My Top 5 Favorite Apps of 2016

by Jamie Sanford on December 22, 2016

I am surprised that I haven’t created one of these posts in the past! I’ve been an iPhone user for almost 6 years, and apps have pretty much taken over.

Here we go with my top 5 favorite apps of 2016.

1. A Color Story

A Color Story is the best photo editing app I have tried, and I have tried a LOT of photo editing apps. You can adjust curves! For anyone who uses Photoshop, you know how valuable this is in a phone app.

2. Instagram

I joined Instagram in the middle of 2011, and as of 11/30/16, I am 3 posts shy of 3,000 images posted. That’s a lot of estate sale photos. I do miss the old algorithm, because I don’t feel like I see as much as I want to anymore.

3. Hilton HHonors App

I don’t know why it took me as long as it did to start using the Hilton HHonors app. We took a lengthy road trip last Christmas and stayed in Hilton hotels all the way, racking up points along the way. The app is so easy to use that I don’t ever go on the regular website anymore to book Hilton hotels. I can’t think of a higher compliment than that.

4. Timehop

Why spend all of this time putting content on social networks if it can’t create a beautiful set of memories to look back on? Timehop is GENIUS and if you aren’t using it, you are missing out. Every morning, I check to see what I did 1 year ago, 2 years ago, etc. It is one of my  favorite apps ever.

5. Slack

Unlike most people who use Slack, this is being used in my personal life, not my professional life. I would love to start using it in my professional life, but for now, I have a lovely group of friends in a group, with multiple threads for us to talk about whatever comes to mind. I love that I can use this so easily from my phone.

Honorable mentions:

  • Whatsapp: for texting internationally, there is no better option.
  • Facebook: for all of your unneeded political opinions.
  • Wunderlist: for creating and sharing lists – the one used the most for me is Will and I’s shared grocery list.
  • Glympse: mildly creepy but you can share your GPS location with someone else. Will and I use this for when we are meeting somewhere and cannot provide updates by text due to driving etc.
  • Snapchat: good times with those filters.
  • Later: this has been great for posting Instagram content for Noritake.
  • Tumblr: for aggregating lots of content about specific things I am interested in, I haven’t found anything better.
  • Spotify: playlists, playlists, playlists.
  • Twitter: for commentary during live events I’m watching on TV, there is nothing better.

Tweet at me with your favorite apps of the year.


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Bluemercury, Part 2 | Brand Experience Project

by Jamie Sanford on March 13, 2014

Click here for all posts in the Brand Experience Project.

Click here for part 1 of my experience with Bluemercury from January 23, 2014.

As I always do, I tweeted the last blog post after it went live in January – alerting Bluemercury to the major flaw in their free shipping countdown. I received a few tweets back:

It’s always lovely to receive feedback of this nature. I sent a follow-up email, as requested.

Barbara from Bluemercury got back to me with a response that wasn’t too specifically tied to my suggestions, but indicated I would get a blue box sent my way.

I was tagged on Instagram when the box was packed and on the way. I loved this way of letting me know that a box was on the way.

The box arrived a few days later, and was I not right about how great this packaging is?

Matching tissue paper.

It was filled with samples, which was lovely.

So, a big thanks to Bluemercury for sending the box. Of course, I had to go back and check to see if any of the issues I had brought up on their site had been addressed. I assumed that the shipping calculator issue would have been the first thing to fix, since it was obviously broken.

Surprisingly, as of March 12, the shipping calculator in the header is still broken.

My suggestion to add something here letting the user know that the item will be gift-wrapped for free (with perhaps an indication of what the lovely packaging looks like) has not been taken either. Even if a photo wasn’t being added, an indication that the item will be wrapped would be nice here.

The grammar and punctuation review hasn’t been completed either. Still hanging sentences and inconsistencies between language and buttons.

In the past year and a half, I have managed the re-launch of an e-commerce website with 3,000 SKUs. I know the struggle of making these things work, there’s always a quirk to deal with. However, the fact that the broken shipping calculator hasn’t been fixed is ridiculous. The other things I’ve brought up are more style suggestions than anything else, but the shipping issue is a basic function that is broken, and should be addressed immediately as it is incredibly confusing to customers.

I will follow-up again to see if these issues are addressed on


If you’re a brand who would like to be included in the brand experience project, please send me an email.


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Shari’s Berries, Part 2 | Brand Experience Project

by Jamie Sanford on March 6, 2014

Click here for all posts in the Brand Experience Project.

Here is part 1 of my Brand Experience project looking at my Shari’s Berries experience.

After writing part 1 of this series, I sent the link via Twitter to Shari’s Berries. I have done this with every brand I’ve written about, just to give them a heads up. Here’s the tweet exchange that followed.

After this ended, I started getting direct messages from SB instead of public tweets. I was apologized to for the issue, and offered replacement berries. Obviously, I was not going to say no! (read from the bottom up)

I received new berries on Saturday, as promised. Thanks to Will for the photos.

I guess it is standard practice to have this ice pack flying around in the box.

These berries were in much better shape when we opened the box. There’s a bit of strawberry juice there, but these were sitting on my doorstep for at least 2 hours before I got home, so that’s forgivable.

You’ll note that this is another case of the berries not looking exactly as promised. Here’s the product page for these champagne strawberries. There were no green tops, and no red sticking out to see. I discussed this with a colleague and she suggested that the strawberries might have a slightly better shelf life when totally encased on chocolate. I don’t know if that is true, but it is certainly a possibility.

Bottom line—although this process isn’t perfect, the strawberries are freaking delicious. These were devoured in my house. I read a bunch of product reviews on the site, and while there are mentions of the strawberries not looking like the product photo, those are few and far between as the page is full of people who are just gushing over the deliciousness.

The Shari’s Berries team got back to me super quickly and immediately sought to reconcile my issue with more berries. I’m impressed that they seem to be fully embracing the message on the product page that reads “your complete satisfaction is guaranteed.” It was a lovely experience, and I would order from them again. My issues were not really resolved, and I would love to chat with someone from Shari’s Berries on the issue, but the team’s response certainly made sure I was a happy customer at the end of the day.


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2013: The Year In Tweets

by Jamie Sanford on January 1, 2014

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