20 Creative Apps to Inspire and Get Unstuck

In today’s innovative climate, harnessing the power of creative apps is essential for entrepreneurs eager to channel their ingenuity into successful small business ventures and to let their creative small business ideas flow.

With the right app at your fingertips, you can break through mental blocks and uncover novel solutions to the challenges that stymie your creative process.

Whether it’s sketching out a new design, organizing brainstorming sessions, or simply collecting your thoughts, an arsenal of well-chosen creative apps can be the catalyst that transforms your vision into reality.

To aid you in this digital renaissance, we’ve curated a comprehensive list of the best creative apps available. These tools are designed not only to inspire your imagination but also to streamline your workflow, ensuring that your next big idea is just a tap away.

So let’s explore these innovative platforms that promise to elevate your creative endeavors to new heights.

creative apps

Common Uses for Creative Apps

Creative blocks are no match for the right set of tools. Each app offers unique functionalities tailored to different aspects of creativity. Whether you’re sketching out a new design, laying down a storyboard, or jotting down bursts of ideas, there’s an app designed to facilitate that process. Here’s some common creative needs:

  • Refining visual storytelling techniques.
  • Annotating PDFs and taking versatile notes.
  • Organizing and capturing ideas on the go.
  • Designing websites and user experiences.
  • Sketching and digital painting.
  • Engaging in creative play through games.
  • Capturing and sharing visual content.
  • Overcoming creative blocks with guided exercises.

creative apps

Our Methodology: How We Chose the Best Creative Apps

Creative apps are essential tools that bring ideas to life, whether it’s through digital art, music, writing, or design. With the creative industry expanding into the digital space, the selection of apps is vast. To assist creative professionals and hobbyists alike, here’s our approach to choosing the best creative apps:

Range of Creative Tools (10/10)

The depth and breadth of creative features within an app are critical. We prioritize apps that offer a comprehensive set of tools catering to various aspects of creativity.

User Interface and Experience (9/10)

A well-designed interface can unleash an artist’s potential. We value apps that strike a balance between advanced features and intuitive navigation.

Quality of Output (9/10)

The excellence of an app is often measured by the quality of the work it produces. We focus on apps that enable users to create professional-grade output.

Customization and Flexibility (8/10)

Personalized settings and the ability to adapt to different creative workflows are important. We highlight apps that allow users to tailor their experience to their specific needs.

Cross-Platform Compatibility (8/10)

Creatives often switch between devices. Apps that offer cross-platform functionality and cloud syncing capabilities score highly in our review.

Collaboration Features (7/10)

Many creative projects are collaborative. We appreciate apps that include features for sharing and working with others in real-time or asynchronously.

Learning Curve and Accessibility (7/10)

Whether for seasoned professionals or beginners, an app should be accessible to all skill levels. We value apps that provide a gentle learning curve and resources for education and support.

Integration with Other Apps and Services (7/10)

The ability to integrate with other tools and services, such as stock photo libraries or design marketplaces, adds significant value to a creative app.

Regular Updates and Support (6/10)

Ongoing development and support are indicative of an app’s longevity. We look for apps that are regularly updated with new features and offer reliable customer support.

Community and Resource Availability (6/10)

A vibrant user community and a wealth of tutorials or templates can greatly enhance the creative process. We consider the ecosystem surrounding the app.

Cost and Subscription Model (6/10)

Pricing should reflect the app’s value without being prohibitive. We assess the cost of the app and the subscription model, if any, ensuring it provides a fair balance of features for the price.

Privacy and Security (6/10)

Creative work is often personal and valuable. We evaluate the privacy and security measures of each app to ensure users’ work is protected.

The best creative apps should inspire, enable, and streamline the creative process, allowing individuals to express themselves in new and exciting ways. Our curated selections are aimed at providing creatives with robust tools that offer both quality and flexibility to transform their vision into reality.

creative apps

The Best Creative Apps

Read on to find all the details about the best apps for 2021. This list will have all the editing features you need to get started. The ones we list here will help creative people when they are feeling stuck. There are a few iOS devices included and even an open-ended game.

1. Curator

This app is designed for your iPad mobile device. Refine your visual storytelling on Mac, IPod touch too. It’s great for collaborating with others on different projects. And creating productive mind maps.

Required: iOS 9.0 or later. And/or macOS 11.0 or later and a Mac with Apple M1 chip.

Create a library you can share with clients. Your visual storytelling skills are enhanced by the fact you can draw from sources like Instagram and Dropbox.  Boost your creativity with this app for two different premium prices. One at $4.99 and one at $19.99.

2. Notability

This is a simple PDF annotation and note taking app to flex those creative muscles. Import new ideas from DOCS, PPTs, GIFs and others. There are a variety of journaling, notetaking and drawing tools that make this one of the great options. A great choice for those looking for mobile apps.

It’s similar to Microsoft’s OneNote. But the Microsoft version offers sticky notes if you’re old school.

3. Paper By WeTranser

This app’s cloud friendly features make it a winner for people looking for writing, drawing and notetaking capabilities. Excellent for organizing and capturing creative ideas.

4. Adobe XD

This is a great app for interacting with AdobeXD prototypes. Great for designing websites. The free version has limited fonts and 2GB of cloud storage. The full version costs $10 a month. This one ranks high as a windows app. It’s sure to spark the imagination. Get those creative juices flowing.

5. Tayasui Sketches

You need iOS 11.0 or later. This sketching app is extremely user friendly. Has the ability to refine doodles into Tayasui sketches. This app’s cloud friendly features make it a good choice for a productive illusory adventure.

6. Monument Valley

This app’s cloud friendly features require iOS 9.0 or macOS 11.0. Creative minds who use ideo method cards will enjoy this one. The winner of Apple’s Design Award 2014 takes the user through fantastic, impossible architecture. Get started with creative projects for $3.99 with one in app purchase.

7. CloudApp

?Boost creativity using iOS 12.0 or later. And macOS 11.0 and Mac with Apple M1 chip. This helps business by capturing visual communications like videos, file uploads and screenshots. Start creating diagrams with the data you get.

8. Unstuck

Unstuck requires iOS 13.2 or later. This creative app guides you through the process of peer coaching. Helps designers reimagine their work. The cost is $0.99.

9. Blek

This app boosts your creativity with beautiful drawings. All the colored circles and other shapes you draw keep moving. This is a unique game that involves personality and imagination. A real winner among the few open ended games available. And a sure way to let creativity flow.

creative apps

10. NYArtBeat

? Browse exhibits happening in New York City. You can find events within walking distance. A great way for creative minds to get inspired. This app is extremely user friendly. It was recently updated for iOS11. An excellent addition to the concept maps genre.

11. Adobe Comp CC

A great app that creates wireframes and mockups. Adobe Comp lets you use gestures with the stylus or your finger to sketch layouts. This is a leader among sketching tools that let creative juices flow .And it’s good for putting together the information for flow charts.

12. ibis Paint X

There is a large range of tools with ibis Paint X. Digital artists can pick from 142 brushes and over 700 fonts.

13.Infinite Painter

This app helps if you’re looking to create 3-D images. Infinite Painter inspires creativity with more than 80 brush presets.

14. Find My Font

Find My Font helps the creative process by identifying over 150,000 different fonts.Excellent for designers looking for a specific type in their design projects. If you create a page with creativity and innovations quotes, for example, this will help you find all the fonts you need.

15. Keynote

Salespeople on the go can create visual notes with Keynote. Random words dealing with new ideas can be written down with an Apple pencil or your finger. Great for businesses looking for these kind of digital tools. An excellent app to stir up and capture thought provoking words.

16. Color Reference

Create digital art by exporting color palettes. Color Reference is a free app you can design wallpapers with.

17. Procreate

Get a variety of creative prompts like hundreds of brushes and an advanced layer system. When inspiration strikes, Procreate is the perfect solution.

18. Slow Shutter!

Boost creativity by capturing long exposure photographs. Satisfy your inner artist with photos of moving objects.

19. Retrospecs

Got a specific project that needs pixel art? This is the app that will inspire creativity. Retrospecs can organize inspiration with a number of presets.

20. Paper

Single note taking just got easier. Paper allows you to capture and connect notes, sketches and even photos. Another great tool for creative minds who are looking to create diagrams. And a comprehensive text outline.

Comparison of Creative Apps for Entrepreneurs

To assist you in choosing the app that best fits your creative needs, we’ve compiled a comparison table summarizing key information about each one. Here, you can easily contrast their compatibility requirements, pricing, and unique features at a glance.

App Name Compatibility Price Unique Features
Paper by WeTransfer iOS Free Writing, drawing, and note-taking
Adobe Comp CC iOS, Android Free Creates wireframes and mockups with gestures
ibis Paint X iOS, Android Free Digital art, 142 brushes, over 700 fonts
Infinite Painter iOS, Android Free 3-D image creation, over 80 brush presets
CloudApp iOS 12.0+/macOS 11.0+ Free Captures videos, uploads files, screenshots
Tayasui Sketches iOS 11.0+ Free User-friendly interface, sketching focused
Color Reference iOS, Android Free Digital art creation, exports color palettes
Retrospecs iOS, Android Free Pixel art creation with presets
Paper iOS Free Note-taking, connects sketches and photos
Unstuck iOS 13.2+ $0.99 Peer coaching, helps reimagine work
Slow Shutter! iOS $1.99 Long exposure photography capture
Monument Valley iOS 9.0+/macOS 11.0+ $3.99 Puzzle game with Apple Design Award 2014
Procreate iOS 13.2+ $9.99 (iPad) Digital painting, hundreds of brushes, advanced layers
Adobe XD Windows, macOS $9.99+/mo Website design, Adobe integration, limited free version
Curator iOS 9.0+/macOS 11.0+ $4.99-$19.99 Visual storytelling, integrates with Instagram/Dropbox
Blek Not specified Not specified Creative drawing game with moving shapes
NYArtBeat Updated for iOS 11 Not specified Finds NYC art exhibits, updated for iOS 11
Find My Font Not specified Not specified Identifies over 150,000 fonts

Note: The pricing and features listed in the table may vary. For the most accurate details, users should refer to the official app store listings or contact the app developers directly.

creative apps

What is the best app to collaborate using a visual reference library?

When it comes to collaboration, especially in creative fields, having access to a shared visual reference library can be incredibly powerful.

The best app for this purpose should offer an expansive platform where team members can contribute and interact with a variety of visual media, such as graphics, sketches, photos, and paintings.

An app that facilitates an interactive prototype feature can significantly enhance teamwork by providing a space for collective brainstorming and idea generation. Allusion, notable for being open source, presents a robust solution for those looking to establish a collaborative visual workspace.

Which is the best app to create mood boards?

Mood boards are essential tools for channeling and communicating a project’s aesthetic and emotional direction. The ideal app for creating mood boards should be intuitive, allowing for the seamless assembly of images, textures, and color schemes.

For product and wedding designers facing a creative impasse, Moodzer stands out as a preferred choice. It’s also a go-to for interior designers looking to visualize and refine their creative concepts, enabling them to craft mood boards that capture and convey the essence of their envisioned designs.

Image: Depositphotos

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