I’m all about making my life and running a business a little easier. I absolutely love when I hear about a new app or program that can help solve a problem I’m having or that can make me more efficient on a day to day basis. Below are the top 23 apps and programs that I use to run ever aspect of my business!
*Some of these links contain affiliate links and discount codes.
17hats – 17hats is the bomb.com y’all. It is seriously the #1 thing that I use to organize and run my business smoothly. Through 17hats, my clients can sign contracts, pay online, and receive questionnaires. I’m also able to save email templates, keep information together in their client folder, view my calendar, and so much more!! To learn more about what you can do with 17hats, check out the blog post I wrote here! Ready to sign up? Use the code liznord for 15% off your subscription!
Adobe CC – I use these programs for all of my editing. Lightroom is used for 99% of what I do. Photoshop is used when I need to do more in depth editing like skin retouching, removing blemishes, teeth whitening, etc. I use InDesign to design my magazines for my brides!
Album Exposure – Once I design my wedding client’s album, I upload their spreads to Album Exposure so that they can review, comment, and approve their album design. You can give them a special link, password protect their design, and even send them reminder emails.
Blogstomp– This is my secret to blogging FAST! Want a collage? 2 photos side by side? Want to add your logo to it? That takes literally 2 seconds, y’all. At only $49 you can Best investment ever!
Convertkit– If you’re interested in starting a newsletter, this is what I would suggest!! I’ve tried mailchimp and looked at many other platforms, but this was by the far the EASIEST to understand and use as well as one of the most cost effective options in my opinion! While mailchimp is free for the first 2000 subscribers, I just couldn’t used to it. I watched ONE tutorial video for Convertkit and was hooked.
CoSchedule – Through CoSchedule, I’m able to organize, plan, and post most of my social media content (specifically Pinterest, LinkedIn, and Facebook) as well as my blog posts … all in one place. CoSchedule also has a plugin that works with WordPress!
Crashplan – This is what I use to back up all of my images online! For only $150 a year, it has unlimited storage for up to 10 computers or hard drives. It’s totally worth backing up my images online in case of hard drive failure.
Dark Sky – My aunt actually introduced me to this app! It’s available for iPhone as well as Android and is a life saver when planning for a session or trying to avoid rain on a wedding day. There’s a lot of things that it does, but my favorite is that it gives you alerts when rain is about to start or when it’s about to end – LOVE!
Fundy Designer – I love using Fundy Designer for designing my client’s albums! There’s only a one time fee of $399 which allows you to design unlimited sizes. They work with so many companies and already have the dimensions and options you need to start your design process. No need to meticulously design in Photoshop only to find out you designed with the wrong dimensions!! Yikes…been there, done that. This program makes album design so much easier with it’s automatic design buttons, the option to add background colors/patterns, and more.
Google Drive – Back up your documents, notes, music, movies, etc! Everything is secured by Google and is accessible on any device…at any time! The first 15 GBs of storage are free, then only $9.99/month for 1 TB of storage. Share your link with others so that they can access your files too! This is a great way to share things with people you’re working on a project with.
Google Hangouts – This is my preferred online meeting platform. Skype is an alternative, but feel that I have better signal and little to no trouble with hangouts. Both are free! You can also screen share on these platforms!
Linktr.ee – Do you share a lot of content? Blog a lot? Always pointing someone towards your website or webinar link through Instagram? I use Linktr.ee to keep ONE link that points to multiple other links on my Instagram profile for this very reason! This eliminates confusion in case someone misses your previous posts but want to see this content on a later date. This way, they have the links to the most recent information as well as the older information that may still be of interest to them. This is FREE for the first 5 links!
Microsoft Excel – I use excel to keep track of all my expenses, income, equipment I’ve bought and sold, as well as the taxes I’ve paid. Some people love and use Quickbooks, but it just wasn’t for me. Excel works great for me and my accountant loves it too.
Planoly – I love Planoly! I use this to schedule my Instagram and Instagram story posts each day as well as to see how a post is going to look in my newsfeed before posting. Gotta make that feed pretty! 🙂
Photo Mechanic – Okay, I’ll admit that (at first) I thought this was an unnecessary expense. I already culled in Lightroom and it worked just fine for me. The thing is… Photo Mechanic is 100000x’s faster than Lightroom. I can cull a wedding in like 15 minutes now instead of an hour or more in Lightroom. The download speed is incredible. Then, you can just click and drag your picks into Lightroom making it so you only upload the ones that you WANT to edit.
Retouch – This app is SO cool. It’s basically Photoshop on a much smaller scale. I use it to take out objects, remove lines or blemishes, and more from my iPhone photos. “They” say the best camera you have is the one you have with you. This is especially true when you can take a great iPhone photo, then touch it up to remove distractions, and then edit the color in Snapseed (see below).
Shopify – On my website, I have a shopping cart where I sell my travel prints, e-books, email templates, and more. I’m able to do this through Shopify and I love how easy it is to use!
ShowIt – I just switched to ShowIt to host my website and domain. I’m LOVING it so far!
Snapseed – I use this app to touch up the color, contrast, and higlights in my iPhone photos! I have tried several apps and this is the one that works best for me and my style.
Stripe – My 17hats integrates with Stripe, so I typically use this method to accept credit card payments. However, I’ve also used Paypal as well as Square and loved those options too.
Trello – This is how I organize all of my random thoughts! Instead of writing down my ideas or to-do list on post it notes, I create a new “list” or “card” in Trello! It’s SO much better than having hundreds of post it notes on my desk (Yeah, it got bad for a while there). I love that I can access it at any time and share with other team members. Plus, it’s free to use!!
Two Bright Lights – I love when my work is featured online or in a magazine. I especially love how special it makes my brides feel! But this doesn’t just happen, y’all. There’s a ton of work that I do “behind the scenes” to make this a reality and with Two Bright Lights, I’m able to have access to hundreds of companies looking to feature new work.
Unroll.me – Use this website to quickly (and in bulk) unsubscribe from emails, keep them in your inbox, or roll them all up into one simple email instead of receiving hundreds. This is one of my secrets to keeping a clean and clear inbox! Check out more through this blog post that I wrote.
I hope you find this list helpful and would love hear what you think in the comments below! Do you use any of these currently? Which ones are you going to give a try? Any others that you’d recommend to me??