8 Apps to Spark Your Creativity

Question: What is one app that sparks your creative process that you can’t live without?


“Mind mapping helps me to systematize my visions. When working on a project, whether it’s creative or business-oriented, the biggest difficulty is transforming a vision or an idea into a process that can be actionable. With mind mapping, I can use brainstorming mode to write down all of my ideas, then start grouping them and creating associations. It’s both a creative and a practical process.”

French Girls

“I’m not a big artist, but I love spending time on the French Girls app, which is an iOS app that allows you to upload pictures that then get drawn by artists from all over the world. The cool thing is that every user is an artist, so you are able to explore your artistic abilities regardless of skill level. For me, I’ve found that I’ve built confidence around drawing and my skills continue to improve!”


“To paraphrase Haruki Murakami, ‘The best way to think about reality is to get as far away from it as possible.’ Creativity is nearly impossible to force. For me, reading great fiction is the best way to motivate my creative process. It gets me out of the drudges of forced creative sessions and into a different world where I can allow my subconscious mind to ideate.”


“Some people prefer mind mapping software for brainstorming and planning, but I’m a big fan of outliners. OmniOutliner helps me write my ideas down and gives me the space I need to develop them into concrete plans I can put into action. I especially like that it’s available on my Mac and on iOS, so I can use the same tool to help me think wherever I am.”


“The app Behance is great when you need a creative spark. It lets you follow and check in on some of the creative work being done by folks in plenty of different professions, including design, architecture and photography. You can also post your own creative work and read the commentary.”


“Artsy is great for browsing works of contemporary art from around the world. It’s completely unrelated to my work as a CTO, which is exactly what I need when it’s time to take a break and engage my brain’s right hemisphere. Just by looking at different pictures and collections of beautiful works of art, I find that lots of ideas pop into my head that I can use later on in my business.”


“Instagram is such a visual outlet, and is great for my personal and business use. It gives us good ideas of what people like or don’t like, and what they react to. We can use this as a base line for our content as well as get ideas from a lot of our other followers because they tend to be in similar markets.”


“As a storyteller myself, there is nothing that gets my creative juices flowing quite like hearing a colleague share their experiences. That being said, I find myself listening to TED talks on an almost daily basis through the TED app, allowing me to quickly queue up my favorites or discover new speakers I can turn to when a little extra inspiration is in order.”

Profile photo of BusinessCollective

BusinessCollective, launched in partnership with Citi, is a virtual mentorship program powered by North America’s most ambitious young thought leaders, entrepreneurs, executives and small business owners.