Productivity Apps for Creatives

There are many fun yet distracting apps that ultimately hurt your output at work. Thankfully, there are also some apps specifically designed to boost your productivity.

Your work is piling up as the coffee you're gulping is going down. The pressure is on, but your level of inspiration is lower than the prices at a thrift store going-out-of-business sale. You're feeling beyond "blah." Your creativity and productivity have left the building. They're close – yet so far away. What's going on?

You're stuck in a rut, plain and simple. Is there an app for that? Of course there is. But you might not realize just how many productivity apps are out there. Depending on your specific predicament, each one is designed to help you get back on the road to inspiration and efficiency.

Here are some productivity apps on our radar:

Adobe Ideas
Bright ideas can pop up at inconvenient times; don't let them escape. Adobe Ideas lets you create freeform vector illustrations on your iPhone wherever you are. And if you have a Creative Cloud membership, you can use Illustrator to sync what you started on Ideas for further refinement. (iOS, free)

Clockwork Tomato
This is one of many apps based on the popular Pomodoro Technique, a method for breaking up work periods into highly focused 25-minute increments. (Android, free)

[email protected]
When in doubt, turn to neuroscience. Many people find that white noise or music helps stimulate creative thoughts and thwart distractions. A subscription to [email protected] gives you access to several channels of instrumental music designed to help you focus. (iOS and Android, $4.99 per month)

Perhaps you need an app that gets in your face. Oflow is good for that. You'll receive daily creativity prompts, reminders, tips and exercises to help you stay sharp and break through creative blocks. (iOS, $1.99)

Palettes Pro
This handy app turns your smartphone or tablet into a portable color creation tool. You can also use it to save time by quickly and easily matching colors from a photograph or website. The app plays well with a variety of popular graphics tools, including Photoshop and Illustrator. (iOS, $3.99)

Designed with a minimalist "keep it simple" look and workflow, SimpleMind is a mind-mapping tool that helps with brainstorming and capturing ideas. (iOS and Android, free)

Storyboard Composer
In the middle of the night, you have an awesome idea for an upcoming creative campaign. But where's your storyboard illustrator when you need him or her? (Uh, sleeping?) Storyboard Composer lets you create a storyboard with your own images. You can also add stand-ins and audio. (iOS, $14.99)

Feeling frustrated with a design assignment, you leave the office and go for a walk in hopes that inspiration will strike. Suddenly, you see a font on a shop sign that would be perfect for the project you've been stuck on. But what's the font? Well, simply snap a photo of it with your phone, and then use WhatTheFont to identify it. (iOS and Android, free)

This list is just a sampling of the best productivity apps available today. What apps do you use to stay productive and keep yourself on your creative toes?

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Tags: Technology