I'm in the business of social media management + visual content creation. Because of this, I've used more than my fair share of the latest + greatest scheduling platforms + editing apps.
Since I'm not only creating content + managing accounts for myself; but for a variety of other clients in different industries; I've been able to test out a plethora of different tools + resources for Instagram.
The following list contains my top 20 Instagram tools, apps + resources.
Note: While this list does contain some affiliate links- please be assured that I would not recommend any platform, app, or tool, that I haven't used, (or don't currently use), for myself or for the accounts of my clients.
So... here we go, my top twenty Instagram resources (in no particular order):
Organization + Super Useful Stuff:
TRELLO (desktop + app) : if it wasn't for Trello, I don't know how my team + business would survive on a daily basis! I created separate Trello boards to manage social media for every client individually. This way I can stay on top of content creation + curation, create checklists and repeating tasks for weekly Instagram scheduling, community management, reporting, promotions, campaigns, etc. Trello isn't just a tool I use for Instagram, I use it every single day for managing nearly every aspect of my business!
DROPBOX (desktop + app) : you can use Dropbox to save your content for posting at a future date, and keep your images organized. Plus scheduling platforms like Later + Plano.ly can pull directly from your Dropbox account, which makes things super streamlined.
LINKINPROFILE (desktop) : Before I started using Linkin.bio through Later, I used Linkinprofile to redirect all of my Instagram images to different URLs. I even wrote an entire post about what it is, and how it works. If you want to add links into your individual posts, to drive traffic to your product pages or blog posts, definitely check it out!
BITLY (desktop + app) : with bit.ly, you can make all of those long, ugly links short + pretty. Bit.ly also collects data from your URLs so you can track how many times it's being clicked and analyze which links are working best. You can use customized links for campaigns, or for different social platforms and really see what's driving your traffic.
Editing + Retouching Images:
VSCO (app) : this is my main squeeze when it comes to editing my own content. I love all of the professional editing functions-- I have my own personal editing formula practically memorized, and the creative filter options are amazing.
A COLOR STORY (app) : while my own feed is fairly minimal + lacking in the color department, I did run out + purchase ALL of the filter packs when this app launched... because I was hypnotized. If you post a lot of vivid, or bright imagery, this is a must have.
SNAPSEED (app) : I really only use this app when I want to quickly edit something out of a photo - because the healing brush is legit! However, this is a highly functional editor and a great on-the-go retouching app.
FACETUNE (app) : I know what you're thinking. Facetune is only used by people who want to look like airbrushed, cartoon versions of themselves-- but stay with me. The patch tool can quickly cover up any flaws in your image, and you can use the eyes / teeth whitening tool to make a white background look clean + bright in a fraction of a second. Just don't go too crazy, ok?
TOUCHRETOUCH (app) : this app only does a few things-- removes objects, clones + repairs. But if there's something in your image that you want to completely remove, the Retouch app makes it super simple to do that.
Graphics/ Add Text Over Images:
WORDSWAG (app) : if you post a lot of quote graphics or want to quickly throw together a promotional post, this app is all you need. It comes with tons of graphic text options, and layout options within those options... plus there are endless color, backdrop, + text variations. They have pre-loaded images to use as backdrops, or you can upload your own images + write over those. Super simple to use + great when you don't have a ton of time.
CANVA (desktop + app) : although I haven't used the app much, I use the desktop version of Canva all the time, and I absolutely love it. You don't need to have pro design skills to make something really professional looking, the platform is SO SIMPLE to use.
OVER (app) : similar to WordSwag, Over allows you to add text over your own images, and also comes with a lot of pre-made templates to choose from. You can edit the colors + text, and they are constantly adding new artwork to the app! The creative possibilities are endless.
Video + Gifs:
POCKETVIDEO (app) I’ve been searching high + wide for an app that allows me to easily make fun, animated videos for myself and clients. Pocketvideo allows you to add your own video + photos, plus layer in other videos, gifs, stickers, and animated text.
BOOMERANG by INSTAGRAM (app) : You don't even need to have a separate gif maker if you don't want to. Within the Instagram app, you can choose to create a moving gif- that, just like a boomerang, goes forth, then comes right back.
LAYOUT by Instagram (app) : another "inside of Instagram add-on", you can choose the Layout feature when posting, then choose multiple photos + create a fun collage or mirrored image.
PICSTITCH (app) : they call themselves the original collage making app, and they're probably right. I haven't made many collages in the last couple of years, but when I did- I definitely used Picstitch... it's a classic.
Scheduling / Grid Planning:
LATER (desktop + app) : so I currently use Later for all of The Gram Gang content curation via their Search + Repost feature, and to schedule Instagram content to the account. I love how simple it is to drag + drop images into a visual calendar and I can easily add captions + hashtags. Also, if you sign up for a paid account, Later has it's own link directing service called Linkin.bio (which works exactly like Link In Profile).
HOOTSUITE (desktop + app) : this is my go-to for managing multiple client accounts. I love it because of the ability to set up multiple streams for multiple platforms with a single account. I can set up all of the channels that I need to not only schedule each account, but also have the ability to engage with other accounts directly from the platform, monitor specific activities or locations, watch my hashtags as well as a ton of other "social listening" strategies. I highly recommend Hootsuite if you plan on managing more than one account on a variety of platforms.
PLANOLY (desktop + app) : I started using Plano.ly for my own account, so that I could not only schedule my posts in advance, but also visually plan out my grid ahead of time. From both the app + the desktop, you can click on any image in your library + drag it to the place you want it to live within your feed, then schedule it in that order. I also used it to plan my personal/travel account @gilbertgetaway because within the app you can split images into multiple pieces, allowing you to create an interesting layout with your feed-- great for photographers! (Check it out to see what I mean!)
PREVIEWGRID (app) : if you want the visual planning function of Plano.ly, without the subscription, try this app. It's super simple, and doesn't have any scheduling capabilities, but you can post directly from the app to Instagram, making this a really affordable option (it's just $2.99) for anyone with one account + a basic posting schedule.
So there you have it. My favorite apps, editing tools, and other handy Instagram resources that I use on a weekly, and sometimes daily basis. Hopefully some of these will help you level up your own Insta-game!
If you want even more awesome Instagram info, tips, tricks + helpful resources-- and you want to learn to build your business on the platform, you should sign up for my ALL NEW GRAM GANG CHALLENGE!