Our top 15 creativity apps – part 3

Our top 15 creativity apps – part 3

The third and final instalment in our list of apps that we think all creative types should try. Naturally, you’ll disagree/think us frankly insane – so tell us what we’re missing!

5/ Minecraft
This is still easily the best game on the market that encourages creativity, and Minecraft – now owned by Microsoft after a $2.5bn buyout – is just the place to lose yourself in a world that you literally have to build yourself. You must have played (or seen someone playing) it by now, so we’ll save you the tutorial, but by setting yourself a goal (“I’m going to recreate my own house/my dream hotel/a new safe zone for The Walking Dead”) you will ensure that the brain is stimulated far more than it would be watching Gogglebox. We wrote about this in a bit more detail here.

4/ Inkflow
Inkflow comes across of a kind of doodling/mindmapping hybrid, and is just the thing for people who are forever scribbling down their thoughts on bits of paper because you can easily scan these directly into the app and then move the component parts around on screen. Resizing things is a breeze, too.

3/ SimpleMind
Mind mapping tools for smartphones have proliferated – possibly because they look quite easy to make – but there are lots of donkeys out there that will leave you pawing at your screen like an angry panda. SimpleMind is one of the better ones – you’ve seen the basic concept a thousand times before, and people who love this kind of tool get a kick out of the way they can organise their thoughts and get a clear handle on what’s been kicking around in their head. Others worth trying include Mindmeister and Mindly. There’s one called Coggle that we use quite a lot that’s pretty good, too – though you might find yourself distracted and creating a ‘rock family tree’ of your favourite bands.

2/ Paper by FiftyThree
The creative process is usually at its most unrestrained – and best – when you strip away any barriers, so adding a great drawing app like Paper to your phone or iPad means you don’t need to pause when you want to throw down visual ideas featuring little stick men or simple, scribbled charts. It’s a fantastic way to brain-dump, and it’s very easy to use – and also to surprise yourself with your artistic skills. I once spent a few days sketching out the story for a whole video game using this app and – as someone whose artistic skills struggle to rival those of the average four-year-old – I found it really impressive. I’m going to try it on the next Creative Safari that we run to grab info and details on the run.

1/ Yossarian


Yossarian is a creative search engine that can take you off into brilliant unknown territory and creative tangents.  Google shows us the most popular results and as such the results of a search can be cliched (just Google business woman for a depressing selection of stereotypes) but Yossarian helps you visualise concepts and ideas quickly and often laterally, considering metaphors (linked to the brilliant related worlds tool). Demo below – fun, free inspiration. What’s not to love?

And in case you missed part 1 and part 2.

That’s it – please let us know of any awesome apps that you’d like to share with us!


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