The Top Five Applications I Couldn't Run My Business Without

I started my business with nothing but paper file folders filled with client information, an old macbook, aperture for editing, and a dream in my heart. But over the years, I've found systems and programs that have streamlined my workflow and allowed me to work quicker, smarter, and more efficiently. As a result, I'm able to be more organized and ultimately serve my clients better, which is what I'm all about. 

Today I want to share with you five programs that I couldn't run my business without and how they help me to make the most of my time.

1. Lightroom

Lightroom might seem a bit obvious for a photographer, but I know people who still edit every single photograph in Photoshop... and my heart hurts for them. Lightroom is quick, efficient, and incredibly powerful when you're editing a large number of photographs with similar settings. There are certain instances that I'll still pull a photo into Photoshop, but it's honestly pretty uncommon these days. I could manage without Photoshop, but Lightroom is absolutely essential for me as a wedding photographer. 

2. Blogstomp

This program was created to resize and compress images for optimal viewing on blogs, but I use it everyday for a myriad of reasons. It's useful for everything from prepping images for the blog to optimizing photographs for my client's online galleries and quickly resizing for blog submissions or website galleries. Anytime I need a photograph to be resized, watermarked, or combined with another image I use BlogStomp and it saves me so much time. 

3. SmartAlbums

Since I have a background in graphic design, I've always been very picky about my album designs. I have a very specific way I want them done, and for a long time I created them manually because I couldn't find a simple way to accomplish what I wanted. And then I found SmartAlbums... and I danced around like a crazy person for days. It's simplified my album creation process without compromising the quality of my designs and I'm able to create exactly what I want in the most efficient manner possible. It's wonderful. 

4. Carbon Copy Cloner

Carbon Copy Cloner has simplified the way I do backups and redundancy and allowed me to have multiple mirrored copies of my hard drives in a super simple way. I simply plug in a hard drive with all of my photos, a hard drive that I want to back them up to, and click "clone". Everything is copied to the second location and I don't have to do anything. When I want to sync them up again (after every shoot), I'm able to do so with the assurance that nothing is missed. It's much more efficient and fool-proof than doing it by hand, and I love how easy it's made this stage of my workflow.

5. Evernote

Evernote is so integrated into my life that I don't know what I would do without it. I use it for both business and personal information and I have folders for everything: client information, blog post ideas, recipes, notes from classes I've taken, and general brain dumps. It's installed on all of my computers, the iPad, and my phone, so it's the quickest way for me to find pretty much any information I need about any and every aspect of my life.

What about you? What programs do you just absolutely love and couldn't live without? Leave them in the comments below!