I’m sure you were just saying, “I wish I had another app that I had to use in my marketing mix!” HA!
Just when you think you can’t add another tool to your marketing toolbox, along comes not one, but two new live-streaming apps, Meerkat and Periscope. While these new live streaming apps may not be for everyone, if you are ready to add a little fun into your marketing, you might want to take a look at how you can incorporate one of these new tools.
You definitely don’t need both of them; that would be like having two calendar apps on your phone. So lets talk about the differences and how you can use them. Before clicking that live stream button, you should first ask yourself how this fits into your marketing strategy and brand image. What kind of content will you share that is interesting and helpful to your targeted audience? I’ll give you some ideas below to get your creative juices flowing.
Think of it as Instagram video or Vine, but LIVE and interactive. Instagram or Vine videos allow you to record and share right away and then people can comment on the video. This is LIVE. LIVE means there is no editing, and when a random heckler throws a curveball question out, everyone sees it. You must be prepared to handle these with speed and with grace. Being quick on your feet is an important skill. Like taking questions during a live webinar or web streaming event. You need to know which responses to simply ignore and which ones to highlight.
How are Meerkat and Periscope the Same?
Both of these services are for live broadcasting only. (Have I mentioned you are LIVE?) On Meerkat, once you are finished, the stream is over. It is not automatically saved anywhere. Periscope allows you to replay for 24 hours. If you want to archive your event, try using something like Google Hangouts on Air. Your recording is automatically loaded to YouTube for eternal viewing…or as long as you have a YouTube account! Because of this short lifespan, you will want to promote your broadcast beforehand to attract the audience you want to attend. Currently both of these apps are for iOS only (iPhone users, or of course, iPad users can download them if you look under iPhone apps), and I’m sure it won’t be long for the Android stepchildren to get the app.
How are Meerkat and Periscope Different?
While Meerkat came out first and got lots of techie love at SXSW this year, Periscope is owned by Twitter and incorporates into your Twitter account, letting you easily connect with anyone you are already connected with on Twitter. Meerkat takes a bit more work to build your following. Meerkat lets you schedule your event and Periscope is more spontaneous…currently. Meerkat is over when it’s over. Periscope lives for 24 hours to replay before it vanishes. We will probably see this expand as the services get more subscribers and they get more
Currently both have notification settings that are all or nothing. Annoying for sure. You hear bells and whistles when someone you are following goes live. I believe this will quickly change as we all start live streaming to the teams at Meerkat and Periscope with our feedback!
As with most new toys…I mean tools, we will see these evolve and as users get creative with the many uses of them, we will see an unlimited number of ways we can use live streaming in our business. Here are a few “idea-starters” but I would love for you to throw a few more into the comments. Let’s see how many we can come up with.
How can you use Meerkat or Periscope for your business?
Bring your followers on a tour of your office.
Introduce your followers to your team members. an expert, or even your doorman!
Bring your followers on a walk through your neighborhood.
Bring your followers shopping with you and get their input on what you should buy. Hmmm could be great for indecisive shoppers.
Bring your followers to an event you are attending.
Show your followers a behind the scene peek of something you are working on before it is ready to reveal to the rest of the world- Great for building anticipation.
Share new inventory with your followers before the doors open.
Take your followers on a tour of your favorite store and show them items you recommend.
Teach your followers how to cook your favorite meal or prepare your healthy morning shake.
Review a product that you are taking out of the box and sharing your thoughts on.
Teach your followers how to organize a space.
If you create podcasts or video products, share with your followers how you set up.
Share with your followers your writing process and show your favorite writing spots. While you’re at it, get blogging ideas from your followers.
Let your followers decide what which product you should run a special on for the month. You show and let THEM tell.
Do a book review. Think show and tell or 4th grade book report.
Do a BIG REVEAL! Are you ready to announce something big? Live stream your reveal.
Q&A session. Perhaps you select an evening each week or month to answer questions about your products or services.
Take your followers with you around the world. When you are traveling, be a tour guide and share a bit of your experiences with your followers.
Show your followers what is in your bag! What are your “must-have” travel accessories or tips for packing effectively.
Show your followers how you apply makeup or do a new hairstyle (this is for the very brave).
Take your followers to an amusement park and let them decide which ride you should go on and then if you are really brave and have a killer grip on your phone, take your followers on the ride. I just don’t know if your followers will want to stand in line with you!
Take your followers on a field trip to see how donuts are made or how coffee is roasted (I saw this on Meerkat and it was very therapeutic
Stay Ahead in The Social Business Tools Game: How to open yourself to new tools, resources and shortcuts.
In a recent client meeting we were discussing taking some of the photos from an event and adding their logo and web address to them in Picmonkey and then taking the market stats and plugging then into Canva, a cool new tool to make an infographic.
Our client’s assistant looked over at us and asked, “How do you learn about all of these cool tools? I’ve never heard of these?” Hmm, that’s a great question. We just keep our eyes and ears open through different blogs we read and then we go over to explore them to see how we could use them in our business. Whether it’s Dropbox to store our documents and photos in the cloud for easy access while on the road, or InstaSize to take those rectangle photos and load them to Instagram without cropping the entire thing, we try them all.
It’s easy to get stuck using the same tools you have always used and get so busy that you don’t make time to explore and learn about new tools and shortcuts to do your job.
Here are 3 things you can do to open yourself to new tools, resources and shortcuts:
Subscribe to 3 random industry magazines
Subscribe to your interest areas on Flipboard (a customizable magazine that pulls content into a beautiful news display every time you open it on your smartphone or tablet).
In the “old days” I would suggest subscribing to a few random magazines, but now you can get the same content in a free digital format. If you are a Realtor, select interests like aviation, wine or meetings and events industry news. If you are a government position, select industries like travel, mountaineering or auto mechanic news. Break from the traditional sources that everyone else in your industry is reading, or at least ADD TO what everyone else is reading.
Browse your app store (iTunes or Android Play) monthly.
Looking under business categories to try a new app or two each month. Read the reviews on apps before downloading and look for those with lots of downloads already (gives you an idea of how popular the app is). If it has 100-200 downloads, that’s not a whole lot. 10,000 or 200,000 downloads tells you it has been tried and tested. Subscribe to sites like Mashable/Tech to stay in the know as well.
Talk to people.
Whenever I am chatting with someone, I ask them what their favorite app or tool is for building business or helping in their marketing. You will hear all kinds of things. I also have a teenager and I learn a ton from her. She is always showing me a great photo editing app or one that allows you to square up those photos before loading to Instagram.
We’d love to learn from YOU. What are your favorite tools or apps? How do YOU keep ahead of the game and continue to STAND OUT in the social ocean? Please tell us in the comment section.
Do you need help with your social marketing? We’ve launched our
Time. We never have enough of it. We get excited when daylight savings ends, as if that is extra time in our pocket each day. When it comes to managing the social media activities for your business, it seems like time is our worst enemy. Because I travel a lot and happen to be on just about every social network out there for my personal social media connections as well as for our business, finding ways to do more in less time is a priority for me. I have so many people asking me how I can possibly get it all done and still manage to run a very busy and growing business. Here are my secret weapons:
A GREAT Mobile Phone.
I have been using the LG G2 (I am part of a VerizonInsider blogging team and I am lucky enough to get some of the hottest tools before they are released to the world and this is one of them). I was hesitant to try this phone at first, because I love my Samsung Galaxy S4 so much. I am a power user when it comes to my mobile phones. I stay connected to my family on Facebook, Instagram, and through text messaging, my team at work via Facebook, Twitter, and email, my network on every social media site, and my customers via Skype calls, email and yes, even old fashioned phone calls. I use apps to book and check in for flights, find places to eat, I do my banking, buy my coffee, and to take loads of photos that I can share on Instagram. My contacts are in my phone for easy access, every document and photo that I have on my desktop in the office, is available at my fingertips through apps like Dropbox and Evernote and no need to search for a scanner or fax machine, when my phone can scan and send in less.
When you have a great mobile device and learn to really use all the features it has to offer, you will be shaving time off of your day every time you use it. One of my favorite features on this particular phone is the ability to take quick notes while talking on the phone. It’s a feature built into this LG phone that allows me to pull down a quick note from the notification area and scribble a note right on the call screen. It then saves it with the call history for me to clean it up and file it later. How many times are you on a call and the other person is giving you important information while you scramble for a piece of paper?
Social Dashboard on your mobile device.
We use Sprout Social to manage our content and social media platforms for all of our clients, as well as our own personal profiles. Sprout allows us to write and schedule content, see who else on our team has interacted with a particular connection, reply to or even alert another team member to follow up with someone that contacted us through a social channel. If you are not using a social media tool like Sprout Social or Hootsuite, you are definitely eating up twice as much time logging in and out of each social media site. We love that Sprout Social is available on every platform (iOS, Android, Desktop and mobile) and has all of necessary features we need on our mobile devices as well as the web. After all, who is tethered to their desk anymore?
I mentioned a few already when talking about the importance of a great mobile device, but here are a few more apps that pull their weight to help manage your workload while on the go:
Sign n Send (iOS) or DocuSign Ink (Android, iOS, and Windows) allow you to open any pdf or other file format that needs your signature and without having to print, sign and scan and resend, you simply sign the document with your finger or stylus, type in any information needed and hit send to email it off to whoever needs it.
Flipboard, Feedly and LinkedIn brings me the news I want to read. I get in about 30 minutes in the morning (usually on my iPad) and then anytime I have 5- 10 minutes of waiting time, I can catch up on daily news in multiple industries. We manage the social media marketing for companies in every industry, from Hotels and restaurants, to realtors and software companies. With these customizable magazines, I create a specific news feed for each of our client industries to stay up on what is going on. When I see an article that one of our clients or community managers should see, I simply shoot it over via email. If I want to share the article with my social networks, I can do that as easy as clicking the share link. It’s like having a subscription to over 100 magazines and being able to peruse them each day for helpful or interesting content.
Don’t relegate social media management to your desk. Being able to get tasks done while on the go, will save you lots of time. We’d love to hear what other tools you love and use to help you manage all there is to do in social media marketing. Write your suggestions and recommendations in the comments below.
If Social media management is too overwhelming for you, give us a holler. It’s what we do! We do all the daily tasks of building your community, writing and posting content and so much more. Let SocialKNX be your number one time saving tool!
Only 74 More Clocks to ChangeSometime long ago, a group of government officials decided they would mess with people’s natural sleeping patterns and throw them off for weeks by telling everyone in most of the United States (except for people who live in Arizona and Hawaii) that suddenly in the middle of fall (used to be the last week in October, but it’s now the first week in November), the overworked citizens would be given an extra hour to sleep, or use however they would like. But it isn’t a real gift, it is more of a loaner, because five months later (used to be in March but is now in April), that hour will be taken back, and the fine citizens of 48 states and a few US Territories will once again be out of whack!
Not only do we walk around for weeks completely off kilter, but the day after this magical time change takes place, people have to go around their homes searching for every clock they own to either make it fall back or spring forward, thus wasting the very hour they were just given.
So as you begin to take inventory of all your time pieces this week, I decided I would share some fun apps and tips to either save you time, or fill the time you will have after missing your flights and appointments. Perhaps you should just throw all clocks away and start your own time zone! I’d love to hear about the apps and tools you are using to save (or make up lost) time.
Glympse (available on Android, Blackberry, iOS, Windows7) This app is for those of us who will be at least an hour late for every appointment because we set our clocks back an hour after our spouses had already set them. Open the app and send a link via email or text message to the person you are meeting with and let them track you on the map. It’s like watching Santa fly over Kansas on his way to your house via NORAD tracking. Very cool.
GateGuru (available on both Android and iOS) This app will save you time while traveling especially when you have that one hour layover and need to find a quick bite to eat but you are hankerin’ for a Quizno’s sub. Open up Gate Guru and the GPS will show you what exactly is available in that concourse and it includes reviews by other travelers!
AutoPark (on iOS only) This is the app that will save you time and money. As you walk around for the next few weeks not paying attention to where you are parking your car, AutoPark will help you find your parked car, tell you how much time is left on your parking meter, and will show you nearby services such as banks, car-washes, parking lots and more!
Banking Apps (Wells Fargo; Chase; BofA and more) This is not our grandma’s Savings and Loan anymore! We can save loads of time by taking our tasks on the road and it is safe. Most banks today have mobile banking features that allow you to pay bills, transfer money and even find nearby ATMs all with your mobile device, and now we are seeing apps for many banks that are taking it further allowing you to even deposit your checks by taking a picture of the check with your phone! WOW- you can get your banking done and go back to bed for another hour!
So as you FALL BACK on November 6th, be aware that you will probably spend the next few weeks recovering from the confusion that comes from not knowing if you really gain an hour or if you have you spent more time telling yourself “It’s really 5 o’clock right now, not 6.” Remember when people tell you that time is your enemy, you can tell them that fortunately technology is your friend and together you have made peace with daylight and night time. They won’t understand what you are talking about and you can just walk away…saving MORE TIME!
The Time Challenged, Gina Schreck
Gina Schreck is the President and Chief Hooligan at SynapseConnecting. If you have time this week and need to chat with someone about your social marketing needs, give her a call…She’s got TIME!
This blog post has been sponsored by CLEAR, the service that speeds you through airport security. CLEAR members save so much time at the airport, it’s like having Daylight Savings every time you travel! CLEAR, the (self-proclaimed) Official Sponsor of Daylight Saving Time, is celebrating the extra hour we get on Nov 6th with a series of travel and time-savings posts on their blog – and here, on my blog too.
To help you see what CLEAR is all about, they are offering my readers a special 3-month FREE trial! Don’t settle for just one extra hour this Daylight Savings. No need to deal with unpredictable security lines, the stress of rushing to your gate, or the time you waste getting to DEN extra early. Click here to get your pass and try CLEAR’s enhanced travel experience for yourself. Just enter my code (CMNDST09) in the promo code field on the payment page.
Armed with laptops, tablets, smart phones and 5 hour energy drinks, we should be able to complete that 4 hour work week that Timothy Ferriss says is possible. With social sites to update, apps to learn how to use and our actual job duties to complete, we just need a few more of those 5 hour energy drinks and 10 times what Timmy estimates, to get it all done!
I spend more time playing with and checking out apps than the average person and I’m sure I spend more time on social media sites than most as well, but that is our business. But if you have been feeling that technology, and especially social media sites, have invaded our lives like a swarm of locust coming in to eat our crops of time and productivity, you are not alone. Even I get that urge to take out my bug spray and start crop dusting for locust.
Over the past few years, I have come to rely on a few tools that save me time and make packing a 60 hour work week into at least a 39 hour bag a little more doable. So here are the top 10 tools I feel will help you save time:
This seems like a no-brainer, but there are still quite a few people who have not seen the value in switching to a smart phone. Having a phone that can access email, edit and send documents, take pictures, respond to questions on your social sites, post content as you see it to your social sites, and more, will save you from having to wait until you can get back to your computer to “get work done.”
We’ve heard the legends of the magical device that shoots out cotton candy rainbows (also known as the iPad), but once you start using it for more than a giant iPod to play music, you will discover that magic land for yourself. Working mobile is now really possible when you have a device that allows you to check and respond to email, create and edit documents, including presentations and smart looking charts, make reservations for dinner without picking up a phone, join a Skype meeting with co-workers and update your social profiles with the touch of a screen….Can you say Magical Unicorns? Now when you are sitting for 15 minutes waiting for your lunch appointment to arrive, you can be productive. When you have that 30 minutes before your son gets out of football practice, you can get a chunk of work finished. Slip it into your carry-on and pound out work on the plane, train or bus. I believe these power tools are worth shelling out the $500-$600
We used to sift through newspapers and trade journals to search for relevant information and even clip articles to send to clients, prospects and friends. Today you can have better, more focused content sent to you daily (on your magical tablet) and even send articles to those clients and prospects with a touch of a screen. Flipboard is one such app that I can’t live without. Each morning, I open to find custom information that is pulled from blogs, websites, social sites. I can read it, share it, tell the app whether or not I want more of that same type of content or even more articles from that particular writer. The app will update the content throughout the day so your virtual newspaper continues to feed you information as you desire.
It took me awhile before I actually started using this app and now I am getting great value from it. This app (available on Android, iPhone, iPad) will allow you to blog on the go or even start a draft post when the idea strikes. It’s wonderful!
I am surprised how many people still have not heard of Instapaper, but this is like having a folder filled with clippings to read when you have those in-between moments. Install this app on your PC, laptop, and mobile devices, and then when you find a blog post that you want to read later, you simply click “READ LATER” in your browser or SAVE TO INSTAPAPER on your mobile devices. Now when you have that 10 minutes of waiting time, simply open up your Instapaper app and read your “clippings.”
A favorite time saver for so many reasons. When you are working with several clients and want to simplify how you share and transport documents, graphics, and more, Dropbox is a must. We create a Dropbox folder for each client and then the community manager that works on that account has access to the folder as well as the client. Photos and articles can be dropped in the
Between Dropbox and Google Docs, the days of emailing “proposal version 1.7” “proposal version 1.8” back and forth are over. I have several people that I work with regularly but on different projects. Using Google Docs allows us to maintain one document that can be updated (even together at the same time seeing each other add or change information) and shared instantly. BIG time savings!
With content to post, read and respond to on LinkedIn, Twitter & Facebook, these tools are essential for saving time and staying on top of all of your social activities. They both have similar features but Hootsuite allows teams that manage social media to collaborate and share duties. Using the “schedule posts” features on either of these, you can plan ahead with many of your posts and then sprinkle in the spontaneous.
This time saving app is like carrying around a trunk to throw everything in for your business. Snap a photo of a sign that you want to incorporate into your blog and save it in your Evernote Blog Notebook. Have an idea hit you while your stuck behind the train? Record an audio message and save it to an Evernote notebook. Add documents, graphics and even the kitchen sink…or a picture of the one you like. Unpack WHAT you want WHEN you want it…WHEREVER you are. This amazing tool is available on your desktop, iPhone/iPad, Android and Blackberry!
ManyMoon is a wonderful project management tool whether you work alone and need those daily reminders of what needs to be completed to stay on task with your projects, or you work on a team and need to keep tabs on who has finished what. This was part of Google’s lab tools and integrates well with all Google tools, calendar, docs and more. (Not just for Google calendar either). The fact that it is free makes it even more desirable!
Well these are my favorite apps and tools to stay organized and on task. I’d love to know what your favorites are.
[This post was updated on July 22, 2017 with new apps and some of the original apps have been removed because they are either no longer available or something better has taken their place here on the list.]
This could be the longest blog post ever recorded! But with so many people getting iPads and tablets, and so few knowing how to use them for anything but expensive email readers, we have pulled together our favorite business and creative apps that help us stay productive on the go here at SocialKNX. In social media management, we live online and we are not tethered to our desks anymore, because of so many wonderful apps. We use lots of photo apps for creating visual content and content curation apps for staying up on the latest news in many industries. I update this list every few months, so if you are checking back, you may see some new apps and you may notice a few got their pink slips. Please let us all know what apps you love or post your questions in the comment section. We love hearing about new apps to check out. Okay, here we go…The BIG App Round Up for November 2013.
NEWS & SOCIAL MEDIA
Flipboard: If you reminisce about the good old days when you got a daily paper delivered to your door, this app is for you. A customizable magazine that curates content from around the web FRESH every time you open it. Flipboard also allows you to share the content you find helpful with friends on Twitter, Facebook, or email. COST: Free
Hootsuite: If you are using Hootsuite on your desktop, this app mirrors most of the features and columns you have set up and allows you to schedule and post to all of your social networks- LinkedIn, Facebook, Facebook Pages, Twitter and even Instagram. COST: Free
Pocket:This is the best research tool for saving web pages to read later. Create your POCKET account on your computers, and then load the app on your iPad, iPhone or Android devices so when you are reading a blog post that you want to read later or save for research, simply click on the “POCKET” link in your browser or “ADD TO POCKET” on your app, and then like magic it is in your Pocket and available on all of your devices to read on the go. COST: Free
WordPress: This allows you to blog on the go. Log into your blog and throw out those excuses that you have to be at your desk to blog. Load photos, tag the post, and many other features of the full featured WordPress. COST: Free
USA TODAY: Be sure to download your FREE newspaper each day and especially if you are about to hop on a plane. All the same features and articles as the paper version. COST: FREE
Find My iPhone: THE MOST IMPORTANT APP ON ANY iOS DEVICE! This should be the FIRST app you add to your iPad, iPhone, iTouch and any Apple laptop. It will track down your missing device and show you on a map where it is. Great if you leave your iPad in the back of an airplane seat or your phone in the back seat of a taxi (hypothetically of course!) COST: Free
Android Device Manager: THE MOST IMPORTANT APP ON YOUR ANDROID DEVICE! This app allows you to have an alarm go off loudly, even when the volume is turned all the way down. You can track it via GPS by logging into Device Manager on your computer, wipe the data from the device and much more. COST: Free
Square: An AMAZING app for those who take credit cards for payments of products or services. The Square plugs into your phone, or ipad headset port and then with this app, you type in the sales amount, swipe the card and email the customer their receipt. (You must first sign up and be approved by Square) You can almost hear the cha-ching of money going into your bank account! App COST: Free
Stripe: Another great tool to take payments from clients or customers. This works in person or through your website. Like Square, you have to get signed up before simply using the app. App COST: Free
Analytics HD: This Google Analytics app helps you keep tabs on your web traffic on the go and in REAL TIME. Instantly showing you where your web traffic comes from, the demographics and how long visitors stayed and so much more. Of course it puts your data in colorful charts and graphs that are easy to read and share in meetings. COST: $6.99
SoundNote:This is one of my favorite note taking apps for client meetings where I don’t want to forget a word. Turn on the recorder as you take notes (typed or written with your finger or a stylus) and like the Livescribe Pen, you can go back later to the exact place you need in the audio by touching the page of your notes. COST: $4.99
Noteshelf: This app is for those of you who love writing, mindmapping your notes or just creating notebooks for each topic. Like iBooks, you get a bookshelf to fill with custom notebooks. You hand write or use a stylus to take the notes. COST: $4.00
Evernote: This is a FABULOUS Superhero note-taking, remember everything, project management tool, allowing you to keep notes, pictures (iPad2 or later users can snap and add in), audio files and more. It syncs with your computers, iPhones, Androids or Blackberry as well. The more you use this app, the more you will LOVE this app. COST: Free
DocuSign: A definite MUST HAVE app for anyone who needs to sign documents or annotate a PDF document. No need to print out a document, sign it and rescan it to email back. DocuSign allows you to simply sign with your finger or stylus and email to anyone that needs it. This app is available on iOS, Android and Windows. COST: Free
Sign-N-Send: Another app if you have pdf documents that need your signature and you are no where near a printer or scanner to do so. You simply open the document that was sent to you using Sign-N-Send and sign with your finger or stylus before emailing it back. Very similar features to DocuSign. COST: $1.99
Dragon Dictation: Voice recognition has finally come of age and this is a great app that will allow you to get that book started or write your blog post with your voice. Yes there are a few typos when you are finished, but just a little clean up work and you are good to go. COST: Free
DocsToGo: This Office Suite brings Word, Excel, PowerPoint and PDF into your iPad (with limited functionality). This app allows you to edit, create and view Word or Excel files, and view PowerPoint or PDF files. COST: $9.99
QuickVoice: Need a quick digital recorder? This is the app for you! Want to record your own ring tone or dictate a note to yourself? Press record and you are in business! COST: Free
Dropbox: Most people are familiar with Dropbox and its wonderful cloud storage for your important documents, and now you can add this app to your iPad and access anything you have stored or that someone sends you via Dropbox. COST: Free
Keynote: Create your slides and present your ideas straight from your iPad. COST: $9.99
Calculator(MobArts): A basic, but great calculator. COST: Free
Whiteboard: This whiteboard has the added feature of collaborating in real-time with another person on the whiteboard if you are using the same wifi network. (We have only used it for kids who want to draw) Erases like an etch-a-sketch and if you have a stylus you can make likes skinnier than your fat fingers. COST: Free
Keynote Remote: If you present using Apples Keynote, this is a great app for you. You can use it as a small viewer of your slide presentation as well as operate your deck with a swipe of your finger! Cost: $0.99
PrompterPro: This is a great app for anyone who gives presentations. Type out your presentation, use the timer to time out each piece. Record yourself for practice and self-feedback and use as a teleprompter, slowly scrolling, during the presentation. A wonderful rehearsal tool. Cost: $3.99
Giant Timer:Great for activities or presentations that require a timekeeper. This can be seen from miles away! COST: Free
Writing Prompts: To inspire the writer in you, this fun app throws out a prompt and you start writing! COST: $1.99
Cozi:For some reason GREAT calendar apps are hard to come by and of course they are very personal. If you are juggling a “home” calendar as well as a “business schedule” calendar, you might just find EVERYTHING you need in Cozi. You sign up online at www.Cozi.com and then download the app on any and all mobile devices. Keep your calendar, shopping lists, birthday reminders, ToDo list, and more. COST: Free
Pocket Informant HD: If you still long for that big tab-filled Day Planner with its color-coded pages, bulky address book, calendar and task lists, you will drool when you see this great organizational app. Fully customizable and syncs with your online calendar system. One of my favs. COST: $4.99 ++ (many add-ons–like the old Dayplanners)
Innovate: Looking to spark some creativity or need some inspiration for a new idea? Scroll through the app to connect with some of the world’s best innovation articles, videos (including TED talks), and news reports. All information is updated in real-time as the information is published. COST: $0.99
COMMUNICATIONS, TEXT & VIDEO CHAT
Skype: The Skype app offers full screen video using your front facing camera along with regular calls and text messages. Your only challenge? Placing your iPad in a place where your caller isn’t looking up your nose! COST: Free
GoToMeeting: No longer are you tethered to your desk for conference calls. With this iOS, Android or Windows app, you can join, host or schedule a meeting on your mobile device! COST: Free
Join.Me: Another great conferencing app that allows you to share your screen and even take control of the presenter’s computer from your tablet for support or collaboration. Additional features for ProAccount users. COST: Free
Hey Tell: This is a cool Walkie-Talkie like app. You are using voice to send instant messages (we have used it as an intercom in our house) and if the person is not online, it will save like a voicemail message. COST: Free
Messages: This comes on your ipads (iOS 5 or later) and will allow you to send a text message (including messages with the all important Emojis) to anyone using an iPhone or iTouch. COST: FREE
MUSIC, VIDEO & PHOTOGRAPHY
YouTube: This pre-installed app makes viewing YouTube videos as easy as pushing a button. Since many videos will not play on the iPad because of the Flash/iOS battle, this app is very helpful. Open the app and you are in your YouTube account. Select your videos, your favorite, featured, and more.
Pandora: How anyone can survive without this fabulous app loaded on every computer, mobile device, digital reader, and in some cases, your car, is beyond me! Type in the name of a song, artist or genre and Pandora will customize a radio station just for you. Commercial free is under $20/year or you can put up with a commercial every few songs for free. COST: Free
Spotify: Like Pandora with, what some say, a better selection of music. Spotify allows you to listen to the radio (in the US), and then tap to save a song that you like and build playlists. You can also save or share custom playlists. The app is free and you can purchase Spoitfy premium for $9.99 a month. COST: free
Instagram: One of the hottest social networks out there today, Instagram is available on iOS, Android and Windows. Snap a pic, apply a filter for cool-factor and load it up. Although Facebook owns Instagram, it also integrates with Twitter for those sharing shutter-bugs. COST: Free
TweeGram: This is a very cool app for Instagram users. It allows you to turn text into a visual art piece for your Instagram timeline. You might post a narrative for a series of pictures or just a deep thought that needs to be displayed beautifully–after all, a picture is worth a thousand words so a text is worth at least 10! COST: Free
PostAGram: Take any picture you snapped and turn it into a REAL post card that gets sent to your recipient for only $0.99 each. FABULOUS marketing tool to send thank you notes to clients or use for vacations shots! COST for app: Free
TouchReTouch: This app is MAGIC!! You might snap a great poto and then discover there is a person walking by in the background you don’t want there or a trashcan in the corner that just ruins the shot. With TouchReTouch, you can truly ERASE the object and the app fills in the background leaving you with a perfect shot! Android and iOS. COST: Free
A Beautiful Mess: This is a fabulous app that allows you to add fun doodles and text to photos before sharing. A bit more creative feeling than the standard text on photo app. iOS only. COST: $0.99
Over: This is a beautiful app that allows you to add text to your photos before sharing them. Add a quote or your company name to a pic. Whatever you’d like. iOS only. COST: $1.99
Fotodanz: Create a photo that has a piece moving…also called a cinemagraph. This is a fun app that allows you to snap several frames and then choose which part you want to be moving in the photo.
PicCollage: Why just share one photos from your event or day, when you can create a fun collage of several photos and add some fun text before loading it to your social media sites. Android or iOS. COST: Free
100 Cameras: One of my favorite photo magic apps. Take your average photo taken with your iPhone, iPad2 OR Android and flip through 100 different filters that turn any average photo into a dream photo! Cost: Free
PicSayPro:This is a FABULOUS photo editing app that blends fun elements like cutting out and pasting different parts of a photo (think head swap), with wonderful filters, red-eye removal and more. Android. COST: Free
Swift: This is a MUST HAVE app for anyone who has missed a video opp because it too long to open your camera, switch the video on and begin recording. You touch the app button and you are recording! COST: $4.99
Videolicious: Create and send short video messages that blend your video message with photos and background music. COST: Free
ClipCam: This is a great app for taking several short snippets of video and then stitching them together with the greatest of ease! With your finger you can reorder the clips and then share on social media sites or upload to youtube when you are ready. So simple even a 50-year-old can do it! (I would have said easy enough a child could do it, but that is obvious!) COST: Free
Incredibooth: This is like carrying an old fashioned photobooth around with you. With the iPad 2 you can select 1 of 4 filters and then press the big red button, wait for the 3-2-1 countdown and then it snaps 4 photos and puts them into the familiar strip that you can share via Facebook, Twitter, or email. Keep them in your photo album for later use as well. COST: $0.99
Photogene: This app is allows you to take any photo in your album and do some fun edits including cropping, red-eye reduction, rotating, adding chat or thought bubbles. COST: $2.99
Cut Me In:Loads of fun background images to play with or use your own. Cut yourself or someone else from one picture and paste into the backgrounds. Stand at the great pyramids or on the back of a shark. COST: Free (limited version) or $1.99 (full version)
StripDesign: Another fun photo app that allows you to make a film strip of 2 or 3 photos and add cartoon “POW!” statements on them. Great for creating scrapbooks from pics on your ipad….does anyone really do that? COST: $2.99
Photopedia Heritage: If you need a photo-vacation, open up this beautiful app that houses 25,000 photographs of some of the most stunning places in the world and set it to Slideshow mode. COST: Free
Moquu:This is a combination of photography and video! Create stop action film shorts with this amazing app. COST: Free
ComicStrip: Create your own comic book page with all of your own photos. COST: $0.99
ColorBlast: This app allows you to create stunning blak and white photos with a blast of color where you place it. COST: $0.99
iSupr8:Create unique and vintage looking film with this great app. Great to add a unique twist to some of your videos. COST: $1.99
MyScrapLife: This is a GREAT app for those of you who wish you could scrapbook your photos but either don’t know how or don’t have the time. Take your photos, drag them onto the digital page, change the paper, add borders, buttons, words & quotes and VIOLA! You can save each page as a picture and once you have several send off to your local photo printing store and have them made into a book! The perfect cheater version of scrap booking! COST: $0.99
TV, MOVIES, PODCASTS, BOOKS & MUSIC VIDEOS
IMDb: If you are a movie or TV buff, this app is for you. Find information about your favorite celebrities, movie and television trivia, find showtimes, watch movie trailers and even get your tickets online! COST: Free
Flixter: Watch movie trailers, find showtimes at your favorite theaters, get critics ratings or share your own with friends. COST: Free
Audible: If you like audio books, this is a wonderful service. For $14 a month you get 1 credits to purchase an audio book each month. You can purchase additional books for discount prices as well. The platinum level allows you to purchase 2 books per month for $24 a month. App Cost: Free
Kindle: This pulls your Kindle libraby into your iPad for easy transport and reading. Cost: Free
iCatcher: Search for and listen to your favorite podcasts, as well as discover more to learn than your brain can hold. This is a must have app for those who love to learn or just listen to interesting information! For iPhone and iPad. COST: $1.99
TWIT touch: If you are a TWIT podcast network (tech podcasts for true geeks!) This app organizes the channels and allows you to watch LIVE or on demand. Cost: $0.99
TED: Like the YouTube app, when you open the TED app you are immediately on their channel allowing you to select from Featured, Themes, Tags, or Saved videos. Cost: Free
Vevo HD: This music app is fabulous for those of you music-lovers who want to have a concert in your pocket…or purse (if your iPad wont fit in that back pocket) Search for an artist (not all are on here) and let the video concert begin, or check out their featured artists for a fresh sound! COST: Free
Xfinity:(Comcast) Forget to set the recorder on your television, or are you just too lazy to get up to fetch the remote across the room? This app allows you to control your television from anywhere you can get online. You can log on and watch some movies and shows on your iPad like having a Slingbox without the additional $300. App Cost: Free
DISH Anywhere: (DishNetwork) Watch your favorite shows on the go, set your DVR, and get your TV listings. COST: Free
TRAVEL, EATING OUT & LOCATION BASED APPS
Expedia: Obviously this syncs up all flight information that you have booked through their website. Helpful when stranded somewhere and needing to change or add flights. COST: Free
The Weather Channel: Another no brainer for travelers or those who just don’t want to turn on the news, or step outside to find out what the forecast is where you live. This app provides lots of helpful information but can be more than you really need. COST: Free
AccuWeather: Since you can never have too many weather apps, this one provides the information you need to decide whether to throw that sweater in the car or bring out the snow boots! I like the larger font and graphic layout of this app better than the Weather Channel app. COST: Free
GasBuddy: If you aren’t familiar with this great money saving app, you need to download this on every mobile device you own. Great while traveling to find the nearest gas station and it will show you the price per gallon for that moment. COST: Free
Waze:Discover where those traffic snags are located so you can adjust your route, or report a traffic problem yourself on this great crowd sourced traffic app. COST: Free
Maps: This comes on your iPad and comes in handy whenever you need a map!
Trover:This is a fun social networking app that lets you share places and discoveries around you. It’s part photo sharing app , part location based adventure app. If you like geo-caching and Instagram, this is worth checking out. COST: Free
Trails Lite:Get outside! With this GPS enabled app you can record your hike, bike trip or jogs (a bit awkward jogging with your iPad, but works on all smart phones). Imports maps to popular trails as well. COST: Free
OpenTable: Great app for finding a restaurant and making reservations right from your app. No need to call or get there and wait. COST: Free
UrbanSpoon: Select where you are, type of food you want and budget range to see restaurants to check out. Great when you are not in your neck of the woods! COST: Free
Scvngr: A fun geocaching game that uses your GPS and sends you on hunts created by others. It will get you out of the office or the house and playing in your own city! Great for teams and events. Android and iOS. COST: Free
Auto Trip BINGO:Great for road trips with the family! Choose road signs, Car Models, Gas/Food/Lodging signs, or Mixed and see if you can get a BINGO before the timer hits your goal time! Get each family member their own iPad and you can compete! HA! COST: $0.99
SHOPPING & OTHER FABULOUS APPS
Houzz: If you are remodeling a home or just dreaming, this house design app lets you browse through rooms, furniture and home accessories and save items or pictures in your personal scrapbooks. A great way to waste a Sunday afternoon! COST: Free
Pinterest: This app is like holding a stack of great magazines in your lap to browse through ALL DAY LONG! Part StumbledUpon, and part Facebook, you can LIKE objects you see or “pin” them into your albums to share or save for later. You may not want to log in before 8pm, it is addicting and you may never come out! COST: Free
Amazon: This app allows you to quickly search, shop and compare prices on all things Amazon! COST: Free
Grocery IQ: One of apps I use regularly to create a running grocery list at home. With the iPad 2 or mobile device with a camera, you can use the barcode scanner to scan item you are low on and have it automatically added to your list. Email or send your list to someone else or bring it with you and cross things off as you go. COST: Free
mGifts:Used throughout the year to track gift ideas and the stores they are found in. This app was invaluable to me over the holidays when I was out shopping and wanted to remember what to actually look for. Keep lists of people, stores, event dates etc. Spot a gift idea for a later date–log it and forget about it. COST: $4.99
Boutiques: This is an interesting project by Google. Someone there must be a fashion-designer wanna-be. This allows you to browse the world’s largest collection of boutiques and you can do so by designer, by style, or by celebrity. Click on an item and it takes you to the store to purchase it. Interesting! COST: Free …. Cost of that Ann Demeulemeester seamed cardigan…PRICELESS!
Zappos: Browse and buy shoes! Need I say more? Well you can also get clothes, accessories and probably a pizza. Just bypassing the need to search from browser. COST: Free
Accelastudy (Spanish):Study with flashcards, audio prompts, quizes and more. A great basic Spanish language app. COST: Free
Jibbigo:A great language translation app. You can speak in English your statement or question, it will type it out so you can verify that it heard you correctly and then it translates on the other side of the screen into the language you have downloaded. Press the play button and let the app tell the person what you wanted in their language. COST: BIG PRICE DROP in March 2011 – from $24.00 to $4.99 (I should have waited)
Conversational Spanish: A simple app that has hundreds of phrases that you can read or hit the play button to play the audio. COST: $0.99
Word Lens: COOL concept, but needs a bit of work. Open this app on your iPad 2 and it will use your camera to look at any sign and translate on the screen what it says. The free app comes with a BACKWARDS filter that turns backwards words around (Not really sure why you would need this) or pay $9.99 to translate Spanish to English and another $9.99 from English to Spanish. Another problem is you are using your data plan when you open this app in a foreign country which is VERY expensive and can get you into trouble. Initial App Cost: Free
COOKING & FOOD
Epicurious:If you love to cook, or just want people to think you do, this app is fabulous. Type in ingredients you have around and it will suggest recipes for you, or select a recipe and read the feedback from others and the app will build a grocery list for you out of your favorited dishes! COST: Free
Urbanspoon: Find restaurants near by and read what others have said about them before you take a chance! COST: Free
All Recipes: Another cookbook app with thousands of dinner ideas! COST: Free
Wine.com: I love the look and interactive features of this app. Enter your virtual wine cave, track your favorites, search for new treasures or order a case. You can also find deals or read the latest Wine Notes. COST: Free
GAMES and SILLINESS
TableTopics HD: Great for discussion starters at the dinner table, in the car, or at a dinner party. Different sets available such as: Happy Hour, First Date, In Flight (don’t sit next to me), Gourmet, WAter Cooler & More. You can also post a question straight to your Facebook Page to start conversations there! COST: $2.99
Heads Up:This hilarious game will have you and your party guests crying with laughter. Ellen Degenerous plays this on her show. Guess the word on your head from your friends’ clues before your time runs out. COST: $0.99 (option to purchase additional categories in app
Words With Friends HD: This popular Scrabble game is sweeping the nation and now integrates with Facebook and Twitter to allow you to wage word war on your friends on their mobile devices. COST $2.99 (Free version available with ads)
Max & the Magic Marker:One of the coolest physics and problem solving games I have ever seen for older kids (probably best for ages 7 to late teens because of difficulty). This game has won all kinds of awards and like Harold and his magic crayon, Max can draw things to life and the objects he draws help him solve problems, collect ink for his marker and have wondrous adventures along the way! I have played this with my teen-aged daughter and it is truly MAGICAL! The link shows a short video of the game in action. COST: $2.99
Etch A Sketch: Just like you remember as a kid, turn the dials and create masterpieces. Yes, you even shake the iPad to erase (be careful not to drop it!) COST: Free
Flight of the Hamsters: While I have never played most of these games, including this one, they have all been mother viewed and kid approved! This one is a favorite and it is similar to Angry birds in that you fling these hamsters into the air (for no violent reason though) and try to keep them gaining altitude as they collect balls, skateboards and other random objects that can save them from falling flat on the ground. COST: $0.99
Bookworm: This addictive spelling game is one of my favorites! Kindo f like Scrabble or Boggle where you have to make words from the letter tiles, this game adds a sense of urgency to each move. you must collect high point words before letters burst into flames. Great educational game for older children and adults! COST: $2.99
Bebot: After seeing this incredible performance by the North Point’s iBand I had to have this cute little robot synthesizer! COST: $1.99
DJ SoundBox:This is much more complex sound-mixing board than I had thought. A professional DJs dream! COST: $0.99
Jib Jab Jr: Let your kids create a custom story book and place them right inside! Fun for kids and adults. COST: Free
Koi Pond:A totally useless, but relaxing app if you need time to just sit and stare at giant Koi fish swimming across your iPad. Many have played with this time sucker for quite ahwile on their iPhones. Cost: (embarrassed to admit) $1.99
Fireworks Arcade:While you are sitting in your Koi Pond zen-like state, why not start some fireworks? Touch your screen to create a beautiful explosion. No purpose other than to put yourself or any young child into a trance! (hmmm – this could be BIG) COST: Free
Cozy Fireplace: This is purely for fun or for phycological purposes. If you want to go to sleep by the fire and you do not have a fireplace around, simply open this app and listen to the crackling sounds see the glow of the flames. You can set the timer for your fire to die down after an hour so you don’t catch your iPad on fire! Cost: $0.99
In Style Hairstyle Try-On: Want to know what you’d look like as a red head? Wonder if it’s time to cut those locks? Try it on your face first. Load a photo and start exploring! COST: Free
RANDOM BUT AWESOME
Lifelike Alarm Clock: My FAVORITE nightstand clock and alarm. See the time, the weather, set unique alarms, play music from your library before bedtime, and even pull the virtual shade down on the clock’s lighted screen when you are ready to go to sleep. COST: $3.99
iSoundBite: Simply a goofy voice changer app that will end up driving you insane if your kids get ahold of it! Record your voice and then press one of the many options including: Max Headroom, Robot, Schizophrenic Mix, and Poltergeist COST: Free (therapy not included)
Bucket List: Put your own bucket list into this app, prioritize them, share with others or read and get ideas from others. Mark each one when completed!
Backyard Birds: This is great if you are a crazy bird person like me. Peterson is the authority in bird watching and this app allows you to search birds by zip code, type of bird and then has a checklist so you know when you can say your life is complete! Hey I might be a crazy bird lady but at least I’m not the crazy cat lady! Cost: $2.99
Pzizz:The Power-Napping aid I cannot live without. For those of us who are sleep deprived and need to snag that 20 min nap every once in awhile without oversleeping and waking up groggy. I discovered this miracle app over 10 years ago when it was an MP3 device preloaded with this program. You press start and lie down. It sends you into a deep relaxed nap in minutes and wakes you at the end of 20 min. COST: $5.99
ReQall: If you need reminders like, where you parked your car at the airport, what time you need to pick up your son from football practice, what you had for lunch in case someone asks you later, this app will allow you to record a message and it will convert to text and send it to you or someone else. ReQall is very similar to Jott,com which just closed their doors this month. COST: Free
WhiteNoisePro: This app is a must-have for anyone who has trouble going to sleep anywhere! Not only does it play white noise, but it allows you to customize your own white noise, choosing 5 different sounds from the 40 available, to send you into la la land in minutes! COST: $2.99
TextHog: This app has a misleading name because it has nothing to do with text messaging or HOGS! It is an expense reporting and finance app. Take pics of your receipts, track business or personal expenses and stay financially organized. They say the service is free but I read many reviews stating it is a TRIAL offer and they will start charging you. I have never been charged, but… there are too many out there to have to worry about it. COST: Free
TourWrist: This is one of those AWESOME apps and is great for checking out wonderful travel locations. Take a 360 tour to exotic locations around the world with a click of a link. COST: Free
MyFitnessPal:Great tool for shedding that “layer.” Keep track of fitness goals, food you consume, exercise you were thinking about doing (just kidding…exercise you DID), and more! Syncs with online program as well. COST: Free
BIGGER Words: This has come in handy when you want to hold up a sign in a crowded room to tell the person on the other side “IT’S TIME TO GO!” Or how often have you wished you had a sign to hold up to the person driving next to you to tell them “BLINKER IS ON!”? This fun app turns your message into not just BIG words, but BIGGER words! COST: $0.99
Discover (Visual Wikipedia): A wonderful way to research something without just seeing pages of text. This app pulls in photos and graphics that accompany your research topic. Now if only schools would allow kids to use this. COST: Free
Bizarre Holidays: How do you know when National Ice Cream Sundae Day is? How can you find out if it is Defy Superstition Day? Download this app and it will show you each day’s National Holiday! COST: $0.99
Garden HD: A wonderful garden reference guide with over 2000 speices. Get garden help right on your iPad! COST $2.99
Hunting Call: I find this to be a hysterical app. You can select animal calls such as deer, coyotes, elk and birds and call them in the wild (or your living room). I believe it is a serious app for hunters to use and even incorporates the use of a second device like a cell phone where you can place one in the bushes and control the sounds from the hand held (not sure how wise that is to lay your phone or iPad in bushes near running bear or deer).I have used it to scare my kids on a hike and other kids climbing the rocks in our backyard. When they hear a bear growl, they take off! COST: $2.99 Scaring kids…PRICELESS!
Star Walk:One of the coolest apps for stargazers. Incorporates your camera and GPS allow you to point your iPad to the sky to discover what stars, planets or satellites you are looking at. Moon calendar and loads of educational information. A must for anyone studying astronomy. COST: $4.99
Now it’s your turn…what are the apps you can’t do without–on any mobile device?