Creativity provides many benefits in the business world. New ideas and strategies and out-of-the-box thinking often lead to breakthrough concepts or make it easier to express a point of view in a powerful and memorable way. Business leaders like Steve Jobs of Apple or Guy Laliberté of Cirque du Soleil have shown that creativity is good for business.
Creativity for decades, took a back seat in the business world. The pendulum has swung the other way with influential writers and thinkers now arguing creativity is linked to professional success. Daniel Pink, bestselling author and business guru, in his book A Whole New Mind, says:
“The capabilities we once disdained or thought frivolous—the “right-brain” qualities of inventiveness, empathy, joyfulness, and meaning—increasingly will determine who flourishes and who flounders. For individuals, families, and organizations, professional success and personal fulfillment now require a whole new mind.”
Pink believes there is a fundamental shift occurring in Western economies where design and creative skills are trumping traditional left brained logical skills. In the past, products and services had only to work. Today, it is assumed they work. What consumers demand today is how a product or service makes them feel? Pink goes on the say:
“The future belongs to a very different kind of person with a very different kind of mind— creators and empathizers, pattern recognizers, and meaning makers. These people— artists, inventors, designers, storytellers, caregivers, consolers, big picture thinkers— will now reap society’s richest rewards and share its greatest joys.”
Creativity is something to be valued. It is also something to be worked on and improved in a deliberate manner. If you agree with Pink’s views that right brainers will become much more influential in the business world, you may want to practice your creativity by using a few simple and creative apps. They may be just the trick to jumpstart those dormant right brained skills.
Four Great Apps for Creative-Minded Business Professionals
When it comes to typography Kern.js is simple and effective. This bookmarklet uses the plugin Lettering.js, allowing you to make visual changes directly over your live site. Simply drag the bookmarklet over to your browser, activate it on material you are changing, click on a letter and start revising. When you are done, click on the check mark and copy over the CSS styles. Kern.js is free to use, easy to operate, and helps give you total control over the design of your site.
If you love to draw on your iPad then Doodle.ly, a social network, will get your artistic juices flowing. The site describes itself as “a social sketchpad for self-expression, creativity and inspiration.” Your doodles and scratches can be shared as “beautiful works of art” on Facebook and Twitter. With a pencil, eraser, highlighter, marker, and ballpoint pen your drawing experience expands. Create a masterpiece and share with others. Doodle.ly is completely free and available across all your devices. Simply type “http://doodle.ly/” into your device’s browser, and you’ll be directed to download the free app. Enjoy!
PowerSketch, a photo-to-sketch app delivering simplicity plus. Turning your images into artwork has never been easier. And artsy videos work in the same way. Begin by capturing your image directly from an iOS device or importing one directly from your camera. Hit “edit” in the top right-hand corner and your screen delivers a series of “sketch” versions. This app really delivers if you want to create a collage. You can combine sketches, apply any of 16 different dynamic effects, and voila; you are ready to save your collage and share with friends. PowerSketch is available for most smartphones, and costs just $0.99.
Tired of carrying around multiple drawing and sketching notebooks? Convert to digital with Paper and your load suddenly becomes lighter. This free iPad app manages multiple sets of digital sketch books. The sky is the limit with what you fill your digital notebooks with. An excellent set of drawing tools are included and a universal favourite is the watercolour brush. Though currently only available on the iPad, Paper is rumoured to be extending across all devices within the near future.
Other great apps for artists and creative types include:
- QUILL: handy little drawing program for the iPad
- MASQUE: cool and CHEAP little image editing program
- BRUSHES: used to create illustrations, some have appeared in The New Yorker
- C64 PAIN XL: recreates the drawing world of the Commodore 64
- OMNIGRAFFLE: creates workflows, diagrams, website wireframes or page layouts
- ADOBE IDEAS: digital sketchbook
- SKETCHBOOK PRO: painting and drawing with pro tools for a measly $8