Quick update

Just a quick update on some features I’m working on now. First up is custom colors for link lines. See below for some examples. It will be possible to define a link line color that applies regardless of the topic color. Along with this is a new template style called Monarch

There are also a couple of new layouts (albeit similar) as below:

As you can see, the layouts are based on the current horizontal layout but rather than centering each branch below its parent I now justify the branch (top or bottom) below the parent topic.

More to come…

Posted on March 28, 2019 .

More compactedy...

By popular request, I’ve been playing with the compact layout - trying to make it even more ‘data dense’. Below is an animated GIF showing the normal layout, the current compact layout and finally my new even more compact layout (for a future update - possibly.)

Will keep tinkering. It’s getting quite addictive now - trying to shave off the odd pixel here and there…

Posted on February 7, 2019 .

v6 of the iOS app is now live - with Files support

I’m pleased to announce that iThoughts v6 (for iOS) is now fully live. The big change here is that it now uses the Files app to manage access to your mind map files (assuming you have iOS12.) This is the same as used in the iWork apps.

This means that there is no longer any need for ‘syncing’ to be implemented/configured within iThoughts. You simply enable the appropriate cloud provider in the ‘Locations’ section of the file picker side bar and then open the map as you might a map stored locally on the device.

If you want to store your maps on a WebDAV server or Amazon S3 (or a whole bunch of other places) then you can always install FileBrowser which integrates with the Files app and allows you to connect to those services. Indeed, this is one way to integrate with Google Drive (who’s app doesn’t integrate with the Files app properly!!)

Other benefits are:

  • Consistent/modern look and feel

  • Tag maps (but only those stored ‘On Device’ or ‘in iCloud’.)

  • Favourite Folders (but only those stored ‘On Device’ or ‘in iCloud’.)

  • Drag/drop maps into folders.

  • Sort by date, name etc.

  • Search by map name

NB: The downside is that you can no longer ‘sync’ multiple formats (via Dropbox) as you could previously. You can currently disable the Files interface and return to the original way of working (in the System Settings) but this will not always be the case.

Posted on January 30, 2019 .

Files and all that stuff

Just a quick update to let you know what’s going on in development. Perhaps the biggest change coming down the line is in the iOS app where you will soon have the option to use the built in Files UI to manage your maps. See below for a screenshot:

The big upside is that you’ll be able to better access maps in Dropbox, iCloud and OneDrive.

Watch this space…

Posted on December 10, 2018 .

Hand Drawn Maps - a Balanced View

There are two features that have been on my list for more years than I care to admit. One is something I thought might look cool - the other is something that people have actually been asking for:

  • Hand Drawn Maps

  • Balanced Maps

So the latest release implements both. The hand drawn map effect has actually turned out better than I’d hoped. All my personal maps now use this effect. See below for a before and after animation. The shapes are literally hand drawn (by me using an Apple Pencil on an iPad) and then ‘coded up’ into the app. I did tweak them with TouchDraw (on iPad) since my handwriting is actually pretty bad.

NB: Above you can also see one of the new system styles (‘Spearmint’)

The balanced map feature is something people have been asking for, for years. There is a new auto layout option (called Balanced) where the app ensures that there are an equal number of topics either side of the main ‘root’ topic. There is also a manual ‘balance’ option that will perform a one time balance on maps that have manual (or partial) auto layout. See below to see it in action.

In addition to the above I’ve also added 5 new canvas options as below:

As always, any questions, suggestions or issues - just let me know.

If you like the app, a review on the AppStore is alway most welcome :-)



Posted on October 29, 2018 .

iThoughts is 10 years old today

The original iThoughts went live on the AppStore on October 28th 2008. Ten years ago - back when I had hair! (actually that’s a lie - but it was 10 years ago.)

Some early screenshots below (iPhone 3G running iOS2) - I was ahead of my time with ‘dark mode’ !


The screen was a tiny 320x480 (as opposed to 1242x2688 in the latest iPhone XS Max)

Below is my first attempt at YouTube marketing. The year is 2008 and YouTube itself is only 3 years old. These are the days before we could record the iPhone screen - so I went old skool and used a video camera. Can you tell I have absolutely no training in either marketing or photography?

Oh how I miss having a phone that will fit in my hand and my pocket…

Not proud of my first app icon - but these are the days before I could afford to pay people who can draw - can you tell I have no graphic design training either?


I then made enough money to pay someone to create an icon - but I had too much ‘creative input’ and that resulted in something worse!


Gradually started to get a grip on the icon - well actually a designer took pity on me and contacted me direct (http://davymac.com) and the result is below.


In the old days, 3D was all the rage…

Then the iPad happened - boom!

(note how I’m still all in on ‘dark mode’.)

Screen shot 2010-08-30 at 21.48.40.png

Released this before I’d even seen an iPad - just had to hope it worked ok on the real device.

It’s now 2010 and I decided to ‘walk away from a perfectly good job’ (my wifes’ words!) and go full time on iThoughts. What could possibly go wrong?

In 2013 I created a ‘proper limited company’ in order to continue making apps in a more tax efficient way then released the Mac version (see what I did with the icon there?)


Then in 2014 everything went flat - literally (with iOS6)

This meant I had to rewrite the app from scratch and for various reasons released it as a new app - which meant a new purchase (something for which I still get multiple complaints each week - 4 years later.) In my defence I did have a 1 day sale every month for over a year where people could get the new app for $1.

Fast forward to 2017 and I dabbled with the ‘dark side’ and released a version for Windows.


So here we are. In 10 years I’ve released the app on iPhone, iPad, Mac and Windows. There have been around 300 software updates during that time - most including significant new features. To see a more detailed history just scroll down and click ‘Older Posts’.

A big thanks to everyone who has supported me and the app over the years. Here’s to the next 10 years!

Posted on October 27, 2018 .

iThoughts for iOS(5.9), Mac (5.11) and Windows (5.11) now released

I’m pleased to announce that there is a new release of iThoughts on all three platforms (Mac, iOS and Windows.)

This version adds support for custom background canvases. Take a look here for more details and links to a good source of background canvas patterns.

The macOS update will also support the new Mojave Dark Mode (due to be released tomorrow - 24th Sept 18) - see below:

As always, any questions suggestions or issues just let me know.

Posted on September 23, 2018 .

Custom Canvas

A quick sneak peek at a new feature in the next update - custom background canvas!

You will be able to select an image file or color and use that as the background canvas to your maps. See below to see the feature in action.

Click to enlarge

Notice how you can add the images/colors to the built in canvas picker. The canvas is then stored as part of the style settings and so can be saved as a custom style. If you have iCloud then the custom canvases (and styles) will be synced between iOS and OSX devices.

NB: Images are assumed to be repeating patterns. This feature does not enable a photo or logo to be used as a canvas (unless you're happy with it to be 'repeating')

Posted on September 4, 2018 .