Creativity calisthenics: 5 inspiration-boosting apps for writers

Athletes warm up before a workout. Writers should, too.

Get fountains of creativity flowing with these inspiration-sparking apps for writers.



Apps for writers

1. Brain Wave

Looking for a boost of inspiration? Harness the power of binaural beats to stimulate creativity. The Brain Wave app uses a different audio frequency played into each of the listener’s ears to stimulate specific brainwaves. Use the curated programs to promote sleep, stress relief or focus, or pair it with your favorite songs through iTunes Music or Spotify. $3.99


Inkflow iPad screenshot 1

2. Inkflow Visual Notebook

Take handwritten, multimedia notes on your phone or tablet with Inkflow Visual Notebook. The free version of the app includes black ink, five text fonts (for when you’d rather type than write) and a photo integration option. Inkflow Plus features a full color palette, additional writing tools, unlimited book size and more fonts. With the upgrade, you can also use your phone or tablet’s camera to capture notes on paper and convert them to vector ink. Free


Photo Haiku

3. HaikuJAM

Get both creative and collaborative juices flowing with this virtual “social poetry experience.” Write a five-syllable first line to a haiku and watch as two strangers complete the poem. You can also chime in to complete someone else’s creation. Need a break from words? Use photos instead to complete a three-part visual montage with fellow poetic photographers. Free




4. TED app

Use the TED app to access expert advice on writing and creativity from some of the world’s most successful authors. The app includes talks by Elizabeth Gilbert, Dave Eggers, Shonda Rhimes, J.K. Rowling, Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie and others. Traveling? You can also create playlists and download talks to watch offline. Free



5. Brainsparker

Instead of traditional writing prompts, this app offers “creative thinking” prompts. Whether stuck on a plot twist or a social snarl, shuffle the Brainsparker deck and draw a prompt at random. “What if you could not fail?” asks one card. “Disrupt the rules,” urges another. After all, we “cannot solve our problems with the same thinking we used when we created them,” advises Albert Einstein – via Brainsparker. Welcome to a new way of thinking. Free