If you are a creative, working on a Mac computer, you are already familiar with Adobe’s Creative Suite and possibly some of Apple’s pro applications, like Final Cut Pro and Motion. You may even be using Apple’s iWork suite, using Pages for layout and writing as well as the amazing Apple Keynote for presentation slides (and so much more).
Curio = Creative Swiss Army Knife
But, you may not know about the single most creative application any creative person can install on their Mac. It’s called Curio and it’s a Swiss Army knife for your diverse daily creative processes.
Curio is a killer application that offers you a giant “idea space” which basically translates to a huge endless piece of paper. Each project can contain as many idea spaces as you want, and you can create as many projects as you wish.
What’s an idea space?
So, what can you put on each idea space? You can draw (Wacom tablets are fully supported), you can drag in all kinds of stuff (video, images, text, links, sounds, etc) you can choose backgrounds, you can outline, you can mindmap, actually you are really only limited by your imagination. And, in time, you will find that many of the processes you previously used other tools and applications for, can be done better and much faster in Curio. Be it storyboarding, mindmapping, mockups, layouts, concept maps, layouts, presentations, brainstorming, collaboration… It even has basic project management features!
The Creative Process
You can also use Curio to research stock images, maintain scrapbooks for future inspiration in times of creative burnout, and so much more that I get dizzy thinking about it. Luckily it is all wrapped in an easy to use, welcoming Cocoa interface that every creative freak will enjoy.
A better alternative to PowerPoint and Keynote
Then, when done, you can even use Curio straight ahead, to present the project to your client, all with transitions and full screen – so actually you can skip the whole Powerpoint / Keynote step of the process, and just present right away. If your clients have any corrections, you can note them down on the fly and continue your sales pitch. The client will feel heard, and be impressed by your organized, yet creative workflow. Personally I have used Curio this way on several occasions, with great success!
When you win the job, and start working with your client for real, you can use Curio to create mockups and drafts, and easily email these as PDF files, or upload to your FTP server, for the client to view online. Very, very easy and fast.
Freestyle Creative Workflow
Curio can do so much, and has a very freestyle workflow, so it can be intimidating to square, narrow (boring) people. But if you’re a creative person, you will enjoy having huge idea spaces to play in, and be able to organize and place everything where you want to. Be it sound, images, video, text, bookmarks, whatever, Curio will handle it. You can even document you client briefings via forms, that are also totally customizable!
So, you have to give Curio a try!
From Curio 3 to Curio 4 to Curio 5 – in giant leaps
When Curio last year went from version 3 to version 4, it was a giant leap. Personally I felt it was a welcome but maybe too huge leap, since I like simple applications, that just work the way I expect them to, with no fluff and superficial stuff. However, it can not be dabated that Curio became immensely more powerful. And now, with version 5 released just a few weeks ago, Zengobi has definetely made Curio better, more powerful, and useful, to every creative person, working on his or her Mac daily, to get stuff done, and clients served.
A short list of new features in Curio 5
- Status Shelf
- Idea Space Templates Shelf
- Expandable / Collapsible List and Mind Map Hierarchies
- Figure Styles and Style Inspector
- Project Center with Status Indicators and Custom Icons
- iCal Synchronization
- Inspector Bar
- WebView Figures and Google Docs Integration
- Scrapbook Shelf
- Spread PDF
- Search Shelf Results List
- Transitions Inspector
- Share Specific Idea Spaces
- Idea Space Links and Cross-Project Jumping
- Parental Controls
- Scribble Inspector Improvements
- More QuickLook Support
- Multi-touch Support
- Plus tons more!
Give it a try!