Searching for inspiration to spark your creativity can be frustrating. Sure, you could spend all day on Pinterest putting together boards and sharing them with colleagues. But everyone else is doing the same thing. And so what you thought was a unique and brilliant idea may turn out to be not original at all.
Where else can you turn for inspiration? What’s the best way to keep all your ideas together and organized in a way that fires your imagination and inspires you at work? Fortunately, there are a few tools for the Mac that, used regularly, could be providing you with inspiration and fostering that creative streak that lies within you.
Motivate yourself with Inboard
Inboard app allows you to organize screen grabs and photos, or any other images on your Mac in a beautiful masonry grid (a layout that stacks images in columns and doesn’t have fixed row height).
With Inboard, you can even take images of whatever’s on your screen from within the app, using its menu bar item. What’s more, connecting your Dribbble account means you automatically see all your likes.
Once you have imported a few images (Inboard supports just about every format you need, including PSD, AI, EPS, and, of course, JPG, PNG and PDF, as well as TIFF and GIF), you can organize them in folders and tag them to make sorting and viewing very easy. And that’s the key to InBoard: simplicity. It’s so easy to use, you’ll be up and running and full of inspiration in no time at all.
Have the right image at hand with Pixa
If for some reason Inboard doesn’t feel right for you, try Pixa. Like Inboard, Pixa allows you to take screenshots and organize images. Pixa supports a lot more image formats than Inboard, including native formats from applications like Acorn, Sketch, and Pixelmator, as well as RAW and SVG files.
Pixa allows you to keep your images in their original folders, rather than importing them to the application, saving storage space. You can also create archives of images and easily export them to Dropbox, Imgur, or CloudApp.
The best feature though — auto-tagging. Just like Inboard, you can add tags in Pixa, but it will also add its own tags for features like image size, color, and URLs. So, if you need a purple image for a project, just click on the Tags icon in the toolbar and then the purple tag to see all the purple images in your collection.
Keep it fresh with Wallpaper Wizard
Apple’s default desktop backgrounds look quite good. Those big sweeping California landscapes are just the thing to inspire you on a cold, dull morning at work. But, after a while, even the best ones start to lose their magic. They become so familiar you don’t see them anymore.
Wallpaper Wizard allows you to choose your own desktop background from thousands of images. Pick the ones that inspire you the most, create a roll from them, and allow Wallpaper Wizard to automatically change your desktop image before you become tired of it. You can search the image library or navigate through curated categories to find the perfect background for inspiration. And, if you don’t want Wallpaper Wizard to change your image automatically, you can mark it as a favorite to find it after and change the background manually.
All Wallpaper Wizard images are in stunning 4K to look great on retina displays, and if you have more than one monitor you can choose a different photo for each one.
Identify colors with Sip
Sometimes inspiration comes in the form of colors — seeing just the right one can spark a brilliant idea. Finding the right color for you design, however, can be quite difficult. Using tools like Pixa and Inboard to collect lots of different images and organize them makes the process more manageable. What do you do, though, when you see an image with a color that really motivates you and that you want to use in your own work? That’s where Sip comes in.
Sip makes it effortless to identify colors, save them, or use them immediately in applications like Photoshop, Illustrator, or Pixelmator. When you see a color that inspires you, click on the Sip icon in the menu bar and then on the loupe tool. Now, hover over the color and Sip will identify it, tell you its name and hex code. But if you’d rather see the RGB or CMYK values, you can choose to display those instead. Once you’ve identified a few colors, you can put them together in a palette and keep it accessible on your screen whenever you need it. There’s no easier way to color-inspire yourself.
Manage Instagram presence with Flume
If you need words of inspiration on pretty backgrounds to get your creative juices flowing, Instagram is the obvious place to go. The problem with using Instagram is picking up your phone and staring at the small screen. What if you could view your Instagram feed on your Mac instead? Well, with Flume you can! Flume is an Instagram client for your Mac that allows you to view, post, comment, and like images without looking at your phone.
With millions of images to flick through at full size, the inspiration wouldn’t make you wait for long. And if you ever get disheartened, there are plenty of inspirational aphorisms to keep you going.
As you can see, there are lots of ways to use your Mac to inspire yourself at work, from something as simple as choosing a different desktop background, to finding the perfect color for your next project. There’s really no excuse for lacking inspiration!