So there are five apps I want to talk about. I didn't even realize I was so enthusiastic for these apps but I am! So much so that I've decided to devote an entire post to them.
Anyway, you already know I love Instagram so I'm not including it in this post. But the five apps listed below are a great help in managing certain aspects of my day. I won't say they're absolutely indispensable because of course I've gotten along fine in the past without them. But these days they help handle my web consumption, my blogging and hey, even my wardrobe.
Anyway, without further ado, let me present my current favorite iPad apps:
1. Flipboard - $ Free
This is one of the very first apps that I installed and fell in love with a year ago. Not surprisingly, Apple picked it as App of the Year in 2010.
When it's running, Flipboard looks like this:
Sure makes it easier to zip in and out of the internet. Love Flipboard!
2. Stylebook - $3.99 plus tax
I am probably the laziest dresser ever. I hate wasting time deciding what goes with what. Consequently, I end up wearing the same old things, and forget what clothes or accessories I have that might go together. And so when I absolutely need to dress up, like on a night out or on trips, it gets so stressful! Or, I end up looking like a slob. One day a few months ago, after looking like a eyesore at a friend's party (I have Facebook photos to prove it), I decided enough was enough. I resolved to pay more attention to my outfits. I also thought I needed to get some wear out of some nice items that have been relegated to the back of my closet. So if you remember, I organized my accessories using orphaned teacups and pretty bowls. I thought that by doing so I'd be reminded to put one or two items on before heading out the door. But that didn't really work because when you're in a hurry, the last thing on you want to do is spend precious time figuring out if which bracelet goes well with your outfit, or which necklace you need to get a bit more wear from. I just do not have the patience.
Luckily, I found Stylebook.
Photos via here
It's marketed as a closet manager or fashion assistant that lets you get the most out of your wardrobe. If you remember that film "Clueless," the fashionable lead character Cher (played by Alicia Silverstone), used this special computer to put her outfits together. Stylebook is the same thing except more mobile. You access the app on your iPhone, or iPad.
So what I did was to upload photos of my clothes and accessories onto Stylebook. This was not as tedious as I thought because, for one, I already have a very pared down closet. In addition, for items I have multiples of like jeans, black tops and those little black sheath dresses, I uploaded only one sample photo (or 2, max) for use throughout. I also did not bother removing the background on each of my photos (my outfit boards did not need to have magazine-quality layout). Background removal is a feature allowed by the app, but that of course requires additional time to work out. So forget that, all I did was upload photos and mix and match wardrobe items to create different looks. I did not expect it, but it was a whole lot of fun to putting those outfits together!
Here is a sample outfit.
It's great because I don't have to lay out the items the night before or make a big mess trying on different things in a rush just to get the look just right. Now when it's time to dress up, I just call up the image on my iPad, pick out the corresponding stuff in my closet and throw everything on. Quick and easy.
Stylebook also has a nifty calendar feature. So not only can you can plan your outfits ahead of time, it also ensures you don't wear the same thing to the next meeting with the same client or to the next book club. Not that I go out often enough to worry about outfit repetition, but for those who go to the office or need to dress up often, this feature is indispensable for tracking down what items are used most (or least) frequently so that adjustments can be made to the rotation.
During the Christmas holidays, Stylebook proved very useful by allowing me to accurately plan and pack complete outfits for every day of our vacation. This meant no overpacking, and also less cringing later, when it came time to check out vacation photos of myself.
Stylebook is listed as one of the Top Fashion Apps by NYMag.
3. Notes Plus - $6.99 plus tax
I recently came across this awesome note-taking app courtesy of my husband. And now I use it from jotting down my Things to Do, to just about anything that needs noting. It has the real feel of a notebook when used with a stylus. It converts your handwriting to text. It allows you to grab images and webclips and record audio to enhance your notes. It works with simple gestures and is easy to use. I think everyone, from students to researchers to people planning a renovation can find good use for this app.
4. Skitch - Free
Skitch is a free image editing and annotation app that I understand is meant for both for Apple and Android use.
If you've noticed on my blog, I've started posting entries featuring just photos with short annotations. I use Skitch to annotate those photos. It's perfect for those days when I just want to quickly share something but do not have much time to write a full-blown post. I can resize and annotate an image quickly. I can choose to use text (as in the very first photo in this post) or the handwriting feature as in the immediately preceding picture. I can encircle part of the image and draw arrows to highlight something on the image.
I just wish there were more "ink" colors and an eraser (as opposed to an undo tool ), but other than that, this works great for my purposes.
5. Zinio - Free
For subscription magazines I like to use Zinio. It's basically a newsstand where you get all the digital editions of your magazines. I know not everyone wants to get rid of paper books and magazines. Sometimes, it's still more fun to flip through actual paper pages. I admit, I was also a bit of a holdout on this one. But having left behind books and magazines during each house move, I've learned to appreciate the portability and convenience of the digital versions. Plus, I like to be able to zoom in to view the exquisite details or tiny type on a page, something one cannot really do with traditional paper publications.
Here are a couple more images showing how I use the apps in combination.
A look I put together on Stylebook and annotated on Skitch
Part of a page from Elle Decor viewed with Zinio and annotated on Skitch
So there you have it, folks. My favorite apps these days. I hope you find this post useful. I'd love to be acquainted with the apps you're enthusiastic about!