As a UI/ UX designer and full time geek, I spend most of my time using apps. So what inspires me the most? Well, beautifully-designed apps of course! Apps that make me want to use them even when I don't need to. There's just something sexy about products like Invision, Mailchimp, Slack, Sketch, etc. To me these products become a romantic relationship, not only do they understand me and fulfill my needs, but they go that extra mile, putting so much attention on the details that the experience is almost perfect. So every day I strive to create something at least half as good as the apps I admire.
I'm also one of those people who has dozens of tabs open in my browser, reading online magazines, blogs, CSS Design Awards, Dribbble, etc., along with tons of articles that other designers and coworkers share. There's just so much information out there that I could easily spend an entire day surfing from link to link. But then I would never get any work done, so I try to spend no more than thirty to forty minutes a day keeping up to date and saving any inspiration I find with the appropriate tags so I can come back to it whenever I need to.
When I'm not reading online, I enjoy reading books recommended by peers. Whether it's a short book from A Book Apart, or a book on usability like "Don't Make Me Think", or "100 things every designer needs to know about people", or biographies of people I admire like Steve Jobs by Walter Isaacson, or even David Lynch's "Catching the Big Fish", on creativity and meditation. I'm currently getting started on "Zero to One" by the great Peter Thiel - another big inspiration for which I got the pleasure to collaborate on the designs for his alternative-education program, "The Thiel Fellowship". Along with these types of books, my bookshelf is also packed with others on graphic design, infographics, branding, art, photography, etc., which I can easily reach for any visual inspiration when a project requires it.
We are part of an industry that's constantly morphing and adapting at a quick pace, and so should we. With every new technology and new device, the rules change, so we need to keep up to date. However, sometimes it can be a little overwhelming, so every once in a while the easiest way for me to get inspired is stepping back from everything to take a break and clear my head.