Recently, some members of the Social U team got together to discuss a few of our favorite tools and apps we use for work. We each have probably a dozen that we use as go-tos on a regular basis, but we only brought a few to the table for the sake of time. If it is well-received maybe it will become a regular feature. Broken down by staff member, here are some of our favorite tools and apps.
Trello is a program we use for project management. It’s available online and there is an app for your phone. It’s a great tool for organization. During our onboarding process with new clients, we create a client board for them on Trello that has their fonts, colors, logo, brand standards, and any other pertinent information you would need to handle their account. That way, if there is ever an emergency and their account manager isn’t available, anyone on our team will be able to jump right in. This makes sure our clients never have an interruption of their services.
Another great thing about Trello is that it allows you to assign tasks and even deadlines to your team. Each team member has their own board with their own tasks. If you think of something at midnight and don’t want to run the risk of waking a team member with a text or email notification, you can simply add it to their Trello board.
Trello is free, easy to use, and highly customizable. Our team uses this tool daily.
Canva is a graphic creation tool and they may be plotting to take over the world because they are constantly adding amazing new features. Just within the last few months they’ve added a new “remove background” feature that is great. Canva is free but to access all the bells and whistles you will need a paid account. However, a paid account on Canva is very affordable and if you are constantly creating graphics for your business you need to upgrade anyway. Canva works well with our monthly graphic subscription packs and allows you to take those images and add your logo or any images and text you would like to add.
Another cool feature is the ability to mimic the look of Linktree with templates so you can create your own landing page full of links. If your desktop is covered in files, they have a feature for that too that will arrange your files into aesthetically pleasing segments. Very cool.
The Repost app has actually been a little glitchy lately but it’s a great app and a must-have. It allows you to capitalize on user-generated content. If someone makes a great post about your business you can repost it. You can also use it to highlight vendors in your field that you are friendly with. People love seeing their content shared so this is a great app to up your engagement.
Procreate Pocket is the little sister to the full version of Apple’s Procreate. At $4.99 it’s about half the price of the full version and is available on iPads as well as iPhones. This is a great value for everything this powerful art app can do. You also don’t have to use a pricey Apple pencil. Our team has had great success using a stylus we picked up for $11. Just make sure it’s compatible.
Procreate Pocket is great for creating logos, graphics, and artwork. You don’t have to be an artist to use it because of helpful features. For instance, this app will turn your not-quite-a-circle into a perfect circle and there is a mode that only allows you to draw horizontal or vertical lines. No matter how badly your hand shakes, your line will be perfect. You can toggle this feature on and off to help just as you need it. There are also a multitude of brushes to choose from with even more available online. This app does so much and we highly recommend you give it a try.
Having a great still image for your story might be great but having a video is even better. Story Swag creates cool effects and animated text on your images. It’s the sister app to Word Swag which allows you to add text to a photo either that you upload or one of the stock images they have available. You can make a graphic in Canva then put it in Story Swag and choose from one of their many templates and create an eye-catching story. Great app and totally free.
Unlike the apps that allow you to remove the background, this app allows you to remove certain elements from a picture. For instance, if you’re a realtor and you have a gorgeous photo of this house for sale but there is a bag of garbage sitting at the end of the driveway, you can go in and remove just the garbage bag while preserving the rest of the photo. You just use your finger to draw over the garbage bag then hit remove and it’s gone. That easy. You can even use it to remove strangers from your vacation photos.
Otter.ai is an effective tool for transcribing videos, meetings, or any other audio conversations. It doesn’t get every word right but it is more accurate than other apps we’ve tried. You just have to make sure you go back in and edit the text before using it.
Asana is another project management tool, similar to Trello. We have a client who prefers Asana so we use it to manage their account. It also is organizational and really helps with project coordination. If you are working remotely with your team, it’s so easy just to look at that one board that you all have access to. You can easily see what is assigned to you and shoot messages back and forth. You have the ability to tag people, set timers and deadlines for yourself, and set them for others as well.
You can attach images on Asana which is great for social media planning. You can schedule out your week and look at your board to see exactly how it will look.
Whether you like Trello or Asana better really comes down to a matter of preference. They basically perform the same function and both are free so try them out and see which one you like best.
If you are wanting to create cool graphics but you’re just getting your feet wet when it comes to design, TextArt is a great app. It’s very user-friendly and simple to use. Similar to Word Swag, you can load your own photo or use one of their stock images, then type in your text and choose the template you like best. You choose the style and font and choices range from classy, to sporty, to fun, and everything in between. With a couple of taps, you go from a boring graphic to a slick graphic you can use for your business. TextArt is free so give it a try.
InShot is great for editing video directly from your phone. You can cut video, merge video, add text, adjust the speed of a video, and more. It allows you to drag and drop and put out a quality product. Because it’s so quick we use it a lot to answer client questions. If you need them to click a certain link you can take a screen-grab, import it into InShot, and add an arrow sticker pointing out the link and it’s done in a matter of seconds. We love the stickers available in this app. It makes editing so fast.
Everyone wants to have pleasing captions, especially on Instagram but sometimes fonts and spacing can be a problem. That’s where Caption Writer comes in. It allows you to space your caption how you want. You can highlight parts of your caption and change the font. Just create your caption, hit copy, then paste it into Instagram or whichever platform you’re using. It will even show you the available character count for the platform you’ve chosen. It really helps polish your captions.
Bonus from Caryn
It’s no secret that Caryn is a bit addicted to TikTok. They have a community for everything. There’s a mom community, a nursing community, and even a small business owners community. Some of the best tips we’ve gotten lately have come from TikTok. There’s also some hilarious stuff on there too when you need a mental break.
What Are Your Favorites?
Remember, this is just a small sampling of the many tools we love and use frequently for work. What are your favorites? We would love to try them.