The late Steve Jobs once said:
“Creativity is just connecting things. When you ask creative people how they did something, they feel a little guilty because they didn’t really do it, they just saw something. It seemed obvious to them after a while. That’s because they were able to connect experiences they’ve had and synthesize new things.”
Which brings us to the problem with traditional software like Evernote, Dropbox or Pinterest. In these tools text, images and links are categorised, tagged and filed away into separate buckets, waiting for the all-powerful search bar to find them later. These are systems designed to store things, not see how they fit together. Which means they don’t work the way creative people actually think.
Milanote is different.
Like other tools, Milanote lets you store all the things you need to organise a creative project—notes, images, links, files, videos and tasks. But unlike other tools those items aren’t hidden away in silos. Instead, the drag and drop interface lets you put them side by side on an infinite virtual pinboard.
Things you add stay exactly where you put them—there’s no snapping in place to a predefined layout. If you like, you can add organisation and structure using lines, arrows and whitespace. But you can also just sit back and admire the beautiful mess you’ve created.
According to Milanote’s CEO Ollie Campbell:
“The creative process isn’t linear or predictable. Milanote is based on the idea that behind every great piece of work is a lot of research, thinking and planning that is often messy, unstructured and takes time to evolve.”
Which might be why it feels less like a piece of traditional software, and more like working on a wall in a creative studio.
This flexibility means you can arrange inspiration images into a moodboard, add notes explaining your ideas, get feedback from a client and map out tasks on a project—all in one place.
Lots of solo creatives (like Frank Chimero) use Milanote, but the product has also been adopted by creative teams inside companies like Apple, Uber, Sony, Nike and more.
“Milanote has become our digital, 5-foot foam board … a way to look at inspiration, see process and critique work.” — Jeremy Perez Cruz, Creative Director @ Uber
Milanote is free to use, but if you want to go pro (for unlimited space and extra features) you can get 20% off forever with the coupon code ‘heydesigner20‘. Note: this code expires on the 31st of December 2018.
Full disclosure: This article is sponsored by Milanote.