The Apps All Creative People Need

Best Apps for Creative People in 2020

As a creative person, you likely have a lot of apps that you use to do your work. Adobe Creative Suite/Cloud, Final Cut, Affinity… but creative professionals need a little something more. Your daily tasks include more than just creating: Often, you’re pitching to editors, communicating with clients, updating your portfolio, and trying to keep yourself from burning out.

You need a suite of options to be your best creative self. Here are the best apps (desktop and mobile, Mac/iOS and Windows/Android) to spark your creativity and help you stay organized.

Author’s Costuming notebook in Evernote


Few note-taking apps are this robust yet available across platforms. Evernote allows you to add checklists, reminders, screenshots, images, and files to each of your notes. Its search function is insanely powerful — it can even search inside images of text! So, if you want a central place to keep everything that’s on your mind — and find it later — Evernote lives up to its name.

Because Evernote is so flexible, you can get a lot of mileage out of it. Here are just a few idea for how creative people can use it.

Suggested Notes for Creative People

  • Keep a list of current art projects
  • Make a shopping list for art supplies
  • Take notes during meetings with clients
  • Track where you’ve submitted your work
  • Save how-to articles
  • Build a digital portfolio
  • Create a vision board for a new project

As a bonus, the Evernote Web Clipper also allows you to save articles and images from the web. It does a pretty good job of detecting the content you’d want to keep and saves it instantly, images and all, to your Evernote. If you want to build a library of creative resources, Evernote is a great choice.

Available for: Mac, iOS, Windows, Android, Amazon devices, web

Cost: Free, with paid upgrade options

Yes, that’s our Free Ring Circus content planner in Trello!


If you’re a highly visual person — and you probably are — you’ll love Trello’s flexible layouts that let you see projects, ideas, images, and to-do lists gathered in one tidy place. Trello uses the “Kanban” concept to let you build “boards,” then sort information under columns called “lists.” Each list contains cards, to which you can attach checklists, files, labels, due dates, and much more. With “Power-Ups,” you can integrate Google Drive, Harvest, and other apps into Trello.

Trello is ostensibly a project management app, but creative people can repurpose it for brainstorming, vision boarding, and even portfolio building. Even cooler, there’s a Trello community that’s created templates for pretty much any purpose you can imagine. Here are some templates that I made for creative people:

Trello’s interface is intuitive and responsive, so you’ll find it easy to use. However, the mobile apps limit your ability to drag-and-drop your cards, so I do recommend using the Trello web app or one of its desktop apps.

Available for: Mac, iOS, Windows, Android, web

Cost: Free, with paid upgrade options

Getting ready to start a Pomodoro in FocusKeeper…


Creative flow can be elusive — but it can also be difficult to get up and take a break if you’re really into your work. If you haven’t yet learned of the Pomodoro method, now’s the time to start. Essentially, you work in a 25-minute block of deep focus (a Pomodoro, or Pomo for short), then take a break. Then repeat. This helps you avoid burnout.

FocusKeeper is an app that lets you set and track your pomodoros. You can set goals for the number of focus sessions you want to achieve for the day, and the app will report on your results. If 25 minutes is too long or too short, ou can adjust that as well.

Using the Pomodoro method has changed my life, and I highly recommend it for creative people who tend to be distracted by emails or social media. Set the timer and do your writing, design, sewing, or whatever you’re working on. This app will tell when it’s time to take a break.

Available for: Mac, iOS, Windows, Android, web

Cost: $1.99 to unlock all features and unlimited sessions

Mapping out our business in MindMeister


Whether you have too many ideas bouncing around your head and need to lay them out, or if you’re having trouble thinking of ideas, a mind-mapping app can be your solution.

MindMeister is intuitive and attractive. You can attach notes, files, and images to any part of your map, color-code each node, and even use emoji! Even cooler, you can link any node to an external source or to another node.

The app provides templates to get you started, or you can create a map from scratch.

Suggested Maps for Creative People:

  • Layout of current projects
  • Breakdown of your business or personal brand
  • Site map for a client’s website (or your own)
  • Portfolio of your work
  • Presentation of logo options
  • Schedule of project deliverables

MindMeister is a great way to bring order to creative chaos, and you can easily turn your maps into presentations to show your clients. It’s also just fun and pretty to use, if you’re into that.

Available for: iOS, Android, web

Cost: $60 for a 6-month subscription

What apps help you power up your creativity? Let us know in the comments.

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