Design is all about order – glorious order! But there is some truth in the old saying about creative minds being messy minds. After all, whether you’re a designer or baker of whimsical cupcakes, if you’re a creative entrepreneur, your mind is (hopefully) filled to overflowing with a constant stream of brilliant ideas.
So how can a creative mind impose order on that beautiful mess? Here are a few of my favorite free downloads that’ll help you get your brain and your business into well-designed harmony.
Get it done with Todist
With a clean interface that works online, offline, and across ten platforms, Todoist began to receive high praises from the moment it was launched in 2007. It’s still one of the most powerful and streamlined tools for managing tasks on the market, and most of its features are available for free, including the ability to break large projects down into smaller sub-projects and sub-tasks and to track your achievements over time.
Powerful project management with Trello
Trello’s simple interactive design calls to mind inspiration boards, Post It notes, and index cards from research papers past. It’s a highly visual way to organize information, providing options to add images, checklists, and attachments while also applying deadlines, colored labels, and reminders. You can collaborate easily with Trello as well as adding notes to yourself from your inbox.
All your travel arrangements in one place with TripCase
Planning for a business trip or a vacation can be almost as much fun as the actual journey itself, especially with the help of the handy TripCase travel planning app. Keep all of your travel documents and ideas in one centralized, accessible location. So much better than scouring your inbox (or trash) for flight or rental car information while in transit. Not only will TripCase keep your information easily on hand, but it’ll even organize it in logical ways to make reviewing your plan simpler, like an itinerary view that shows you a timeline of each leg of your trip and an action view, which provides additional information for each stop along the way.
On-the-go brainstorming with Mindly
This is another one of those powerful tools for visualization. Whether you’re brainstorming new ideas or new ways of thinking about old ideas, troubleshooting or troublemaking, a mind map allows you to focus on one element of the thought process at a time. And Mindly makes it easy to think on the go. It works on your iPhone so that you can develop your thinking in line or at the beach.
Tidier moodboards with Curator
Perhaps you’ve picked up on a theme here. If you ask a designer about the best apps for organization, there’s a good chance you’ll come away with some beautifully designed apps for visual thinkers, and that’s exactly what Curator is. It’s been called a mashup of Pinterest and Evernote, and that’s a fair assessment. Curator provides users with a grid for dropping in thoughts, ideas, and inspiring images. It’s a great tool for storyboarding ideas and for developing moodboards to kickstart brainstorming sessions.
More productive meetings with Do
Do integrates with all of your favorite productivity apps like Slack, Evernote, Trello, and Google Work to streamline meetings and keep them constructive. The brilliant app encourages users to go into meetings with agendas (hallelujah!) and turns agenda items into actionable, follow up items. There’s even a timer to keep meetings from going long.