I'm semi-new to the lifestyle blogging scene, but in the past six months I've found some really helpful tools and apps that have made my life much easier. Here are some of my recommendations:
PicMonkey is great for drag and drop design. I built my logo and some elements of my website on this platform. There's limited functionality in the free version, so I pay $7.99 for a premium subscription. I think it's more than worth it. I don't have any true graphic design skills and this is a great alternative.
Web app + mobile app | Available for iOS and Android devices. | Free download
Canva is very similar to PicMonkey, but there's some notable differences. I really love Canva's template options and they have some unique text and photo elements. Canva has great Instagram story templates that are easy to throw together on their mobile app. Their platform is also a bit more user-friendly than PicMonkey. The free version is all I've ever needed. However, there is a "Canva for Work" subscription with enhanced features that may be worth exploring.
Web app + mobile app | Available for iOS and Android devices | Free download
I use VSCO for almost every single photo I edit. Their filters are great and I've even developed my own preset. (My little secret: it's "A4" with a bunch of tweaks.) It's important to note that VSCO has recently changed their platform. You used to be able to purchase filter "packs" for a couple bucks each, but they've migrated to a full subscription-based concept. Their tools are available for $19.99 a year.
Mobile app | Available for iOS and Android devices. | $19.99
4. RNI Films
I just recently discovered RNI Films. RNI aims to give digital photos an old-school film vibe. The app itself has a lot of different editing functions, but I use it solely for its "grain" and "dust" filters. I add my preset in VSCO, save to my camera roll, upload the edited photo to the RNI editor for the final touches, and then re-save the final version back to my camera roll. I give this app a 10/10. It adds an extra touch to my feed.
Mobile app | Only available for iOS devices | Free download
I'm really into the vintage-y, old-school film trend that has made its way to Instagram, so that's why the 8mm Vintage Camera is also on my list. This app allows you to record videos with 8 different lenses and 13 aged film looks. My favorite feature of this app is that you can apply effects to existing videos in your photo library, so those after-thoughts can still come to life.
Mobile app | Only available for iOS devices. | $1.99
Unfold is an app entirely dedicated to Instagram story templates. There's a basic package available for free plus several different design packs you can purchase for a small fee (around 2 bucks). "FF1" is my favorite because it ties in more of that vintage film look.
Mobile app | Only available for iOS devices. | Free download
For my fellow detail-oriented, borderline OCD people out there, Preview is both a blessing and a curse. Preview features a drag and drop grid that allows you to "preview" the look of your feed before actually posting your content live to Instagram. You can even draft captions and search ideas for hashtags. My piece of advice: Don't spend too much time rearranging photos on this app, it is a battle against perfection and you will never win.
Mobile app | Available for iOS and Android devices | Free download
8. Camera Stuff
When it comes to shooting photos for my blog, I've got the basics. I have a Nikon D3400 and I have my handy dandy iPhone Xs. In addition to the electronics, I have a tripod for my camera, a tripod for my phone, a wireless camera remote, and an amazing invention called SnapBridge for Nikon. This allows me automatically download shots from my Nikon to my phone's camera roll.
What are some of your can't-live-without tools for blogging or social media? Drop me a comment, shoot me a DM, or email me at email@example.com.
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