Capsule 18: Innovative Apps We’re Using

Apps for Design and Creativity

In celebration of turning 18 this year, the Capsule team takes a look at some of the things we have learned on our journey to adulthood.

This week, it's all about the groundbreaking, time-saving, creativity-sparking, and life simplifying apps we're using.

18. Autodesk Sketchbooks

"The standard for professional design tools is Illustrator, InDesign and Photoshop - but Sketchbook is a different way to doodle and sketch and create things. You can use a finger or stylus on an iOS device or iPad." Greg Brose, Associate Creative Director. Here's a Greg Brose original masterpiece to show off this fun and useful app. 

17. Invision

"This is a great prototyping app for digital projects. We’re able to make interactive mockups and then view them on our phones; it is incredibly helpful to see the designs in context to test sizing, flow, readability, interactions and more." Kayla, Designer

16. Procreate

For general sketching, our Creative Principal, Brian Adducci enjoys using Procreate for the iPad. Here's a recent sketch of his.

15. Canopy 

Designer, Emma raves about Canopy, which "curates design-y goods on sale on Amazon. You can like them, and even purchase on amazon with a few clicks. Not good for the bank account but makes me feel like I have a virtual boutique in my pocket."

Apps for Organization, Productivity, and Life Simplicity

14. Soon

A list making app that helps you create and organize lists of restaurants, books, movies, etc that are “on your list” to try. It also loads other helpful information such as reviews, addresses of places and contact information. You can also create “city lists” for places you’re planning to travel.

13. MPLS Parking

This app has solved the pesky, stressful task of paying for parking meters and has been a total game-changer. We love that we can pay for parking before even leaving the car – "I don’t have to scrounge for change, walk two blocks away to find the pay station, or interrupt a meeting to go plug the meter," says Kayla

12. 1Password

A wonderful password utility that stores logins and other important information. Keeps track of everything you cannot.

11. Timepage

"A well-designed calendar app that helps you schedule your days. Created by Moleskine – a brand that creates well made notebooks, sketchbooks and planners. It provides a simple interface with a lot of great functionality." - Beth, Designer

10. Acorns

Kayla would recommend Acorns for aspiring investors who don't know where to start. Acorns is a great app for micro investing – you synch up your debit and credit cards to the app, then every purchase is automatically rounded up to the nearest dollar, and all that spare change is invested into a diversified account. "While I’m not exactly saving for retirement with this app, it’s a great way to save a little extra money that doesn’t impact your day to day finances very much. I’ve found that if I cash in once a year, I have the perfect amount to pay for a flight and it helps make a vacation seem more affordable," says Kayla.

9. Venmo

Remember when splitting the bill at dinner was the most stressful part of the night? Venmo is a life-saver when it comes to person-to-person payment transfers. "It's the perfect way to deal with money (a rather awkward topic) amongst friends in a rather passive but productive way. Whenever I'm worried about asking friends to pay me back, I shoot a quick Venmo request to the person and it's in their hands." says Ellen, Marketing and New Business Intern. Venmo also recently announced a new purchasing service with retailers, where customers can check out using Venmo, as they would PayPal or Apple Pay. We look forward to seeing what they come up with next.

Apps for Relaxation and Enjoyment

8. Nanoloop

Greg also enjoys mixing a track or two every once in awhile with Nanoloop. "It's a fun music sequencer that turns any want-a-be-musician into a musical genius with those beats. It is fun to make simple musical treats."

7. Podcast

Many of our conversations around the lunch table are about the podcasts we're listening to. A staple (and underrated) app on every smartphone, Podcast is a one stop shop for news, a laugh, a cry, a scare (we're big murder mystery fans), or that inquiry about that weird disease, endangered insect, or how Indian call centers operate. "I use this app probably 20 times a week. Podcasts have taken over pop culture in a major way and the Podcast app lets you download and browse podcasts similar to iTunes or Spotify. It’s simple, elegant, and oh so useful," says Rachel, Account Manager and podcasting fanatic.

6. Audible

Both our Managing Principal, Aaron Keller and Director of Client Experience, Kitty Hart are avid Audible listeners. "I LOVE Audible. I have a 45 minute commute, each way. Audible has been a lifesaver. I usually have two-three books going at one time. One business related book. One fun-fiction. And one….well, that’s all I need to share. wink" adds Kitty.

5. Headspace

"Though I've only used the free trial, Headspace is the perfect app for winding down and regrouping. I'm using it to learn meditation and mindfulness. Fun and good for my health!" - Ellen

Apps for Shopping

4. Amazon Prime

A dangerously convenient app for quick purchases. Designer, Michelle is a big fan. "I run out of toothpaste. Two thumb taps later and it's on its way to my doorstep!"

3. IKEA Place

Welcome to the future of interior design. IKEA Place works with new AR features to allow you to now choose from 2000+ IKEA furniture pieces and visualize how they will look in your home. You can even walk around the furniture and check it out from varying angles. We went a little crazy with this the other day and decided to redecorate the office.

2. Target

"Love sipping my Sunday morning coffee while looking through the new Cartwheel coupons to add to my list . . ." - Petra, Production Manager

1. Hopper

Hopper notifies you when flights you're “watching” are the cheapest! Michelle travels often and loves to have this tool in her back pocket.

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About The Author

Ellen Pickering

I am a recent St. Olaf graduate with a dual degree in Sociology/Anthropology and Studio Art. Guided by my interests in human behavior, research, and discovering trends and patterns, I am always seeking new ways to follow my curiosities, ask questions and turn ideas on their head. Other passions of mine include taking photographs, shooting hoops and organizing interior spaces.


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