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'.

Thanks

Craig

 

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 .

v4 Released

I'm pleased to announce the release of iThoughts v4 (on iOS and macOS)

This version adds support for Markdown in the topic text and notes (see below for a description of what this means.)

IMPORTANT: This version also uses a new variant of the .itmz file format which cannot be read by older versions of the app. This means that you should update all your devices (iOS and Mac) to the latest v4 apps.

 

What is Markdown and why should I care?

In previous versions, you would configure text formatting (bold, italic etc) using a What You See Is What You Get (WYSIWYG) editor. You would select the text, pick the attribute from a menu and see the change instantly.

In v4 you set textual attributes by using various 'obvious' punctuation characters. For example **important** would make that text bold. This textual formatting is called Markdown (see here for more details.)

Markdown makes the following topic text easy...

There are a number of advantages to this new approach:

  • Markdown is effectively plain text - which means it can be read by almost any OS or device (Windows, Android, iOS, macOS, Linux etc.) Information stored in this format is better 'future proofed' - you'll be able to get at the data in years to come. By contrast, the WYSIWYG approach stores the data in an Apple proprietary format. Good luck reading that in years to come if Apple choose to deprecate the format (headphone jack anyone!)
  • Markdown has great support for bulleted lists - one of the most requested features.
  • For technical reasons, Markdown is less 'resource intensive' to process. This means smaller file sizes, faster sync times, faster load times, more performant application and better battery life.

There are some downsides...

  • Markdown does not really support fine grained control over fonts and colors. If you have individual words that have specific font, size or color attributes (other than bold, italic etc) then they cannot be represented using Markdown.
  • Learning the 10 or so Markdown punctuation characters is more brain work than simply choosing from a menu - although there are also menus to help with this.

 

If you have v4 installed then you can download a demo map from here.

...and see it in action below.

 

Other stuff

There are a bunch of other features in this release:

  • Any number of embedded documents and images stored in the topic notes.
  • Full iCloud support for the non-Mac AppStore version of the Mac App (Handoff etc.)
  • Support for tabs in macOS Sierra
  • 10x more Undo history in iOS version.
  • Keyboard toolbar in iOS version (with buttons for moving the cursor etc.)
  • Set the default text alignment (left, right, center) per level in the Style settings.
  • Improved Font picker.
Posted on October 26, 2016 .

Update

So here I am - just returned from a 2 week vacation (Thailand - which is amazing by the way) to find that Mindjet has been acquired (never pretty!) and Novamind appear to be imploding?

I've been a little quiet over the past few months, but I thought now might be an opportune moment to let you know what I've been working on. See below for 2 screenshots (click to enlarge.)

On the left you can see the current Mac version of iThoughts. On the right you can see iThoughts running on Windows 10 :-)

I've been working on this for many months now and hope to release v1 later this year (2016.) It will work on Windows7 and later and will be 'touch enabled' but designed primarily for the desktop (mouse/keyboard)

The goal is to be 100% compatible with the iOS and OSX versions and to that end, the 'core engine' is already complete - but what remains (to be implemented) are a lot of UI stuff (configuration dialogs etc.)

I will be posting more progress updates over time and eventually have a beta testing programme. Until then, I'd love to hear your thoughts (at the usual address)

Thanks

Craig

 

Posted on August 15, 2016 .

v3.9(OSX) and v3.7(iOS) Released

I'm pleased to announce that v3.9 of iThoughtsX (for Mac) and v3.7 of iThoughts (for iOS) are now live on the AppStore. These are significant releases with lots of new features - described below:

 

Adjustable Link Thickness

Link lines can now be either thin, medium or thick - click on the images below to see the difference.

 

Summary Relationships

Previously links were only one to many - now we can have many to one. See here for more details.

 

Additional Relationship Link Styles

In addition to summary relationship (above) there are 2 new styles:

  • Straight Line
  • Angled

See below left for a straight line example and below right for an angled example:


Multiple Layouts in a Single Document

You can now set the map layout and link style independently for each 'root map' within a document. This means (for example) you can have one map that is horizontally laid out and one map that is vertically laid out - in the same document. See below for an example:

 

Concept Maps

There are a bunch of new relationship features that enable concept mapping:

 

Process Maps

There are a bunch of new relationship features that enable process maps:

 

CMAP Import

iThoughts will now import (not export) CMAP concept maps (see http://cmap.ihmc.us) once they've been exported in .cxl format. See below for the CMAP help map in the CMAP tool (left) and how it looks after importing into iThoughts (right.)

 

Scapple Import

iThoughts will now import (not export) Scapple maps (see https://www.literatureandlatte.com/scapple.php) See below left for a Scapple map and below right for the iThoughts import.

...and there's more

In addition to the headline features above, there are a whole bunch of other tweaks:

  • Zoom level saved in ITMZ file
  • Improved random sort algorithm
  • Top down layout improved (fixed indent)
  • Align center option
  • Long press topic to select related topics
  • Long press relationship to edit
  • Select multiple relationships
  • SHIFT + double tap canvas to create new floater
  • SHIFT + double tap topic to create relationship
  • Drag/drop hyperlinks works the 'old way' (i.e. doesn't create a new topic)
  • KB shortcut for new related topic (CMD+ALT+ARROW)
  • KB shortcut to 'nudge' manually positioned topics (ALT+ARROW)
  • Improved map load time.

 

As always - any questions, suggestions or issues then please contact me direct 

If you have a minute then a glowing review on the iOS AppStore and/or the Mac AppStore is always welcome - and helps generate the sales that fund future updates. Thanks...

 

Posted on February 25, 2016 .

CMAP import support

The next update includes much improved support for 'concept maps' (many to many connections rather than the usual one to many hierarchy of a mind map.)

As part of this effort, the next version will import CMAP concept maps (see http://cmap.ihmc.us) once they've been exported in .cxl format. See below for the CMAP help map in the CMAP tool (left) and how it looks after importing into iThoughts (right.)

It's not a perfect translation since some of the concepts are different (pun intended) but it does get most of the data and structure translated.

If anyone has any CMAP maps that they'd like to send over, then I'd appreciate some 'real world' data to test with. I can then show you how it would/will look in iThoughts (just export as .cxl format and email it over.)

Thanks.

Posted on January 22, 2016 .

Straight Line Relationships

Another quick preview of another relationship link style I'm working on. This time it's straight line relationships. They go from centre to centre and always form a straight line - enabling the following type of diagram.

Coming soon...

Posted on December 23, 2015 .

iThoughts2go

 
 

Ever looked at iThoughts and wondered if you could risk spending over $10 on an app based on a few App Store screenshots and some five star reviews?

Wonder no longer. iThoughts2go is a FREE version of iThoughts (with one small caveat.) Download it now and take it for a spin...

 

 

 

That caveat I mentioned? Whilst maps of any size may be VIEWED - only maps with fewer than 20 topics may be AMENDED. 

 

Posted on December 14, 2015 .

Summary Relationships

Another quick 'Friday Preview' of a feature I'm working on. This time it's what I call 'Summary Relationships'. As you can see from the following diagram, this enables a 'many to one' relationship.

This has been a popular request over the years - but it's only now that I've finally figured out how best to do it (it's surprisingly difficult to design - I've failed on at least 2 previous attempts.) Anyway, the key ideas are as follows:

  • There is a new type of relationship link line - called a 'Summary Relationship'
  • When a summary relationship is created, then the target topic is then designated as a 'Summary Topic'.
  • A 'Summary Topic' is not subject to auto layout. This means you can move the summary topic to a position that is most appropriate for your map (see below)
  • There are no properties to set on a summary relationship. It adopts the same color as the target topic and its style is the same as the normal parent/child link (only in reverse!)

 

As for summary topics not being subject to auto layout - this enables the following type of diagram. Notice, also, how the same 3 topics can be 'summarised' twice. This is one of the advantages of using a relationship approach as opposed to having a dedicated 'summary' type feature.

Coming to a mindmap app near you soon...

 

Posted on December 11, 2015 .