Staying consistently creative is easily one of the most difficult tasks as a designer. Constantly trying to pump out one “edgy” idea after the other can take it’s toll on your brain rather quickly. You often lose track of how long you’ve been staring at the same blank sketchbook or empty art board. In fact it can get to the point of frustration where you are longer able to sit still for more than a few seconds at a time. Or perhaps it’s just me. Regardless, I’d like to share with ya’ll a few tools I find especially handy for keeping my mind intact while trying to be creative.
1. Ommwriter – is a word processor application for Mac, PC and iPad. Unlike Microsoft Word or Pages, Ommwriter focuses on delivering an atmosphere for creative writing rather than an abundance of utilities. The application forces itself into fullscreen mode with a scenic photo lining the background, and plays ambient music/sound effects as you type. Of course you can tailor the background and sounds to how you see fit. A soothing companion to the last minute essay writer in all of us.
2. Sleep Machine – is the app that I use when I’m not in Ommwriter writing a paper. Since designers don’t ever need any help falling asleep on their own, Sleep Machine, like Ommwriter, is also handy for creating an environment catered towards facilitating ideas. Whats special about this app is the ability to choose from a large variety of ambient sounds, and combine up to 3 of them at once. You are also able to set the individual volume of each sound to your liking. I’ve personally become so dependant on this app in fact, that I will sometimes close the curtains to make the “Distant Thunder” and “Heavy Rain” sounds more believable. It’s not weird.
3. Clear -is an app that was dominating the App Store charts a few months back. It is a very simple checklist/to-do-list app but what makes it so appealing is the way you interact with the interface. For example, rather than simply tapping an item on your list to complete it, you swipe it to the right. Rather than tapping a button to add new items, you swipe down. Rather than hitting a back button, you pinch. All the actions feel very natural and the smooth animations in the app make it all the more appealing. Clear gives an experience that actually makes chores feel fun, and is a perfect for any organization fiend.
And there ya have it. Hopefully these will help at least one of you out! Also note that there are free and adequately useful versions of Ommwriter and Sleep Machine, so there’s really no excuse to try them out!