iOS11, Drag/Drop and Siri

iThoughts for iOS11 is now live. The short video below gives a quick demo of the Siri integration, Drag/Drop and a new way of marking tasks as 'complete'.

There is also a feature called focus lock. Previously the 'Focus on Selected' feature would dim out all topics that weren't selected. With focus lock, you can now keep a bunch of topics 'in focus' regardless of which one is selected. To enable this, select the topics then enable 'Focus on Selected'. To have it work the old way, enable the feature with no topics selected.

There is a new button in the top corner. If you drag/drop a topic onto it then the topic will be marked as 100% complete - great for check lists.

Mindmeister (.mind) and SimpleMind (.smmx) mindmaps can now be imported.

The Doodle feature now supports a 'resize' option to resize selected parts of your doodle (see the +/- button in the toolbar.) Doodle also has better support for Apple Pencil. If it detects an Apple Pencil it will then ignore any attempts to draw with your finger. This removes any accidental drawing when your palm rests on the screen. It also means you can scroll using a single finger.

Finally - this update also works with the forthcoming iPhoneX - even allowing for its 'ears'.


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

Posted on September 20, 2017 .

Windows 2.9 Released

Just pushed out v2.9 of the Windows app. This version now imports Mindmeister (.mind) and SimpleMind (.smmx) format files. It also supports 'Focus Lock'. The idea with Focus Lock is to select a topic then check the focus checkbox (bottom left corner of the screen.) The selected topic(s) will remain visible and all others will be 'dimmed' (regardless of which topic is selected.) If you want the focus to follow the selection then ensure that no topics are selected when you first enable Focus.

iOS/macOS support for the above is coming soon (when iOS11 is out.)

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

Posted on September 8, 2017 .

Compressed Layout and Costs

Just a quick note to announce the latest update to the iOS (4.8), macOS (4.12) and Windows (2.6) versions.

Maps now have a new Style option called 'Compressed'. This will trim back the margins at the edge of topics and also the inter topic spacing in order to present more information on the screen. See below for the difference (the largest effect is seen with 'no shape' topics.)


There is a new task attribute called 'Cost'. This is a simple floating point number that can be attached to a topic. The Cost field also supports 'rollup' which means that the sum cost for immediate child topics is calculated automatically (similar to effort.)

The 'units' of cost can be set for the map in the Style settings. Typically this will be a financial symbol ($£€) but could just as easily be 'bananas'!

In addition to the headline features above, there are a bunch of minor tweaks and fixes as below:

  • Spell Check (in Windows version)
  • Triple click text to select all (in Windows version)
  • Keyboard Shortcuts to open/close/edit the notes (in Windows version)
  • CMD/CTRL+B to set Markdown bold (and italic) is now a toggle. Press it once to enable then again to disable.
  • The iOS Clip to iThoughts now places the information on the clipboard in addition to pasting it into the Quick Thoughts map.
  • External KB shortcuts for fast access to the Cost/Effort settings (C or E)


So, next up is integrating some of the new iOS11 technologies - namely Drag/Drop (

Posted on June 19, 2017 .

Flashcards and TextPack

Just pushed out an update to the iOS, OSX and Windows apps with 2 new features. The first is .textpack export support. This is basically a ZIP file containing the map text in Markdown format and any associated images. The format is defined by and is becoming a 'standard' way to pass around Markdown type documents. The main use (today) is probably to get your iThoughts map into Ulysses for further processing. See below for an iThoughts map and how it might appear in Ulysses.

Click to enlarge:

iThoughts (Mac)

Ulysses (Mac)

The second feature is Flashcard export. This enables you to collate all your information in a Mindmap then export that into a Flashcard app and from there (hopefully) into your memory :-)

Flashcards are a simple way to learn information. Each card has a question on one side and an answer on the other. You work your way through the cards attempting to answer the questions (flipping the cards over to verify the answer.) There are many different apps/websites that enable you to do this 'digitally'. iThoughts will export in a format that is supported by many (, etc.)

The following short video demonstrates exporting to



Posted on May 12, 2017 .

Windows v2.3 released

I'm pleased to announce that v2.3 of the Windows app is now live. Hit Help -> Settings -> Check for Updates to get it.

The headline feature for this version is Presentation Mode. See below for a demo. For more details see here.

In addition this version also includes:

  • Freemind/Freeplane Export
  • TextPack export (good for exporting maps to certain Mac apps.)
  • Auto Zoom (with animation)
  • Show/Hide Status and Toolbar
  • Better integration with Marked on OSX


As always, any other questions, suggestions or issues just let me know and I'll do my best to help.

Posted on April 27, 2017 .

New Release (iOS4.6, Mac4.10, Win2.2)

I'm pleased to announce the latest update to iThoughts on all platforms (Windows, iOS and macOS)



One of the new features is 'hugging'. This is a per topic (and Style) setting which dictates whether the topic shape should 'hug' the text or not. This enables you to force all topics to have the same width regardless of the length of the text. See below:

Hugging can be used in conjunction with the 'align levels' setting in Styles to make everything line up (horizontally and vertically) as follows:


The default width for topics (and images) can now be set in the Style settings.


Topic Count Tooltip

Another new feature (on the Mac version) is topic count tooltips. Surprisingly useful! These enable you to quickly count up the number of descendent topics - as below:


The iOS version now integrates with the 'Share' system. You can select text, images or links in other apps and Share them with iThoughts. The shared content will be placed in the Quick Thoughts map (either in the root of the map picker or in the root of iCloud Drive.) It will create this map as necessary.



The iOS app now supports 'Places'. This enables iThoughts to Open (and Save) maps stored in other services. This is an improvement on the previous approach where copies of maps had to be manually downloaded and uploaded. 

NB: Whilst testing I found support for this a little 'sketchy' amongst some of the services. However it seems to work well with and for maps in iCloud folders other than the default iThoughts folder.



Remaining Effort

Where a topic has both effort and progress, the topic will now calculate a 'remaining effort' value. This works on individual topics and on 'rollup' topics. Calculate values can be identified by the [square brackets] surrounding them. See below:



A few of the other tweaks included in this update:

  • iOS Only:
    • Use Dropbox v2 (much faster and more resilient)
    • Full sync more frequently (every 2 minutes)
    • No more 'Checking for Updates' message to distract.
  • All versions
    • CMD/CTRL + Arrow Key will now move topics up/down the hierarchy
    • CMD/CTRL 1-5 will now toggle the Priority
    • Default Effort unit (hours, days etc) is now a setting
    • Applying a progress or effort attribute to a topic will make it's parent have a 'rollup' progress/effort automatically.


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

...and remember, if you're interested in iThoughts for Windows or Mac, there are discounts available.




Posted on April 7, 2017 .

iThoughts for Windows is live

After over a year in the making, I am pleased to announce that iThoughts for Windows is finally here !

It will install on Windows7 and later. It is designed primarily for the desktop/laptop (keyboard mouse) environment - but it does also work with touch.

The goal in developing this has been to enable people to work seamlessly between iOS, macOS and Windows. To that end, you can use either iCloud or Dropbox to keep your maps all in sync.

Maps will look pretty much identical across all devices (subject to installed fonts etc.)

Functionality-wise, all three platforms share a common set of core capabilities (see here for a detailed list)

Just like iOS and macOS, the Windows version is an additional purchase - but there are some hefty discounts available for existing customers (see here for more details.)

There is a free 14 day trial available from here.

This is the first public release of the app on Windows. There will be many more in the future (most will be free updates.)

Please do let me know if you have any questions, suggestions or issues at the usual address.

Posted on February 27, 2017 .

iThoughtsX is coming to SETAPP

iThoughtsX is coming to the new SETAPP AppStore (in addition to the Mac AppStore and Direct from this website.)

SETAPP is a new AppStore (for Mac apps) created by the guys over at MacPaw (the ones who built CleanMyMac and a whole bunch of other utilities.)

What makes SETAPP different is that it's like a kind of Netflix for apps. For a fixed (low) monthly fee you get to use any and all the apps in the Setapp AppStore. That's hundreds (thousands?) of dollars worth of apps - for a few dollars each month.

Disclaimer: I hate paying subscriptions for access to stuff (especially digital stuff that is just files on disk  - like music, films and apps.) 

That said, I have Netflix (subscription pricing for TV box sets) so my position is inconsistent already. What attracts me to Netflix (and SETAPP) is the 'deal'. No way would I buy all those TV box sets outright - but I would like to see them if the price were right. Same deal with SETAPP - for a low monthly fee you're getting:

  • Access to dozens of hand picked 'premium' Mac Apps.
  • The latest and greatest version of all apps (no more paid upgrades, in-app purchases or adverts.)


What's in it for me as a developer? The deal is that I get a slice of the subscription fee based on how much people actually use my app. The better my app is, the more people'll use it and the more money I'll make. It's a virtuous circle.

New apps are being added all the time - but as of December, my SETAPP folder looks as follows:

There are a lot of quality (and valuable!) apps in there - and I can use all of them.

If you'd like to take SETAPP for a spin in a private, invite-only beta just let me know and I'll send you a 'code'.




Posted on December 8, 2016 .

v4.2 released

It's been over a week since v4 was released. A loooong week! Markdown is like Marmite - some people love it, others hate it.

Anyhow, I've just released v4.2 which fixes a bunch of early teething problems as follows:

  • Double click/tap the notes window to enter Edit mode.
  • ⌥⌘T to toggle between Edit and View notes.
  • ⌘B and ⌘I will now apply Bold/Italic at the topic level. This changes the font for the topic rather than add Markdown punctuation so it won't be included in any Markdown export.
  • PPTX export no longer includes the Markdown formatting
  • Word count is now updated properly
  • Code blocks now default to using ``` rather than 4 spaces
  • Triple space (iOS) now strips off any period character.
  • The font used for headers has been reduced in size.

There is also a new Highlight (text formatting) option as below:

I guess this is another advantage of the new Markdown approach that I haven't really communicated. Additional textual formatting can be added in future and it will remain entirely backwards compatible.

Any other questions, suggestions of issues just drop me a line.


Posted on November 7, 2016 .