December 15, 2023

Apps / Platforms We Use on the Daily & How We Use Them

Written by: Riley Fouts

We are always learning of new platforms to elevate our business and make some processes easier. However, there are a handful of applications that have consistently been part of our daily work habits and we thought we’d share them — from one biz to another!

Notion

Our holy grail 🙌 Notion is definitely up there when it comes to our most used platforms. We use it both internally and externally for client project planning purposes. For Isla Luna purposes, we organize almost every aspect of our business in Notion, from finances, to client resources, social planning, new business endeavors, team hubs, idea brainstorming and so. much. more. All of our team members stay on top of tasks each week through their own hub or checklist that serves as a communal space to keep each other accountable, which is one of our favorite aspects about the application — being able to collaborate on documents all together at the same time!

As far as client usage goes, each one (past, present + prospect) gets their own tab in Notion for project planning purposes. These tabs are used especially in beginning project stages, for questionnaire summaries, brainstorming, brand strategy developments + copywriting. And it’s important to note that our clients rarely ever get to see their Notion tabs because they tend to be one big brain dump 😅 that we later pare down into a cleaner and more digestible deck. 

Figma

Figma, the collaborative digital design tool, is our go-to for all things interface design (aka building website sitemaps, wireframes + the user interface and ultimately prototyping the full user experience). This platform is definitely more client-facing compared to Notion, featuring things like finalized mood boards, color palettes, website sitemaps, wireframes and design systems. We build out the full design experience into a prototype to share with our clients. Think of it as the middle step between laying the framework and diving into website design on a specific platform — we need clients’ approval of these blueprints and design recommendations before embarking on the real thing!

Canva

One of the more well-known applications, Canva is the *best* for branded social media templates and mockups for our clients. We love Canva for numerous reasons, one being how user friendly it is for our clients. While our design team uses Adobe creative tools for all of our brand identity work + client presentations, we use Canva to create branded templates that we can then hand off to specific clients for their own use. Canva allows us to hand off the reins so that our clients can utilize their brand assets, templates and identity however they please on their marketing channels with our strategic direction. This keeps retainer costs down on their end while still providing assets that are long lasting. We are all about educating our clients and giving them the confidence to continue to grow their brands with our strategic direction. Canva’s convenient features like color matching, brand kits, template suggestions, and more always keep us coming back for more. 

Adobe

Adobe is arguably one of the most important platforms in the world of Isla Luna. Adobe has a ‘creative cloud’ very similar to the renowned iCloud by Apple. We are able to save files within the creative cloud for any of our co-workers to open up and collaborate on regardless of where they are in the world (we love to travel so this is big!!!) InDesign and Photoshop are incredible applications for mock-ups and most all creative edits, while Illustrator is the hub for all of our brand identity development. From the creative cloud, complete creative freedom, precise tools, AI technology and more, Adobe has a soft spot in our hearts 😉.

Planoly

Because we’ve been upping our Instagram game lately (and would be nowhere without this platform), we thought we’d give Planoly a shoutout <3 This tool is especially useful for planning out social posts, brainstorming content ideas, writing captions, responding to comments, analyzing content success and growth and if you run multiple IG accounts at once like us — staying organized by creating a separate page for each.

At the end of the day, Planoly helps us stay accountable and execute social media strategies to the best of our abilities. Planoly’s analytical + tracking tools allow us to see what type of content performs well, what time of day performs best for specific accounts based off of their followings, increase in followers and so much more. This information allows us to adjust and optimize on our social media strategies for both our clients and for our Isla Luna Studio account! 

Toggl

Compared to the other platforms listed above, Toggl might appear to be the most boring but we certainly would not be able to run our business without it. 

Not only is our team able to log their hours so we can pay them accurately, but this application allows us to categorize by client (and type of work) each period of time spent working. For example, if I were to log my time spent writing this blog post, I would log it under “Blog Writing” as the project and “Isla Luna Blog” as the project. When working on client projects, this is useful because it factors into how much we charge them in the end, especially if it pertains to an add-on billable service (which we charge at an hourly rate).

Minus the financial components, Toggl makes it ~a walk in the park~ to gauge how much time our team spends on work-related endeavors, no matter how in-depth you want to measure. We love using this tool when we crunch numbers to see where we are spending our time the most and where we can be more productive and effective with our team!
While these may be our favorite industry-specific platforms + those we use most frequently, this list doesn’t even scratch the surface of the total amount of applications we use to carry out our business successfully — we could go on for days at that point 🤣 And although these all seem to be behind-the-scenes client planning / organization tools, our website (ahem, coming soon case studies page) and Instagram are the best places to see the final products of these platforms in action!  

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