What's in a number?

The auto numbering engine is undergoing a major overhaul. Previously you had 5 numbering styles to choose from - in future you will be able to customise almost everything - see below:

…coming soon!

Posted on June 12, 2019 .

Latest update now available

Pleased to announce that the latest update to iThoughts (on iOS, Mac and Windows) is now available for download.

There are 3 significant new features and a whole bunch of tweaks and bug fixes.

New Feature1 (Custom Link Color)

Ordinarily the link line color is the same as the topic color. Now you can configure a single link line color that will apply to all topics (in the Style settings.) See below for some examples:

New Feature2 (2 new layouts)

There are 2 new layouts based on the existing Horizontal layout scheme. Horizontal UP and Horizontal DOWN as can be seen in the following examples.

New Feature3 (Groups)

Groups have been a popular request over the years - and I’ve finally got round to implementing support. Previously you could use ‘boundaries’ to group together all the topics on a branch. Now you can group together any old topics - not only that but you can change the shape and color of the group. See below for some examples:

To group together topics, select them then click/tap on the boundary toolbar button. To change the group characteristics, right click or tap on the edge of the group. You can change the Z order so that the group appears above/below other groups and boundaries. See here for more info.


Some of the more interesting tweaks in this update.

  • New system style (called Monarch) - see the layout feature above for an example.

  • Click on the notes icon on the edge of a topic to open/close the notes window.

  • [iOS] The doodle view will remember your pen settings.

  • [iOS] Create a new doodle by long press on the canvas using an Apple Pencil.

  • Much improved CSV import/export

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

Posted on June 2, 2019 .

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 .