13 Apps to Inspire Creativity
Categories: Tech

13 Apps to Inspire Creativity

If you haven’t fallen off the resolutions wagon yet… congrats. If as soon as week one ended, so did your good intentions, we totally hear you. But one resolution that’s always worth keeping is continually trying to bring creativity to your life every day. In our obsession with doing just that, we’ve shown you inspiring books, ways to inspire color creativity, apps that teach creative skillz, and even ways that you can design better. And today we’re showing you a whole new crop of ways to keep those maker juices flowing.

The basic tools you already have –– a camera on your phone to snap up inspiration shots, a note-taking app of one kind of another, and your brain. Beyond that, we’ve got you covered.

1. IDEO Method Card ($5): First things first, 51 methods to get you inspired to design and think outside of the box. These are the very same methods that designers at IDEO use on a daily basis. And you might want to take a hint from a group of people who literally wrote the book on Creative Confidence.

2. TED (Free): If the talks on TED don’t inspire you to go out and try something new or think in a different way, there probably isn’t much that will. The app even sports a button screaming “Inspire.” Press it and get an earful from the geniuses, mavens, and rule-breakers who are changing the world.

3. Behance (Free): Undiscovered inventors, creators, and makers can sometimes be even more inspiring than the big kahunas. Behance allows you to view portfolios and projects that others are working on in a beautiful and easy to navigate app.

4. Mural.ly (Free): This is an app and website that I personally use a lot. You can do everything from planning a party or a road trip to gathering research for branding or positioning. Basically, it’s Google Docs meets Pinterest meets Post-Its meets everything wonderful in the universe.

5. Brushes (Free): True or false: David Hockney used Brushes to create his summer exhibit at the Royal Academy: The answer is 100 percent true, true, true. It keeps a record of how you create your painting so you can go back and get a good glimpse of your process or where you might have missed a step. (via Blog To)

6. Paper Essential ($7): This super clean easy to use drawing app has won Apple’s App of the Year award, a Verge interaction-design award, and a Fast Company Crunchy for best design. You can rest assured that it’s been vetted and is up to snuff for you iPad. And it’s not all about drawing, you can start with just jotting down ideas, sketching, and outlining. If you want to see all the awesomeness it has to offer, Made Mistakes has a range of tutorials that are very much worth checking out.

7. Sketchbook Pro ($5): You know an app has arrived when it has its own Wikipedia page. And while Sketchbook is geared toward illustrators and design professionals, it’s actually a super simple tool to help you get on your way to very polished, finished drawings.

8. Procreate ($6): Like Sketchbook Pro, but a little more under the radar, Procreate is popular with the designer set.

9. Brain Wave ($2.99): You guys, there is a way to improve creativity just by listening to weird sounds. We know, this sounds like junk. But it’s actually true. By playing two different frequencies in each of your ears, Brain Wave stimulates just that, brainwaves. It can help you with positive mood, concentration, critical thinking, confidence, and reduced anxiety… all things that get those creative juices pumping. And for good measure they’ve even included one option called Creativity Boost.

10. Ultimate Sleep Sampler (Free): Getting eight hours of sleep a night is not a joke. In fact, it’s very, very serious and critical to the creative process. The difference between a person who gets six hours of sleep a night and one who gets eight is the difference between breaking the next big idea and just tinkering with scenarios. Get this app. And get to bed.

11. Pocket Universe ($3): You might be wondering what the heck a star-gazing app is doing on our list. Hear us out. Back in the day, the shakers and movers of the world (what’s up, Galileo?) would look to the stars for inspiration. We’re asking you to do the exact same thing. Staring into space and zoning out for a few minutes brings clarity.

12. Clear ($1): Alright. You have your fab ideas and a plan in place. Now you need to make sure all the tasks to get to the final products get done. Call us old fashioned, but we’re big fans of the simple and oh-so-useful list. Clear makes taking care of business particularly clear (yeah, that’s right). (via Mmminimal)

13. The Brainstormer ($2): There’s a lot of buzz around storytelling lately, meaning you need to be able to tell a narrative about your idea. If you haven’t penned a story since Mrs. Johnson’s high school creative writing class, you might find yourself with a mean case of writer’s block. That’s where The Brainstormer comes in. No, it’s not going to write your story for you, but it’s going to inspire you on your happily-ever-after way. (via Moleskinerie)

What apps are you using to create? Let us know in the comments below!