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When you’re on the road, you’re away from the gear you need to follow your creative pursuit; whether it’s your paints, your music production setup, your video camera, or your perfected writing environment, you just don’t have all the tools you need to continue your creative pursuits in the way you usually do.

But that doesn’t mean you can’t still have fun and be creative! There are a lot of apps that will help you out by letting you do smaller versions of your favorite creative hobbies 4 Creative Hobbies That Can Improve Your Life Today 4 Creative Hobbies That Can Improve Your Life Today It's never too late to take up a new hobby, but life offers so much choice that it can be impossible to choose. Here are five hobbies that could improve your life immediately. Read More , and some that will help you keep your brain sharp while you’re away from your creative ritual. Here are a few of the best of both.

Keeping Your Visual Game Sharp

Visual artists, from painters and sketch aficionados to photographers and videographers, all need to keep the visually creative parts of their brain in tip-top shape. Even if you can’t spend time editing a killer video 8 Tips For Editing Videos Like A Pro 8 Tips For Editing Videos Like A Pro If you're just getting into the editing game, you may be confused as to what to do with the many millions of clips you have... well, we're here to help. Read More or laying down layers of oil paint, you can still engage your creative neurons when you’re on the go.

The easiest way to do that is taking photos with your phone and spending a few minutes here and there editing them. It may not take quite the same skill-set as painting or full-on photo editing, but playing around with a great app like VSCO, Aviary, or any of the other great mobile photo editors 6 Best Photo Editors for Android 6 Best Photo Editors for Android Edit photos quickly and easily on your Android phone or tablet with these apps. Read More can keep you occupied for hours fixing up the photos you’ve taken on your trip (my personal favorite is VSCO).

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If you’re looking for a less static form of art, check out 5SecondsApp (iOS, Android, freemium), an app that lets you convert a five-second section of video or a Live Photo from iOS 9 into a GIF. You won’t be able to create a ground-breaking cinematograph Cinemagr.am - Easily Create Cinemagraphs On Your iPhone For $1.99 Cinemagr.am - Easily Create Cinemagraphs On Your iPhone For $1.99 A cinemagraph is essentially the marriage of still photos and moving video, except only a portion of the scene is animated. Typical examples include a tree swaying in the breeze, water flowing from a tap... Read More , but you can definitely make some really fun things to share on social media while you’re away from home.

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For something really different that will keep you thinking creatively, try Shadowmatic (iOS, $2.99), a game in which you have to rotate shapes to create a familiar image with their shadows. It takes a while to get the hang of, but with a little practice, you’ll be engaging the visually creative part of your brain. Monument Valley (iOS, Android, Windows, $3.99) is another visually inspiring game that will get your brain working.

And, of course, there are plenty of apps that will let you doodle and draw as much as you want (like these free Android drawing apps The Top 3 Free Digital Painting Apps for Android The Top 3 Free Digital Painting Apps for Android Digital painting is a great medium but generally requires an expensive Wacom tablet. Luckily, these Android apps can be useful for practicing your sketching on the go, and they don't cost a penny. Read More ). There are even coloring apps for your iPhone De-Stress On The Go With iPhone Coloring Apps De-Stress On The Go With iPhone Coloring Apps The act and art of coloring, once reserved for children, is now being seen as a form of therapy for adults. Read More to get a little bit of color therapy when you need it to keep your brain sharp.

A Spark for Audio Creatives

While you won’t find quite as many different kinds of apps for sound-based creatives, there are some really fun things you can download to keep your sound-focused brain engaged while on-the-go.

Soundrop (iOS, free), for example, lets you draw and connect lines and turns them into music, engaging your brain in multiple ways. Bloom HD (iOS, $3.99) uses a similar idea and is characterized as “part instrument, part composition and part artwork.”

If you want something a little less abstract, you can use a number of great music apps to create some fun soundscapes. From the KORG Gadget synthesizer mini-studio KORG Gadget Is A 15-Synth Strong Mini Studio For iPad KORG Gadget Is A 15-Synth Strong Mini Studio For iPad With a full set of drum, lead, bass and sample-based instruments, Gadget is aiming for top spot in the mobile DAW marketplace. But is it worth $40? Read More to Echo Piano (iOS, $4.99), a number of Android guitar simulators and learning apps 5 Free Apps That Help You Learn & Play Guitar [Android] 5 Free Apps That Help You Learn & Play Guitar [Android] Years ago, I found a classic guitar at home and taught myself how to play it. I was never a guitar guru, all I could play were some chords, but even a handful of around... Read More , and Barrel Tones (iOS, free), a fun drum kit simulator.

Looking for something with a few more options? There are a number of composition apps that let you pull together an entire song, like the cool composition app Beatmaker 2 (iOS, $9.99) or Android’s G-Stomper Studio ($11.99). And, of course, there’s always Garage Band 5 Reasons To Spend $5 On GarageBand for iOS [iPad, iPhone & iPod Touch] 5 Reasons To Spend $5 On GarageBand for iOS [iPad, iPhone & iPod Touch] Apple’s popular home music production suite GarageBand has been iOS-friendly on the iPad for a while now, and thanks to last month’s update iPhone and iPod Touch users can finally jam along too. This article... Read More  (and it’s corresponding Windows alternatives 6 GarageBand Alternatives for Music Production on Windows 6 GarageBand Alternatives for Music Production on Windows Are you a Windows user who's been tempted by talk of GarageBand? Here are the best alternatives to Apple's music production software that you can run on your PC. Read More ).

Inspiration for Ideators

No matter what kind of creative you are, getting help with brainstorming and coming up with ideas 8 Tips To Come Up With Winning Ideas When You Are Brainstorming Alone 8 Tips To Come Up With Winning Ideas When You Are Brainstorming Alone Two heads think better than one, but brainstorming is as much about individual problem solving as it is about the group. Here are some methods to build up a “storm” of ideas. Read More is always welcome. Even if you aren’t trying to come up with an idea for the century’s next great novel, practicing the types of ideating that are used by novelists and other written-word creatives can be a big help.

The Brainstormer (iOS, $1.99) is a great example. It’s pitched as an app to help fight writer’s block, but you could use this as a five-minute writing exercise to help you stretch your creative muscles. Story Cubes is another great iOS app for brainstorming story ideas. If you’ve never written a story, you should definitely give it a shot — no matter what kind of creative you are!

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There are a number of other great brainstorming apps that will get you think with a little bit less of a writing focus. Brainsparker, for example, comes with a number of different creative-thinking prompts that can be used for writing or just to get you thinking creatively. And you can purchase more packs of different cards to keep you thinking.

The Creative Whack Pack (iOS, $1.99) and IDEO Method Cards (iOS, freemium) are both popular brainstorming tools that have been ported to iOS and that will help you start thinking creatively about any problem you like. And Unstuck‘s “digital coach” (iOS, free) will help you work through any difficulty you’re having in your creative process, no matter your preferred medium.

How Do You Stay Creative on the Go?

We know that there are all sorts of creatives out there, and that everyone has their own creative process and preferences How to Regain Creative Motivation After You've Burned Out How to Regain Creative Motivation After You've Burned Out Writers aren't the only ones who suffer from "creative block". What can you do to rekindle your creative fire? Here are five easy things you can try. Read More . These apps will help you out if you want to keep creating when you’re on the go, but we’re sure there are lots more out there. From photo editors to creative games to music-making machines, there’s an app for everyone.

What do you use to keep creating while you’re away from your usual setup? Do you prefer smaller versions of your standard software, or to try new things? Do you like creative games, or serious tools? Share your thoughts below!

Image Credits:mobile for travels by Ditty_about_summer via Shutterstock

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