Blogger U: All About Apps 201

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As far as apps go, I have far too many installed on my iPhone. I must admit: I’m an app junkie. I’ll download one, try it for a week or so, and if it doesn’t make some sort of impression on me, it gets deleted.

There are several apps I’ve really been loving lately that have passed my week-long test period and proven themselves worthy of being included in an Apps 201 post. Without any further delay, let’s talk about what those apps are!

1. VSCOcam

This free photo editing app has changed my life! To me, it is the easiest way to take a so-so photo to an Insta-worthy jewel. Not only can you adjust the size and orientation of a photo within VSCO, but you can really tweak the lighting– which we all know is the most important thing!

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201 tip: I once learned that in order to keep your Instagram feeds consistent (and thus gain more followers), it’s a good idea to create a formula of sorts for all of your photo editing. If I edit a photo in VSCO, I almost always up the brightness a good bit, up the contrast a little bit, turn the temperature a little cooler, and stick to one of three filters. All of the filters are gorgeous, so just pick a few that really speak to you and stick with them!

2. Snapseed

I use this free app for one main thing: selective photo brightening. Have you ever had a killer aerial shot of your beautiful pasta dish, only to notice that the lighting in the restaurant left a shadow in the bottom right corner of your photo? Totally ruined, right? Nope, not with Snapseed!

Although this app does take a few minutes of playing around to figure out, you can select very small portions of your photo, and then brighten (or darken) that portion as much or as little as you wish, then save it to your camera roll. I’m obsessed with that one feature of this app and, to me, makes it well worth the space it takes up on the “hard drive” of my phone.

3. Google Drive and Google Sheets

As much as I wish I was, I’m not the most organized person. I do, however, love to create a spreadsheet for myself in Google Docs in attempt to get organized.

I first create the spreadsheet on my laptop and then upload to Google Docs. This allows me to view and edit that spreadsheet from my phone– and that is what keeps my blogging somewhat consistent. I sit down, create a little calendar in a Google spreadsheet, then am able to access it through Google Drive (where I can also peek at my Google Plus account and view other shared Google Docs).

201 tip: While you can view your documents in Google Docs, you can’t edit them via Google Docs. Downloading the Google Sheets app allows you to edit right from your phone. This comes in handy if I’m out and get a genius idea for a blog post; I can go ahead and stick it in my editorial calendar right then and there before I forget said good idea. Both of these apps are free.

4. Dropbox 

Dropbox (free!) has been a lifesaver for me. I basically use it as an external hard drive for pictures. Once I upload photos to my computer and edit them to put them in a blog post, I’ll also upload my favorites to a Dropbox folder and delete them off my computer. The resolution of the photos stay in tact, but they aren’t taking up space on your laptop’s hard drive. And that way, I have access to all my prettiest photos from the Dropbox app for social media use!

5. LetterGlow

This is my favorite app for creating any sort of social media announcement or adding text to an image. Trust me, the $1.99 price tag is well worth it. You can upload your photo and choose from about 30 or 40 different fonts and colors to spruce up your photo with words. There are also lots of cool shapes and lines available to use for extra embellishment. There have been times when I’ve just uploaded a plain black or white background and typed out a quote or verse that I really wanted to share. This app makes it really easy to make plain words just a little prettier and more interesting!

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If you missed our first installment of this series, check out All About Apps 101 right here.

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Laurel blogs at The Hive and is an ambassador of The Blogger Collective.

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