There are so many mobile apps out there these days that it’s almost impossible to keep tabs on what’s available. Photography apps, list-keeping apps, productivity apps, exercise apps…the list is never-ending and it’s growing by the day.
That’s why we decided to offer a list of the best apps we’ve found for creative thinkers—specifically, product designers, inventors, and others involved in the product creation business. While there are few, if any, apps out there geared at inventors in particular, all of these have great applications to the business of making things.

  1. Vittle. This iOS app lets you create short whiteboard video recordings that you can screencast from your iPad. You can draw, use photos, or import PDF slide decks, and narrate the videos yourself. This is great for inventors or designers who are trying to sell their products to larger companies, or bring in business partners.
  2. Wunderlist. Voted App of the Year in 2013, this productivity app allows you to make lists, assign to-dos, and collaborate with others on projects. You can set reminders and due dates to make sure you don’t miss deadlines during the product development process, or forget that big meeting with a manufacturer. And since you can share and collaborate on your lists with others, this is perfect for team projects.
  3. Tayasui Sketches. This fun sketching app will bring out the designer in anyone. With brush choices including pencil, charcoal, and watercolor brush, the app allows you to make simple drawings of your product ideas—they won’t be professional, but they’re great for early-stage concepting.
  4. Tapnotes. This note-taking and recording app brings the best of both functions together in a single app. You can record audio, then add notes and tags either on the spot or at a later time. Then you can jump to tagged spots in the recording, making it easy to find those important points in a meeting or lecture.
  5. Asana. A product management app for teams to use, Asana has become one of the most popular in its category. For a mobile app, it’s got an impressive array of features—you can organize projects into sections to match your workflow, create tasks for yourself or someone else, and have conversations around projects, among other things.
  6. Paper. This is another sketching app that allows you to create diagrams, drawings, and charts and organize them into virtual notebooks. You can also take notes, and draw on or highlight details in photos.
  7. Slack. If you’re sick of keeping up with dozens of emails from everyone on your team, try Slack—it’s a 21st century chat room. Users can message each other instantly, and you can set up different conversations: one for product development, one for random ideas, and so forth.
  8. GoodReader. This app lets you open nearly any kind of file, from PDF to text, and make notes, annotate, even add drawings. It’s quick and simple, and takes the hassle out of finding the right app for the right file type.
  9. FlowVella. To create really beautiful presentations for your product, try FlowVella. This app lets you integrate text, video, photos, and sound, offering easy editing tools to make everything, well, flow. You can even create apps derived from your Flows.
  10. Directr. Making a video for your IndieGoGo campaign to fund your product idea? If you’re a newbie to the medium, try getting started with Directr, which offers storyboard templates with a preset number of clips. You record the clips you need, put them in order, and there you have it: a finished video, without the hours of editing that making a video usually requires.

We hope these apps help you get your creative process going. If you find you need a little more help, contact us at Pivot International—we offer product design services, prototyping, manufacturing and more.