Some Apps That Can Aid Creativity

Just bumped into a blog, called Creativity Tech, that looks like a great resource. Digging around the site, I spotted an old post about apps that can help creativity.

The focus of the post was on the types of help an app can offer. He outlined five bucket categories:

  • Inspiration
  • Research
  • Memory Aid
  • Storage
  • Opinions

That seems like a fairly well thought out list of high level creativity aids. While Gordon Platt gives some examples of online resources, for some reason he doesn’t mention any mobile apps. In my former life, one of the things I would do research on was examples of mobile apps. I’m a bit rusty but thought it would be fun to do a quick search and see if I can find any interesting mobile apps to fit into Mr. Platt’s creativity buckets.


Mr. Platt’s examples, of inspiration tools, point you to databases of content. There are certainly mobile versions of sites like Flickr; for something a little different I spotted this app: Creativity & Inspiration Affirmations. Their approach is to use daily reciting of affirmations as part of your personal development routine. I can’t speak to how effective that approach is to increasing one’s creativity. Without downloading the app it is hard to tell if there is enough depth in the content to warrant the $.99 price tag. I can say that this app has a weak download history but since the app was first released in December of last year that isn’t telling you very much.

Here’s an app, Design Spring, that sends you a daily example of illustrations to inspire you. However, this app has been out since 2012 and still seems of have technical issues. Not to mention that the examples shown in iTunes didn’t strike me as particularly inspiring. I would think that there is a market for an app that offered a daily dose of creative inspiration but since I didn’t find many examples perhaps I’m wrong. Either that or perhaps all the apps, of this type, that have been offered so far suck. There are a number of art and design related magazine subscriptions offered in mobile apps that could perhaps scratch this itch.


This is perhaps too broad a category for a specific mobile app. The details of what you are researching will help define what the best tools would be. Not to mention, I’m not sure if there is much of a business case for a tool that focuses on doing research while mobile; Google search would seem to be adequate for that. I thought I would offer at least one mobile example of a fine art resource. A publisher called Robert Schoenburg has put together a little collection of mobile apps to explore some popular categories of painting. Seen here is a screen-shot from the HD app on Impressionists.

A better use case for a mobile creativity related research tool might be if you wanted to do field research on outdoor art. This example, Sculpture Mobile, is for an exhibit that is now over but it will give you the general idea for what could be done.

Memory Aid

I have to agree with Mr. Platt that it is hard to top Evernote for collecting all types of information. There are of course other apps worth considering. I make use of the desktop version but the mobile version of Evernote looks useful.

Storage and Organization

This is another broad app category that doesn’t necessarily call for a specific art/creative version. I’ll echo Mr. Platt and say that there are ways to set up Evernote to facilitate this function as well. I did find a mobile app, while not related to creativity, that can help with organization for an artist. Fine Art Manager ($8.99) allows you to catalog your portfolio and manage the movement and sales of your artwork.

Opinions and Feedback

Getting feedback is a very important part of the creative process. Posting your works and projects on your blog and on twitter, as well as, soliciting feedback via email are not mobile specific tasks. During my quick app search I didn’t find any examples but an app that polled the audience during one of your art exhibitions could be interesting. Wouldn’t it be fun if the art show attendees were the ones that got to vote for “best of show“. That would of course be most useful for future projects, since you would be asking for feedback on finished works.

If you have any suggestions for apps that are useful to the artistic/creative process please make a note in the comments….


Update: here’s a post with a bit more deep in their examples of apps that support the creative process –