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7 digital tools to boost your creativity

As the genius Albert Einstein once said, “Creativity is intelligence having fun.” 

But why does fostering creativity sometimes not feel so fun?

Be it fatigue, stress, or lack of motivation, we’ve admittedly all hit that creative wall. But don’t despair! Thanks to the wonderful world of modern technology, there are so many apps out there that are designed to get your creative juices flowing and productivity going.  

In honor of World Creativity and Innovation Day on April 21, here are seven of our favorite apps and websites that’ll help boost your creativity and have you hit the ground running.

Brainsparker

Feeling a bit stuck in the creative department? 

Brainsparker is a free app that, similar to a brainstorming session with colleagues, helps to reignite that creative spark. Complete with 200 cards that are full of thought-provoking words, phrases, and questions, Brainsparker gives you a random visual or text prompt to get curious minds wandering. To “shuffle” this pack of virtual cards, all you have to do is physically shake your mobile device and you’re looking at new approaches to creative thinking. 

And to all you parents out there, Brainsparker even offers a children’s pack that comes with 100+ creative activities to do with your little ones. The app also lets you schedule daily reminders to flex your creative muscles, no matter if you’re an early bird or a night owl.

laptop with writing, a coffee cup and a quill

4thewords

Are you a writer and a gamer? 

Look no further than 4thewords, an online game that quite literally turns the act of writing into an adventure challenge, complete with evil monsters and mystical forces. 

Similar to a role-playing game, 4thewords provides challenges and rewards through a series of “quests,” which you must complete (and yes, this involves fighting and defeating those said monsters). In fact, each monster has a word count and a specific time associated with it. For instance, in order to defeat one of the monsters, you’ll need to write 250 words in under 30 minutes. Doing so allows you to continue on your epic writing journey. And although 4thewords is subscription-based, you can try things out for free for one month.

While on the subject of the written word, check out Story Skeleton. This story mapping and organization app is the perfect place to start working on your novel, screenplay, or personal writing venture. 

SimpleMind

Does the process of organizing your creative thoughts make your head spin?

SimpleMind takes your mental mind maps and does the heavy lifting for you, offering unique layouts to help organize your ideas exactly how you want them. Whether that’s vertical, horizontal or top-down, SimpleMind is all about simplified layouts, letting you add images, photos, even video recordings and voice memos to your creative ideas. 

Ideal for writers, designers, project managers, teachers, or anyone else looking to mind map their ideas within minutes, this app works across all devices (your computer, tablet, and phone), to allow for easy swapping from device to device. 

Although there’s a free version, which comes with most of the bells and whistles, the paid versions are a one-time purchase. 

Unstuck

Raise your hand if you like the idea of having a digital life coach. 

Enter Unstuck, a digital tool that’s designed to jumpstart your success and help you get you back on track during those “stuck-in-life” moments. Maybe you’re finding it difficult to make a decision, perhaps you’re struggling with your purpose, or you’re just feeling frustrated with goal setting. 

Whatever’s plaguing you, Unstuck moves at your own pace through a series of thoughtful questions, targeted tips, and action-oriented tools, all to help figure out what’s blocking you and why you’re actually stuck. Depending on the answers you provide, Unstuck provides you with solid techniques on how to move forward. 

creating art on a tablet

Inkflow Visual Notebook

Do you tend to visualize your thoughts? 

Consider the Inkflow Visual Notebook app as your virtual pen and paper, allowing you to draw and handwrite notes on your screen. Here you can add graphics and photos, all designed to efficiently arrange and organize your great ideas. 

If visual design is your bread and butter, be sure to try IDEO Method Card, a digital tool that features 51 ways to help further develop your design skills and create innovation that excites. 

Procreate Pocket

Fancy yourself a closet Picasso? 

Procreate Pocket is an award-winning digital art app that comes with everything you need to create sketches, paintings, illustrations, even animations. With over 100 handmade brushes, your iPhone’s screen suddenly becomes your virtual canvas. 

Touted by creative professionals and beginners alike, Procreate Pocket features a wide variety of artistic tools that mimic materials (think charcoal or turpentine) and the ability to layer your art for more precise control. 

Whether you’re on the sofa, on a plane, at the beach, or standing in line at the grocery store, unleashing your inner artist has never been easier. 

Enki

Curious about coding and data science?

Thanks to the Enki app, you can easily study programming languages from JavaScript to Python, all in the palm of your hand. With its friendly user interface, simply select the courses you’re interested in and how in-depth you want to go. 

Do you want to learn how to build code, improve your coding skills, or brush up on your technical know-how? Enki’s got your back, coming equipped with interactive questions to stimulate your mind and let you set daily goals. 

Perfect for tech novices and developers of all levels, Enki offers a free 7-day trial and a paid plan that costs $7.99/month.

Final thoughts

Don’t forget that even the most creative of people get stuck. And sure, while no app or website can turn you into a mastermind, all it takes is a gentle nudge to get those creative wheels spinning again–whether that’s brainstorming content or turning your creativity into an actual business.  

So, do you agree with our list? Did we miss any of your favorite creativity-boosting apps? Let us know in the comments below!

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Erin Huebscher avatar

Erin Huebscher

As a born-and-bred American who now resides in Germany, Erin brings her love of digital storytelling to Namecheap. With nearly 10 years of international copywriting experience from her time in Stockholm, Sweden, and an MA in Creative Writing, she has a penchant for all things fashion, film, food, and travel. More articles written by Erin.

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