Tuesday, January 7, 2014

10 Apps & Websites You Need in 2014


I have gotten a few questions about what I use to edit photos for my blog. So, I thought I'd compile a list and take it a step further by also sharing a few other phone apps and websites that I use on the regular and have helped make my life easier.

As much I would love to learn Photoshop, I have never had the patience to sit down and teach myself or take a class. Plus, it is pretty costly and with all the other programs out there for a fraction of the price, or better yet, free, I have chosen to stick with a few that have worked well for me.

Photo Editing:

PicMonkey - I know that most of you know of this website. It's been around for almost two years. Until last year, it was 100% free. Many of the functions and tools can still be used at no cost, but for $5.00 per month, you can subscribe to all the elements and editing formats. It is well worth the money and there are thousands of ways to edit photos, add text, make collages or fix imperfections. I use it every single day.

Photobucket - I store most of my blog photos here instead of keeping them on my hard drive. I do pay a small yearly fee to store them because of my files sizes, but you can store a certain amount for free. Also, the editing tools do not require you to pay or submit a credit card. I don't do much editing here, but the sharpening tool that Photobucket provides is the best one I have found. There is also a free app for this site.

Afterlight - I know there are about eleven billion photos apps out there for smart phones but if you don't have this one, get it now. It is the best $.99 you will spend. I use it for the photos I take and share on Instagram. I have tried a few dozen photo apps and this one is hands down my favorite. The photos you take with your phone will come alive and look as if they are straight from a DSLR camera. Promise. Give it a whirl.

Whitagram - If you are on Instagram, this app is golden! You upload your original photo and it sizes it so that your entire picture fits into the nice little square when you post it on Instagram. This one is free.

PicFrame - Yes, this is the one where you can make collages that are already shaped in a square for Instagram, but did you know that it also has a mirror image tool? Yeah, I didn't either until I was playing around with it last year. So, delete those other mirror tools you already downloaded and save yourself some space on your phone. Cost is $.99.

Magic Hour - This isn't a place to actually edit photos, but it will tell you the best hours to shoot pictures outside. It's super simple. Enter your location and it let's you know when to expect the "magic hour" time windows for morning and evening photographs. In a nutshell, it reports the exact time when sunrises/sunsets begin and end.

Non-Photo Related

Bitly - I use this both on my computer and phone. It's a way to shorten you links when sharing on social media, but the best part is that you can track your links. This is a great tool if you offer sponsorships on your blog or if you're advertising on other blogs. You can also organize them by dates, topics or titles. It is super easy to use. Both the website and app are free. 

Genius Scan - Let's be honest. How many of you really own a scanner or fax machine? I bet most of you don't. That's where this app comes in. It's a way to take a picture of anything and save it as a PDF or .jpeg. This comes in super handy when a signature is required and it actually looks like a scanned document too. Talk about doing business on the go and it's free.

rewardStyle - I linked to the app here because you have to join the rewardStyle site to see the elements of the webpage. This site is not just for style/fashion bloggers. It's the best tool to monetize your blog when you post items (clothes, furniture, home decor, cosmetics and the list goes on) from retailers that participate with rewardStyle. They also recently launched a way to shop your favorite pics on Instagram with the LiketoKnow.It program. Sign up with @liketkit on Instagram, submit your email and receive all the links to the photos you "liked" delivered straight to your inbox. It's genius and free. 

Poshmark - Many people think that this is only an app on smart phones, but it's not. Poshmark is an actual website full of clothes, shoes, beauty essentials and accessories sold by individuals. Most of the items are resale, but you can also find brand new items as well. It's the place to go when looking for that scarf that is sold out at Zara or the shoes you were dying to have last year and missed out on them. You never know what you will discover. I list most of my clothes here after cleaning out my closet. I can do it all on my phone and can complete one listing is less than two minutes. Poshmark also takes care of setting up the shipping fees and will send you your postage via email once an item has sold. I used to sell on eBay, but made the switch to Poshmark and won't be looking back anytime soon. Both website and app are free. You can shop my closet here.

Now it's your turn. I am hoping you will leave a comment letting everyone know what your favorite, can't live without it websites or apps are. It will be a great resource for us all. I am sure there are a several that I haven't heard of and need to add to my list. I can't wait to read and check out what you guys find most helpful.

Shanna

51 comments:

Beauty Fashion Skin Care Blog - Girlie Blog Seattle said...

Thanks for the recommendations. All are useful. I will give PhotoMonkey a try. Always nice to edit photos for blogging.
Beauty Fashion Skin Care Blog -Girlie Blog Seattle | Casual Chic Style

In a trendy town said...

So many webs! We are going to investigate them. Thanks!

http://inatrendytown.blogspot.com.es

Becky M said...

I love these kinds of posts! Thanks for all the info and the heads up! Can't wait to download some of these!

agirlandhersparkles.blogspot.com

Chelsea Oliver said...

I use some of these already but I'm always interested in seeing what other bloggers use to make their sites awesome! Thanks for the tips!

-Chelsea
chelsandthecity.blogspot.com

LV said...

Thank you for all of these great resources. They definitely come in handy for bloggers. Can't way to try some of these sites.

http://foodfashionandflow.blogspot.com

TaraMixandMatch said...

I am so downloading whitagram...thanks for the suggestion!

Heidi said...

Thanks for the recommendation for Whitagram! Downloading that ASAP! I have other blog friends who can't live without HootSuite for Twitter. I'm slowly getting there because I have days at work where I am not near my phone at all.

http://jax-and-jewels.blogspot.com

Alyssa said...

I love knowing what other bloggers use for their photos/site. I mostly stick to Photoshop and an external hard drive, but there are a few new things you suggested that I want to try out!

Lauren {Fizz and Frosting} said...

Afterlight is THE BEST. I've tried and paid for several other apps, but nothing compares! It's my favorite!

Rebecca said...

Thanks for sharing....you're really a gem to the industry!

Rebecca
www.redtagchiclosangeles.com

Bri Bliss said...

Thanks so much for these Shanna! I've been really struggling with my iPhone photos & I hope Afterlight can solve that problem!

Tiffany @ PinkFaithToday said...

LOVE this post. Thank you for sharing!! I just downloaded several of your recommended apps. The app I use almost daily is evernote. I take notes for everything and it so great b/c you can access your account from anywhere.

www.pinkfaithtoday.blogspot.com

Gina said...

Thank you!!! Wow, this is so helpful. Fabulous post, Shanna!
XO, Gina
http://classyeverafter.blogspot.com

Rachel said...

Picmonkey is a great alternative to Photoshop! I use Photoshop myself,but always refer others to try PM.

Anne said...

Just started playing around with Pic Monkey....debated getting Photoshop but couldn't stomach the price. I use some of the other apps you mentioned and love them as well! Thanks for sharing!

All That Glitters said...

Love these! And picmonkey is SOooooo worth the $5! :)

All That Glitters said...

Oh, and I am downloading whitagram as we speak. There is nothing more obnoxious than having to cut off a great picture to fit in that little box!

TheTinyHeart said...

Going to download Whitagram asap! Thanks for all the suggestions!

-Sharon
The Tiny Heart
$50 PayPal Giveaway!

Jenn @ WLB said...

I only recently started using picmonkey and I have no idea why I waited so long! I feel like I'm going to be looking for more of these at a later date so I already pinned it. A little over zealous? haha

The Balch Bunch said...

Thanks!!!!

Brooke Hamilton said...

YES! I've been looking for an app that puts the full picture on instagram! Thank youuuuu! Love that it's free too :)

Helene in Between said...

well this is amazing. i had some of these but never heard of whitagram. getting that now!

Always Maylee said...

I've been using photobucket to store my picture for awhile now. I like it, it's easy and no-fuss. I also use photoshop to edit whenever necessary. As far as non-photo related apps go... all of mine are shopping related. Oops! :)

xo, Yi-chia
Always Maylee

Lauren Elliott said...

Awesome, thanks for sharing!

Stesha said...

Magic hour?! I must look into that ASAP, that app sounds amazing! I am currently really loving VSCOcam, it is amaze for editing!

xxS

Stesha said...

Magic hour?! I must look into that ASAP, that app sounds amazing! I am currently really loving VSCOcam, it is amaze for editing!

xxS

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Elle said...

Thanks for sharing, I love these type of posts!

www.fashionsontop.com

Makaila Acelar said...

Great post Shanna, thank you for sharing!

Rhonna Designs is one of my absolute fav apps. I use it to square photos and leave white space for upload to IG. I created my wedding announcements with it. I used it for my son's text'able birthday invitation.. I love love love it.

Kayla Gilbert said...

Wow! Thanks for all this insight Shanna! I have some of those but I will have to check out the others! : )

Kayla
www.lovelucygirl.com

SMD @ lifeaccordingtosteph said...

I didn't use Bitly, I will now!

PicMonkey is my favorite.

Kate at Green Fashionista said...

I was so upset when PicMonkey was no longer 100% free. But I had no idea it was only $5 definitely worth the cost. Such a great site :)

Tori said...

This is one of the best post!! So helpful to other bloggers--especially fairly new ones like me!! This gave me a wealth of knowledge and I cannot wait to try some of them out!!

Thanks for sharing the knowledge :)

Tori
FashionBlingGirlyThings

Gwen said...

Great recommendations! I use PicMonkey and Bitly. I think I'll definitely use Afterlight and Genius Scan. I have a scanner, but it's kind of a pain sometimes to have to use it.

Style-Delights said...

Great list!! I LOVE picmonkey!! Also, thanks for introducing scan app!! I need it like yesterday! LOL! Hope you are having a wonderful day!
-Jyoti
Style-Delights Blog

Kacie Ellis said...

This is a great post! I'm pinning it right now :)

http://kacieskloset.blogspot.com/

Because of Jackie said...

What a great list! I adore Picmonkey, Bitly, Rewardstyle and Poshmark and use them daily. I need to check out Afterlight, I'm intrigued!

Susan Liberatore said...

I use pretty much all of the iphone apps you reco'd...in addition to VSCO Cam {try it!} + squareready which I just downloaded following someone's reco

Samantha Curtis said...

OH this Genius Scan thing is great news! Thank you!!

Misty said...

Downloading Whitagram and Genius Scan right now!

Alice Warren said...

Great post Shanna!! I am always trying to figure out how to not crop my pics. Downloaded Whitagram.

Alice
www.happinessatmidlife.com

Ashley Barnhill said...

Bitly has an iPhone app?! How did I not know this?! Thanks for sharing! :)

JMc said...

Just downloaded Afterlight and that is the best .99 I've spent! Love that new app. Thanks for the recommendation

Dee Kay said...

Yay thanks so much for this, right on time was going to google the collage and mirror app people use on instagram. I love Vscocam for pictures.
Dee
Ms Dee Kay

Maddie~The Whimsy One said...

This outfit. I love it! I love simple stripes with any bright color that pops.

Whitney M. @ The Married Me said...

Thanks for this! So helpful!

Amy Fashion Blog said...

Thanks for sharing these.

Kelsey Long said...

Thanks so much for sharing! I can't wait to take a look at all of these! I really appreciate it!

xo

Kelsey

www.excusemyblog.com

(I just launched my fashion blog and currently have a giveaway offering $250 worth of credits for a Facebook campaign/advertisement that can be used towards your blog or business!)

Chelsea said...

Great tips! I just purchased Afterlight and love it so far! What app do you use to add the pretty dots to your images? They look like sequins almost. HA does that make sense?

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