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6 Free Stellar Creative Thinking Tools You’ll Want to Swipe

by | Jan 16, 2023

When you’re feeling down in the creative dumps, these proven tools will get you back on your feet in no time…

What do you mean you didn’t know we have a raft of free creativity tools and templates that we’re happy to share? We’re Now Go Create, dammit! We live and breathe this stuff 💡

On a serious note, there’s not a day goes by when someone doesn’t ask us for a couple of creativity tools to find new ways of looking at a problem that they’re drawing a blank on.

While many of these feature in our courses, they’re also “out there”, and  we’re more than happy to share them. One of the problems with all the different creative thinking and problem solving tools out there is that it’s sometimes hard to decide what to use, when. Maslow’s old adage holds true here.

“If the only tool you have is a hammer, you tend to see every problem as a nail.”

We have plenty of other tools, too – but you’ll need to book onto one of our courses to get your hands on that particular toybox.

Here’s our top 6 free creativity tools you can use today!

3 x Creativity Tools

Consumer Trends Canvas

What is it? A brilliant way of applying what people will want tomorrow to your next big idea. Free canvas and more detail on how-to here.

Who’s it for? Anyone trying to plot product launches or services and on-trend campaigns. If you have no useful insight or data from elsewhere this macro view can help decision making. Faith Popcorn famously coined the phrase ‘braille culture’ – this can help you to start to do that. Check out this blog too.


What is it? a clever little tool that stops you trying to evaluate ideas or subject them to other’s bias before they’ve had time to germinate. Highly recommended and how-to here!

Who’s it for? Teams guilty of moving on from fledgling ideas too quickly or whose sessions are dominated by one or two loud voices. It’s a terrific leveller that gives everyone a voice.

The Phoenix Checklist

What is it? A tool used by the CIA to solve problems. It’s based around two in-depth sets of questions and it’s pretty mind-blowing.

Who’s it for? Anyone looking for a new way of brainstorming. It can help to provide new ways into old challenges and provide incredible clarity.

3 x Strategy Tools

The 5 Whys

What is it? A tool pioneered by Toyota that helps you define the problem so that you’re not trying to fix the wrong thing.

Who’s it for? Those tasked with working out what is going wrong and why, or what you can do differently. It helps you identify the root cause of an issue with relative ease – so you can then start working on a fix.

Closely related to fish-boning, a visual way to identify problems.

Empathy Map


What is it? Straight from the design thinking school, the Empathy Map will help you to tackle your problem not from the angle of sales or the MD’s wishes, but from what a user really wants.

Who’s it for? Account managers and creatives who have been struggling to get their head around their target audience. It’s brilliantly simple, too.

This is one of our go-to creativity tools that has it’s roots in UX, to help plot information and turn it into insights about your customer. There are loads of free templates out there and Miro also has a great online tool which is good for hybrid and remote meetings, as well as in-person.

The Theory of Change

What is it? Courtesy of the ever-helpful Nesta, this tool helps you to map out the steps you need to take in pursuit of your goal.

Who’s it for: Anyone looking for a little clarity on an issue they are facing – and, once that’s been sorted out, a potential strategy to make meaningful change. Try it!

Sign up to our Creative Ninjas webinar

We have a whole stack of amazing tools that can turn you and your team into certified Creative Ninjas – check out our courses or drop us a line. Secure your place on our Creative Ninjas webinar on 8th March and get all our favourite creativity tools in this practical 2-hour live webinar.

Email claire@nowgocreate.co.uk to book your place

Are you and your team ready to prepared to supercharge your creativity?

Brace yourself for the ultimate game-changer: our best-selling How To Become A Creative Ninja workshop. This thought-provoking session will supercharge your team with the knowledge, skills, and mindset needed to generate ideas and stay ahead of the curve.