Shop Talk

8 Apps to Get Your Creative Life Organized this New Year

To ring in the New Year we’ve rounded up some very helpful apps to make creative work even easier in 2014. We’ve tried to cover all your creative bases from time tracking apps to typography manuals, all of which can make creating art for love or money, pleasure or pain, even easier this new year. These 8 apps should be a helpful for any of your creative pursuits, and getting organized always feels great, especially if being a better creative is one of your New Year’s resolutions.

1. Remember the Milk 

Remember the Milk is a comprehensive task management, list based app for iPad and iPhone that allows you to break up your life into “projects” (home, work, upcoming holidays) or spaces, which makes everything less daunting. It is staggeringly intuitive to use and super fun to swipe when you’ve completed your own tasks. It’s best if you’re growing a small artistic practice, freelancing, or managing your own creative pursuits in the new year. You can pay a few dollars a month to sync everything to the RTM website, and have reminders auto-magically emailed or SMS’d to you from now until eternity.

Cost: Free or a few dollars a month to go pro

2. Icebergs 

Icebergs is a new way to organize and sort stuff you find online, things you read, or things you make. It makes sorting and keeping track of your jobs easy, you can arrange into list or portfolio so you’ll never loose things in a randomly named file again. If you work with other people, Icebergs is excellent for collaboration and sharing. Icebergs differentiates itself by being one of the best looking design apps on the market.

It offers you the option to add things like text or things you find online, so it can also function like Evernote, but its flexibility and beautiful design means you can make it whatever you want it to be: a reader, a gallery of inspiration, or a place to proudly store your work. It’s all up to you.

Cost: Free for basic membership, $9.99 a month for personal accounts, or $49.99 a month for small teams and businesses. 

3. Dribbble

Dribbble calls itself “show and tell for designers”. It’s a sleek way to share and showcase your finished design work to a community of like-minded designers.

Essentially, it’s a community for admiring each others’ design portfolios. It has a thriving website to match, filled with community members and a kicking jobs section listing design related gigs. It’s pretty young, so the community is very close knit and invites you to “follow” others and network.

Most things are broken up into basketball related terms (dribble, shots, teams, debuts, playoffs) which has lead to some cool collaborations, nice “debut” (first works uploaded) finds and a basketball-dribbble-cult-following-thing happening. It’s weird, but good weird.

Cost: Free or go pro for $20 a year

4. ColoRotate 

This color editing app takes things to new and lofty heights. ColoRotate offers a 3D view of selected areas of your images so you can edit in 3D, extract colors, or blend colors together from your orby-blob of color. It’s easy to connect with Photoshop, making the eye dropper tool a distant memory. You can create and save custom palettes, create “themes” of up to 15 colors and harmonize to your hearts content. It’s your one-stop color authority. It won’t set you back much more than a bag of chips and allows you to finally take the guesswork out of your coloring this new year.

Cost: $4.99 

5. Silkscreen

When you’re uploading artwork it’s good to remember that it’ll probably be seen on a tablet or phone. Silkscreen helps make sure everything you create comes out exactly as you wish. Every time you save on the app, you’re sent a live preview to your chosen device. You can check as you go in live mode in Photoshop, Illustrator, or Fireworks, so you can create something in Illustrator and watch it appear on your iPad. It is the way of the future, and the way of 2014. Which is the future, right?

Cost: $14.99 

6. The Typography Manual 

The Typography Manual is a comprehensive handbook featuring an index of pretty much every font, ever. It also has a great Em calculator which is helpful for designing posters, websites, and everything in between. It has an HTML character guide and a very cool Visual Anatomy Glossary. It’s the super dense, mega guide to Typography and designing.

Cost: $3.99

7. Freshbooks

There are a lot of billing apps out there that track how many hours you spend on each job. Freshbooks functions in many of the same ways as its peers like Klock and Harvest and they all work really well at their job. The thing that is helpful with Freshbooks is the desktop widget that you can keep open to keep a conscious eye on the time (and the money). It’s a simple extra asset that makes it a good investment for 2014.

Cost: Free or $19.95 a month

8. Dotdotdot

Dotdotdot is a seriously cool app to make reading anything on a device effortless this year (all you have to do is…read). Dotdotdot has revolutionized how we can read content found online; you can save PDFs, RSS feeds, articles, novels, or emails — even your entire Twitter feed can be streamed straight into Dotdotdot. This means that when you need to read the paper, a long form piece or catch up on a Twitter storm you can go to one place, and if you want mark things to “read later” so you’ve bookmarked whatever you need. If you use the app as intended, it can make any reading an easy task all in one place. It’s beautifully designed and could be an end messy RSS feeds or jumbled collections of links for good.

Cost: Free

Do you have a favorite app that helps you get your work done? Have you tried any of these apps? We’d love to hear about them in the comments below.

Happy New Year.