It seems everyone is always looking for a better way to manage their time or more efficient ways to do their jobs. Sometimes the solution is as simple as utilizing a new app or an existing one in new ways. This recurring column will feature different apps recommended by our industry peers. If you have favorites you rely on day in and day out, please share them in the comments and we may feature them in a future column!


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Today’s highlight in general apps is one most have factory installed on their iPhone: Notes.

Notes currently only works with Apple products and is generally overlooked and underutilized.  Many may be surprised at all the applications this work horse app is capable of. Notes is the best place to keep your thoughts from to-do lists, images, web links, scanned documents, and sketches. For those with iCloud, it’s easy to keep all your enabled devices in sync, so you’ll always have your notes with you.

Notes Features:

  • Create a general note.
  • Add checklists to your notes. This is great tool for creating personal checklists or for a job as they can also be shared with vendors or clients. This can be very valuable for sharing a punch list with a contractor and sub-contractors because as items are checked-off as they are completed everyone looped in will get up to date information.
  • Invite others to join a note. Everyone who joins will see the latest changes.
  • Quickly add photos to a note by using the camera from within the app.
  • Easily scan paper documents into your notes with the built-in document scanner.
  • Add attachments — maps, links, documents, and more — to new or existing notes by using the Share menu in Safari, Maps, and many other apps.
  • Use your finger to draw right in your note, choosing from a variety of brush styles and colors. This is a great way to communicate to clients/vendors the thoughts you have when you are on site.
  • Attachments Browser makes it easy to find what you’re looking for in one simple view by searching to find something you attached to a certain note.
  • You can even secure the notes that contain personal data — such as financial details, client billing, or website logins — with a password or fingerprint.
  • Use your iPad Pro and Apple Pencil to take handwritten notes on blank, lined, or grid paper.
  • Start new notes instantly from the Lock screen without having to log in to your device. Just tap the Lock screen with your Apple Pencil on a compatible iPad or tap New Note in Control Center.
  • Use iCloud to keep all your notes stored in the cloud and updated everywhere. Jot down a note on your iPhone, and it will instantly be available on your iPad and Mac.


Everyone by now, we hope, is aware of Instagram, but many are not aware of a companion app called Planoly. This is a platform to plan out your Instagram posts before they go live. This app works with Androids and Apple formats. You can experiment with laying out how the grid of posts will display in different configurations to ensure visual flow in your feed and schedule out future posts through this app. This can help maximize your exposure and enhance your posts visually.  It is important to note there is a free version with a maximum of 30 uploads (not posts) a month. If you are a more active or avid planner you may enjoy the additional features you receive in the subscription version.

Planoly Features:

  • Visually see how your Instagram profile feed will look like with drag and drop feature.
  • Effectively manage all your content on the web dashboard or phone app.
  • Schedule your Instagram posts days, weeks, or months in advance.
  • Upload all your photos and videos directly from your computer, Dropbox, Google Drive, or phone.
  • Upload multiple photos at once on the web
  • Upload videos and gifs on the web
  • Auto populate #hashtags and @Instagram handles
  • Manage multiple Instagram accounts
  • Add team members to help manage
  • View your data engagement
  • Track and reply to your comments
  • Plan your Instagram Stories

We hope these tools will help you work smarter and more efficiently in your business!  Take an hour to play around and explore the features of each one to familiarize yourself with their settings so you can get their full benefit. Try sharing a grocery checklist in Notes with your partner and then check off items together at opposite ends of the grocery store to test out that feature. Batch plan 3 future Instagram posts in Planoly and experiment with dragging them around in the grid until the visuals are balanced between close ups and long shots or quotes.