One of the most important lessons I've learned over the past year is if you can't find time for your passions, you must make time. While I'm constantly trying to find more time for the things I love, I also have to be mindful of how much of my financial resources I can sacrifice.
Balancing creative work and a 9-to-5 can be daunting. Creative ideas can pop inside my mind at the most inconvenient moments, such as in traffic or during a lunch date. Here are 10 apps that have helped me balance my time and challenge my creativity:
1. The Little Memory
This is an excellent app if you love to journal, but often forget to write your thoughts down. Little Memory lets you jot down important moments from your day to keep for your future self. It even gives you the option to capture pictures as a visual reminder of your day.
2. Google Docs
This is probably the most simplistic, but it's a huge lifesaver. I can't always stay by my computer throughout the day. Google Docs helps me keep track of everything from blog posts I want to write to weekly meal plans, to writing down lyrics or poems, to keeping my resume updated. It also makes it extremely easy to share documents with others while you're out and about.
WordPress is another app that saves me since I can't always be at my computer. Just about every blog I write or contribute to uses this site. The app makes it easy to edit posts when I'm waiting in Miami traffic (from the passenger's seat, of course).
The app is also a great resource for other creatives such as visual artists or musicians, with a wide variety of themes and layouts perfect for building a portfolio or a website. Musicians can take advantage of features such as adding a music player and embedding links from popular sites like SoundCloud, Bandcamp and YouTube.
This app is tons of fun, especially if you're a music lover. I spent about 20 minutes just playing around with beats when I first downloaded it, and I even wrote a new song. Keezy is a music app that lets you produce beats, sample pre-made beats or instrumentals and record live instruments and vocals.
So whether you're a producer on the go, a music enthusiast who needs some inspiration or someone who just needs a break from work, plug in your headphones and play around on Keezy. It's free and very user-friendly. You never know what musical gems you may create by simply taking 15 minutes daily to rest and play around on this app.
This is an oldie, but a goodie. I tend to find inspiration inside the covers of a book. This year, I've set a personal goal to read at least 40 books. However, I feel like I'm spending more time in a car, out with friends or running errands than I am snuggled up cozily in my house.
Even when I am home, my roommates and a dog make quiet reading time difficult. Take advantage of the hour (or more) of sitting in traffic and do some good to your brain. It can dramatically change your mornings and is an excellent way to unwind in the evenings.
Have you ever been in a store or in a friend's car and a song you've never heard before — but instantly love — comes on? For me, I usually want to add certain songs to my writing playlist. Shazam listens in on the music around you and finds the artist and title.
7. Quote Of The Day
Everyone needs a bit of inspiration, and simple quotes always seem to give me the creative push I need. I've made a habit out of writing creative pieces based on quotes that I find, or simply sharing insightful words with friends.
This one is for the writer, poet or simple logophile. HaikuJAM lets you read work from people all over the world and be a contributor to a group haiku by simply adding one line. Be inspired and inspire others, and watch creativity unfold in a matter of minutes.
I'm no visual artist, but I've always appreciated photography and paintings as they provide quite a bit of inspiration for other artistic expressions. Artsy lets you find art shows, fairs, auctions and exhibits in your area, and is available around the world. You can also catch up on articles for free for tips about the fine art industry and news about different artists.
My favorite feature is the personal profile, which lets you pick some of your favorite artists and then browse through similar artists or search artwork that are for sale or on display at an exhibit. The only downside is while I now know where I can find a Gordon Parks photograph, I now cry myself to sleep at night knowing that my freelance income will never pay for such a work of art.
Creatives have to eat as much as the next person. This app is similar to Seamless. Often, I want to get away to one of my favorite coffee shops. But once I arrive, I quickly lose my creative flow by getting on the long line since it's such a popular location. SpeedETab lets you place an order and pay before arriving, so that you can pick it up and find a table or leave without the long wait.
It is possible to organize the right side of your brain, even while you're constantly on the move. A lot of these apps help me blend creativity and Type A personality to live life as sort of an organized, creative mess. More importantly, it's possible to make time to sharpen your creative passions in the midst of the daily monotony.