on-the-go internet desires. I'm not going to lie, I'm stupidly jealous of whoever wins it, as it's a bit of an Instagram-lover's dream! Check out the Rafflecopter widget below to find out how to enter.
a Rafflecopter giveaway
Terms and Conditions1. These terms and conditions are the rules which apply to this competition. By submitting their entry, entrants will be deemed to have agreed to be bound by the following terms and conditions.
2. This competition is run by Colours & Carousels in conjunction with Hutchison 3G UK Limited, operating as Three, Star House, 20 Grenfell Road, Maidenhead, SL6 1EH.
3. To enter the competition entrants must complete the Rafflecopter Entry System before 23:59 on July 15th 2016.
4. Entrants must be aged 18 or over.
5. This promotion is open to residents of the UK, except for Three employees, their families or anyone else associated with this competition.
6. No responsibility can be accepted for entries that are lost or delayed, or which are not received for any reason.
7. Winners agree to participate in publicity as Colours & Carousels and Three may require.
8. The prize on offer is a 16GB iPhone SE (rose gold) and a Three Sim card loaded with £10 of credit.
9. The prize is only as stipulated and cannot be transferred and/or exchanged for cash.
10. Confirmation of the prize will be made by email to the winner by 12th August 2016 at the latest.
11. Reasonable efforts will be made to contact the winner. If the winner cannot be contacted within 28 days, or is unable to comply with these terms and conditions, Colours & Carousels and Three reserve the right to offer the prize to another eligible entrant. Failure to respond and/or provide an address, or failure to meet the eligibility requirements may result in forfeiture of the prize.
12. Colours & Carousels and Three reserve the right to amend these terms and conditions at any time. If we do this, we will publish the amended terms and conditions on the competition page.
13. Colours & Carousels and Three reserve the right to end this promotion at any time, and without notice.