Apps for Productivity

Confession: I am addicted to my cell phone and I have no desire to break this addiction. My phone is always on me and is loaded with apps that help me keep the business side of photography organized. This way I can focus all my energy on the creative side of things instead of the little logistically side. For example taking notes, wondering what my availability will be like, staying updated with the news. Here’s a list of the apps on my phone that I used on a regular basis.

Evernote (free)


This is the best note keeping device (next to my moleskine.) Creativity and inspiration aren’t like a facet. Sometimes A lot of the time ideas spark out of nowhere and usually it’s at an inconvenient time.  I use this app often to record random ideas and attach reference photos, so that when I look back on the idea I’ll have a clearer memory of it. The best feature is that you can access the app from various devices. The cloud system storage makes it easy for me to jump back and forth from working on my iPhone to my desktop. My general workflow looks like

Mynd (free)

myndMynd is hands down the best alternative calendar option. Personally I’m extremely OCD with my calendar. I keep all my meetings, shoots, retouching days, locations, deadlines, etc. pulled into my Google Calendar. Since I sync Google Calendar to my phone I’m constantly getting updates on what I should be doing or where I should be. The built in iPhone calendar works, but Mynd is better for the following reasons:

1) It’s pretty

2) It has all the views I need: day overview (grid, timeline, list) and month.

3) It let’s you chose your default GPS navigation. Hello Google Maps and begone forever Apple maps!

4) It takes into account live traffic and alerts you to leave early if there’s unexpected congestion.

5) It pulls the information of the person you’re meeting from your Contacts, so that you can contact them directly through the app. This is pretty handy if you need to send them an email, text message, or phone call.

6) It give you an overview how many people you’re going to meet, how many events you have for the day, weather, and how many miles you should expect to travel for the day.

Google Maps (free)

googlemapsI’ve tried a lot of different map apps to avoid the demonic evil that is Apple maps. F*ck you Siri for taking me to nonexistent places! Google maps has been the one that has given me the least amount of trouble and loads quickly. Before Google Maps I was using Waze, but it would take an inconveniently long time to first find the location then route to it.

DocuSign Ink (free) 

docusignIf you’re an independent contractor like me, then you must have to sign many, many W-9 forms. DocuSign was recommended to me by my friend Julie and it has tremendously helped the email conversation flow of business. Usually I’ll receive a W-9 request via email and then be asked to send it back signed before moving forward. Because of this app I’m able to quickly respond immediately! Traditionally I would have to fill out a paper W-9, scan it, then e-mail it or wait till I got to a desktop to sign the form digitally. This lag time would halt communication and I’d may have to wait longer to be paid properly. Now once I’m emailed the W-9 form I can quickly fill it out, sign it, date it, and email it back to the sender right away. No more hassle, begone annoying paperwork!

This app also works for any other document that requires a signature.

Swell (free)

swellIf you follow me on Instagram, then you know that I’m sitting in traffic a lot of the time. I used to loathed driving so much, but in the last year it has become one of the most productive times for me. I do my conference calls (with a headset/bluetooth attachment), go through audiobooks, and recently listen to ad-free, unlimited browsing/skipping, personalized news and podcasts via Swell. For me I love information and I love learning. What’s a better way to mentally digest things than being stuck for 2 sucky hours on the 405?

MyFitnessPal (free)

myfitnesspalAs I mentioned in my Redesigning a Healthier and Creative Lifestyle I’m currently working on redesigning my life to stay balanced. While at first this little app destroys everything you once loved because it shows you have fatty a lot of the foods we eat are, it does wonders with keep track of your nutritional intake. Sometimes I get into workaholic phases where all I do is sit, work at the computer, then forget to eat. For my body I need to be eating roughly six small meals a day and hit my macronutrients numbers. MyFitnessPal helps me stay accountable to that.

Reeder (free)

reederIf it’s not apparent yet: I am an information hoarder. Whenever I find myself with spare downtime like waiting for a meeting or while riding on the bus I reading blogs and articles pull from Reeder. I recently switched over from Flipboard to Reeder because of Reeder’s minimal design (Flipboard would probably be visually more stimulating on a tablet.)

VSCO (free)

#VSCOcam. Best photo editing app ever. The end.

Easy Release ($9.99)

easyreleaseThis is newest app that I’d highly recommend. It’s on the pricier side of mobile apps, but it comes with convenient built-in model and location releases. You can also customize the defaults. The main benefits of this is app are:

1) It has a simple and user-friendly interface

2) It’s unbiased in that it protects both the photographer and the talent/location.

3) It utilizes the phone’s camera to include a quick snapshot of the talent who is signing the release.

4) The phone interfaces makes collecting signatures easy. The talent/location owners simply signs the phone’s screen. This also feels a lot more comfortable that signing a pile of paper work.

5) Once all parties have signed the release, the app includes an option to email both the photographer and the talent a small JPG and PDF copy of the release. This way both parties know what they’ve agreed to.

6) Paperwork tends to get eaten by dogs or grows legs and runs away. Electronic releases rarely gets lost.


Zenfolio (kind of free)

zenfolioSurprisingly I use this app often to old photos from my Zenfolio account when I need to reference something in a meeting or in the event that I need to re-email a proof gallery. This is app is free, but you need a Zenfolio account to actually use it. The app connects to your Zenfolio account and has access to all the images that you’ve uploaded there. It doesn’t include all the options that you’d normally have access to on the desktop website, but if you’re pulling up photos on the fly it does a good job. You could also set it to back up all your photos from your phone into its own gallery.

*If you want to sign up on you can use my referral code 9C9-P75-98Z for a 10% discount


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