Looking for cool new ways to be creative? There are dozens of apps and other gadgets that can help you release your inner creativity, whether you’re stuck on a design problem, looking to brainstorm or just to play. Here’s a list some of the best free apps for creative people. Unless otherwise stated, all p listed are available on Android, iPad, and iPhone.


Brainstorming and Mindmapping

Brainsparker is a brainstorming app that shuffles a pack of 200 cards with thought-provoking words and phrases on them, then reveals one to you. The randomness can help inspire unexpected ideas through free association. Sometimes you already have great ideas but no way of organizing them. SimpleMind is a mind-mapping app which helps you connect your ideas by organizing them into a diagram represented by words and images. You can start with a central idea in the middle and have others branching out or organize it in some other way (including with voice memos), and transfer these maps to your computer or tablet with ease. Unstuck is a digital coach which helps you overcome creative block through a self-paced course with tips, provocative questions, and action-oriented tools.

Writing & Drawing

Sometimes you have the idea and just need the easiest and most powerful way of recording it. Assembly is a vector drawing app ideal for designing icons, logos, and graphics, including features such as smart snapping, stroke and shadow. Monogram is an app for iOS devices which enables you to create a customizable digital portfolio of your work quickly which can be viewed offline too. Coloring Book for Me & Mandala is a coloring book app which helps jog your mind about color and design.

Lightroom for Android is the world’s first end-to-end RAW mobile photography app. It is used for image management and editing throughout the whole photography process from importing to editing to exporting. Adobe Spark for iOS devices combines three mobile apps into a one web app which allows you to create and share content online. You can create quick graphics for social media on Spark Post, online reports on Spark Page and animated videos (i.e. text and/or voiceover set to images) with Spark Video.

Inspiration and Cool Tools

TED Talks give you access to cutting-edge ideas and inspiration from the world’s leading thinkers and creators in hundreds of short videos (around 18 minutes) from their global and regional conferences. Its ‘Inspire Me’ function lets you filter the videos by the type of inspiration you’re after. Coffity simulates the atmosphere of a coffee shop to give you relaxing ambiance to work with. Swift Playgrounds is an easy, beginner-level coding app that teaches you to code through basic coding lessons and games with lots of colors. Google Accessibility scanner tests other apps for the accessibility of their designs. It’s useful for disabled people, for developers looking to enhance their accessibility and for people looking for easy-to-use and customizable apps.

Keep looking, if you’re bored with one app and want to do something else remember, there is almost always an app for that!

Amelie Hale has always been creative; she enjoys sketching, knitting, and other crafts as well as baking.