Stranded with only an iPhone.

Last week I travelled to Chicago to attend my first Publishing Cocktails event. (More on this tomorrow.) It was supposed to be a quick up-and-back trip, but when my return flight was cancelled, I found myself facing a 48-hour delay. So I spent much of the time riding the CTA back and forth between O’Hare and Union Station–trying to find a way home.

The only internet connection I had was through my phone. And I should probably state for the record right now that I love my email marketing program, Campaign Monitor. I love-love-love it. But not when I only have my iPhone. While my Campaign Monitor has a really nice mobile feature which allows me to look at subscriptions, stats and past campaigns, it will not let me create a new one. And I spent quite a bit of time trying to work some magic through Safari on my phone, but it just wasn’t happening.

In a recent Quick & Dirty survey, many of you told me you use Constant Contact for email marketing. If you do, go and grab the free Constant Contact QuickView app. It will allow you to manage, view, and–best of all–create campaigns from your phone or tablet. It also allows you to see previews, send tests, schedule campaigns for delivery, and view performance reports.

While I use Constant Contact in other parts of my life, I do not use it for Books & Whatnot. So although I couldn’t design this newsletter, let me tell you what I could do with an iPhone in my pocket and hours of available time on the train.

Chris Ware designI recently reviewed three different word/photo apps, which allow you to superimpose words on images for social media content. Of the three I have on my phone, I find myself returning to WordSwag. Take a photo, type some words, save and share. Pretty easy.

One app I have on my phone is RecordPad. If I want to conduct a quick interview, I can capture it in a WAV/PCM file at 44.1 kHz–so the sound is very high quality. But the beautiful thing about this app is that I have it set up to transfer immediately to my FTP server, so the large file does not take up space on my phone.

I’d share some of my “Sounds of Chicago” files with you, but there are too many expletives to delete.

Another app that came in handy was Horizon. You know how I feel about vertical videos. This app lets you take still shots or videos that are horizontal. And when they say horizontal they mean it. These shots are literally parallel to the horizon. This app uses your iPhone’s gyroscope to keep your camera parallel to the ground at any angle.

Once you finish recording, you can share immediately through Facebook or Instagram, or you can just save it to use elsewhere.

I use WordPress to publish my Books & Whatnot posts online, and WordPress has a fantastic app that allows me to write, edit, add photos, save drafts, schedule or publish directly from my phone. In fact, other than the Amtrak, CTA, and GoogleTransit apps, WordPress was the app I used the most during my extended stay in Chicago. I finally had enough time to make some overdue updates to my reading list.

Beth Golay

Beth is a reader, writer, marketer and Books & Whatnot founder. Even though she knows better, she's a sucker for a good book cover and will positively swoon if a book is set in appropriate type. @BethGolay