Apple’s Appstore has over 1,000,000 apps. That’s a lot of apps to sift through. Therefore, to make your lives easier, I’ve compiled a list of free apps that every creative can appreciate.

Taking Notes

Taking notes and writing down your ideas is one of the best habits to have as a creative. Moments of inspiration and motivation can strike at any time and so you’ll need a great note-taking app to help you remember all of those amazing ideas floating around in your head. Fortunately there is no shortage great note-taking apps to fit any style.

Evernote

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Evernote has been around for a few years and for our money (which isn’t saying much because it’s free), Evernote is probably one of the most well-rounded note-taking apps around. The notes you take are easily compiled into notebooks. Better yet, your notes can be synced onto multiple devices. It’s easy to use. It is full of useful features. And it could very well serve as a sort of “headquarters” for all your creative ideas and memories since it integrates well with many different workflows.

Moleskine

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While Moleskine is known for their high quality notebooks, their iPhone app is also very useful for those of you who like to scribble and sketch your ideas. Although the iPhone’s small screen size may get in your way, this app is still very useful in a pinch. You can also sync your virtual notebooks to Evernote.

Squarespace Note

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When you want note-taking to be as simple as possible, Squarespace Note might just be the app to go for. While Squarespace is really a creative portfolio service, this app works just fine on its own. You don’t even have to sign up for a Squarespace account. And just like everything else on this list, it is free. Best of all, it is very easy to use and can also sync with your Evernote account, your email, Twitter, Facebook, and Google Drive. All you need to do is type yourself a note and swipe up on your iPhone to send it to all your connected accounts! If you have a Squarespace account, it’s even better.

Sketches by Tayasui

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Sketches is a great paper simulator with some great tools. For the visual note taker, this might be a great companion to have. You can zoom in for more detail, you can fine tune the paper texture, and manipulate your canvas. You can also easily Tweet your sketch, send it to Facebook, or Email it your to yourself.

Brainstorming

Coming up with ideas, finding that spark, squeezing juice from your “mind grapes.” These apps are great for fleshing out ideas and getting them organized.

Grid

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With a novel, easy to use interface and a freeform way of organizing your thoughts, plans, and tasks, Grid is a very compelling app. If you’re willing to incorporate it into your workflow, Grid could make for a great way to organize your thoughts, flesh them out, and see the big picture. You can also share your Grids with other people so you can work on them together.

Skitch

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Skitch is an app that allows you to easily mark up images and notes. This is a great tool for when you’re on the go and need to collaborate with others. Skitch also integrates very well with Evernote.

Photography

Your iPhone can take really decent photos and is a great tool for creativity. In fact, there’s no shortage of camera apps in the Appstore, each with their own unique set features but the apps in this list are, in our opinion some of the best ones to try.

VSCO Cam

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VSCO cam is a free and is easy to use camera app that integrates well with Instagram and other services. The VSCO cam app also includes an incredibly robust editing toolset that can make your photos look fantastic. If you’re ready to take your iPhone photography beyond those overused filters, this might just be the camera app for you.

Juxt-a-pose

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Juxt-a- pose is a camera app that allows you to take multiple exposures and layer them on a single photo. It can make for some really interesting images and is sure to inspire creativity.

Snapseed

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I’ve lost untold amounts of time playing around with this photo editing app. It is perhaps the best app for those of you who like to make their photos look great on their phones. Snapseed is incredibly easy to use and full of great photo processing tools that can take your iPhone photography to new heights.

Task Management

Any creative project requires planning and a way to keep yourself on task. These apps are some of the most useful in that regard.

Any.DO

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This to-do app is a little different from the typical to-do checklists available in the Appstore. It offers your an at-a-glance view of all the tasks you need to do in the next couple of days. You can easily set a time, a loacation, set the priority of your tasks, and even repeat tasks. Once you commit to using this great app, you’ll be well on your way to becoming the taskmaster you always thought you could be.

24me

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This is probably one of the most useful task management apps for the iPhone. I stumbled onto this great gem of an app and was immediately swept off my feet (if an app can even do that). The idea behind 24me is that it is a smart calendar that puts your reminders, to-do’s, and appointments all in one place.

Tools and Utilities

Adobe Kuler

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This is a great app for coming up with color palettes. Just point your iPhone’s camera at a scene or a photo and Kuler will continuously analyze it for dominant colors and assemble (as if it were magic) a palette for you to use as a reference. This little gem of an app even displays RGB values and Hex values to make your life even easier. If you login to your Adobe account, you can even save and share your color palettes.

Adobe Ideas

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Adobe Ideas is vector based which makes the images you create easily scalable to any size. This means that you can get really fine detail in your sketches and not lose resolution. With Ideas, you can get some really great work done right on your iPhone if the need ever arises. The best part is that you can import your sketch into Adobe Illustrator or Photoshop and continue working on it.

Dropbox

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For online file storage, you can’t really go wrong with Dropbox. Dropbox starts you off with 2 gigabytes of free storage which is really more than enough for your normal, everyday file storage needs. However, if that wasn’t generous enough, the folks at Dropbox will give you up to another 16gb of free storage space for a total of 18gb! This is done when your friends use your referral link and sign up for their own Dropbox account.

Final Thoughts

You’ll notice that some of these apps aren’t entirely new or even at what some might consider at the “cutting edge.” However, I believe these apps have proven themselves to be true “classics” already with the many users who use these apps everyday. These apps are all very useful and are often copied or have served as inspirations for the fancier, newer apps that pop up every day. These apps all provide elegant solutions for the needs of their users and do so with very little fluff or superfluous features that people don’t need. And perhaps best of all, they’re all downloadable for free.

We’d love to be able to add to this list! Hopefully, you can all share your experiences with some of YOUR favorite creative apps in the comments section below.  If you have an essential creative app that you think belongs on this list, please share it with us!

Author:

Isaac is the Co-Founder and Chief Editor of Design Instruct. He has experience in various design and art related fields including design, illustration, and photography. He's in charge of making sure that Design Instruct publishes high quality content that professional designers and digital artists demand and expect. Get in touch via email and on Twitter as @designinstruct or @IAMTHEGUBE.